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Thread: Is cockatiel eating enough?

  1. #1
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    Appu Gopinath
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    Is cockatiel eating enough?

    Hi all, after losing my baby cockatiel I got another one which is fully weaned. The mistake I made previously was that baby was still being only hand fed. But the bird that I got now eats on her own. Breeder also gave me the hand feed formula he was using in case I wanna occasionally feed her. Breeder was feeding her Millets and Sunflower Seeds along with fruits and veggies. Occasionally he fed her hand feed as well.

    I have had ma girl ( Not sure if its a female...just assuming that. I know I can be totally wrong about this ) for like 1 week. She is approx 3 months old. I kept a bowl of millet seeds and a bowl of clean water in her cage. She was pretty scared of me initially but is slowly warming upto me. When I got her, she was just hand fed and her crop was really bulging. The issue I have is, for first two days, entire day she ate the millets occasionally and took hand feed at night and her crop would expand like like a balloon. But now she doesn't eat anything else but the millets. She ignores the veggies and fruits I keep in her cage. If I try feeding her hand feed formula she just takes a sip and then ignores it. She keeps on munching millets. And I no longer see the her crop bulging. Is this normal? Should the crop be super bulged at all times? Its a bit difficult to handle her but occasionally when I keep my hand on her crop it doesn't feel as much. But she keeps on eating millets. I feel as if she is losing weight. I haven't weighed her yet. She is super curious when I let her out and keeps on nibbling at stuff. I tried removing millet seeds from her cage and leaving just fruits and veggies. She didn't touch it for half day and I put the millets back in and she started eating. Am I doing something wrong? I feel as if she got a little weaker after coming home.

    Also I have noticed she occasionally eats Sunflower seeds as well. I have mixed it up with millet seeds.
    Last edited by appugopinath; 02-09-2020 at 10:15 PM.

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    Re: Is cockatiel eating enough?

    If possible try adding in even more seeds and grains to her mix. My lovebird loved Volkman seed mix for cockatiels and since you are not from the USA you can try to get some of the different seeds in this mix to feed your new bird. Here is a list of the ingrediats in the Volkman here from the US. Millet, Safflower Seed, Canary Grass Seed, Oat Groats, Buckwheat, Corn, Wheat, Shelled Peanuts, Hemp Seed, Papaya, Dehydrated Carrot, Coconut, Peppers

    Oat grouts are so very loved by all the birds in my extended family and if you soak them just overnight they are gobbled right down quickly. Safflowers and buckwheat are loved here as well. I heard different things about hemp but I sure know our birds love it as well but i think it needs to be only a little bit a day.

    I think if this were me I would try to offer her the formula still and try to get her to eat it least some of it just until she is eating a good seed and grain diet and not just the millet. Millet isnt the best thing for a diet alone and it is very fatty. But it is loved and a great seed to get them eating on there own.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Is cockatiel eating enough?

    All babies and adults need to have a good seed mix everyday. Here in America, we feed millet to our birds, but consider it to be a treat, and not the sole seed. I would not know what seed diet your fair country reccommends for feeding, but I am sure owners would feed one besides the millet. Check with the breeder. Ask him or her how to proceed with feeding.. She or he needs much more in her diet every day. Her crop is smaller, because she is in need of more solid foods. Having been weaned, her crop will be smaller,because liquid handfeeding formula is mixed with water, and therefore it makes the crop bigger. I suspect she is quite ready for the seed, veggie, and fruit diet, and is not taking to the formula. But I would not fully discontinue the formula right now.

    Here is an idea. Take several different fresh veggies. Leaf lettuce, cilantro or kale, fresh peas and carrots. And others of your choice. Use a food processor or veggie chopper, and chop the pieces very small in size. You can also add fresh apples chopped, and even some boiled chicken egg, with the crushed shell. Keep this mix in a container in your fridge. After mixing this together, take a separate food cup, and put some in it. Also, put some of the mix on a plate, placed on the cage floor. The mixes in the cup and on the plate...sprinkle some of the new seed mix you will get, on top of the veggies and fruits and a little fresh unsweetened organic apple juice. Also, try putting some of this mix in your hand and see if she would eat some of the mix. And always keep a couple of seed only cups in the cage, so she can easily find the seed. Also, two water cups. I use pure bottled water for my bird, not city tap water.

    Baby birds can take a downturn very fast, and starve quickly, so I recommend you getting this diet started ASAP. I also would continue the handfeeding a couple of times a day, until she is eating the seeds and veggies willingly, and off and on all day. Fresh veggies can only be left in cage for a couple of hours, because they can go rancid and make the bird sick.

    It takes a week or so for them to settle in. But breeder birds have been socialized and held, so that does help the adjustment to your home and environment. I hope this info is of help to you. We will watch for updates.
    Last edited by maxollie; 02-11-2020 at 09:32 AM.

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    Re: Is cockatiel eating enough?

    I agree with both Deanna and Ellen when it comes to the diet and feeding. One thing to consider is to let your new baby get adjusted to it's environment. Your new baby had just been relocated to a new home and it now has to learn new sounds, voices, etc. It takes awhile for the new addition to adjust and sometimes they don't eat the way they did while they were still with the breeder. Being only about 13 weeks old, I am sure it's a little scared to what is going on around him/her. Like Ellen mentioned, keep an eye on him/her and give it time to settle to it's new cage, perches, toys, feeding dishes, etc. Time and patience is on your side.
    Tango / White Faced Pied Male: Hatched on October 09, 2011 - Homed on April 28, 2012.

    Tiels:
    Bows / Normal Gray Hen: 1976 - 1984
    Caesar / Normal Gray Male: 1977 - 1994
    Piper / Lutino Hen: 1994 - 2010
    Woodstock / Normal Gray Male: 2004 - 2011

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    Re: Is cockatiel eating enough?

    Hi guys, Thanks for the replies. Sorry for the delay in replying. I noticed that if i take her out and play with her for like one or two hours she will take the hand feed formula. It doesn't work every time, but most days it does. She looks much more healthier once she started taking the formula again. Also while trying different food combinations I found out that she actually likes bean sprouts. So now in her cage I keep a bowl of millet + sunflower seeds and another bowl of Sprouts. Evening I take her out for 2-3 hours and she plays flying around the house. But she spends most of her time on our shoulders. She nibbles at every thing in her surrounding. After that I feed her hand formula. Ill try getting the seeds Deanna mentioned. Also I will try overnight soaked oat grouts. Are the oats we humans eat different from these?

    The idea Ellen shared seems like a really healthy and nutritious one. Will definitely try that as well. And I keep only one bowl of purified drinking water. Why the two bowls? Any specific reason for that?

    As Carolyn said she seems a little apprehensive about her surroundings. Her crest feathers are always straight up when she is out of her cage. So may be she is still getting adjusted to her surroundings.

    Thanks for the replies!! It feels great to get advice from the experts!

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    Re: Is cockatiel eating enough?

    I suggested two bowls because she is new to her home and still very young. Otherwise, generally, one water and one food cup or bowl is sufficient

    From your update, I would say she is going great. Sprouting seeds is very popular for some owners. Sprouts, being freshly grown are full of super nutrition. Here, we can buy mixes to sprout at pet shops, but you also could do your own mixes. Do a Google search. Sprouting seeds for cockatiels and other parrots. There should be great info on line. And also search for...birdy bread for cockatiels. And also....fresh veggie chop for cockatiels. Both should bring some great recipes. I feel that the more variety you can feed the better. As she gets older, she will have some foods she likes better than others, but your choices, no matter which ones, are always worth trying.


    I am so happy for you that she is doing better. We will watch for updates.
    Last edited by maxollie; 02-17-2020 at 11:04 AM.

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    Re: Is cockatiel eating enough?

    Get the whole oat grouts that are not like the ones we eat as oatmeal here that are smashed. I bought mine from the TOPS bird food company because it was easier for me and they sell them down the road from my house at a bird store. But I am sure good human oat grouts are the same thing as I bought from TOPS. Boomer loved them! But too much of any seed, grain or food is not as good a diet with lots of good for them things in it.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Is cockatiel eating enough?

    Thanks for the update and it seems like your new baby tiel is adjusting fine. If you got your beloved tiel to eat sprouts, you are already going in the right direction. Keep up the great work... Now just one more question... I am dying to know what you named your new bird?
    Tango / White Faced Pied Male: Hatched on October 09, 2011 - Homed on April 28, 2012.

    Tiels:
    Bows / Normal Gray Hen: 1976 - 1984
    Caesar / Normal Gray Male: 1977 - 1994
    Piper / Lutino Hen: 1994 - 2010
    Woodstock / Normal Gray Male: 2004 - 2011

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