Cockatiels, like all birds, are very adapt at concealing their illness. This is a self-preservation mechanism, as the sick and the weak are the ones predators will focus on. By the time your cockatiel looks ill, you can assume that your pet is seriously sick and is likely to deterioriate quickly unless appropriate treatment is provided.
By observing your cockatiel daily you will learn its normal behavior and you will be able to notice anything out of the ordinary. Below is a list of things to look out for as possible indicators of disease / illness; and a vet may need to be consulted.
More prone to disease, appear mentally retarded or undeveloped
Lack of coordination, appears drunk
Falls off perch at night
Bruising/bleeding wing tips, abdomen, pectoral muscles, prone to trauma and falling, many genetic problems (mainly due to overbreeding particularly when this mutation was still new and rare. In general, lutino cockatiels are stronger nowadays)
Diseases / Health Problems Cockatiels Commonly Come Down With:
Vitamin A and calcium deficiency are the most common deficiencies seen in seed junkies. Since seeds are higher in fat than many other foods, many seed eaters are often obese as well. Please also refer to "Calcium Metabolism in Birds".
Vitamin A Deficiency: Vitamin A promotes appetite, digestion, and also increases resistance to infection and to some parasites.
Introducing healthy foods - such as green leafy vegetables; red or orange fruits and veggies (which contain beta-carotene) - is a natural way to provide this nutrient safely. Calcium blocks should be provided also, to prevent calcium deficiency.
Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.
Please note: Any content published on this site is commentary or opinion, and is protected under Free Speech. It is only provided for educational and entertainment purposes, and is in no way intended as a substitute for professional advice. Avianweb / BeautyOfBirds or any of their authors / publishers assume no responsibility for the use or misuse of any of the published material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.