Why Is My Cockatiel Not Eating? (+What To Do About It)

Although cockatiels are small animals, they need a proper diet to maintain a healthy diet. If your bird suddenly stops eating their regular diet, then it can be of significant concern for its owners. They often wonder, why is my cockatiel not eating? Should I be worried? Let’s find out!

If your cockatiel has stopped eating, it indicates something is wrong with him. It could either be a mental trauma or a physical one. Some common reasons include health issues, old age, extreme stress, dehydration, an uncomfortable environment, or dietary changes.

Lack of nutrition can even lead to a deterioration in our bird’s health. You will also notice that older cockatiels tend to be less interested in their food than young cockatiels, which is quite natural. If your bird is not well, take them to a vet.

We have discussed below some common reasons why your cockatiel might have stopped eating. We have also discussed the solutions to help you act accordingly to protect your cockatiel at the right time or before it is too late. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get started.

How Long Can Cockatiels Go Without Eating?

Cockatiels can not go without food for very long at all. They will die from starvation within 2–3 days. However, serious and permanent damage can occur much sooner.

Furthermore, domestic or pet cockatiels often become accustomed to being fed at certain times, and if this doesn’t happen, they can become malnourished and unwell.

The food intake also depends upon the age and health of cockatiels. Young or baby cockatiels need nutrients from their food for adequate growth and development and cannot sustain long without food.

How Often Should A Cockatiel Eat?

It is essential to feed our cockatiels appropriately. You must provide your bird with fresh food every 24 hours.

I usually prefer to feed my cockatiel with little food every 12 hours. The truth is, servings of two small meals instead of one large meal makes a huge difference.

In the wild, cockatiels hoard their food. They have multiple meals in a day, ensuring that they at least eat some of their food.

Serving your birds with two small meals in a day will mirror how they eat in the wild.

Also, it is crucial to remove all the uneaten food every 24-48 hours. It is vital to make sure that our cockatiels do not eat rotten food over fresh ones. Terrible food often leads to stress in our birds.

Why Has My Cockatiel Stopped Eating?

If your cockatiel has suddenly stopped eating, then there are chances that something is wrong with him. The reason behind this can either be physical or mental.

Our pets need to eat to live healthy and happy life. Therefore, we need to find out the possible reasons for such behavior in our cockatiels and implement the necessary solutions ASAP.

Some of the common reasons why your bird might have stopped eating are listed below:

  • It Might Be New To Your House: If you have got yourself a new cockatiel, he might take some time to adjust. Give them time to adjust to their surroundings and the new people around them. Once your bird has adjusted, it will start to eat and drink normally.
  • Your Bird Might Be Dehydrated: Dehydration is one of the significant reasons why your cockatiel might not be eating its meals. Dehydration often leads to a loss of appetite. If your cockatiel is dehydrated, he will barely eat anything. Therefore, you must ensure your bird drinks enough water.
  • It Might Be Under Stress: Most cockatiels stop eating when stressed. Your cockatiel might be stressed due to several reasons. Common reasons for stress in cockatiels include sudden loud noises, a new environment, etc.
  • Abrupt Change In Its Diet: Introducing a new brand of seeds or a new treat can affect your cockatiel’s diet. If you have recently introduced a particular food to your bird’s diet, switch back to its regular diet. In most cases, this method works.
  • Unstable Temperature: Cockatiels need to be around 72°F-80°F (22°C- 27°C). This is the ideal temperature for a cockatiel to live a happy life. If there are regular fluctuations in the temperature around your pet’s cage, then they will probably stop eating.
  • Other Medical Issues: If your bird is sick, it will stop eating. In most cases, it could cause some digestive issues. Such health problems can easily lead to a loss of appetite in cockatiels.

While we can cure some of these problems at home, others need immediate professional attention.

If you are unsure about your cockatiel’s health, I would advise you to visit a vet.

Why Is My New Cockatiel Not Eating?

The first few days in a new place can be very stressful for a new cockatiel. Unfortunately, stress can easily lead to health problems, especially issues related to a bird’s digestive system.

New cockatiels are very quiet during the initial days. It’s perfectly normal for them to hide away when you are around.

This is not the time to introduce vegetables, fruits, or other new foods. the best bet is to provide whatever food your bird has been accustomed to eating. Give your cockatiel some time to adjust.

However, if you still feel your bird is not doing well, I would advise you to take it to a vet as soon as possible.

Cockatiel Not Eating Or Drinking

If your cockatiel has suddenly stopped eating and drinking, it indicates that your pet suffers from some medical condition. In such cases, you must take your bird to a vet.

You need to understand that your bird’s health can decline quickly. Therefore, you need to make decisions quickly.

Common health problems affecting your cockatiel’s drinking and eating habits include dental complications, gastrointestinal problems, and other digestive issues.

Cockatiel Not Eating Or Sleeping

Several reasons your cockatiel might not be eating or sleeping at all.

These reasons include illness, injury, boredom, anxiety, diet problems, or environmental changes.

In such cases, the best option is to get your bird checked by a vet. A vet will be able to help you in the best manner possible.

How Do I Get My Cockatiel To Eat?

Sometimes it becomes too difficult for an owner to feed their pet. Below are some tips that will induce your cockatiel to eat more.

  • If you have introduced a new food to your bird’s diet, gradually switch back to its old food.
  • Provide your cockatiels with high-quality food. Do not provide them with low-quality kibble.
  • Never serve your pet spoiled food. Ensure you check the expiration date on the packet of seeds before serving it to your pet.
  • Your cockatiel might get bored by eating the same food for a long time. You can try to bring a variation to their diet.
  • Ensure that the food you serve your cockatiel is in the right temperate.
  • Make a feeding schedule for your pet. Try to serve your birds their meal at the same time every day.
  • Encourage your cockatiels to stay more active. Please provide them with plenty of toys in their cage.
  • Please do not feed them an excess of treats. Stick to the limit.

Lastly, do not punish your cockatiel for not eating. It would be best if you were patient and supportive to gain your pet’s trust.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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