My Cockatiel is Too Skinny

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Basic Symptoms:

If you feel your cockatiel is too skinny but otherwise is alert, happy and healthy, you might want to look into a couple of possible causes.

Many new cockatiel owners do not realized that they need to refresh and clean their bird's seeds everyday. Cockatiels will not eat the shell of the seeds. Make sure your cockatiel always have new and complete seeds everyday.

Cockatiels love millet and that is OK, but millet should only be use as a treat and not as a main source of a cockatiel's diet. Millet to cockatiels is like popcorn to humans.

If your cockatiel is very active, it might not be receiving enough calories in its diet. The best cockatiel diet is variety, do check our nutritional section for ideas about your tiel eating right.

If you feel that your cockatiel do have a proper diet and is eating but still is too skinny, you might want to see an avian vet, as it might be an underlying reason for certain illnesses like diabetes or parasites.

As always the information offered here is to provide guidance and is not intended to be a substitute for the good advice provided by your own avian vet. When in doubt always consult your own veterinarian.

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What should a cockatiel weight?

A healthy adult cockatiel can weigh from 72 – 170 grams. Birds with an inbred history, as well as certain color mutations, are much more likely to be on the small side.

How to help your cockatiel gain weight

If you have ruled out any underlying diseases on your cockatiel but your bird is still too skinny, you can try a temporary diet that will complement your bird's current feeding habits.

Cockatiels are notoriously picky eaters, and many tend to pick through their food bowls and eat only their favorite items, even when they are served a mix of great variety.

Several items that you can add to your cockatiel's feeding bowl that are packed with lots of calories and nutrition are peanuts, sunflower seeds and millet spray. It's very important that you don't overdo it, as too much of anything is also not good for your bird.

It's highly advisable that you get yourself a bird scale, there are relatively inexpensive and they do go a long way as it will help you determine if your bird is in good shape, weight wise. Any time you notice a fluctuation from your bird's normal weight amounting to an ounce or more in either direction, your best bet is to check with your avian vet to make sure that your bird's diet is on the right track.