Is It Possible to Get My Cockatoo to Eat More Than Soft Food?
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Is It Possible to Get My Cockatoo to Eat More Than Soft Food?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Jolyne F asks,

I got a cockatoo from a woman I used to take care of.

She only used to feed it soft food.

She would mix her own baby food and add pellets into the food every morning and at night she would do the same she would mix something with the food.

Even his treats, she would moisten them and put them in a bowl and give it to him.

Now that I have him I put pellets in a bowl but all he does is throw them out. I’m not sure how to get him to go from almost food to eating just pellets.

I have tried all different types of food and I even give him treats like peanuts and all he does is crush them up

He is a good weight so he is getting what he needs but I really would like to get him on a normal diet.

Thank you Jolyne

Dear Jolyne

Thank you for taking in this bird. You don’t mention how old the cockatoo is. How long have you had him?

Have you determined what he IS eating that you are giving him? Exactly what are you feeding him? As you state, his weight is good so he is obviously eating some of what you give him. 

If he likes his food moistened, it is not a problem to continue this, but you must remove the moist food within a couple of hours to keep bacteria growth under control. You may have to give him a dish of wet food a couple of times a day.  But in between dry servings and at night only dry food.

If you can manage to serve him his meals on a schedule it may help with his eating patterns. He will learn if he doesn’t consume his wet food during the determined set time frame, then he will be stuck with the dry foods. Over time you can shorten how long you leave the wet food in the cage more and more. 

You can also top his wet food with a cut-up apple and some thawed mixed vegetables. It will encourage him to try those before he reaches for the wet food.

As far as treats like peanuts, also offer them at predetermined times instead of meal times. Consider a Lafeber Nutri-berrie as a treat. It can be moistened as well, and over time, wet it less.

Best of luck



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