Recommended Food

   Our babies and adults are fed Kaytee Exact® Pellets for Cockatiels. Sometimes we supplement with a little Zupreem Fruitblend, which is a colorful, sweet smelling pellet. We also feed a variety of fruits, veggies, and "other" foods:
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Rice
  • Cheerios and other grain cereals, like Total
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Cooked Pasta
  • Bread
  • Turnip Greens
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens

About ethyoxyquin. I get a great many e-mails informing me about the preservative ethoxyquin, which is found in Kaytee's Exact pellets. The lesson here is do not believe everything you read on the internet! I've read the avian medicine journals, I've read the FDA's report on ethoxyquin. Like pretty much everything in the world, EQ is only considered toxic at ridiculously high levels. And that can be said for other preservatives and things put into people food too. I've read rants from bird owners regarding EQ and liver damage, even though no connection has been found between the two at normal dosage levels, and all I can say is that the best diet for your pet bird is a widely varied one. So please don't send me any e-mails on the subject, I don't care what you read on the internet. Pick up a few journals and learn the facts: there is no connection in psittacines and ethoxyquin to cancer. If you choose to use something preservative-free, keep in mind you will have to buy it more often and in smaller quantities, lest your bird's food go bad.

About "sugary" pellets. I keep hearing from supposed bird "experts" that you should not feed your bird any of the fruit pellets that smell sweet. The reason? Birds will become accustomed to the sugar and eventually become very picky, refusing to eat vegetables, etc. This is a load of garbage. It has been shown the cockatiels are insensitive to the sugars fructose, sucrose, and glucose (Nutrition of birds in the order psittaciformes, 2001, Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery). Why? Because they are not "ecologically relevant." Meaning: cockatiels are not nectivores, they are granivores, and are less likely to encounter these sugars regularly in the wild. I should also mention here that parrots have a very poor sense of taste because they have very few taste buds. So you don't need to worry about your bird rejecting fruits and veggies because it is on a perpetual sugar high. ;)