8 Best Cockatiel Bird Foods with Commonly Asked Feeding Questions


Feeding a pet bird is easy because they all eat bird seed – or do they? Many people don’t realize that birds have complex dietary needs just like any other pet and, as a bird owner, it is your job to make sure that those needs are met.

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So, what is the best diet for a pet bird like a cockatiel?

Cockatiels need a varied diet of seeds, grains, and other foods. In most cases, the easiest option is to buy a commercial feed mix. Keep reading to learn more about your cockatiel’s dietary needs and to see our top picks for the best commercial cockatiel food.

What is the Best Cockatiel Food?

What to Look for in a Good Cockatiel Food

Feeding pet birds the right foods is important for their health. A balanced diet based on sound bird nutrition recommendations is the key. – petcoach.co

Before you can start shopping for a good cockatiel food, you need to know what your cockatiel’s nutritional needs are. Cockatiels are a small, friendly species of domestic bird known for their intelligence and their social natures. Proper nutrition is especially important for these birds because the wrong diet can lead to serious health problems.

All birds need the right balance of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in their diet to be healthy and the best cockatiel food is one that meets these needs while also mirroring what the bird would eat in the wild. Here are some things to look for in a good cockatiel food:

  • The product should be made with real food ingredients including fruits and vegetables – in addition to providing nutrients, these foods also provide a mix of flavors and textures.
  • Look for a product that is fortified with vitamins and minerals according to your cockatiel’s needs – balanced nutrition is essential for health.
  • Choose a product with guaranteed levels of omega-3 fatty acids to ensure skin and feather health as well as healthy joints, immunity, and brain development.
  • Avoid products that contain sweeteners and artificial additives – colors, artificial flavors, and added sweeteners have no place in a good cockatiel food.
  • Choose a product that strikes the right balance between quality and affordability – select the highest quality product you can consistently afford so you can keep your bird’s diet stable.

Now that you know a little more about what makes a good cockatiel food, you’re almost ready to start shopping. Before you do, take the time to learn about the different types of cockatiel food.

What Are the Different Types of Cockatiel Foods?

When you head to the pet store and walk down the bird aisle, you’ll see a wide variety of different bird foods include seed mixes, dried fruit, pellets, and more. But how do you know which one to choose? The first step is to learn what the different options are and then go from there.

Here is an overview of the different types of cockatiel food:

  • Birdseed – In the wild, grass seeds make up the majority of a cockatiel’s diet so they should be a staple in your bird’s diet as well, making up about 25% of his daily diet if you feed a mixed diet.
  • Cracked Corn – Grains like cracked corn can be included in a cockatiel’s diet for variation, but they should not be a staple – they should make up no more than 10% of your bird’s daily diet.
  • Dried Fruit – An excellent source of nutrients, together with fresh or dried vegetables, dried fruit should make up 25% of your cockatiel’s daily diet.
  • Vegetables – Though some cockatiels will eat fresh vegetables, many prefer them dehydrated – feed your cockatiel a combined 25% vegetables and dried fruit in addition to seeds and pellets.
  • Pellets – Cockatiel pellets are formulated to meet your bird’s nutritional needs so they are a great way to ensure that he gets a balanced diet – about 25% of his daily diet should come from enriched pellets.

Now that you understand the different types of cockatiel food and what to look for in a good cockatiel food, it’s time to put them together! Before you head to the pet store, consider our top picks for the best commercial cockatiel food as a starting point.

Overall Best Cockatiel Food

Lafeber’s Cockatiel Nutri-Berries Cockatiel Food

If you want to give your cockatiel the best of the best, you should consider feeding him Lafeber’s Cockatiel Nutri-Berries Cockatiel Food. This blend is easily one of the most nutritious top-rated cockatiel foods on the market and it is easy to find in stores and online. This cockatiel food is not a pelleted mix, but it is similar because it comes in small clumps. The seeds are hulled for easy digestion and the mix is fortified with essential nutrients to ensure balanced nutrition. Plus, this food offers a variety of flavors and textures for your cockatiel which mimics the type of diet he’d follow in the wild.

  • Pros: Highly nutritious blend, easy to feed, can be mixed with pellets, nutria-berries contain a blend of flavors and textures, one tub lasts a while
  • Cons: May spoil quickly if it gets wet, not as high in calcium as some products

Best Cockatiel Pellet Food

Kaytee Exact Optimal Nutrition Diet for Cockatiels

Our top pick for the best cockatiel pellets is Kaytee Exact Optimal Nutrition Diet for Cockatiels because it is the perfect blend of quality and affordability. This pellet food is designed to offer balanced nutrition in one easy-to-feed product that supports healthy skin and feathers plus bright colors. It is low in fat but rich in essential vitamins and minerals, all in one product that can easily be blended with other foods. The pellets are small and crunchy, making them appealing to your cockatiel, and each bite contains exact nutrition, unlike seed blends.

  • Pros: Each bite provides exact nutrition, small and crunchy bites, healthy skin and feathers, balanced blend of nutrients, easy to feed, can be mixed with other foods
  • Cons: All one flavor and texture, may spoil if it gets wet

Best Cockatiel Seed Mix

Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Cockatiel Food

Our top pick for the best cockatiel seed mix is Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Blend Cockatiel Food because it offers a wide variety of flavors and textures to keep your cockatiel interested. This seed mix is formulated with a blend of exotic fruits and veggies plus healthy grains, seeds, and shelled nuts so your bird will never get bored. It is full of healthy nutrients, including plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, to ensure healthy skin and feathers, plus probiotics for a happy stomach. Plus, this product is entirely free from artificial additives like flavors, colors, and preservatives.

  • Pros: Contains a blend of fruits and seeds, variety of flavors and textures, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, contains probiotics, free from artificial additives
  • Cons: May spoil if it gets wet, contains seed hulls that may need to be removed

5 More Top Rated Cockatiel Foods

If the three cockatiel foods rated above don’t strike your fancy, you can choose something else! Here are 5 more top rated cockatiel foods that we recommend:

ZuPreem Pure Fun Enriching Variety Medium Bird Food

The ZuPreem brand is known for producing high-quality avian foods and this ZuPreem Pure Fun Enriching Variety Medium Bird Food is no exception. This product features a delicious blend of fruits, vegetables, pellets, and seeds to provide your cockatiel with healthy nutrition as well as a variety of flavors and textures. Variety is the key to keeping your bird entertained and active, which is exactly what this product is good for. Plus, it gives your cockatiel a boost of nutrition and healthy fats.

  • Pros: Contains a wide variety of flavors and textures, great for enrichment and activity, ideally sized for cockatiels to minimize waste
  • Cons: May spoil if it gets wet, should only make up 30% of weekly diet

Lafeber’s Avi-Cakes Original Flavor for Cockatiels

If you’re tired of cleaning up messes left from loose seed, Lafeber’s Avi-Cakes Original Flavor for Cockatiels might be a good product to consider. In addition to keeping all of your bird’s seed together, these avi-cakes give your cockatiel the satisfaction and enrichment of pulling, twisting, and tearing the cakes apart. This product contains a blend of seeds and grains that mimics the nutrition of a pelleted diet but in a blend that mimics your bird’s natural seed-based diet. It contains 50% wholesome grains and 50% nutritionally-optimized pellets for a 100% balanced meal.

  • Pros: 100% nutritionally balanced, contains grains and seeds, provides enrichment and mental stimulation, rich in omega fatty acids, made in the USA
  • Cons: May spoil if it gets wet, held together with molasses, doesn’t contain fruit or veggies

Roudybush Daily Maintenance Bird Food Crumble

If you’re looking for a nutritionally complete product to feed your cockatiel, consider this Roudybush Daily Maintenance Bird Food Crumble. This crumble is made from all-natural, high-quality ingredients in a scientifically formulated recipe to deliver optimal nutrition. It is free from artificial additives and doesn’t need to be supplemented with other foods, though it is easy to blend if you choose to do so. It is also 100% edible which means no waste and easy cleanup, not to mention a healthier diet overall and improved digestion for your cockatiel.

  • Pros: 100% edible and nutritionally balanced, no artificial additives, doesn’t need to be supplemented, low waste and easy cleanup, not for chicks or laying birds
  • Cons: May spoil if it gets wet, all one flavor and texture, doesn’t provide enrichment

Higgins Vita Seed Cockatiel Bird Food

Cockatiels are smart birds that need plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment to keep them active and healthy. This Higgins Vita Seed Cockatiel Bird Food is a great product because, not only is it nutritionally complete, but it contains a variety of flavors and textures to keep your bird engaged. This blend is made with wholesome grains, seeds, and shelled nuts as well as real veggies and exotic fruits. It is loaded with plant-based omega fatty acids for healthy skin and feathers, and probiotics for healthy digestion. Plus, it is made in the USA and free from artificial additives.

  • Pros: Nutritionally complete, wide variety of flavors and textures, provides enrichment and nutrition, made in the USA, free from artificial additives, rich in omega fatty acids, contains probiotics
  • Cons: May spoil if it gets wet, comes in a very large bag that may go bad before used up

Vitakraft Menu Care Complex Cockatiel Food

If you’re looking for a cockatiel food that is healthy and fun for your bird, consider Vitakraft Menu Care Complex Cockatiel Food. This blend contains a wide variety of flavors and textures from diverse ingredients which provides enrichment for your cockatiel as well as healthy nutrition. Fortified with vitamins and minerals, this seed mix is nutritionally balanced so you can use it as a staple diet. It contains seeds as well as fruits and veggies, plus it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and feathers plus probiotics for a healthy digestive system. Your cockatiel will have a great time picking through this mix and he’ll love the diversity of flavors too.

  • Pros: Made with a diverse blend of ingredients, many flavors and textures, nutritionally balanced, rich in omega fatty acids for skin and feathers, probiotics for healthy digestion, fortified with vitamins
  • Cons: May spoil if it gets wet, seed hulls may need to be removed

Cockatiel Feeding FAQs

Feeding a dog or a cat is as simple as putting down a bowl of food but feeding pet birds is a little bit different. Here are the answers to three common questions about feeding cockatiels:

  1. How Much Do Cockatiels Eat?  – The amount your cockatiel eats will depend on several factors including his age and size, but you should plan to offer about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of seed per day. Offer your cockatiel’s food in a shallow dish and, if you have multiple birds, make sure you have separate dishes for each.
  2. What Do Cockatiels Like Eating?  – In the wild, cockatiels eat a varied diet of grass seeds, berries, vegetables, and fruit. In fact, in their native land, cockatiels can be a nuisance for farmers because they raid crop fields in giant flocks. Cockatiels will eat a wide variety of foods, but grass seeds seem to be their favorite.
  3. What Are the Best Treats for My Cockatiel?  – If you’re looking for a healthy treat to feed your cockatiel at home, you may only need to go as far as your refrigerator. The best treats for cockatiels include fruits like apple, melon, mango, or banana – you can also feed them dried fruit as long as it isn’t sweetened. Other options for treats include seeds and fresh veggies, especially dehydrated veggies.

If you want to enjoy your cockatiel’s company for as long as possible, make sure to feed him a diet that will support his health and longevity. Take what you’ve learned here and put it to use when you start shopping around for a good cockatiel food. Good luck!

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