5 Best Food For Cockatiels in 2021

You might be wondering what the best food for cockatiels is, right? When you think you feed your bird pet sufficiently, it turns out that your current diet regime is unbalanced with only one kind of seed.

It is really good that the market offers a large variety of choices though sometimes makes you confused about what is good for your pet. If you are having the same problem, you should go through this article as it is going to provide a detailed cockatiels’ food review. Remember a healthy diet for cockatiels must be a mix of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. All suggestions in this article are selected based on this requirement.


Let’s see what you should feed your cockatiel.

Cockatiels’ Favorite Foods

Seeds and Nuts

Cockatiels eat different types of seeds and nuts such as millet, sunflower seeds, etc. Most often, cockatiels tend to select what they prefer, which can lead to malnutrition. Seeds and nuts must not be removed from the diet but should not be the entire diet.


Pellets are a lot better than seeds for your cockatiel’s health. The problem is that cockatiels are used to eat seeds as their main food. You should try to increase the percentage of pellets in the daily diet of your bird between 75 and 80 percent. This is an ideal diet for cockatiels.

Fruits and Vegetables

The rest of about 20-25 percent should be for fruits and vegetables. Wash the vegetables, cut into pieces and serve them in a separate container.


You should treat your bird pet like your children. Water is indispensable for their daily diet. All food containers must be washed and changed on a daily basis.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to buy the best food for Cockatiels

Step 1: Know what your bird pet’s nutritional needs are

Feeding your pet right is essential for the longevity of cockatiels. Each bird pet has its own nutritional needs; thus, you should first understand your pet’s health before going shopping. This step allows you to pick the right kind of food. It can help you to save time as well as money when standing in front of a lot of pet food products.

Once again, we would like to remind you that you should raise your cockatiel as your children. Cockatiels are small, friendly, smart and sensitive. Proper nutrition is key to prevent health issues during their whole life.

Step 2: Read through the information, ingredients listed in the product

Here are some things to look for in a good cockatiel food:

  • The pet food needs to be prepared with real fruits and vegetables, which can provide cockatiels delicious flavors and textures.
  • Apart from fruits and vegetables, you should look for foods containing vitamins and minerals to create balanced nutrition for your bird pet.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are advised to ensure the development of skin, feather, joints, immunity, and brain of cockatiels.
  • Do not choose any products that have sweeteners and artificial additives such as colors, artificial flavors, and added sweeteners.
  • The best food for cockatiels needs to be high-quality though still meets your budget so that you can ensure a stable healthy diet for your cockatiels in the long-term.

Are you ready to go shopping now? Here is the list of the Best food for cockatiels

Best Cockatiels’ Food Reviews

1. LAFEBER’S Original Flavor Avi-Cakes for Parakeets, Cockatiels & Conures – Best cockatiel food overall

This product is a balancing mix of pellets and seeds for cockatiels (50% pellets and 50% seeds).

As we mentioned above, an ideal diet for cockatiels is the one that contains pellets and seeds. Thus, this product meets well this requirement to be our first choice on this list.

Lafeber Company was founded in early 1970 by an American father-son team. It is committed to producing only the finest ingredients for your pets.

Its famous motto is “Caring and working for the health of animals”.

It is sold at an affordable price of $5.99 for 8 oz.


  • Fully nutritious for birds
  • Finest ingredients
  • Rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 and Omega-6
  • Good for foraging


  • Not offer delicious smell
  • Only one option in term of packaging

 2. LAFEBER’S Classic Nutri-Berries Pet Bird Food for Cockatiels – The most delicious cockatiel foods

This nutri-berries product is introduced by the same manufacturer Lafeber.

One thing is that this product offers better taste; thus, it is preferred by most of the cockatiels.

Three words that describe best this product are: nutritious, delicious and natural.

Finest ingredients are selected without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

This product is quite flexible when it is available under three different sizes: 4 pounds, 10 oz, and 20 pounds. The product is especially produced for foraging and health.


  • Delicious taste
  • Flexible options for sizes
  • Human-grade and Non-GMO ingredients
  • Rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 and Omega-6
  • Good for foraging


  • No preservatives so spoil quickly

 3. Kaytee Exact Natural Bird Food for Cockatiels – The best natural cockatiel foods

This American company has been working hard for more than 150 years by Nicholas Knauf.

With every product, Kaytee would like to prove their real love to animals by applying their expertise and state-of-the-art processing technology.

Its products are built to ensure the premium health and comfort of each bird pet as well as bringing peace-of-mind to all pet-lovers.

In terms of nutritional value, this product is similar to the two products above but the American manufacturer has paid its attention to the natural preservation of the ingredients.

This product is exceptionally good for feathering and the health of cockatiels.


  • Good product of a trusted brand
  • Delicious taste
  • No preservative, artificial colors added


  • Bad packaging
  • Nugget size is different

 4. Kaytee Supreme Bird Food for Cockatiels – Best natural seeds for Cockatiels

The leading manufacturer in the sector Kaytee never makes their loyal customers disappointed with their nutritious foods.

The team always works to bring exceptional products for happy pets from very classic pet food. After more than 150 years of development, the team understands really well what our pets love.

This product is a simple and classic one but this is one of the cockatiels’ favorite foods.

Cockatiels are born to eat grains and seeds. When they become human favorite pets, it is advised to help them feel like home.

The product is available in three sizes: 3 pounds, 5 pounds, and 20 pounds.


  • Finest grains and seeds
  • Rich in natural protein, fiber, and oils
  • Various options of sizes
  • No preservatives, colors, and flavors added


  • Size of grains are big for cockatiels

5. ZuPreem AvianMaintenance FruitBlend Flavor Premium Diet for Parrots & Conures – Best fruitblend for Cockatiels

The ZuPreem business started in 1928 with the idea of creating a revolutionary in the look of the role of animal nutrition.

It sounds complicated at first but the Company has made it simple by producing innovative, high-quality products for the health and longevity of animals worldwide.

This product is a premium mix of different fruits needed for the health of cockatiels. The fruits are prepared thoroughly for digestibility.

Furthermore, they are cut in exciting shapes. The product is available in only one size: 17.5 pounds and its price are quite high but really worth a try!


  • Natural fruits without preservatives, colors, and flavors added
  • Delicious taste
  • Rich in vitamins


  • Quite expensive

Toxic foods for Cockatiels

Have you ever questioned what Cockatiels should not eat? Here is an answer for you.

As a human being, there are some foods that your bird pet should definitely not consume. The list below is the result of research conducted by the leading brand Lafeber. You may feel surprised by some items listed below but please remember “Better safe than sorry”.


Fruits are required in the diet of cockatiels except for avocados. This fruit contains persin, a fungicidal toxin which can lead to heart attack to your bird pet. Death can occur after 1-2 days after ingestion.


Methylxanthines are proved to be in chocolates. This substance can cause hyperactivity, tremors, possibly seizures, and even death if cockatiels consume a toxic dose. Please note that the darker and bitter of chocolates, the greater chance your pet is poisoned.

Onion and Garlic

Green onions and fresh cloves of garlic are fatal for cockatiels. Products in concentrated forms are more toxic than fresh ones.

Apple seeds

Seeds are preferred by most cockatiels but apple seeds are not recommended. Apple seeds contain cyanide; thus, they should be removed before feeding apples to cockatiels. Moreover, cherries, plums, apricots, and peaches are also unhealthy foods for bird pets.

Dairy products

Scientists state that cockatiels are unable to digest lactose contained in dairy products such as milk, cheese, etc… An excessive amount of lactose can cause diarrhea to cockatiels.

How many times a day should you feed your cockatiels?

The answer is two times a day. The first one in the morning and the second one is in the evening before dusk. In nature, cockatiels follow the same eating habit.

This regime is applied for both weaned and adult cockatiels. More specifically, they will need about 1.5 and 2 tablespoons of seeds or pellets (30 – 40 grams) a day.

You can be more flexible to provide lunch for your bird pet but remember not to exceed the daily amount fed to prevent some health issues.

One last note is that mature bird is more adaptable to spend time out of their cage in the evening than baby cockatiels. For small birds, you should give them at least 10 to 12 hours of rest in a dark environment. This should be taken into account when it comes to a feeding schedule.

As children, your lovely bird can sometimes lose their appetite. What are the reasons?

Why do Cockatiels refuse to eat?

Stress and illnesses are possible reasons in this case.

Cockatiels are quite sensitive when changing their living conditions from the wild to the home environment to live with the human being. They need time to be familiar with their surroundings and adjust their living habits.

When you first bring a cockatiel home, try to feed them seeds and grains as they always have in the wild. But in the long run, you should convert seeds and grains into pellets as they are ideal for cockatiels.

Converting cockatiel’s diet is sometimes stressful and frustrating. According to the Exotic Bord report, cockatiels will not eat anything that is unfamiliar. It belongs to their survival mechanism. Taste, shape, color, size, and texture are also what you should take care of when feeding your bird pet.

You can consider three methods below:

Mix pellets with seeds

This is the safest way to change cockatiel’s diet. You can gradually decrease 10% of seeds and increase 10% of pellets in the daily meal of cockatiels. After several weeks, your cockatiel should be used to eating pellets.

One-hour feeding

This method is also safe for your pet. Let’s feed your pet with seeds as normal but just for one hour and then replace all with pellets. If your pellets refuse to eat pellets, you can return to seeds but only for one hour. This method will take approximately two weeks to change the cockatiel’s diet.

Pellet pudding

Cockatiels tend to like foods that are soft and warm; thus, you can try to mix pellets with warm apple juice to persuade them to try.

Final Thoughts

The five best foods for cockatiels listed above are selected based on many strict criteria and comments of consumers. Our choice goes for the LAFEBER’S Original Flavor Avi-Cakes for Parakeets, Cockatiels & Conures.

It provides your bird pet a balancing diet with premium natural ingredients. Its price is reasonable for a try if you have never bought it before. The other products in the list are recommended as they offer your cockatiels different supplements for foraging, feathering, and health.