Food For Cockatiel


This blog is about food for cockatiel. It has all kinds of information about how to take care of your birds and what type of food to feed them. The goal of this blog is to create a resource for people who have never had cockatiels and help them learn what things they need in order to take care of their pets.

Food For Cockatiel

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Cockatiels enjoy a range of foods, including commercial birdseed, pelleted food, vegetables, fruit and the occasional treat.

  • A mixture of 75% pellets and 25% seeds will be the mainstay of your cockatiel’s diet. Keep your cockatiel’s food bowl three-quarters full and refresh it daily.
  • Feed your bird dark, leafy greens and other fresh veggies every other day. These should make up no more than 20% of their overall diet.
  • Offer your cockatiel fresh fruit such as berries, melon, papaya or kiwi every other day.
  • Offer your cockatiel a honey stick or millet spray once a month as a special treat.
  • Be sure your bird has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Cockatiels should be allowed to settle into their new home for a few days before you handle them. Even once your feathered friend is settled in, a vet visit is recommended yearly but may be in order sooner if you notice any of these signs of illness or distress:

  • Sitting at the bottom of the cage
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Less activity and preening
  • Feathers fluffed for long periods of time
  • Change in droppings for more than 2 days
  • Discharge from nose or mouth
  • Sneezing

Talk to an avian veterinarian if you have questions about your bird’s health.


  • Use caution when handling pets and remember they may bite or scratch (especially when stressed).
  • Supervise children around pets.
  • ALL ANIMALS can potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after contact with any pet or its habitat.
  • Adults should assist children with hand washing after contact with a pet, its habitat or aquarium water.

Best Foods for Cockatiels

Similar to your own diet, a cockatiel thrives most when fed a variety of nutritious foods, including whole beans, vegetables, fruits, and grains. While many people assume seeds are an appropriate dietary staple for birds, their high fat makes them inappropriate for anything other than occasional snacks.

While researching the best cockatiel foods, we looked for high quality ingredients, appropriately sized pellets, and a nutritional balance formulated specifically for cockatiel health.

Here are the best cockatiel foods.


RoudyBush Daily Maintenance Bird Food was designed as an all-in-one diet by an avian nutritionist after 16 years of research as a member of the Department of Avian Sciences at the University of California, Davis (in 1991 he even authored a paper specifically about cockatiel nutrition). Formulated with 11% protein, 6% fat, 3.5% fiber, and 12% moisture, ingredients in RoudyBush Daily Maintenance Bird Food include ground corn, ground wheat, soy meal, and soy oil.

Birds can be picky eaters, and will sometimes make seemingly arbitrary choices, such as eating only one color out of a multi-colored selection of pellets. While cockatiels enjoy variety, and several of our picks come in multiple colors, the consistency of the Daily Maintenance formula means the RoudyBush crumbles can serve as a reliable staple food, which can be supplemented with other snacks. However, it is nutritionally complete enough that no additional foods are necessary to your bird’s diet.

RoudyBush also makes it as simple as possible to switch from a different bird food to its formula, with instructions on the back for introducing your bird to the food, including our favorite tip: “Act as if you are eating the RoudyBush.” Even more in-depth instructions are available online.

RoudyBush Daily Maintenance Bird Food is available in other sizes and textures as well, with crumbles and minis most appropriate to the size of an adult cockatiel. The crumbles are available in half pound, 22 ounce, 44 ounce, 10 pound, and 25 pound bags.

Best Organic: Harrison’s Bird Foods High Potency Fine

Harrison's Bird Foods

This bird food is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and also non-GMO verified. Organic ingredients include millet, barley, corn, toasted soybeans, peanut kernels, sunflower kernels, peas, lentils, oat groats, brown rice, chia, and alfalfa. Harrison’s Bird Foods Fine and Super Fine size pellets are appropriate for cockatiels.

Harrison’s Bird Foods High Potency formula is their most versatile, appropriate for birds that are weaning, molting, or breeding. However, unlike our top pick, which is meant to complete your bird’s primary diet, Harrison’s is designed to be supplemented with 25% vegetables and fruits, plus 5% snacking seeds for Omega 3 fatty acids.

Harrison’s Bird Foods High Potency Fine is available in 1-pound, 5-pound, and 25-pound bags. Or you can buy it by the case. While Harrison’s Birds Foods recommends High Potency Fine or High Potency Super Fine for 8 months after switching from previous bird foods, after that you may consider switching your cockatiel to their daily maintenance formula, Adult Lifetime Fine.

Best Fruit Pellets: ZuPreem FruitBlend with Natural Fruit Flavors Medium Bird Food


Zupreem’s Fruitblend pellets combine the typical pellet blend of ground corn, wheat, and soybean meal with a profusion of real fruit flavors, including oranges, apples, grapes, and bananas in the ingredients list. This makes them an excellent complement to other pellets, or as a primary food source—Zupreem recommends a diet of 60% Fruitblend pellets, balanced with other vegetables, fruits, and the occasional snacking seed.

The Fruitblend pellet’s blend of colors make them more fun than other, blander pellets for your cockatiel, who will likely learn to hunt and pick for their favorite flavors.

FruitBlend with Natural Fruit Flavors Medium Bird Food is available in 14-ounce, 2-pound, 17.5-pound, and even 35-pound bags.

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