You’ve just adopted Kiki, a colorful cockatiel with tons of personality, from a regional bird rescue group. You’ve already purchased Kiki’s roomy cage, water and food containers, and quite a few toys that she should enjoy. Most importantly, you’ve scheduled a new patient exam with your Welland veterinarian. Besides gathering general bird care information, you want your vet to formulate a nutritionally complete diet for your feisty avian friend. After all, if Kiki is getting the nutrition she needs, she’ll be better able to enjoy life with your family.
Kiki’s balanced pellet mix will include essential vitamins and minerals, and should make up slightly more than 50 percent of her diet. While seeds don’t provide much value for most birds, cockatiels are naturally seed-eating birds who enjoy seeds mixed with other food components. Ask your vet how to include Kiki’s favorite seeds while still including the nutrients she needs to stay healthy.
Tasty chopped veggies should comprise about 25 percent of Kiki’s diet. Let her chow down on leafy greens such as spinach; broccoli and brussel sprouts are also a good addition. Include orange-colored vegetables for Vitamin A and trace minerals; think sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, and corn. Add in protein sources such as beans, lentils, and peas.
Just like you, Kiki likes special treats, too. Give her just-washed fruits such as apples, plums, peaches, and nectarines. However, stay away from apple seeds; and don’t feed Kiki the fruit flesh near the other fruits’ pits. While you can use high-fat nuts as training treats, avoid peanuts, as they can contain a fungus.
Keep Kiki’s food fresh by removing her morning leftovers before filling her food dish for the evening’s feast. Pitch her uneaten dinner food, and wash her food dish so it’s squeaky clean for the next day’s meals.
Give Kiki plenty of clean fresh water; and change her open water dish twice a day. A water bottle will keep her water source clean, and Kiki will catch on to the bottle’s dispenser function very quickly.
Stay away from sugary, salty, or fatty foods; as they won’t agree with Kiki’s system. No matter what, do not feed Kiki toxic foods such as avocado, chocolate, caffeine, onion, garlic, and alcohol in any form. These foods can easily kill Kiki even in very small amounts.
If you’d like to add a specific food to Kiki’s diet, ask your Welland vet for his professional opinion first. With his help, Kiki will get the nutrition she needs to be the beautiful, healthy, and sassy bird who thrives on life with your family.