Treats are a great way to reward a cockatiel for good behavior and improve your bond. So, whether they are used as a training tool or tasty extra, you should have some snacks at home. But, what treats do cockatiels like?
Cockatiels like treats with intriguing colors, textures, and flavors, including fruits, vegetables, seeds, and insects. Seed sticks, dried fruit, sprouts, and eggs can all be used to produce treats. Also, millet, oats, and cuttlefish bones are good options for cockatiel while providing health-boosting nutrients.
Feeding treats to a cockatiel 1-2 times per week ensures that it doesn’t reject healthier and more nutritious foods.
However, positive reinforcement with favorite foods is one of the most effective ways to train a cockatiel.
What Are Good Treats For Cockatiels?
Even with snacks, it’s important to consider a cockatiel’s nutrition requirements. Here are some excellent treats for cockatiels that are tasty and healthy:
1. Seed sticks
The grains and seeds used to make store-bought seed sticks include:
- Sunflower seeds
Commercial seed sticks could include nuts, honey, eggs, and dried fruit. You can find them at all pet stores and stored for months, subject to specified guidelines. If you choose to buy a stick for your cockatiel check this one on Amazon.
However, you can make seed sticks for cockatiels at home by following these steps:
- Use a mixture of sunflower seeds, peanuts, dried fruit (raisins and cranberry), and grains.
- Cut the ingredients into small pieces or use a food processor.
- Add a binder, such as honey and egg whites.
- Shape the mixture by shaping them into balls or molding them into bars.
- Let the mixture harden by baking it at 200 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Making seed sticks at home is the healthiest way because it gives you control over the ingredients.
2. Spray millet
Finger millet (millet seed on the stalk) is often the go-to treat for cockatiels.
Millet is simple to store, attractively colored like golden honey, enjoyable to gather, crispy, and tasty. It contains plenty of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B, and other essential nutrients.
Millets are treats that cockatiels like, but they can lead to millet addiction. Millet alone isn’t enough, and cockatiels can start rejecting other foods.
Spray millet shouldn’t be a problem as an occasional snack. Check this spray millet on Amazon.
3. Peanut butter
Peanut butter can make a healthy and tasty treat for your cockatiel as long as they are fed in moderation. It is rich in protein, an essential nutrient for these birds.
However, be careful. Too much of it can also make them obese for a brief period. Furthermore, it’s simple to create peanut butter at home for them if you don’t want to give them store-bought peanut butter with preservatives added.
Cockatiel treats mealworms are an excellent source of protein for these birds. Along with nutritious treats such as fruits, pellets, and vegetables, you can count on mealworms to give a well-balanced diet for your cockatiel.
Mealworms are a good source of protein, a nutrient essential for your cockatiel’s muscles and body. However, if you plan to feed some to your cockatiel, you may want to learn a little more about it.
5. Fruit and dried fruit
Fruit is an excellent treat for cockatiels because it is rich in vitamins and minerals, and the dried varieties have a long shelf-life. So, it’s easy to stock up on your cockatiel’s special food rewards ahead of time.
Avoid brands that enhance their flavor or texture with sugar, coloring, flavorings, or preservatives. Sugar, in particular, is terrible because it can lead to weight gain.
Dried fruit is typically available at pet stores, but reading the ingredients list on dried fruit purchased at supermarkets will quickly show you whether or not everything is natural and healthy.
For a more realistic option, consider drying fruit at home for cockatiels. You can do this by cutting the fruit into small, tiny pieces and putting them in an oven or dehydrator until they are dried.
Dried fruit snacks for cockatiels include the following:
Oats are a healthy addition to any cockatiel’s diet, and they are its flavorful treat. It is simple to stock up because you can even get them in bulk for a discounted price.
Oats are nutrient-dense and regarded as one of the healthiest grains. This indicates that they are nutrient-rich and low in calories.
Oat groats are a tasty alternative for oat treats. With the exception of the husk, this is the complete oat kernel, making it more straightforward for cockatiels to pick up and chew.
Homemade oatmeal chews
If you have steel-cut oats, you can use them as a treat to your cockatiel in the form of oatmeal chews.
In a cup of oats, add an egg and baked it for around 8 minutes.
Corn is another healthy, tasty, and fun treat for cockatiels to eat.
This food contains a variety of nutrients, including:
- B vitamins
Corn on the cob
Corn is an excellent source of enrichment. Picking corn straight from the cob entertains and keeps your cockatiel engaged.
You may prepare corn on the cob in various ways to give your cockatiel’s food some variety and flavor.
You can even give popcorn to your cockatiel if it doesn’t contain salt, butter, or flavorings. In its natural form, popcorn is a nutritious food that is low in fat.
Use a popcorn maker or a burner to pop your kernels. Oil can be used, but only safe types for cockatiels, such as natural coconut oil, when used in small amounts.
Sprouts are seeds that have been given time to sprout.
It is enjoyable to shred, peck at, and eat this stringy, crunchy food. Sprouts are simple to find in supermarkets, but you can also grow your own by doing the following steps:
- Rinse the seeds.
- Place the seeds in a bowl of fresh, clean water.
- Soak the seeds for at least 8 hours, rinse, and drain.
- Transfer the seeds to a jar covered with cheesecloth.
- Place the pot in an open area, like a windowsill or kitchen counter.
- Repeat these steps twice a day.
Good grains to sprout include the following:
- Brown rice
9. Cuttlefish bone
Calcium is one of the essential minerals and an excellent treat for your cockatiel.
Although there are numerous calcium-containing foods, cuttlebone is the best option. This will allow your cockatiel to play, hone and wear down its beak, and receive an increase in minerals.
Cooked eggs are highly nutritious for cockatiels, especially as they can eat egg yolks, whites, and shells. In addition, the shells of small eggs are a significant source of calcium, and one small egg has 38 grams of protein.
In the following, we will share two ways to prepare eggs:
Boil an egg for 10+ minutes and offer your cockatiel a few sliced-up pieces 1-2 times per week.
Your cockatiel’s treats benefit from the fresh texture and flavor that scrambled eggs offer. Just avoid using oil and salt. However, you can add herbs for flavor.
11. Whole grain bread
Although bread is a wonderful pleasure, you should avoid white bread. So you can offer a small amount of white bread to your cockatiel; it’s empty in calories and lacks nutrients.
Instead, give your cockatiel whole grain or whole wheat bread. The texture will encourage your cockatiel to expand its diet, and this type contains healthy nutrients, such as:
- B vitamins
Although pasta doesn’t have many nutrients, it does have carbohydrates that can provide energy. Add some colorful vegetables if you want to give your cockatiel more vitamins and minerals,
Pasta is a great way to add variety to your cockatiel’s treats. For example, bowtie pasta is favored because of its rough edges and bright shades.
You can feed cooked and uncooked pasta to a cockatiel. Uncooked pasta is safe and provides a crunchy texture, while cooked pasta has a delectable flavor and allows you to share a meal with your cockatiel.
Cockatiels love eating rice due to its small and bite-sized shape.
Try mixing rice with other treats, like nut butter, for more variation and flavor.
White rice shouldn’t be consumed because it is high in sugar and low in nutrients. Instead, it would help if you got brown rice, as it has more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Compared to brown rice, black rice has around 30 fewer calories. The amount of vitamins and minerals is roughly the same, but there are many more antioxidants.
Cockatiels love spicy treats, whether it’s found in chilis or peppers. This is due to their bright colors, crunchy exterior, and exciting taste.
However, they can even eat some of the hottest varieties, like the ghost pepper. That is because they don’t have the receptors needed to taste capsaicin, which is responsible for the heat in peppers.
Cockatiels enjoy a wide variety of treats. These snack foods can be fed to cockatiels in moderation to round out your cockatiel’s health, spice up its meals, and keep them entertained.
What Are Cockatiel’s Favorite Treats?
Cockatiels love food that piques their interest because they are not always available.
However, the best snacks for cockatiels have the following characteristics:
- Tangy flavors
- Rough or wavy textures
- Bright colors
- Crunchy exteriors
Cockatiel Treats For Training
The most common cockatiel treats for training are sunflower treats, millet spray, cheerios, fruit, and peanut pieces. It’s straightforward to reward your cockatiel with a single seed for a well-done job or give them a quick bite of a millet spray or cheerios.
Cheerio is a treat that we recommend and also used when training our cockatiel. You can hand-feed one cheerio as a training treat and reward.
But if your cockatiel doesn’t like those treats, you should rotate the treats we mentioned above to find out what your cockatiel likes the most.
Once you discover which treats your cockatiel is passionate about, keep it by storing it in a unique, recognizable container and in an area that you have designated as your cockatiel treats training area.
Only show it to your cockatiel during its training sessions. Your goal is to ensure that your cockatiel becomes passionate about training.
However, the treats container will be a visual reminder of positive, fun, tasty training. Seeing the treat’s container will create a sense of eager enthusiasm and attention in your bird.
Also, cockatiel treats should be in small pieces that your cockatiel can chew and swallow quickly. Shell nuts, seeds, and cheerios for quick and easy feeding. Small portions are best, as they can be eaten quickly, and with that, they will focus better on training rather than eating.