The 5 Best Foods for Cockatiels
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You may not think of pet birds as cuddly, but the friendly cockatiel will change your mind.
This bird is one of the most popular species of pet bird and for good reason – they are outgoing, comical, and affectionate with their owners.
Like all pets, however, they have specific dietary needs that must be met if you want your cockatiel to be healthy.
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Compare Best Foods For Cockatiels
1. Lafeber Classic Nutri-Berries Cockatiel Food
2. Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Cockatiel Food
3. Roudybush Daily Maintenance Crumble Bird Food
Best For Budget
4. Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Cockatiel Food
5. ZuPreem Pure Fun Enriching Variety Medium Bird Food
Keep reading to learn more about what makes cockatiels such great pets and to learn about their nutritional needs. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best cockatiel food.
What Do You Need to Know About Cockatiels?
Also known as the miniature cockatoo, the cockatiel is a species endemic to Australia.
These birds are popular household pets throughout the world, second in popularity only to the budgerigar or budgie.
The cockatiel was once thought to be a crested parrot or simply a small cockatoo, but recent genetic evidence revealed it to be a member of its own subfamily.
These birds are also known for the distinctive crest their wear on the top of their heads which they use as a means of expressing emotion.
As a pet, the cockatiel is a joy to keep. These birds are very outgoing and often have goofy personalities, but they are also known to cuddle and be very affectionate with their owners.
In terms of their care, cockatiels have higher needs for space than some pet birds, and they require a balanced diet.
How To Choose The Best Bird Food For Cockatiels?
In the wild, cockatiels are natural foragers, so they are constantly looking for and picking up food from the ground.
In terms of their dietary needs, most cockatiels do well with a commercially balanced diet supplemented with seed and fresh vegetables.
Here are some things to look for in a diet for cockatiels:
- Commercial pellets – Most commercial pellets are nutritionally balanced for the intended species, so they should be included in your cockatiel’s diet in some way.
- Seeds – These are a staple of many bird diets, but you need to be sure to include a variety of different seeds, so your cockatiel gets the nutrients it needs.
- Fruits and veggies – Commercial pellets generally don’t contain the phytonutrients cockatiels need for a balanced diet, so include some fresh fruits and veggies in your bird’s diet.
- Low grit – It was once thought that cockatiels needed grit to boost their digestion, it is now known that cockatiels shred their seed before eating it and don’t need grit as a result.
Our Top Picks For The Best Foods for Cockatiels
Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best bird food for cockatiels.
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of pelleted diets for cockatiels, but many believe it to be the most nutritionally balanced option.
Whichever diet you choose, make sure you feed your cockatiel a high-quality product.
Lafeber Classic Nutri-Berries Cockatiel Food
- Crude Protein: 12.5% Min
- Crude Fat: 8.0% Min
- Crude Fiber: 5% Max
- Nutri-berry shape encourages foraging, play, and exercise
- Nutritionally complete and balanced for optimal health and wellness
- Made with human-grade, non-GMO ingredients and no artificial additives
- Somewhat more expensive than other bird foods
- Nutri-berry clusters may be stuck together at first
This Lafeber’s Cockatiel Nutri-Berries Cockatiel Food is nutritionally balanced but is formulated to appeal to your cockatiel’s foraging needs. It features human-grade, non-GMO ingredients with no artificial colors or preservatives in a nutrient-rich, flavorful recipe.
Your cockatiel will receive all the nutrients it needs for healthy and balanced nutrition while being encouraged to exercise and play.
Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Cockatiel Food
- Crude Protein: 15.0% Min
- Crude Fat: 8.0% Min
- Crude Fiber: 12% Max
- Contains a rich blend of seeds, grains, and other healthy ingredients
- Formulated uniquely for cockatiels
- Supplemented to ensure balanced nutrition, general health, and immunity
- Contains some artificial coloring
- Some birds may only eat the pieces they like
This formula includes a rich blend of seeds, grains, and pellets to give your bird nutritional variety with beneficial supplements to ensure optimal nutrition. Plus, it helps enhance skin and feather health while supporting general health and immunity.
Roudybush Daily Maintenance Crumble Bird Food
- Crude Protein: 11.0% Min
- Crude Fat: 6.0% Min
- Crude Fiber: 3.5% Max
- Nutritionally complete and balanced in every bite
- 100% edible with no by-products or artificial additives
- Scientifically formulated for daily maintenance
- Some cockatiels don’t like pellets
- Pellets may be too small for some cockatiels
This formula is designed for daily maintenance, and each pellet is complete and balanced for small to medium birds like your cockatiel. It is 100% edible with no animal by-products and it is free from added colors, sugars, and artificial preservatives.
This formula is made from the finest blend of ingredients and nutritionally balanced to keep your cockatiel healthy.
Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Cockatiel Food
- Crude Protein: 13.5% Min
- Crude Fat: 15.0% Min
- Crude Fiber: 7% Max
- Made with a varied blend of seeds, fruit, and extruded pellets
- Contains beneficial supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition
- Added omega-3s for heart and brain health
- Some cockatiels will only pick out the seeds they like
- Not nutritionally balanced in every bite like pellets
It features a varied blend of seeds, fruit, vegetables, and extruded pellets to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
Overall, it provides 15% protein and 11% fat, an ideal blend for your cockatiel. It is completely free from artificial colors and flavors but contains beneficial supplements to ensure that your cockatiel’s daily nutritional needs are met.
ZuPreem Pure Fun Enriching Variety Medium Bird Food
- Crude Protein: 10.0% Min
- Crude Fat: 6.0% Min
- Crude Fiber: 8% Max
- Uniquely formulated for medium birds to encourage play
- Contains a precise blend of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and smart pellets
- Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals
- Some cockatiels may only pick out the seeds they like
- Some birds prefer the fruit-flavored mixture from Zupreem
This bird food contains a precise blend of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and smart pellets to provide balanced nutrition that also enriches your bird’s experience.
It is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition but is still fun and exciting for your bird to eat. It is uniquely formulated for medium birds like cockatiels.
How Much Should You Feed Your Cockatiels?
If you’re feeding your cockatiel a diet that consists primarily of pellets, you’ll only need about a quarter cup a day.
For birds that eat a varied, seed-based diet, you’ll be feeding your cockatiel about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of seed per day.
Make sure to include small amounts of fruit and vegetables as well. You might also include some protein from cooked chicken, hardboiled egg, or cottage cheese.
How Many Times a Day Should You Feed Your Cockatiels?
Most birds tend to eat small amounts of food throughout the day, so you may only need to feed your cockatiel once or twice.
Again, cockatiels often enjoy foraging on the bottom of the cage, so spread some of the bird’s food around for it to find. Make sure you thoroughly clean the feeding dish every day before you refill it.
When it comes to feeding your cockatiel, you can decide whether you want to go with a pellet-based diet or a seed-based diet.
If you’re feeding seeds, you’ll need to include more variety in your bird’s diet to make sure it gets the nutrients it needs.
Regardless, you should also be supplementing your cockatiel’s diet with fruits, vegetables, and protein. If you’re not sure where to start shopping for cockatiel food, try one of our top 5 picks reviewed above!