Cockatoo Feeding Problems, Keeps Tossing Food

Cockatoo Feeding Problems, Keeps Tossing Food

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Arlene comments, 

Just hoping this will work to stop my cockatoo from scraping out all of her food out of the bird cage feeder dish. Do you have any suggestions if you think this will work or if you carry anything better? 

Hi Arlene,

How full are you filling the bird cage dishes?

If to the top, the bird is just digging away to reach its favorites and dumping the rest. I recommend you fill the bird food feeder cups only a third to a half full and see if that helps. If you can, let the bird go without bird food a couple hours before giving a small scoop again. Your days off are good for this.

The bird sounds spoiled or it really does not like the food. What are you feeding it now? What kind of cockatoo and how old, how long have you had it?

Arlene responded,

Would you believe I barely cover the bottoms of the dishes with her food? It is costing me so much money in waste that it has just gotten completely out of hand. She is kind of naughty I have to admit, but a sweetheart also. 

I bought her a year ago and they said about 3 years old then. So anywhere from 3 to 5 years old but has never laid an egg, so her age is questionable. Talked to a bird expert that told me cockatoos sexually mature at about 4 years old. So I’m guessing she is possibly getting sexually mature.

She was already tossing out the food when I bought her, so the people were placing a dish in the bottom of the cage they had her in in the center of it to try to keep some of the mess inside the cage. I think that was a factor in finding her a new home. She is a smaller lesser sulfur-crested cockatoo. 

She loves the food I give her but I have never yet seen a cockatoo that didn’t toss their food out. Have to admit though none I had before even came close to being as bad as the too I have now. I worry about her even getting enough to eat. 

As soon as I place the cup in the bird cage she goes to eat but when she goes to take the pellet, she is already tossing the food about until she has one in her beak. Then she stops and eats that, but then back to the same routine again for the next pellet. 

The people that had her fed her such a terrible diet so I am still trying hard to get her to even eat anything good for her. Slow process!

You’re are feeding pellets to a cockatoo? Although it is not unusual, we are hearing that cockatoos don’t always do well on pelleted diets. It does not satisfy their need for variety and foraging. 

Have you tried a mixed diet, seeds, pellets with fresh veggies table and fruit in another dish? 

This mix from Hagen bird food is very good, seeds, nuts, grains, pellets, dried fruits and veggies. A complete diet. 

I also preferred to feed my birds on the bottom of the cage in a large heavy crock, placed on the center of a big piece of newspaper. Then as they tossed the food, some would end up on the paper to give them a second chance at it. 

I admit to not being a bird behaviorist, but you may wish to contact one. 

Keep me up to date on her progress. Please.

From Allen,

I feed my cockatoo the fruity pellets, a safflower seed Parrot mix by L’Avian, then I offer her the L’Avian Bean Cuisine cookable mix, plus try to get her to eat a bit of fruit and veggies. She wasn’t ever fed fresh food so she doesn’t do much with them other than if there is corn in it. Had such a terrible diet, poor bird. One bag they sent with me was wild bird food! Cheap stuff at that.

I buy unsweetened cereals and offer those as a treat. I just need to keep the food in the dishes long enough to get her to eat it! LOL

Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

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