Ask Lafeber


June 7, 2021


Hi, My cocktails doesn’t eat anything except for Foxtail millet & sunflower. I get them Mixed seeds as well while they only consume the foxtail millet leaving the rest.

Can you pls suggest how to make them eat veggies, fruits & other edible items…

Also the female doesn’t show any interest in mating while the male keeps going behind it. How do I resolve this…


Hi Ashvin,

Your cockatiels need to be eating a balanced diet before you even consider letting them breed. A loose seed mix does not provide much nutrition at all, especially when they eat just one type of seed from it. You need to convert them to a balanced diet such as pellets or our foraging diets before you worry about fresh foods. Whatever diet you decide on, you need to mix it with their regular food, and then decrease the old food each day while increasing the new food, until they are only eating the new food. Most owners who feed seed give their birds too much food. Since your birds are picking out one or two types of seed, you are definitely over feeding them. You need to reduce how much food you offer each day. Each bird only needs 1-2 tablespoons of food daily. Owners tend to fill up the food cup, and most cups that are sold will hold at least a week’s worth of food. You need to reduce how much you offer, and then be committed to converting them to a new diet. This means tough love and not giving into them. Most cockatiels will convert to our foraging diet, especially our Nutri-Berries. If you try these, you should begin by crumbling them and mixing with the seed mix. Once you have converted them, then you need to make sure they are eating most of each berrie. They can be picky with Nutri-Berries, too, if you give them too much. Pellets are designed to keep the bird from picking out what they want, since everything is ground up and formed into a pellet. We just had a webinar about teaching your bird to eat a new diet, so I’ll give you that link. As far as the female not wanting t mate, both of your birds are malnourished, and they are not likely to be interested in breeding. It’s worse for the female, because she needs to be on a nutritious diet in order to form and lay eggs, because it is very hard on her system.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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