Keeping your cockatiel healthy

Note that you are your bird’s cook, caterer, housekeeper, and taxi service. You can help your cockatiel live longer by providing healthy food, clean living conditions, and a trip to the vet if necessary. Cockatiels are generally healthy unless they are kept in dirty, crowded conditions, or given incorrectly. Provide filtered sunlight during the day, fresh food and water every day, and clean your cockatoo’s cage twice a week or more as needed. Get rid of uneaten fruits and vegetables from your bird’s cage within a couple of hours after feeding. Your bird may be sick if it has dirty feathers, is sitting in a corner of its competition or has watery eyes or has diarrhea.

You (and your cockatoo) are what they eat

Domestic parrots are often fed a convenient but “junk food” diet of packaged parrot seeds, water, and resolution. Like humans, cockatoos depend on a variety of vitamins, minerals, and proteins to stay healthy. The addition of hearty greens, grated carrots, and hard-boiled egg yolk provides the healthy food needed for a long life. Calcium is very important for the breeding of female cockatoos, whose calcium reserves can be lost over time when laying eggs. Provide breeding birds with plenty of oyster shell sand and cuttlefish bones. Captive birds can also develop a nutritional deficiency. Grated carrots and cooked yams can help boost vitamin levels.

Cockatoos are designed for long-haul flights; in the wild, they fly many miles daily in search of food and water. Pet cockatoos don’t have room for this kind of extreme exercise.

Safety tips for cockatoos

Cockatoos can live 20 years or more if they are properly cared for. Practicing common sense and home safety can add years to your bird’s life. Never leave cockatoos unsupervised with young children or household pets. Inside the wild, cockatoos feed on the surface. Pet cockatoos enjoy exploring floors, but are easily stepped on and can become targets for cats and dogs when allowed to stick to the floor. Avoid putting your cockatiel in direct sunlight without providing a source of shade. Cockatoos enjoy being outdoors in their cages, but require normal water and shade to avoid heat stroke and dehydration. Your current bird is too hot if it gasps and keeps its wings slightly away from its body. If the bird appears sick or injured, take it to the vet right away. Birds instinctively go out of their way to hide illness, so if your bird appears to be sick, it’s time to see your vet.

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