What is the Best Food for Cockatiels? A Guide for Baby and Young Birds

Cockatiels require a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients to maintain their health. A balanced diet should contain proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals in the right proportions. A lack of any of these nutrients can lead to health problems in cockatiels.

Factors Affecting Cockatiels’ Nutritional Needs

Cockatiels have different nutritional needs at different stages of their life. Baby and young cockatiels require a diet that is high in protein and calcium to support their growth. Adult cockatiels, on the other hand, require a diet that is lower in protein and higher in fiber. Factors such as activity level, age, and health condition also affect a cockatiel’s nutritional needs.

Cockatiel Diet: Seeds vs. Pellets

Pros and Cons of Seeds

Seeds are a popular choice for feeding cockatiels, but they are not nutritionally complete. While seeds are high in fat and protein, they lack many essential nutrients that cockatiels need. Feeding your cockatiel only seeds can lead to health problems such as obesity, malnutrition, and liver disease. However, seeds can be a great snack or treat for your cockatiel.

Pros and Cons of Pellets

Pellets are an excellent option for feeding cockatiels as they are nutritionally complete. Pellets contain a variety of nutrients that cockatiels need, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Switching your cockatiel to a pellet-based diet can be difficult as cockatiels can be picky eaters and may not immediately take to the new food.

Supplementing Your Cockatiel’s Diet with Fruits and Vegetables

Best Fruits for Cockatiels

Fruits are a great addition to your cockatiel’s diet as they provide essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the best fruits for cockatiels include apples, bananas, berries, and melons. However, fruits should be given in moderation as they are high in sugar.

Best Vegetables for Cockatiels

Vegetables are also an important part of a cockatiel’s diet as they provide essential nutrients and fiber. Some of the best vegetables for cockatiels include leafy greens, carrots, peppers, and squash. Vegetables should be chopped into small pieces to make it easier for your cockatiel to eat.

Feeding Cockatiel Chicks and Juveniles

Recommended Diet for Baby and Young Cockatiels

Baby and young cockatiels require a diet that is high in protein and calcium to support their growth. A diet that consists of 80% pellets and 20% seeds is recommended for baby and young cockatiels. You can also supplement their diet with fruits and vegetables.

Transitioning from Baby to Adult Diet

As your cockatiel grows older, you can gradually transition them to an adult diet. Start by reducing the amount of protein in their diet and increasing the amount of fiber. You can also gradually increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet.

Treats for Cockatiels: What to Avoid and What to Offer

Foods to Avoid

Some foods are toxic to cockatiels and should be avoided. These include chocolate, avocado, caffeine, alcohol, and sugary or salty foods. These foods can cause health problems such as liver damage, heart failure, and obesity.

Healthy Treat Options

Healthy treat options for cockatiels include seeds, fruits, and vegetables. You can also offer your cockatiel cooked pasta, rice, and eggs as a treat. Treats should be given in moderation and should not make up more than 10% of your cockatiel’s diet.


Providing your cockatiel with a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their health and wellbeing. A diet that includes a variety of foods such as pellets, seeds, fruits, and vegetables will provide your cockatiel with all the essential nutrients they need. Remember to always avoid toxic foods and offer treats in moderation. With the right diet, your cockatiel will live a long and healthy life.

ThePetFaq Team