A charming parrot with a perky yellow tuft on its head, which can be taught to speak – this is the cockatiel. It is not surprising that such an exotic bird is very popular with Russian breeders. However, if you decide to take a crested parrot into your home, then you need to know how to provide it with proper care, how to choose a cage, and most importantly, how and what to feed it, what foods must be present in the diet of a feathered pet. We will tell you in detail about the nutrition of Corella in the article.
What do cockatiels love?
The homeland and place of residence of cockatiels is Australia. These crested parrots prefer to settle near rivers and lakes in open areas covered with grass and a few shrubs.
In nature, cockatiels feed mainly on plant seeds, nuts, tree fruits and eucalyptus sap. They also love grains of wheat and other cereals, therefore, they often make “raids” on the fields of local farmers.
In addition, cockatiels need protein. Insects, being its source, are also part of the crested bird’s daily diet.
What should be included in the diet?
At home, cockatiels need to be provided with proper and nutritious nutrition, which will contain the required amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as the whole complex of vitamins and microelements.
Cereals should become the basis of feeding crested parrots. In addition to cereals, fruits, vegetables, berries and greens should also be included in the cockatiel’s diet. Protein products also need to be given to a feathered pet, since protein is the main building material of cells. And in winter, at the stages of incubation of chicks and the change of plumage, one cannot do without additional complex of vitamins and microelements.
How to feed?
You need to feed the food 1 time per day. It is advisable to do this in the evening, after the cage has been cleaned. The optimal amount of feed is 30 grams. During the day, the parrot itself distributes all the food into several servings.
For cockatiel chicks, if parents refuse to feed them themselves, it is better to purchase at a pet store pre-mixed dry mix. It is diluted in water and given to babies every 1 or 2 hours. Starting from two weeks of age, the interval between meals increases to 4 hours.
Pet stores sell special dry food for cockatiels, which is a mixture of various types of cereals, sometimes with the addition of nuts and dried vegetables. You need to choose only high-quality and proven brands of both foreign and domestic manufacturers. It is better not to buy weight feed, as it may be expired and contain insect larvae and mold.
Cockatiels require 20 to 40 grams of cereal daily. It’s about two to three tablespoons. The composition of grain feed should include several crops.
- Millet – this is the main element of the grain mixture, its share should be 50%. Parrots can be given millet of different colors, but red is preferable, as it is the leader in terms of the amount of useful substances.
- Wheat – it should be given to the bird only sprouted or soaked, because of the high content of vitamin E, it is indispensable during the period of feeding chicks and during the mating season.
- oats – contains vitamin E and a complex of vitamins of group B.
- Corn – it contains a complete set of trace elements, as well as fiber, which is necessary for the normal functioning of the digestive tract. Corn is rich in carbohydrates, but poor in proteins, so you can’t feed parrots only with it.
- Canary seed (or canary seed) – due to the fact that it is brought from the Canary Islands, where it grows, this cereal is quite expensive, but very useful: it has a high protein content and an almost complete set of vitamins and microelements necessary for poultry. It is desirable that this grain be present in the diet of cockatiels at least in small quantities, especially in winter.
Useful for a feathered pet will also barley, peas, flax seeds, pumpkin, hemp, sesame and field weeds. However, their share in the grain mixture should be low. Sunflower seeds – also a useful cereal, but due to the high content of vegetable fat, it should not be given every day and in limited quantities.
Instead of purchased food, you can feed the parrot with germinated grains – they are much more useful than dry ones, as they contain more biologically active substances: vitamins, trace elements and various enzymes. Most often, wheat and barley are germinated, although this can be done with any cereal crop separately or by mixing them.
To germinate, put the grains on a bandage soaked in water and cover it with the same top. We wait a few days before the appearance of white sprouts. Sprouted sprouts should be kept in the refrigerator. The storage period should not exceed 48 hours.
If you decide to independently form a cereal composition for a parrot by mixing various grains, you will either have to soak them in water or grind them, because you cannot feed the bird with whole grains.
You can periodically indulge your beloved pet with cereals, but you need to cook them only in water, without salt and without adding any seasonings. Cockatiels like to eat boiled buckwheat, oatmeal, rice, peas and pearl barley. You can cook porridge from different cereals, and then add pieces of berries, fruits or vegetables to it.
In the natural environment, cockatiels feed on grasses, plant shoots and tree leaves. Therefore, greens should be present in the home poultry menu, but only fresh. It can be added to vegetable mixture or cereal. Different types of green plants are useful for Corella:
- dandelion leaves;
- grape leaves;
- lettuce leaves;
- carrot tops;
- green onions;
- branches of various trees (birch, willow, maple and others).
Parrots should not be given only spicy herbs, that is, those that have a strong smell and are used in cooking to give dishes a pronounced flavor. These include parsley, celery, dill, mint, basil and others.
Although cockatiels love to nibble on nuts, their excess is harmful to birds, since such food contains a high percentage of vegetable fat. The abuse of nuts can lead to metabolic disorders and obesity, a tendency to which domestic parrots already have. Therefore, nuts should make up only 5% of all the food they receive.
Preference should be given to peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts. But you can also give acorns, pistachios, almonds and chestnuts in small doses. It is only necessary to first peel the nuts from the shell, and then ceiling or cut into small pieces. You can add them to the composition of the grain mixture.
They contain vitamins and fiber, so they must be present in the diet of a feathered pet. Vegetables should be given to cockatiels fresh, thoroughly washed and raw, as nutrients are destroyed during cooking.
You can feed a parrot with almost any fruit. But the following products will be most useful:
- pumpkin, zucchini, turnip and other pumpkin;
- any cabbage;
- beans, green peas and other legumes;
- peppers, especially Bulgarian and sweet.
It is better to accustom crested birds to vegetables from childhood or introduce them into the diet gradually, mixing them with the main food.
This is another source of nutrients, they increase the immunity of the bird’s body and increase its energy potential. Fruits can be given almost everything, except for avocados, persimmons, mangoes and papaya, as they contain essential oils harmful to birds. But for parrots, apples, grapes, peaches, apricots, nectarines, pears, bananas, oranges and tangerines, pomegranate, grapefruit will be very useful. Sweet fruits should be given no more than once every four days, and bananas even less often, as they are very nutritious and high-calorie.
Fruit must be fresh. They are given to a feathered pet in a peeled and cut into pieces form. You can mix several types of fruits by preparing a kind of salad. And you can – add to porridge or supplement them with a grain mixture.
They are just a storehouse of vitamins and must be included in the menu of a feathered pet. Any berries are suitable: currants, cherries, gooseberries, honeysuckle, lingonberries, cranberries, strawberries and other forest fruits.
In the summer, they should be given fresh to Corella, if possible, freshly picked. And with the end of the summer season, you need to transfer the bird to frozen berries: the concentration of vitamins in them is also quite high, but before feeding them to a parrot, the berries need to be thawed.
Dried options are somewhat worse, since they retain fewer useful substances, but it is better to give them than none at all. First you will need to soak them, then add them to cereals or fruit mixtures.
All tissues and organs are made up of protein. therefore, it is important that it enters the body of the bird in sufficient quantities.
Animal protein, which in the wild birds obtained from insects, can be replaced with vegetable protein. A lot of it is found in chicken eggs and cottage cheese. The first product is given only in boiled form, and the second must be low fat or fat free.
It is permissible to give the birds also lean meat, cut into small pieces, in small quantities.
In the cockatiel’s cage, it should always be clean, preferably filtered or settled water. You can also offer a parrot mineral water, but not carbonated. Compotes and juices (berry and fruit) will also be useful for a feathered family member, especially in winter and spring, during beriberi. If the parrot is sick, then add to his daily diet herbal decoctions of plantain, chamomile or calendula. You can drink them periodically and for preventive purposes.
Vitamins and prebiotics
In winter, when there is a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as during periods of nesting and rearing cubs, parrots need to buy vitamin complexes and mineral supplements.
The first must include vitamins A, E, D and vitamins of group B. Of the mineral supplements, the bird’s body needs calcium most of all – it strengthens the bone apparatus, teeth, claws, beak and makes plumage strong. Chalk (or chalk stone) is rich in calcium, it is especially useful during the period of incubation of eggs – their shell becomes harder and stronger.
Given to parrots a piece of chalk crushed to powder form. Bone flour – is also a source of calcium, and also contains phosphorus, which has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. It is best to give this supplement to the bird during the period of plumage change. There is a lot of calcium in the shell of chicken eggs, only it must first be washed and crushed into powder.
Charcoal, in addition to calcium and iron, contains a large set of trace elements, in addition, it removes toxins and harmful substances from the body. It must be made into a powder and mixed with eggshells. Sand is indispensable for parrots, since with its help the process of digestion of food takes place in the stomach. Giving to cockatiel sand it is necessary, otherwise problems with the digestive system will begin.
And also very useful for parrots clay, as it is a natural prebiotic that maintains the intestinal microflora in a normal state. You can buy clay in a pharmacy, but it must be natural, without additives and dyes. It is prepared as follows: first, it is diluted in water until a slurry is obtained, and then baked in the oven for about 10 minutes until it becomes firm.
You can also add linseed or other seeds to the clay.
What can’t be given?
When a beloved feathered pet asks for the food that you are currently eating, of course, it is difficult to refuse him. But it is necessary to do this, because by giving the parrot food from your table, you can only harm him. Especially if the food is salty, fried or fatty, and even stuffed with various spices. Just at this moment, remember the expression about good intentions.
Prohibited foods that should never enter your pet’s stomach include the following:
- alcoholic drinks;
- Coffee and tea;
- sweet foods (chocolate, sweets, jam);
- sausage, sausages and sausages;
- Fish and seafood;
- onion and garlic;
If the parrot is sick, then the usual feeding needs to be adjusted, namely: reduce the intake of grain foods and increase the proportion of vegetables, fruits and herbs.
To ensure your feathered friend a long, healthy and happy life, you need to organize a balanced diet for him, which will include all the necessary nutrients and in the right dosage. Then Corella will delight you with its blooming appearance, wonderful singing and good mood!
For information on how best to feed the cockatiel, see the following video.