How Often Should I Feed My Cockatiel? (Owner’s Guide)

Cockatiels are among the most popular pet birds worldwide, especially among children. However, most owners do not have the right knowledge about the feeding schedule of their little ones. Stick to this article to learn more in detail!

Cockatiels should be fed twice daily, in the morning and late evening. It is recommended to serve 1-2 tablespoons of fresh food in one serving and pellets/seeds in the other. Birds with medical issues may require a specialized feeding schedule.

Some cockatiels are like cows and like to graze on food all day (and night). Others like eating at set times of the day and don’t let you forget what that time is.

It is crucial to feed your cockatiels with the appropriate amount of food. Overfeeding can lead to several health complications, such as obesity, diabetes, diarrhea, etc. in our little ones.

How Often Does A Cockatiel Need To Be Fed?

It is crucial to feed our cockatiels appropriately. Most owners serve their cockatiel one-two tablespoon of seeds or pellets every 24 hours.

However, I prefer to serve my cockatiels one tablespoon of food every 12 hours.

Although it might seem the same to you, serving two small meals instead of one large meal makes a difference.

Serving our little ones two small meals daily will mirror how cockatiels would eat in the wild.

Also, most birds hoard their food, so multiple meals will make sure that they at least eat some of their food.

Also, remove all the uneaten food every 24-48 hours. This will ensure that our birds do not eat rotten food over fresh ones.

Rotten food has a foul smell which can easily lead to stress in our birds.

What Should I Feed My Cockatiel Daily?

It is essential to serve our cockatiels a well-balanced diet. They must be fed a well-balanced diet of pellets, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Pellets and seed mix: Commercially made pellets are filled with nutrients and are formulated to provide our cockatiels with all the essential nutrients required to lead a healthy life. Therefore, ensuring they get their daily dose of nutrients before serving them with other kinds of food is vital. This will help the owners ensure that their little ones do not miss out on essential nutrients.
  • Vegetables: You can add up to 10% of vegetables to the diet of your cockatiels. Some of the vegetables are better as compared to others. There are more nutrients in the leafy greens.
  • Fruits: Fruits contain a sufficient amount of minerals and vitamins. However, it also includes a high sugar level, which can make your cockatiel obese. Thus, the owner needs to provide the fruits in minimal quantities. You can give fruits as a treat only once in a while, which is sufficient. Also, make sure you feed it in limited quantities only.
  • Occasional treats: It is essential to serve your cockatiels their favorite treats once in a while. Helping them with treats once or twice a week is ideal. Some of the favorite treats of my bird include honey sticks, boiled eggs, and nuts.
  • Water: We must serve our cockatiels with fresh water every 24 hours. Water is essential for the survival of all living beings. You can help them water in a bowl.

Can You Overfeed A Cockatiel?

It would be best if you never overfed your cockatiel. Overconsumption of food can lead to severe health complications in our little birds.

You might get tempted to serve your bird with more food, but this will only harm them.

You will notice that your birds eat all the food we provide them with within no time. Therefore, taking control of the amount of food you feed your pet is essential.

Also, take care of the amount of seeds and pellets you feed your pet cockatiel.

There are no pellets in the wild, and cockatiels do very well without them.

You must serve your bird with the correct amount of kibble so that he gets the maximum benefit out of it.

Overfeeding our cockatiels will make them obese. Overeating might also lead to other health problems, such as digestive complications, heartaches, dental pain, etc.

Therefore, never feed your bird more than the suggested quantity.

How Do You Know If A Cockatiel Is Hungry?

Cockatiels are always hungry. Your birds will always crave more food. Especially when it comes to tasty fruits and vegetables, they can’t stop chirping.

You may think that your cockatiels are greedy, and in a way, they are. So the question you need to ask yourself is, do your birds need more food?

Unfortunately, there is no appropriate way to determine their hunger.

You can take your cockatiel to the veterinary surgeon for an examination, but this can be unnecessary unless your bird shows any malnourishment.

There is no favorable evidence of a cockatiel who is underfed.

Instead, you need to feed your cockatiel a balanced diet in the right quantities, which is a great approach.

Besides, keep an eye on your cockatiel’s food bowl. It will help you determine if your bird is eating or not.

What Can I Feed My Cockatiel Besides Seeds?

A cockatiel should have a daily diet of mostly pellets and seeds. 75% of pellets and 25% of seeds works the best.

Besides this, cockatiels indeed enjoy eating a smaller amount of fresh leafy vegetables and fresh fruits. Small amounts of fresh fruits and veggies can be offered once a day.

Vegetables like green beans, carrots, peas in pods, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet corn, and sweet potato are loved by most cockatiels. However, these veggies should be lightly cooked, and your birds would only want a teaspoon full.

In fruits, cockatiels can eat bananas, strawberries, apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, blueberries, pears, raisins, mango, melon, nectarines, cherries, and kiwis. However, be careful with the seeds of these fruits.

Cockatiels have very sensitive digestive tracts, so the transition to seed or pellets, or the introduction of new fruits and vegetables, must be done gradually to allow the bird’s system to adjust.

How Many Hours Can A Cockatiel Go Without Eating?

Cockatiels can not go without food for very long at all. They will die from starvation within 2–3 days. However, severe 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.


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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