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WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY COCKATIEL?

SEED OR PELLETS?

There are many different products and foods on the market for birds... and there is much controversary between the seed diet and the pellet diet. I personally use both the pellets and seeds- a very large variety and different mixes of seeds,fresh foods,and herbs with the pellets making up only approximately 10 percent of my bird's diet. What I do is offer a small dish of pellets and a seperate dish of seeds for my birds and I find this works great, I do not mix the seeds and pellets as often the birds will pick through the seeds leaving the pellets and they will be wasted. There appears to be some skeptatism about the real health of pellets which is why I chose to use them in a side dish; offering a large variety of other foods. In the beginning pellets were believed to be the best possible diet for our fids as opposed to seeds,but they are what one could refer to as a food that has not been around really long enough to back up the basis claims of longer healthier life. In fact it appears that early kidney and liver disease are on the rise and the suspicion that pellets may be the cause has been tossed out there enough to make me hesitant to make them the main diet for my fids; and although these thoughts are not scientifically proven at this time I feel seeds and fresh foods and herbs are more natural and therefor opt for them to make up the largest part of my bird's diet. I believe pellets could have more potential for problems with cockatiels due to the fact they are a no moisture food and cockatiels drink very little water....perhaps further studies might show the majority of fids with problems are cockatiels because of their lack of water intake. I do know from personal experience seeds and fresh foods are best for cockatiel pairs that are feeding young.. I found with pellets and fresh food I ran into crop problems with my babies...here again the chicks were not getting the water they needed from the parents to handle the dry pellet food; this was around the time I tended to sway more against pellets being a larger portion of the diet turning to seeds and fresh food as being the majority and since then no crop problems. I do offer pellets because I believe they can offer valuable nutrients and vitamins our fids need; I just feel that as the larger portion of a diet is when one may run into problems with them based more on long term use. No matter what your personal thoughts and feelings on pellets the real key here again is VARIETY; offer as much as you can. Variety is the key word to a healthy bird. I have used Tropican Pellets and Zupreme Natural and Fruity pellets...I use a cockatiel base seed mixed with different varieties of budgie or parakeet seed...Kaytee Fiesta,and Hagen seeds,etc.

WHAT ELSE CAN I FEED MY TIEL?

It is also good to offer your feathered friend some fresh foods such as brocolli,carrots, sweet potatoes,hot peppers,peas, cucumbers,kale,dandelion greens,watercress,pasta (raw or cooked)and they love corn!! Other foods I offer my fids are Wheat toast,boiled egged mashed up, romaine lettuce (Do Not use regular head lettuce),shreddies cereal, air popped pop corn (nothing added). They also like certain fruits but I find you have to explore with them to find the fruits they like; you can offer blueberries,strawberries,kiwi,banana, cranberries tomato,cantelope,apples and oranges are very good for your bird. However not all tiels will eat the fresh veggies or fruits readily;especially if they have never had them before; if yours does not dont panic just offer different things and experiment until you find something your tiel likes....and be persistant in offering the same food. Often a tiel will refuse something simply because it is new and he/she is unsure of it-by offering it persistantly he/she becomes more familiar with it and will eventually try some of it, and in most cases enjoy it..:)

Keep in mind the list of fresh fruit and veggies above is just a few that can be offered as really the possibilities are endless.

WHAT ABOUT SPRAY MILLET?

I also recommend spray millet as it is excellent for your bird and will help him/her through times of stress. Mine get spray millet regularly at least once a week. Millet is good for when they are molting or just looking a little low on the energy scale.

VARIETY is the keyword in your teils diet!!

Make sure you give your tiel fresh water daily and that they have a good supply of whatever diet you chose for their main diet...seeds or pellets.

WHAT SHOULD MY TIEL NOT EAT?

DO NOT let your teil eat chochlate or caffine..not only are these things not good for them they are TOXIC to them. No Avacodos as they are toxic and can be fatal to your bird. Also avoid seeds such as apple seeds and pits of fruit such as cherry pits and peach pits etc.

WHAT ABOUT GRIT OR GRAVEL FOR MY TIEL?

DO NOT give your tiel gravel...many people believe that the tiel needs gravel as with many birds this is a necessary element to help them properly digest their food and although the pet market still sales tiel gravel your teil does NOT need this and it can also do more harm than good causing problems with their crop. A Tiel is a hookbill and he will crush his own seeds. Also Your teil should always have a cuttle bone, Cuttlebone will offer him calcium he needs and is great for helping to keep the beaks filed down.

DO I OFFER MY TIEL VITAMINS?

I do not give my tiel vitamins from the pet stores and never have despite the pet market's of trying to sale them with the statement your tiels need them. If your tiel is on a proper diet the vitamins are not needed and your feathered friend may have difficulties filtering through the over abundance of vitamins therefor leading to other health problems. I use supplements only during breeding times when their bodies are going through more stress and being depleted. And I will only purchase my supplements through a company called "The Bird Care Company". You can visit them here, or Healthy Bird, which is a Canadian Supplier of thier products and more which you can visit here.

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