Cockatiel Feeding Basics

Key Takeaways


As a cockatiel owner and enthusiast, I’ve learned the importance of a nutritious diet for these delightful birds. This article, part of our comprehensive Essential Cockatiel Care series, will guide you through the basics of feeding your cockatiel.

Understanding the Cockatiel Diet

Cockatiels require a diet that mimics their natural intake in the wild, which includes seeds, fruits, and greens. For more on setting up your cockatiel’s living space, including feeding arrangements, see Setting Up Cockatiel Cage.

Primary Diet Components

  1. Seeds: A staple, but should be balanced with other foods.
  2. Pellets: Provide comprehensive nutrition.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables: For essential vitamins and minerals, learn more about Safe Fruits & Veggies for Cockatiels.
  4. Water: Critical for hydration, see Cockatiel Hydration Needs.

The Importance of Variety

A varied diet is crucial. Introducing new foods can be a challenge, but our guide on Introducing New Foods to Cockatiels can help.

Sample Weekly Diet Plan

Day Seeds Pellets Fruits Vegetables
Monday 30% 50% Apple slices Carrot
Tuesday 30% 50% Banana Spinach
Wednesday 30% 50% Berries Broccoli
Thursday 30% 50% Melon Peas
Friday 30% 50% Pear Sweet potato
Saturday 30% 50% Grapes Kale
Sunday 30% 50% Orange segments Cucumber

Health and Nutrition

A balanced diet is key to preventing health issues. For more on identifying potential health problems, visit Identifying Cockatiel Illnesses.

Nutritional Needs

  • Protein: For feather and muscle development.
  • Vitamins: A, D, and E are crucial.
  • Minerals: Like calcium for bones and beak.

Nutrient Sources

Nutrient Sources
Protein Pellets, legumes, cooked eggs
Vitamin A Carrots, sweet potato, spinach
Vitamin D Exposure to sunlight, pellets
Vitamin E Almonds, whole grains
Calcium Cuttlebone, leafy greens

Feeding Tips

  • Consistency: Feed at the same times each day.
  • Moderation: Avoid overfeeding with seeds.
  • Hygiene: Clean dishes daily, see Cockatiel Cage Cleaning.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Seed-Only Diet: Can lead to obesity and deficiencies.
  • Ignoring Fresh Foods: Fresh fruits and veggies are crucial.
  • Neglecting Water: Always ensure fresh water is available.


Feeding your cockatiel correctly ensures their health and happiness. For more on daily care, check out Daily Cockatiel Care.
“The joy of keeping a cockatiel is matched only by the responsibility of providing them with the best possible care, starting with their diet.” – Claire Haskett (Author)

By following these guidelines and exploring our Cockatiel Care Basics series, you’ll be well-equipped to provide your cockatiel with a fulfilling life. Remember, each bird is unique, so observe and adjust their diet as needed. Enjoy the rewarding experience of caring for your cockatiel!
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