By Linda S. Rubin
By Cioli/Bowtie Studio/Courtesy Omar's Exotic Birds
Most cockatiels are weaned onto a standard pet bird diet around 8 weeks of age.
Does my cockatiel need a different diet as a baby? Puppies have puppy food, for example. When my cockatiel is an adult, does he need an “adult” food?
You did not mention the age of your young cockatiel, but I will assume that it is a minimum of 8 weeks old and already weaned onto adult foods such as seeds and pellets.
Although puppies may have life-stage diets such as puppy food, bird manufacturers have not produced the equivalent of a young bird diet, or diets for adolescent, adult and senior birds. There are some companies that manufacture weaning foods, transitions foods for birds converting to pellets, organic diets for pet birds with allergies, and low-fat diets, but as yet a specific “baby bird” diet for cockatiels or other parrots does not exist.
In general, younger birds could eat a diet a little higher in fat; however, low-fat diets for cockatiels (I use 5 percent), along with regular exercise, are recommended for lifetime maintenance to promote good health and a long life.