Ask Lafeber

Question:

August 27, 2021

Food


My cockatiel is 1 and a half months old, what should we feed him other than the original formilla, we tried to feed him cucumbers,boild eggs, fresh water with some bread, seeds, he doesnt eat it what should we do to make him eat? Thank you for reading this.


Answer:

Hi Mariam,

Your little guy is just starting to wean. This means he doesn’t know what he can eat. It’s all new to him. A random veggie or piece of soft food will not do the trick. Weaning birds need what is called “abundance weaning”. This means you will offer a wide variety of foods, in several offerings a day – and yes, more will be wasted than eaten. But that’s all part of weaning a bird. To do it right and prevent any food issues or behavioral issues, he needs to be able to explore all types of food.

As for his main diet, I would not get him started on a seed mix. The seeds in a loose mix are not fresh enough to retain their nutrients, and any added vitamins are lost when the bird hulls the seeds. It’s best to give him a nutritionally balanced diet like pellets, or our foraging diets. Our foraging diets – Nutri-Berries & Avi-Cakes – do contain seeds, but the seeds are fresh, hulled seeds combined with other ingredients and are nutritionally balanced the same as a pellet.

For weaning, instead of handfeeding him first thing in the morning, first put a variety of foods in the cage in small dishes or a shallow plate on the cage floor. For example, try some cooked brown rice with mixed veggies, served warm, pellets or some crumbled Nutri-Berries, a small dish of his formula, mixed thick & served warm, a piece of leafy green like a dark lettuce or spinach, chopped fruit like apples, some scrambled egg and fresh water. Leave him alone for about an hour and make sure he can’t see or hear you, or he will just sit there and beg. After an hour, go back to feed him. Before you feed him, tap the syringe or spoon in each type of food. He will bite at the syringe trying to get his formula, and this can help him try some food. When you feed him, do not stuff him – give him slightly less than usual. You can leave the dry foods and water in the cage all day, but take out the fresh & soft foods after a couple of hours and then give him more an hour before the next feeding. Keep repeating this and soon he will be eating more on his own, and will start refusing the hand feeding. Don’t rush him or get mad at him if he is slow to catch on. It’s worth throwing out some food when you know he is weaning at his pace and will be a healthy and confident bird.

Bird Food Guide

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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