Most people have cockatiel more than any other type of pet. European bird collectors first discovered them in Australia, and their popularity continues to grow. Their unique charisma makes these birds a popular choice among pet owners. They are a good option for first-time pet owners and those who do not have much time to care for their pets. In the following articles, we will talk about do cockatiels need mineral blocks.
Do Cockatiels Need A Mineral Block? Yes, cockatiels need mineral blocks because they contain the essential minerals and vitamins that your bird needs. In addition, they balance out a cockatiel’s diet, provide fun and enrichment, and keep the beak at a healthy length.
How to Care For a Cockatiel?
You certainly do not want your cockatiel to fly around your home. It would be dangerous for the bird, and they would make a mess that you would have to clean up.
When looking for a cage, make sure it is larger and has more space. Cockatiels are pretty active birds and need more room to move. Look for cages with multiple perches plus space for water and food bowls. You will also need to give your cockatiel a few toys to keep it occupied and happy. One of the toys you should not forget is the cockatiel swing. Together with stationary perches, a swing will entertain your cockatiel for hours.
Cockatiels are curious and intelligent birds, so you need to be careful when choosing toys. Choose toys that are special to this type of bird. Remember, if the toy is not safe for the toddler, then it is too dangerous to give it to your cockatiel.
Feeding Your Cockatiel
Wild cockatiels exist primarily on seeds and grasses, and the same is true of captive cockatiels. They eat immature and mature seeds along with the occasional insect. Wild cockatiels also often eat pieces of charcoal from trees after a fire. Charcoal helps birds a lot when they are sick.
Tame cockatiels follow the same diet, and you can find ripe seeds in any pet store or online. It would also be good if you supplemented the seeds with pieces of vegetables and fruits. A diet consisting mainly of seeds is good in the wild.
Birds do a lot of training flying around, unlike those in captivity. Therefore, your cockatiel can become an unhealthy, overweight bird if you feed it a strict seed diet. Some fruits and vegetables that you will need to add to your cockatiel diet are:
Make sure that your cockatiel can safely eat the fruits and vegetables that you chop for them. Give them smaller pieces because large pieces of food can choke them.
You can also add a few nutrients by soaking the seeds until they start to sprout. Mixing dried and sprouted seeds increases the number of amino acids your cockatiel needs to get in the diet. Amino acids are essential in the diet of your cockatiel. They use amino acids to make the proteins they need for strength and health.
Cockatiels’ diet also needs animal protein. That is why they temporarily eat insects. Adding animal protein to their diet will prevent your bird from overeating from seeds. Cockatiel will continue to eat until it has absorbed enough amino acids to produce the protein it needs.
Water is the only liquid that cockatiels drink in the wild and captivity. In the wild, cockatiels spend most of the day searching for food and water.
Your cockatiel should always have fresh food and water in the cage.
Do Cockatiels Need Mineral Blocks?
A diet consisting of fresh vegetables, seeds, and fruits is enough to meet the nutritional needs of your cockatiel.
Cockatiel should be provided with minerals as a dietary supplement and quality grain food throughout the year. They are essential for digestion itself. In addition, birds have muscular stomachs in which they grind grain and for bone ossification and other metabolic needs.
Vitamins are necessary for the diet of cockatiels, and in different periods of life, there is an increased need for them; therefore, you should add them to water or food. Depending on these needs for the optimal form, it is sufficient to add such a multivitamin preparation once a week and in specific periods of life.
Also, in preparation for the mating season, should be given three to four weeks earlier. You should add it daily until the first egg is laid and later three times a week after an illness.
It is strongly recommended to add vitamin preparations five days in a row during the period of feather change, which should be given three times a week. The mineral block contains the following nutrients:
- crude protein 0.1 percent crude fat
- 0.1 percent ash 80
- crude fiber 0.1 percent
If you want to give your cockatiel the best care, it is essential to pay special attention to his diet. Therefore, dietary supplements are often necessary, and this group includes cuttlefish bone.
Also known as cuttlebone, you want to make a permanent fixture in the cage of your cockatiel. Most of them come with clips that attach to the side of the cage. The cuttlefish bone is an excellent source of calcium that your cockatiel needs to thrive. Your cockatiel will break through the soft inside over time to reach the nutrients.
A cuttlebone is not a natural bone. It is a husk released by the cuttlefish member of the cephalopod family. The husk floats on the surface of the water after the cuttlefish dies. Wild cockatiels fly down to peck at the husk. Your cockatiel will do the same in its cage.
The calcium-rich cuttlebone is always fun for your cockatiels to play with. They enjoy pecking things up. It is a form of entertainment. Cuttlefish bones are also durable.
If it gets dirty, wipe it with a clean cloth and put it back in the cage. But due to its porous nature, you will want to throw away all the cuttlefish bones if they are sprayed with water or some other liquid.
The cuttlefish bone has several roles. It is a rich source of calcium and other minerals. Cockatiels use them to sharpen their beaks and as a toy. The inside of the cuttlefish bone is a little softer than the outside.
So if you notice that your cockatiel is struggling with it a bit, break off a piece of it to get to the exciting part faster.
Mold and bacteria can easily grow, which can make your bird sick.
Do Mineral Block Good for Your Cockatiel?
A cuttlefish bone is one way to make sure your cockatiel gets the minerals it needs, and another option is to use a mineral block.
Mineral blocks function in a similar way to cuttlefish bones. The block should be held close to the cage, preferably near the seat. Leave the block in the cage even if your cockatiel ignores it. Your cockatiel will start biting when it is ready. Mineral blocks are not a food source but a dietary supplement. Do not be surprised if your cockatiel ignores it for several days at a time.
You can find mineral blocks in every bird shop that also sells cockatiels. Also, most come from convenient clips, which is something less you need to buy for your cockatiel.
Not all mineral blocks contain the same ingredients, and you will need to check them before putting them in your cockatiel cage. Avoid blocks with additives, food coloring, preservatives, and other artificial ingredients. Some mineral blocks contain charcoal, which is suitable for your cockatiel. Wild cockatiels eat charcoal to fight and prevent some diseases.
Make Homemade Mineral Blocks for Your Cockatiel
It takes a little more time and a few ingredients to make mineral blocks at home for your cockatiel. First, you will need a mixture of ground-up shells like mussels, clams, and oysters.
When the shells are ground to a fine powder, add the mineral grit, cuttlefish bone, ground chicken eggshells, charcoal, and calcium power to bind the ingredients. Plaster from Paris works excellent for binding.
When you add all the ingredients, add a little water and stir together. You should get a thick paste similar in consistency to wet cement. Pour the mixture into small cups or egg cartons would be a great idea. Close the container and let the mixture dry for a while.
Peel the plastic or styrofoam from the sides of the blocks. A small paring knife can remove any trace from the container. When the mineral block is ready, hang it in a cage on your cockatiel.
Before feeding your cockatiel with homemade block, it would be a good idea to review your ingredients with an expert.
Choose Your Clips Very Carefully
Most cuttlefish bones and mineral blocks come with cockatiel-safe clips, but not all. But if you need to buy a clip, make sure it is non-toxic.
Most plastic clips are usually designed for use around food. If it is safe to keep your snacks fresh, it would probably be okay to use them in a birdcage. However, do not approach the metal clips. Your cockatiel could hurt the beak pecking in the clip.
Cockatiels are friendly birds with a lot of personalities. They are energetic, intelligent and do not require much care.
Give your cockatiel a big cage swing and a few perches if you want to have a lucky bird.
It is a bit complicated to feed cockatiels. Ripe and immature seeds are a significant part of their diet, but you need to add some supplements to ensure your cockatiel gets enough minerals.
Whether you use cuttlefish bone or mineral block, your cockatiel will get the proper calcium and other minerals it needs. You need to make sure that the block contains only natural ingredients.