Are you looking to buy some pellets for your cockatiel? Not sure which brand is best, or which option to get? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, I am going to be walking you through the top three options to make your decision much easier. And then, I’ll be explaining exactly how to feed them.
These recommendations have met strict criteria to be hand-selected; so rest assured, any feed you decide to go for will serve your ‘tiel well.
But if you are short on time and just want to know what pellets to get, here are the top three:
Best Pellets For Cockatiel
Finding a high-quality pellet for your cockatiel sounds like it should be relatively straightforward. But once you begin looking at the various options, its each to get a little confused.
To help you on your way, I have included the pros and cons of each option against the top three products currently available on the market.
Zupreem Natural Pellets
- Made in the USA specifically for Lovebirds, Quakers, Small Conures and Cockatiels.
- HEALTHY and DELICIOUS. Fresh, wholesome, natural bird food made with vegetables. Precisely formulated with the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids your bird needs every day for a balanced diet.
- ESSENTIAL NUTRITION. Fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Feed daily to provide the foundation of your bird’s diet.
- FEED DAILY to provide your bird essential nutrition for a healthy and balanced diet.
- CONVERT YOUR BIRD TO A HEALTHIER DIET. Converting your bird to a food that includes pellets is worth the effort for his/her health and wellbeing. ZuPreem has been dedicated to producing innovative, high-quality products since 1967.
What I Like About Zupreem Natural Pellets
- Designed and formulated with Cockatiels in mind; ensuring they obtain all the nutrients they need.
- Mixes well with other feeds and seeds,
- Great for hand-feeding,
- Ideal for weaning baby cockatiels off formula,
- Has been a product on the market for over thirty years; so it has a good track record and cockatiels have been reported to have lived a long time being fed this pellet.
What I Don’t Like About Zupreem Natural Pellets
- Cockatiels can become quite dependent on it if it is overfed.
- Pellets are quite hard and difficult to break up.
Lafeber Co. Avi-Cakes Pet Bird Food
- NUTRITIONALLY COMPLETE FORAGING FOOD: formulated by top avian veterinarians and avian nutritionists; offers more foraging than pellets and the same complete nutrition
- SUPERIOR SHAPE FOR FORAGING: the square Avi-Cake shape offers important beak play and exercise, which helps prevent bird boredom and feather picking
- NON-GMO AND HUMAN-GRADE INGREDIENTS: no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS & OMEGA 3&6 BALANCED: help support healthy skin, feathers, and immune system
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: we are a small family company that works hard to produce gourmet pet bird food, which is why we're confident in offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee
What I Like About Lafeber Avi-Cakes
- 50% Pellet, 50% seed ratio will save you money, time and ensure complete nutrition by providing more nutrition per serving.
- Two sizes are available; 0.5 lbs or 20lbs depending on how much you want to get. The 20lbs size should last ~ 40 weeks.
- Can be broken up by hand to reduce the serving size, or offer them whole to let your ‘tiel pick them apart.
What I Don’t Like About Lafeber Avi-Cakes
- Becomes crunchy and hard when it is no longer fresh. Birds will likely refuse it.
Hagen Tropican Bird Food
- Premium Food: Tropican Lifetime Formula provides proper daily nutrition for fledged juvenile to adult parrots. The lower protein and calcium formula is for companion birds who are not molting or under any other stress such as cooler temperatures.
- Necessary Nutrients: It’s an excellent peanut-derived source of fat and protein, as well as a source of essential grains that complement amino acid profiles; all critical for the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle for fledged juvenile to adult parrots.
- Helps with Eating: These 4mm granules break cleanly and do not explode into fine powder like pellets do. The parrot is able to hold the rest of the morsel and eat the piece it broke off with ease.
- Ideal For: Lifetime Formula is suitable for fledged juveniles up to adult Parrots. It can also be fed to smaller psittacine species throughout all life stages and who are in breeding season.
- Recommended Species: 4mm granules are ideal for larger parrot species such as: Conures, Caiques, Quakers, Pionus, Amazons, Macaws, Cockatoos, and Greys.
What I Like About Hagen Tropican Bird Food
- Available in two different pellet sizes; ensuring you can minimize waste by finding a size most suitable for your bird.
- Can be used to help transition a cockatiel off a seed-based diet,
- Free from added colors and unnecessary added ingredients,
- Ideal for birds with a delicate digestive system or digestive issues.
- Multiple sources of protein, no prep needed, and free of all shells and husks, eliminating messy waste.
What I Don’t Like About Hagen Tropican Bird Food
- Strong smelling; while some owners report it as fruity and enticing, others have described it as unique and unpleasant.
How Many Pellets To Feed Your Cockatiel
It is generally advised to offer a cockatiel between 1.5-2 level tablespoons (30-40g) of pellet per day, split into two meals.
Pellets have been formulated to meet all your cockatiel’s nutritional needs, although some brands and formulations are designed for birds of different life stages.
It is generally best to follow any feeding recommendations on the product packaging. Better still would be to consult with an avian vet about your cockatiel’s own individual nutritional and feeding needs.
The younger you start offering your cockatiel pelleted feed; the better.
It can be challenging to convert older cockatiels over to a pelleted diet – and they may even refuse the food.
Nevertheless, it is generally advised to begin with a small amount of any new food at first – mixing it in with the “old” and gradually increasing the “new” over a week-long period.
Ultimately, pellets are the ideal diet; and around 75% of the diet should consist of this nutritionally balanced feed.
The remaining 25% should be made up of certain vegetables, seeds, and some safe fruits.
This variety is key for ensuring the health of your bird.
Seeds are highly palatable, but due to their high fat and carbohydrate content and are quite nutrient-poor; so should only make up a small part of the diet and never be exclusively fed.
When To Feed Your Cockatiel Pellets
Pellets should be offered to your cockatiel twice per day, in the morning and again in the early evening. This schedule imitates the natural eating behaviors of cockatiels in the wild.
Pellets should be served in a shallow dish; but if you have more than one cockatiel, you should ensure they have a dish each to ensure the bird(s) at the bottom of the pecking order get a chance to eat.
Pellets are a fantastic dietary staple for cockatiels. Assuming they are nutritionally balanced and complete.
But as you may have realized already; not all brands or manufacturers of pellets are equally as good.
Thankfully, with a little bit of research and comparison, I have been able to distinguish the good from the bad.
And in all honesty, you won’t go wrong with any of the three pellets recommended here today.
Besides, if you head over to the respective Amazon pages, you’ll soon see for yourself.
That’s a lot of positive reviews to get through – many from fellow ‘tiel owners whose birds have been living and thriving on these foods for years.
So head over there, take a look and pick yourself some up while your at it 👇
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.