Six. That is the number of elements that are essential to the diet of all animals, even humans. These six elements are: Proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fat and minerals. All are essential to the healthy, nutritious, meals that your birds need. So let us take a look and see what they need.
Birds need their protein as it is essential for growth, maintenance and the repair of all body tissue, reproduction and proper organic functions. Stale wheat bread that is soaked in milk is an excellent source of protein for your bird, in the breeding season especially, but can be given to them at any time of the year during the morning. Your bird, once accustomed to it, will eat it readily and may even feed it to its offspring. Any that is left by noon should be taken out as it will sour very quickly. It should not be administered every day as almost every bird is sensitive to milk sugar, and it can cause digestive upsets. A cockatiel can obtain protein from the variety of seeds and green food that should be offered to them regularly. All greens should be washed and dried thoroughly, to remove impurities, before feeding them to your bird. Some other greens that your cockatiel might enjoy include lettuce, endive, curly kale, parsley, spinach, celery, cucumber, turnip greens, sprouting seeds, brussels sprouts, chicory, cabbage heart, zucchini, Swiss chard and watercress.
Nestlings and fledglings also need protein as they grow and form plumage. The reason for this is because feet, beaks, feathers, and skin are composed mainly of protein.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, can come mainly in the form of grains, such as corn and whole oats. You may want to limit the amount you give to your cockatiel as to much carbs can be bad for their plumage.
Your bird has two main sources of fat in its diet. One source is the quantity of fat that is found in their seed. The other source of fat is the carbohydrates, such as corn. The carbohydrates can be turned into fat inside their body. Normally, these two sources are good enough to meet the needs of a bird housed in a cage or aviary. Too much fat can be harmful to a bird though, as is too little. During the cold winter months, more fat is required to be consumed than in the summer months.
Vitamins are probably the most essential micronutrient to humans and animals. Without vitamins, life would be impossible. Vitamins are divided into two groups, the fat-soluble vitamins and the water-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K can be found in various fats and so obviously belong in the first category. Meanwhile, vitamins C, and B complex vitamins are found in water containing substances, so they belong under the second category. Only a tiny quantity of each is enough for a bird, but a deficiency of one or more can lead to any sort of physical problem or disease.
It is fairly well known that minerals should be a part of any bird's diet. The most important mineral is Calcium, because without it, a hen, for example, cannot form an egg. Other minerals that should be present in a bird's diet are phosphorus (P), sodium (Na), Manganese (Mn), iodine (I), potassium (K), chlorine (Cl), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), sulfur (S), and iron (Fe).
Fruit should be available to birds at all times. other than a part of a banana, or seedless raisins, they can have oranges, pears, sweet apples, strawberries, papaya, currants, apricots, fresh pineapple, dates without the pit, lemons, blackberries, raspberries, juniper berries, grapefruits, gooseberries, rowan berries, hawthorn berries (remove the thorns from the twig before serving), figs, peaches, cherries, mandarins, melons, plums, rose hips and wild elder.
Please keep in mind that the berries of the dwarf elder are poisonous. Other poisonous plants are golden rain or laburnum, yew, black and fly honeysuckle, and the bark of the silver birch, and should never, at any time, be given to your cockatiel. Wild honeysuckle, on the other hand, is safe to give to you your bird and will be enjoyed.
Note*** If your bird does not get their fruits and vegtables on a daily basis, then I would suggest going to the local pet store and buying a vitamin mix to put in your birds water every other day. This way, your bird can still get all the necessary nutrients that they need to survive.