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i need help with cockatiel treat/diet problem


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#1 jrbirdkid

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 08:39 PM

My cockatiel will not eat anything only millet and seed mix.I need help on how to get him to like different fresh foods. The only thing he eats besides seed mix is popcorn. Sometimes I run out of millet and i have nothing to fairly reward him with. Have any ideas on how to try to make him eat new foods. And recipes for treats.(THANKS TO HOWEVER HELPS ME)

#2 NoLimitssjca

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:42 PM

I had a similar problem. I finally decided to try some Zupreme pellets and mix them in. It turned out that they liked the pellets and began to increase their intake. I have since added an additional dish with only pellets. They will now eat from both. When I run out of seed I will not be replacing it. This has also opend the door to introduce fresh fruits and veggies. Not much interest yet but it isn't foregn to them any more.
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#3 tielfan

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:16 AM

Have you tried Nutriberries? My cockatiels are crazy about them.

Here’s how I got my tiels to start eating a better diet. I got a special food cup and put a small amount of their very favorite treats in it, along with some new foods I wanted them to try. At first they mostly ate the treats but eventually started eating some of the new foods too. It helps if you can half-bury the treats under the new food so they have to touch the new food to get at the treat. You can use millet spray for the treat - maybe break off little clusters instead of using a big piece of spray.

It helps if the new foods don’t look too different from the seed diet they’re used to. To get them used to moist foods I gave them some cooked whole grains (from the local natural-foods grocery) then switched over to sprouted seeds and grains. Sprouts are easy to make and are an excellent source of nutrition. They’re best when the root is just barely starting to emerge, and they still look a lot like a seed at this point. Since sprouts are already moist, they’re a good vehicle for red palm oil and other supplements that you can add just before you feed them.

I also taught my birds to take treats from my hand and sometimes offered new foods this way. Sometimes they wouldn’t take the new food, but sometimes they would! This is how they learned to eat pellets, and they still prefer to take pellets from my hand instead of eating them from a dish.

With fruits and veggies it pays to experiment with the presentation. Some birds like stuff cut up in chunks in a bowl and others like it some other way. My birds mostly prefer their veggies whole and hanging up. They prefer certain shapes too. In the wild, cockatiels eat a lot of seed and also chew on the stems of grass and other plants to extract the juices. My birds like vegetables that resemble either a seed or a stem. They don’t like big broad leaves, and cutting big leaves into thin strips doesn’t fool them.

Their very favorite ‘vegetable’ is lawn grass (chemical free of course). Unripe seed heads are a definite plus. We humans can’t digest it but it’s part of the birds’ wild diet so I think it’s great. They like ‘stemmy’ or narrow-leaved vegetables like thin asparagus, dandelion greens, carrot tops, green beans, and cilantro. They also like seed-like vegetables: corn kernels, peas, broccoli (the florets look like unripe seed heads).

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#4 Ariasmom

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:15 PM

My cockatiel will not eat anything only millet and seed mix.I need help on how to get him to like different fresh foods. The only thing he eats besides seed mix is popcorn. Sometimes I run out of millet and i have nothing to fairly reward him with. Have any ideas on how to try to make him eat new foods. And recipes for treats.(THANKS TO HOWEVER HELPS ME)


String some popcorn, frozen peas and carrots cut in thin short wedges on a string and put them where he can't ignore them. He will go after the popcorn and graduate to the peas and carrots, LOL! That's how I got Aria to eat veggies!

#5 jenniferag

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:27 PM

I agree with chopping different veggies or fruits and putting them over the millet or seed.

My Conure doesn't like veggies at all still.... but she does love apples, oranges and banana...

You can try apples out and if your baby eats those you can then try some veggies with sqeezed apple juice over it.

Sometimes they will try it...

Also, you can chop different veggies and put them on a kabob stick and hang it in the birds cage... they can get curious and take bites that way...

I agree to try Nutri-balls, they have veggie and fruit ones and my birds go CRAZY of those!




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