Not many cockatiels are big fans of pellets. But pellets are an essential part of your cockatiel’s diet. It could take a few weeks or months to make the transition to pellets. It’s all depends on your cockatiel. But how to get a cockatiel to eat pellets.
How To Get A Cockatiel To Eat Pellets
To get a cockatiel to eat pellets, finely grind some of the pellets and mix over your cockatiel’s normal seeds or a favorite treat. Then add lukewarm water to the pellet-seed mix so that the seeds adhere to the pellets so your cockatiel can eat both together. Try to get a pellet with few or no artificial colors.
How To Get A Cockatiel To Eat Pellets 6 Easy Tips
If your cockatiel refuse to eat pellets, there are 6 easy tips to change its mind.
1. Slow transition
If you replace its food wholesale, it will often result in a cockatiel going on hunger, which can damage your cockatiel’s health. Instead, you can add a small amount of pellets to the seed bowl and mix them with the rest.
However, your picky cockatiel may sift through the meal to pick out the seeds. But, as it does so, your cockatiel will become familiar with the smell and texture of the pellets.
In the end, it may be curious enough to taste pellets. Also, the interest in foraging through different textures may be enough to convince your cockatiel to sample the new food(pellets).
If your cockatiel starts to eat pellets within the first week, you can swap out more of the seeds with a significant portion of pellets. Over time, you can increase the number of pellets and decrease the number of seeds.
2. Add lukewarm water
While some cockatiels can be curious, others can be stubborn. You need to take extra measures to trick the cockatiel into at least tasting the pellets in this event.
To trick your cockatiel add about a teaspoon of pellets to the seed bowl and pour a small amount of lukewarm water into them. Allow the water to sit for a while as the pellets become soft and easy to eat. Never add warm water to the pellets, as you will have to wait for them to cool down so that your cockatiel can eat.
At this point, even if your cockatiel doesn’t enjoy its meal, it will at least get a taste of the pellets. As time goes on, with persistence, your cockatiel will realize that pellets are also food.
Gradually you can increase the amount of pellets you soak in water over time until your cockatiel starts to like it. You can increase the pellets to 70-80%.
After a while, you can start to decrease the amount of water so that the pellets your cockatiel is eating are back to their original texture.
3. Other foods
The cockatiel may be picky and hesitant to try anything new. However, pellets are not the most enjoyable meal available, so your cockatiel may have the most difficult time transitioning to them first. Try converting your cockatiel to other new and exciting foods to rectify this.
Try to feed your cockatiel vegetables to replace half of its regular serving of seeds. You can also provide your cockatiel with fruits, nuts, or grains. Once your cockatiel warmed up to the idea of trying new things, pellets will seem like a fun treat as well.
4. Provide different kinds of pellets
Sometimes your cockatiel may refuse to eat pellets because it does not like the taste or texture. To get your cockatiel to eat pellets, you need to start by experimenting with different shapes, sizes, and brands of pellets. Try to avoid a pellet with few or no artificial colors or flavors.
5. Trick your cockatiel
Here are some tricks you can use to make the pellets seem more appealing:
- Crushed pellets – You can add them over the seed mix, so the cockatiel is forced to eat some.
- Hand-feeding pellets – If you regularly offer treats to your cockatiel, it will begin to view pellets as a rare reward.
- Praise it – This will teach your cockatiel that eating pellets are preferred behavior. Do this even if your cockatiel doesn’t eat them.
- Pretend to eat the pellets – Over time, the cockatiel will realize that it is food and wish to try it for itself.
- Cover the seed bowl with pellets – This ensures that the cockatiel eats the pellets first to get to the seeds at the bottom.
6. Avoid starving your cockatiel
Make sure that you don’t starve your cockatiel into eating pellets. This will indeed not work, as the cockatiel may refuse all food and get sick rather than eat the pellets. Never insist on forcing your cockatiel to eat pellets cause it may get sick or die.
If you want to switch your cockatiel from seeds to pellets, you need patience. This is a gradual weaning process, and the transition can take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the individual cockatiel.
Why Is My Cockatiel Not Eating Pellets?
Pellets are an essential part of your cockatiel’s diet. It helps your cockatiel to prevent nutrient deficiencies and promote a healthy weight. But pellets are not at all what cockatiels prefer to eat.
Your cockatiel refuses to eat pellets because it won’t recognize them as food. However, with a lot of patience and perseverance, your cockatiel will realize that the pellets are healthy to eat and that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Seeds have much more taste than pellets, which is pleasing for cockatiels. When you give them a choice, they will choose the tastiest option, leading to cockatiels picking out the seeds and leaving the pellets behind.
Also, the leading cause of poor nutrition in a cockatiel is a lack of awareness of a cockatiel’s dietary needs and the availability of varied, nutrient-rich foods.
Are pellets good for cockatiels?
Yes, pellets are the perfect and ideal diet for your cockatiel, and they should ideally represent approximately 70-80% of the cockatiel’s diet. Also, pellets are great formulated diets that contain the right balance of nutrients. Of course, they are considered like not a complete diet, and cockatiels still need variety in food to stay healthy.
Pellets have been made to meet all your cockatiel’s nutrients. With just a little seed, you should often feed your cockatiel a mostly pelleted diet.
If you give your cockatiel a seed-based diet, especially a young cockatiel, you might not notice anything wrong for the first ten years or so. But, eventually, it may cause some severe and potentially fatal problems.
Pellets are nutritionally complete, and they don’t cost much more than an equal measure of seeds. They might look artificial at first, but if you read the ingredients list on the bag, you will find things like oats, spinach, carrots, etc.
Pellets are just a bunch of vegetables and grains that the manufacturers run through a blender and bake before packaging for sale. Seeds are ok in small amounts, but pellets should be most of what your cockatiel eats.
How Much Pellets Should I Feed My Cockatiel
The recommended amount of pellets needed for cockatiels should generally be 30-40 grams a day. Depending on the cockatiel, you can serve the pellets in the morning or early evening. Be careful, don’t give your cockatiel more than the recommended amount.
Never force your cockatiel to eat pellets. Be patient and let the time goes on. Always try to change the pellets to see which one your cockatiel likes the best.
Always mix pellets with seeds or vegetables to offer your cockatiel a complete meal. But, try never to exceed the recommended amount of pellets. Offer your cockatiel a healthy meal so that your cockatiel will always be happy and satisfied.
If not matter what you do, your cockatiel may refuse to eat pellets; this means that you have to be more patient and persistent in your efforts. Cockatiels are picky eaters and need to be trained to sample new foods.
Also, if your cockatiel refuses to eat pellets, it may mean that you need a different type or brand of pellets. But in most cases, cockatiels will refuse to eat pellets because they don’t recognize them as food.
Pellets Or Seeds: What Is Better For Your Cockatiel
Many owners like to argue, pick sides, and choose between pellets or seeds as the best food for cockatiels. However, a good reminder regarding balance and variety in your cockatiel’s diet is key.
Provided your pet is getting a variety of foods, there is no need to feed it just either pellets or seeds. You can feed both to your cockatiel.
Pellets may be better than seeds for your cockatiels because they provide a much better balance of nutrients than seeds.
Always keep the seed or pellets tray clean if you want to feed your cockatiel with seeds or pellets. Wash the tray with soapy hot water to keep it from growing fungus and bacteria. Before serving seeds or pellets, make sure that the tray is totally dry. Moisture on a tray provides a healthy breeding ground for harmful fungus and bacteria. You and your cockatiel won’t be very happy about this.
Cockatiels like to get seed from the husks. Because of this feeding habit, you will likely find the cockatiel’s bowl filled with empty husks that your cockatiel didn’t eat. Be on the lookout for rotting or discarded food and keep the seed or pellet tray clean and filled with fresh seeds or pellets.
When purchasing a bag of seeds or pellets at any pet store, place them in your freezer when you get home to keep them fresh and bug-free. Keep the seeds or pellets in a sealed or re-sealable bag so moisture doesn’t enter. By keeping them in the freezer, they will remain fresh for several months.