Cockatoos Diet, Nutrition and Feeding
Cockatoos are, for a reason, called the divas of avian planet. These arrogant yet gorgeous birds are very selective about everything they possess. Unhygienic conditions make them uncomfortable; they are annoyed at things against their wishes and they want meals apt to their moods.
These birds are very punctual. They develop their habit very easily according to time. Generally they need to be fed two times a day; once after sunrise and once before sunset. However when they grow older than 40, then the quantity of food given has to be increased and after 80, the quantity has to be reduced again for every meal.
Generally Cockatoo food should be consisted of following food items:
Prepared and formulated food is easily available in market in different diet proportions for different age stages. Pellet food requires no preparation and is full of nutrients but still fresh foods are preferred over it since they provide a variety of tastes, textures and natural nutrients proving to be healthier. Pellets can be given at times when an owner does not have enough time to prepare food or when on a vacation.
A pellet feed can contain excess vitamin C. Vitamin C absorbs iron and an excess can lead to Iron Overload disease; thus the quantity of vitamin C in pellet diet needs to be monitored.
Seeds and Nuts:
These are an important source of nutrition for Cockatoos however an excess should be avoided especially if the caged bird is not much active since seeds and nuts have the potential to make them obese. Quantity should not exceed ¼ to 1 cup (60 to 250 ml) per Cockatoo daily.
Seeds such as safflower, sunflower, fennel, pumpkin etc.; nuts such as pine, pistachio, pecan, film, walnuts, macadamia, peanuts in shells and almonds; and bee pollen, coconut chips, red clover blossoms, calendula flowers, rosemary leaf, basil leaf, papaya and papaya beans, soy beans, orange peel strips, cranberries, nectarines, garden peas, broccolis, peaches, spinach, oat straw and raisins can together produce a healthy and nutritious mixed bird diet and are great foods.
Different combinations of these should be prepared to offer variety to the bird and save it from boredom.
Fresh fruit and Vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables have never been stated to be wrong, when given to any living creature. These should constitute up to 25% of a Cockatoo’s food. Vegetables that have gone pale and yellow should not be offered as the water level in such a commodity becomes high making it low on nutritious level.
Vegetables and fruits should be properly washed, so that any germs and medicated pesticides are drained off and then cut into small pieces that can be easily eatable by the bird. Skin of fruits and vegetables should also be offered to the bird, but its best to first separate it and put in a different dish. Pulses, peas and beans are also encouraged to be offered after being soaked for a while.
Avocado should be avoided on all costs due to the fact that it has been reported to be toxic and noxious for Cockatoos. While apple, apricot, banana, orange peel, papaya, peaches, pineapple etc. are healthy fruits. Broccoli, carrot, corn, celery stalks, peas are some vegetables that can be given.
Human baby meals and formulated diets can also be mixed with fruits and vegetables.
Dry Fruits and Veggies:
Dry fruits and vegetables can be given when fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are not available. Cockatoos love loud sounds and therefore adore the crunchy sounds of dry fruits and veggies. They should be left with dry fruits and veggies and be allowed to play with it; it is a style of these birds to show affection for the food.
Proteins are essential for Cockatoos as they maintain their natural metabolic activity to sustain effective functioning of all body systems. Meals such as egg, toasts, cheese, milk etc. carry essential proteins and should be given regularly.
Vitamin and Minerals:
This need can be fulfilled by a vitamin and mineral rich diet or by use of supplements to cure any deficiencies, an overdose as well as an under dose of vitamins can be harmful thus levels need to be monitored.
Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants for Cockatoos
Every plant cannot be given as a food item. Here is a list of toxic and non-toxic plants which must be a strict guide for every owner.
- Arrow Head
- Calla Lilly
- Devil’s Ivy
- Elder Berry
- Elder berry
- Elephant’s Ear
- Fox Glove
- Jerusalem Cherry
- Water Hemlock
- African daisy
- African Violet
- Aloe plant
- Asparagus fern
- Baby’s tear
- Blood leaf plant
- California Poppy
- Christmas Cactus
- Corn Plant
- Creeping Charlie
- Easter Lily
- Prayer plant
- Rubber plant
- Swedish Ivy
- Umbrella tree
- Wax plant
- Zebra plant