What do cockatiels feed their babies

What Do Baby Cockatiels Eat & How To Feed Them? (Diet)

Baby cockatiels are not capable of eating all the foods adult cockatiels can easily eat. So it is important to know their eating behavior, foods, and what do baby cockatiels eat.

Baby cockatiels can eat baby birds’ formula. Also, you can feed them moistened dog foods with some other foods such as raw liver as a great source of proteins. Let’s dive into the details and know-how to feed baby cockatiels with their favorite food.

Table of Contents:

  • What To Feed Baby Cockatiels?
  • How To Make Baby Cockatiel Food?
  • Can Baby Cockatiels Eat Fruits?
  • Can Baby Cockatiels Eat Seeds?
  • Can Baby Cockatiels Eat Insects?
  • How To Feed A Baby Cockatiel?
    1. Do You Need To Hand-Feed Baby Cockatiels?
    2. How To Hand-Feed A Baby Cockatiel?
  • How Often Do Baby Cockatiels Eat (Feeding Schedule)?
  • How Much Should A Baby Cockatiel Eat?
  • How Long Do You Hand Feed A Baby Cockatiel?
  • Do Baby Cockatiels Drink Water?
  • Final Words

What To Feed Baby Cockatiels?

Feeding baby cockatiels is a very crucial part of caring for them. There are specific requirements needed to be fulfilled for foods.

When you find baby cockatiels that fell out of the nest, and you are thinking to feed a baby bird that fell out of the nest, you should feed baby cockatiels moistened dog food, cat foods, raw liver, boiled eggs, etc. After some growth of baby cockatiels, you can try feeding them insects, seeds, and fruits.

How To Make Baby Cockatiel Food?

Before making baby cockatiel’s food, make sure all cooking utensils are sterilized and cleaned properly. For this purpose, use boiled water. It will help in removing harmful bacteria from the utensils.

It is very important to wash the fruit, vegetables, and utensils properly because the immune system of baby cockatiels is very delicate. Harmful bacteria can be very dangerous for them.

After washing the cooking utensils, it’s time to cook food for your baby cockatiels. For this, take a small bowl and add 2/3 cup of cereal (baby bird food) to it. There is no need to use any specific flavor; you can use any of them as they are full of protein.

What Do Cockatiels Eat? (Best Foods & Feeding Tips)

After that, add one teaspoon of peanut butter and one teaspoon of apple sauce to that bowl. It would be good to use these things from a good brand and buy them from a good store.

Now it’s time to add plain (1 capful). All ingredients are added and now mix them with the help of a spoon.

To get food of proper consistency, add boiled water to it. For your baby cockatiels, the prepared mixture should be very thin and runny so that they will eat it easily.

What Do You Feed Newborn Cockatiels?

You can feed moistened dog foods, cat food, hard-boiled eggs, and raw liver to newborn baby cockatiels. This food will add value to the growth of newborn baby cockatiels.

Can Baby Cockatiels Eat Fruits?

Baby cockatiels can eat fruits, and they love to eat almost every type of fruit. Fruits that baby cockatiels can eat are as follow.

  • Fruits are available almost throughout the year.
    • Blueberries
    • Cherries 
    • Apple
    • Banana
  • Seasonal fruits
    • Nectarine
    • Peach
    • Apricot
    • Pear
    • Strawberries
    • Orange
    • Grapes
  • Tropical fruits
    • Mango
    • Papaya
    • Guavas
    • Kiwi fruits
  • Melons
    • Cantaloupe 
    • Watermelon
  • Citrus fruits
    • Oranges
    • Grapefruit 

These fruits are full of vitamin C that are good for the health of baby cockatiels. Along with these fresh fruits, you can also feed dry fruits to your baby cockatiels which include.

  • Raisins
  • Cranberries
  • Prunes

The dropping of baby cockatiels turns dark red and looks similar to blood after eating cherries, but it is not harmful. Along with cherries, baby cockatiels can eat bananas.

They can not eat the whole peel in one bite. That is why cut banana skins into small pieces, which are easy for them to eat. These banana peels are not harmful to your baby cockatiels, so do not worry while feeding them.

Make sure that these fruits are free from all types of harmful chemicals. Along with fruits, feed your baby cockatiels other things also, like some snacks and vegetables.

But, before giving anything to your baby cockatiels, wash them properly, cut them into very small pieces, and then remove all seeds that are large and not good for your baby cockatiels.

Fruit seeds also contain cyanide in them, which is not good for the health of your baby cockatiels. That is why avoid giving fruit seeds to your baby cockatiels.

Can Baby Cockatiels Eat Seeds?

Yes, baby cockatiels can eat seeds. You are allowed to serve seeds to your baby cockatiels. But as they are very young, you can feed them moistened millet seeds in the beginning.

You can also feed them vegetables and corn peas along with these seeds, but make sure they are boiled well. Never go for fruit seeds, as many of them are toxic for your baby cockatiels.

As baby cockatiels are very small, they sometimes play with their food, but it is completely normal. You can also feed them some other types of seeds like sunflowers, bits of hemp, grains, etc.

Seeds are considered to be a very good diet for baby cockatiels. Like fruits, seeds should also be free from harmful chemicals, fungi, pesticides, and other substances.

Before serving seeds to your baby cockatiels, wash them thoroughly with warm water and then dry them.

When Can Baby Cockatiels Eat Seeds?

Baby cockatiels can eat seeds at the age of four weeks, but you have to hand-feed them. At this age, they can be introduced to thawed corn peas and moistened millet seeds.

Can Baby Cockatiels Eat Insects?

Yes, baby cockatiels can eat insects. Baby cockatiels who live in the wild almost depend on insects. They can get calcium, vitamins, and proteins by eating insects. The insects that they can eat include bugs and mealworms.

 Can Cockatiels Eat Almonds?

How To Feed A Baby Cockatiel?

Parent cockatiel feeds their young baby cockatiels day and night for a few days (at least for the first seven days). A variety of food is served to baby cockatiels many times a day, but the amount is very small.

If you see that the parent cockatiel is not taking care of its baby cockatiels, you have to take care of them.

But, as baby cockatiels are very delicate, try your best to leave them with any parent cockatiels because they can feed them well and take good care of them.

But if that is not possible, then you have to feed these baby cockatiels. One of the popular ways is to feed baby cockatiels by hand. The hand-feeding method using a syringe is one of the popular methods that you can use for feeding baby cockatiels.

You have to mix probiotics and Pedialyte as the first two feedings for your baby cockatiels.

After this, you can use any baby cockatiel’s food to feed them. Never use the microwave to give heat mentioned on baby cockatiel’s food as the microwave can burn their food.

Do You Need To Hand-Feed Baby Cockatiels?

Parent cockatiels who refuse to feed their baby cockatiels are often not experienced enough to take care of them. So, in this situation, you have to take care of and hand-feed baby cockatiels as they are someone at that time.

If there is another pair of parent cockatiels, then there is a high possibility that they will accept those refused baby cockatiels. But if nothing is helping, you have to hand-feed them.

How To Hand-Feed A Baby Cockatiel?

For hand-feeding baby cockatiels, remove them from the nest and grab the baby cockatiel with your cupping hands. Support should be adequate to come in the position to eat anything.

You can use an eyedropper and syringe to feed baby cockatiels. Serve many times a day in small portions.

Overfilling of baby cockatiel’s mouths can cause death. After feeding them, remove excess food material with the help of warm water from their beak or any other area.

How Often Do Baby Cockatiels Eat (Feeding Schedule)?

You should feed a one-week-old baby cockatiel every two hours from day one to day four in the first week, and in the last three days (day five, six, and seven), the food should be fed after every three hours.

Baby Cockatiel’s Age (in Days)Feeding Per Day
0 to 77 to 9 times
8 to 155 to 6 times
15 to 243 to 4 times

When the second week starts, the cocktail birds are required to be fed after every 4 hours. You will see significant changes and growth in the body and size of the babies by week three.

The cockatiel will start developing interest in seeds and millet spray by around 4th week. As the babies reach week five, they are only required to be fed three times a day, and by week six, only two feeds will be enough throughout the day.

During the time from 7 to 8 weeks, only night-time feeding is required. After this time passes, you should feed cockatiel twice a day till the point they start feeding themselves.

Make sure that the food you are giving has a balanced amount of millet spray, a mixture of seed, or pelleted food of high quality.

How Much Should A Baby Cockatiel Eat?

Baby cockatiels should be served many times a day according to their age. The maximum amount you can hand feed your baby cockatiels is almost ten percent of their body weight.

For example, if your birds weigh 500 grams, the food you are serving should be 50 ml. A baby cockatiel of weight 500 grams should be fed three times a day. This feed is for baby cockatiels of five weeks of age.

The food served to a baby cockatiel should be in small portions and very well chopped and shredded.

But before serving anything, hand-feed your baby cockatiels a very small amount of that particle food and see if they like it or not. Change the food if the baby cockatiel does not like it, never forcefully feed them anything.

How Long Do You Hand Feed A Baby Cockatiel?

You have to hand-feed a baby cockatiel for almost five weeks after the day they are born. After that, weaning time starts. Some baby cockatiels start eating on their own after ten weeks of age, and some take more time, like about twelve to thirteen weeks of age.

Do Baby Cockatiels Drink Water?

Yes, like every other bird, baby cockatiels also drink water. But the quantity of water intake varies from bird to bird. Baby cocktails are very small and young. So they can not drink water in large amounts.

Their daily water intake is almost one teaspoon, not more than that. Baby cockatiels do not have sweat glands; that is why they do not need more water to drink.

The more sweat glands a bird has, the more water intake is done by them. The water that baby cockatiels drink removes from their body by excretion.

Final Words

Feeding baby cockatiels is slightly different than feeding adult cockatiels. It requires proper caring and choosing the right foods for baby cockatiels. The first thing you should know about is what baby cockatiels eat and how to feed them.

It is suggested that you should get assistance from an experienced breeder. It is also suggested that you should leave the babies with their parents for at least the first 2 or 3 weeks so that they are grown enough to be handled easily.

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How Often Do Newborn Cockatiel Birds Eat? | Pets

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After the newborn chick hatches, it takes nourishment from the yolk sac. In ideal situations, the parents begin feeding the chick 8 to 12 hours after hatching. In the event the parents do not properly feed their chicks, the breeder may need to step in and hand feed the babies.

Day One through Week One

Cockatiel babies are very delicate after hatching, and should be left with their parents if at all possible. In the event you have to intervene, the first two feedings should be a mixture of Pedialyte and probiotics. After that, you can feed the babies with the brand of formula you prefer. The formula should be mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions and the temperature of the formula should be between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Achieve this temperature range should by using very hot water and allowing the mixture to cool to the proper range. Never microwave formula, as it can have hot spots that will burn the baby's crop. The babies should be fed every two hours around the clock for the first four days of life, and every three hours around the clock on days five through seven.

Week Two

The second week of life, cockatiel chicks need to be fed every four hours. The babies can go approximately eight hours overnight without being fed. At this stage, the cockatiels will begin begging loudly for food, making it easy to overfeed them. Four to six milliliters should be enough to fill the crop at this age.

Week Three

Week three is a week with significant growth and change. During this week cockatiel chicks can be fed every five hours, and be fed up to 10 milliliters at each feeding. The chicks should not go more than eight hours overnight without being fed, so adjust your feeding schedule accordingly.

Week Four

Roughly around the fourth week of life, cockatiels will begin to take interest in millet spray and seeds. Much of what they attempt to eat is wasted, as they perfect the art of cracking open seeds. Hand-feedings can be reduced to three times a day by the end of week four, and the young cockatiels will eat as much as fifteen milliliters per feeding.


It is best to let cockatiels self-wean, and continue one to two feedings a day until they are clearly eating on their own and not reliant on the formula. Typically, when the cockatiel takes just a few full beaks worth of formula and loses interest it is safe to wean. Be sure that you offer a variety of bird safe fruit and vegetables, a quality cockatiel pelleted feed or seed mixture, and millet spray, as the young cockatiel will be very active and need a balanced diet to fill out and reach maturity.


If you have never hand fed baby cockatiels before, seek the assistance of an experienced breeder or avian veterinarian. It is very easy for young chicks to aspirate on formula, which will cause chick mortality. Even experienced breeders prefer to leave chicks with their parents until two to three weeks of age, when the babies are larger and easier to handle.


  • Avian Web: Hatching Cockatiel Chicks & Their First Days of Development
  • National Cockatiel Society: Caring for "Day One" Cockatiel Babies

Writer Bio

Jillian Peterson began her professional writing career in 2007, writing training manuals for the staffing industry. She contributes to eHow, specializing in staffing, employment and business-management topics. Peterson has an Associate of Arts in business management from the University of Phoenix and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing at the University of West Georgia.

Cockatiel chicks: hatching and care

After 18-21 days of incubation, cockatiel chicks begin to hatch from eggs. Usually babies manage to get out of the shell within 24-48 hours after the appearance of the dent. But if that didn't happen, then help is needed.

Newly hatched chicks should have pink skin covered with white and yellow down. If the skin color is pale blue, then the chick has experienced hypothermia and needs your help. Corellas do not immediately feed their cubs, they wait until they are completely dry.

How to clean the nest

Cleaning the cockatiel's nest is very important. The fact is that Corella chicks have practically no immunity, so any dirt in the nest or objects around them can lead to illness and death of the birds.

1. The nest should be cleaned when the parents go to eat. Access to the nest from adult cockatiels must be covered with cardboard. Otherwise, parents can be very aggressive towards you.

2. Prepare a small container, similar to a cockatiel's nest, line it with clean sawdust. Transfer the chicks to a container, remove the remnants of droppings, food and other debris from the nest.

3. Cleaning should be done very quickly so that the parents do not start to worry, and the chicks do not have time to freeze.

4. Please note that the frequency of nest cleaning depends on the age of the chicks. The older the hatched birds become, the more waste remains behind them, therefore, cleaning should be done more often.

Handling chicks

Home raised cockatiel chicks are usually more tame and calm. You can pick up chicks from two weeks of age. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before interacting with birds. You can hold the chicks in your arms for about 15-20 minutes. Gradually, if the chicks feel good, the time of communication with them can be increased. Stroke them lightly, talk to them calmly. Please note that if the parents of the chicks are against your communication with the chicks, then it is better to postpone it.

When do cockatiel chicks leave the nest?

Corella chicks show their first interest in the world on the 25th-27th day of their life. They begin to turn their heads in different directions, examining the surrounding objects. The first exit of chicks from the nest occurs 35-40 days after they hatch. Corella feeds her cubs up to 1.5-2 months of age, then they begin to feed on their own from the feeder. When the babies are out of the nest, their father takes care of feeding them. The mother feeds the younger or weaker chicks.

Why do cockatiels pluck their chicks?

Adult cockatiels sometimes pluck the feathers from their chicks. This can be done by one or both birds. Nobody knows why this happens. Scientists call the main reasons:

√ lack of nutrients;

√ psychological factor (jealousy).

Adults can cause serious damage to their chicks during plucking, so if you notice this, be sure to move the baby to a separate cage.

Cockatiel chicks: care, feeding, photo, video

Parrot breeders can tell a lot about keeping pets from their experience, but not everyone knows how to provide proper care and feeding when cockatiel chicks appear in the house. In the article you will find answers to these questions, as well as how to select a suitable pair for breeding and the stages of development of the offspring that have appeared.

Contents of the article

  • How to choose a healthy pair for breeding
  • Emergence and development of cockatiel chicks
  • Nursing chicks
    • Feeding mix options
  • When cockatiel chicks can be taken from their parents

How to choose a healthy pair for breeding more birds

90. Healthy parents lead to healthy offspring, so take the choice of cockatiels very seriously.

Purchase parrots from reliable breeders or nurseries. There, their age is more likely to be known and you can be sure that the birds were kept in suitable conditions and fed quality food. For more information on how to choose cockatiels, read this article.

Once the birds have settled into your home after purchase, observe them. If you notice that cockatiels have chosen each other among other birds in the aviary, this is the best pair to take for breeding.

In nature, cockatiels choose their partners on their own, therefore at home it is worth adhering to the same principles.

If you have only one cockatiel, then it will be more difficult to find a pair for him. After all, it is not known how your pet will react to the appearance of your chosen partner, whether they will like each other.

Therefore, do not rush to put a newly bought parrot in a cage with your pet. Let them get used to each other a little.

The habituation process is quite simple: put the birds in different cages and put them side by side. In a few days they will get to know each other and get used to each other.

Attention! You need to plant a newly acquired parrot with a partner who has been living with you for a long time no earlier than two to three weeks after they met.

If you notice that the birds do not react aggressively to each other, but, on the contrary, show interest, then they may well form a pair.

It is important that at this moment they are healthy, otherwise the offspring from sick parrots will cause a lot of problems later.

After you put them together in an aviary or in a cage, cockatiels can begin to care for each other, feed a partner and start mating games. So it's nesting time. You will need to prepare a nesting house and change the diet by increasing animal products in it, adding mineral supplements and grain sprouts.

Emergence and development of cockatiel chicks

After 21-23 days after laying the first egg, chicks appear one after another. They hatch blind, covered with a thin yellow down, weighing only 4-5 grams. Over the next week of life, they gain weight and become four times heavier - their weight is already 20 grams. At the same time, they begin to publish a calling squeak when they are hungry. At this time, parents constantly warm the cubs, because due to the lack of plumage they are very sensitive to temperature changes, they can get sick and die.

The eyes of cockatiel chicks open after 10 days of life. By this time, they are already gaining 40 grams in weight, hold their heads well and make loud clicks or squeaks. Then, under the newborn down, the beginnings of the emerging plumage begin to appear.

Important! Ringing cockatiel chicks is carried out approximately on the tenth day of life.

On the 14th day, the rudiments of the crest characteristic of the cockatiel appear on the head of the young. The beak with its shape of a grin begins to resemble the beaks of adults. The chicks already weigh 80 grams.

If at first, feeling hungry, they uttered a squeak, a little later the sound became “poking”, then it becomes similar to croaking or snoring. Hungry babies make a lot of noise.

All this time, the parents feed the chicks first with goiter milk, and then, when the milk stops being produced, with semi-digested food.

On the 20-21st day of life, the yellow fluff from the body of the birds is already completely gone. Their views are already meaningful and curious. Chicks try to imitate the behavior of their parents.

The next week is busy for young individuals: the tuft on the head becomes longer, the entire surface of the body is covered with feathers, a characteristic “blush” appears on the cheeks - orange-red spots. The chicks are already beginning to peck at seeds and grains, that is, they are becoming able to feed themselves.

Monthly birds are already starting to make their first attempts to fly out of the nest. At about six months of age, they leave him forever. For about another 2 weeks, the chicks are fed by their parents until they are completely able to do without them.

In this video you will see with your own eyes the development of cockatiel chicks from birth to full independence:

Nursing chicks

It happens that some female cockatiels do not have a maternal instinct and after hatching the chicks do not begin to feed them. Babies can live without food for several hours, but if the fasting drags on, it is fraught with their death.

If the female has not started to feed her offspring, and you have a couple of cockatiels busy breeding, try laying eggs in another nest. If the female refuses the chicks there, be prepared to feed them yourself. For this, a special infant formula is prepared. It should not be thick and have a temperature of + 36-37 ° C.

Take a budgie, put it back to your palm and inject a drop of the mixture on the side of the beak. If the chick is not too weak yet, he will readily swallow it.

These chicks are fed every 2 hours even at night. Only after seven days it will be possible to switch to feeding at three-hour intervals, and at night (22.00-6.00) feeding is completely canceled. The amount of the mixture will need to be gradually increased.

At the age of two weeks, fosterlings are fed with small millet porridge and baby cereal mixtures.

At three weeks old cockatiel chicks are already accustomed to eating food with their beaks from a spoon or other container. And the older they get, the better they get at it.

Feeding mix options

There are no difficulties in preparing cockatiel chicks. There are several recipes for feeding these babies, you can choose any of them:

  1. Infant formula powder (1 tbsp) and semolina (2 tbsp) are mixed with crushed calcium glycerophosphate and glucose tablets (three each) and boiled chicken eggs (two pieces). The mixture is given to the chicks.
  2. Calcium gluconate and glucose tablets (2 each) are powdered, as well as one vitamin C dragee, mixed with crumbled white breadcrumbs (one and a half tablespoons) and chopped boiled egg. This mixture is given to chicks from 8-10 days old.
  3. Powder of infant formula (1 tbsp) and semolina (3 tbsp) are mixed with calcium gluconate and glycerophosphate (one tablet each) and boiled egg (one piece), grated carrots (1 tbsp. .l.) and 3-4 drops of fish oil (it can be given no more than once every seven days). This nutrient mixture is fed to chicks at the age of three to four weeks. Daily rate - 1 tsp.

When cockatiel chicks can be taken from their parents

Usually parents feed their offspring for two months.

Learn more