Fresh food for cockatiels
Cockatiels need their daily fresh foods to get enough vitamins. Fresh food means different vegetables, fruits, berries and other green foods. Cockatiels tend to be a bit picky but when they are offered a great variety of fresh food from childhood they will usually eat veggies with great pleasure.
Fresh food is so much more than some frozen corn: with a little imagination, you can make your cockatiel’s diet very diverse. Photo by Anni Pohja.
Among the seeds, you must offer your cockatiel also fresh foods: vegetables, fruits, and berries. Apple, carrot, pear, peas, and corn are usually the easiest solutions to start with, and very good options are for example broccoli, beans, spinach and celery. Dark green colored vegetables are high in nutritional value. Some cockatiels are very fond of the taste of cucumber but the cucumber doesn’t really contain much more anything but water. Then again, learning to eat anything that has a wet texture can help the cockatiel to adapt also to other kinds of fresh food. A good tip for a picky cockatiel to learn to eat fresh food is to serve herbs straight from the pot. You can, for example, take a disposable coffee cup, put there some water and then set the herb pot to the cup – and serve! This how the herbs will stay watered and fresh.
You can also serve fruits, though their part of the fresh food plate should be a bit smaller due to the contained sugar. Suitable fruits are for example pear, apple, kiwi, banana, watermelon, grapes, peach, pomegranate, and mandarine. Cockatiels seem to prefer milder tasting fruits, for example, many cockatiels avoid the sour taste of citrus fruits.
The fresh food is served always washed and at room temperature. As the term “fresh food” tells, the food must be served fresh. You can offer a bit of frozen veggies (gently defrosted in warm water), for example, corn and peas, but that shouldn’t be the only source of green food. If it seems hard to get your cockatiels to eat veggies, try to serve the food in different forms. Some prefer cubes, some like to eat their greens grated. Some love to chew the pieces themselves without the owner making the fruit or vegetable any smaller than it is. You can often leave the peels but be sure that you remove the seeds if they are poisoned. For example, apple peels are okay to eat but apple seeds contain toxins.
Cockatiel food straight from nature
Your cockatiel doesn’t always have to settle only to the selection of you close supermarket: sometimes your own yard or close forest may offer some great variety of food that is suitable for your bird to eat. Just remember never to give something you don’t recognize. Also, pick the plants that aren’t straight next to the car road. Here are some examples:
– Dandelion is one of the most common flowers that you can collect from nature and serve to your cockatiel. Dandelions contain many vitamins, especially A and C. There are several subspecies of dandelions: the main rule is that the stronger zic-zac edge the leaves have the more bitter the taste.
– Also white clover is quite good. Especially the flowers tend to be favored but you can give the whole plant.
– Plantain is known from its curing effects – at least in Finland, the legend tells that if you get a wound and have nothing else to put there, use plantain. These rumors are based in truth since the plantain has good rates of aucubosid-glycosid, destroying bacteria.
– White flowered Stellaria media is high in vitamin C and can be served to cockatiels.