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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just got my cockatiels back, and I am trying to get them to eat better, so I have a weird question. Should they have a meal routine? Like, keeping food out of the cage at night and then giving them breakfast of seeds, pellets, and fruits in the morning? And snacks maybe in the middle and dinner at night? I can't actually find any information on this, so sorry if it is a stupid question.

I would be planning on giving them their seed along with anything else I am introducing, so they don't try to starve until they get their seed.

What does everyone else do? Food is currently accessible to them 24/7, but I feel like I might have more luck getting them to forage and try new things if I put them on a schedule.
 

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I tried the exact same thing not too long ago and it didn't work out well for me. Cockatiels are grazers, they don't eat meals like we do. What I noticed with Kirby was that he would go all these hours without eating and then when I offered him a meal would only eat a few bites and be done.

My own baby boy had a terrible diet; when I first adopted him he was on all seed, and so he's now a seed junkie. He'll eat pellets, if they are the only food available. If there is seed in the cage the pellets will go completely ignored. For awhile, I switched him from an all seed diet to an all pellet diet. Then I learned about how important a diverse diet is, so I struggled for some time trying to make sure he got both (and trying to get him to eat fruits and veggies). I eventually tried scheduling feeding and stopped after just a few days. Here's what FINALLY worked for me:

Pellets:
I keep pellets in his cage 24/7

Seed:
I bought some nutriberries, which are very healthy forms of seeds and are great for seed addicts. He gets one berry in the morning and one in the evening.

Fruits/veggies:
This one's interesting. I take Kirby with me to the rescue I work at, and sometimes we spend all day there. When I spend a long time there, I usually offer him some food, but he doesn't usually want it unless we're at home. After work one day, I stopped by my grandparent's house. They offered me some leftover creamed spinach for dinner, and (as usual) I offered Kirby a sample before I ate. I always did that with my food to try to generate some interest so that I can encourage fruits/veggies. He never accepts the sample I offer him, but that evening I guess he was just too hungry to resist. He loved the spinach, and since then I can't keep him out of my food! :lol: Now, I make sure to have fruits/veggies with each of my meals and share with him (very careful not to let him eat food that might have my saliva on it).

Good luck, sorry for the long post :p
 

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With my cockatiels, I have them on a free feed schedule, too. They have a bowl or bird feeder (Literally a wild bird feeder) that I make sure I keep filled constantly. That way they can eat when they want, on their own schedule.
 

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Joey has a seed/pellet mix on offer at all times. He gets fresh veggies offered daily, usually in the afternoon, although he may or may not eat them.

We hand feed 'treats' which are actually the healthier pellets that he seems to love. If he thinks they are treats, then we will keep feeding them. He's not a huge fan of actual treats for some reason. I keep buying various treats and end up passing them on to mom for her little guy.

He gets a small piece of millet daily. I keep scissors in his tub of food and toys so I can cut off a bit at a time.
 
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