When you spend time with your pet cockatiel daily, it’s hard to notice the small changes in weight over time. One day you’ll look at your bird and see they seem different, healthier than they used to be. Is your cockatiel overweight, and should you be worried?
The most accurate way of keeping an eye on your cockatiel’s weight is with a gram scale. On average, a healthy cockatiel should weigh anywhere between 80 and 110 grams. We recommend weekly or monthly weigh-ins to ensure your bird maintains a healthy body weight.
It can be challenging to visually judge a cockatiel’s body condition because their thick feather can hide prominent bones or disguise fat.
In this article, we find out what a healthy cockatiel weight is, what causes cockatiel weight loss, how to help a fat cockatiel slim down, and much more.
How Heavy Should My Cockatiel Be?
To understand how much your cockatiel should weigh, age is an essential factor.
You can refer to the following table to understand your bird’s age and weight ratio.
|3-6 Days||5-12 grams|
|1-2 Weeks||12-45 grams|
|2-3 weeks||45-72 grams|
|4-5 weeks||75-80 grams|
|5-6 weeks||80-90 grams|
|6-7 weeks||80-95 grams|
|7 Weeks to Adult||90-110 grams|
The weight should gradually increase as your cockatiel gets older.
Of course, this will vary based on your bird, so it’s essential to take your pet for regular checkups with the vet to ensure they are the right weight for their age and gender.
Sometimes medical conditions can cause weight loss or gain, such as a parasitic infection, so if your pet cockatiel is too small or too big, your vet can help you figure out what’s wrong before you change their diet.
How Do I Know If My Cockatiel Is Fat?
As mentioned, start worrying if your cockatiel excessively crosses its ideal weight.
Be your judge and start worrying if you notice any changes in the behavior, such as movements and energy levels.
You should weigh your bird weekly since it’s born or from the moment you get it.
You can use kitchen scales or jewelry scales such as these that weigh to the nearest 0.1 grams. Document weekly/monthly weight gain or loss to make any decisions.
Why Is My Cockatiel So Skinny?
In general, cockatiels are not meant to be fat. However, there is a difference between skinny and malnourished.
Before taking drastic steps regarding your pet’s health, I would advise you to consult a veterinarian first.
Here are a few reasons why your cockatiel might be skinny:
- Your cockatiel is malnourished early on in its life.
- Your cockatiel has parasites.
- You are feeding your bird the wrong diet.
- Your cockatiel is stressed.
- Your cockatiel is unhappy.
- Your other cockatiels do not allow each other to eat, and hogs access food.
There are also chances that your bird has a decreased appetite due to sickness.
How Do I Get My Cockatiel To Lose Weight?
Being a cockatiel owner, there are a few things that you can do on your part to keep a check on your bird’s weight.
If you see that your bird is overweight, you must check on your cockatiel’s diet and physical stimulation.
It is essential to check your bird’s weight; it is vital to maintain a long and healthy life.
Proper Dietary Regime
To keep your cockatiel healthy and in shape, it is essential to provide them with a nutritional diet.
Avoid feeding your bird with any kind of food that has a high-fat content. Furthermore, keep your cockatiel away from sugary food.
The extra seeds and fruits you throw in your bird’s cage add to the excess fat. Never feed your cockatiel any more than required.
For the time being, reduce the number of fruits in your bird’s diet and increase the percentage of dark leafy greens.
Ensure that your bird drinks adequate water to speed up the weight loss.
Add Adequate Physical Stimulation
Diet and exercise go hand in hand.
You need to understand that toys play a crucial role in this enrichment.
In the wild, cockatiels indulge in foraging for food and exploring their environment, which keeps them in shape. Toys do the same for them.
Besides keeping your cockatiels active and engaged, toys keep your bird entertained. A cockatiel without proper enrichment can become bored, destructive, and depressed.
You can categorize your cockatiel’s toys into four groups:
- Foraging toys: Cockatiels are natural foragers, and toys that encourage this behavior are ideal for keeping them stimulated throughout the day.
- Puzzle toys: These toys will be even more mentally challenging for the cockatiels as it forages.
- Chewing toys: These are important for mental enrichment and beak maintenance.
- Play toys: These can encompass everything from bells and ball toys to rope ladders for climbing.
However, never try to push him too much in the start to avoid any stress on his body and increase it gradually.
Can Cockatiels Become Overweight?
Just like most other living beings, cockatiels have the risk of becoming overweight.
The leading cause of obesity in cockatiels is an unhealthy diet. It is common for people to feed their pet birds too many treats (because they are just so cute when they beg) or give them a diet low in essential nutrients.
In addition, while giving your pet cockatiel the occasional treat is okay, you want to avoid giving them more than a tablespoon in a day.
Too many sugary treats can cause rapid weight gain in your birds and cause an imbalance in their gut, making your cockatiel more likely to suffer from a digestive-related disease or condition.
How Do I Get My Cockatiel To Gain Weight?
If you plan to make any abrupt changes in your cockatiel’s diet, it should be made under the care and advice of a certified veterinarian.
After your veterinarian agrees your pet bird needs to gain weight. They may suggest several foods to help with weight gain.
Some foods that are great for weight gain include super seeds, high protein bird food, home treats, and fruits and veggies.