Are you wondering why your cockatiels appetite has increased all of a sudden? Well, read on to understand what causes this change of behavior.
Why is my cockatiel eating so much?
Cockatiels or other parrots, in general, will eat so much due to boredom, malnutrition or malabsorption, poor diet, and hormones. An adult cockatiel should eat about 30-40 grams of pellets or seeds per day.
Why do cockatiels overeat?
Apart from becoming destructive, becoming noisy, and picking on other birds bored cockatiels will also tend to eat so much.
The best way to prevent your cockatiel from becoming bored is by providing enough play toys strategically placed in the cage to keep it busy.
Encouraging foraging by using foraging toys among your parrots is an easy way to kill boredom and offer rewards in terms of feeds and at the same time prevent overfeeding.
Malnutrition or Malabsorption
Cockatiels or any other bird for that matter will tend to overeat in search of certain nutrients especially when they are fed an unbalanced diet.
Offering a balanced diet is an easy way to correct overeating.
An unbalanced diet such as an all-seed diet will lead to malnutrition of vitamins and some minerals.
Seeds such as sunflower which cockatiels will prefer more than most other seeds have a high level of fats and very poor concentration of vitamins and minerals.
So cockatiels offered an all-seed diet will tend to overeat as a way of trying to get enough vitamins and minerals.
Cockatiels will experience a surge of certain hormones, especially during the breeding seasons. Their bodies will also need a higher amount of certain minerals and vitamins during these seasons.
As a result, they will tend to overeat so as to provide their bodies with these nutrients. For instance, during the breeding season, female cockatiels and all birds, in general, will need more calcium in their bodies which is used in making eggs in their bodies.
Poor choice of diet
In general, most parrots like eating seeds and grains, and they will show a preference for certain types of seeds or grains over others.
For instance, sunflower is one of the seeds that cockatiels will prefer, so when they are offered a diet containing a lot of sunflower seeds they tend to overeat.
You should always make sure you provide cockatiel with high-quality commercially made pellets first thing in the morning when they are hungry and in the mood to eat, then you can offer seeds and grains plus greens or vegetables and fruits within the day.
How many times do you feed a cockatiel?
Experts recommend feeding cockatiels about twice a day, that is, in the morning and in the evening, using high-quality commercially made pellets.
In between the meals you can offer healthy and fresh fruits, greens and vegetables.
Do cockatiels stress eat?
No, cockatiels do not stress eat, in fact when stressed cockatiels’ appetite will go down and they may not eat at all.
Effects of cockatiels overeating
One of the problems associated with overeating especially when a poor diet is involved in obesity. Obesity occurs when a cockatiel consumes more energy content the feeds they consume is more than that needed by the bird’s body’s metabolic processes and exercise.
Obesity will affect the health of your cockatiel in the long run. Malnutrition will most of the time lead to obesity as the cockatiel tries to consume more to compensate for the missing nutrients.
If your cockatiel has all over sudden started eating more than they normally do. You should check the above factors to determine the cause and seek the help of an avian veterinarian to correct the problem.