How Long Can A Cockatiel Go Without Food?

If you are planning to go on a trip, you might not get someone to feed your birds on time. So, how long can a cockatiel go without food? I will answer this question in the article below.

Your cockatiel should never be left hungry for long periods at all. Cockatiels cannot survive for very long without food and water.

If you need to be out for a long time, ensure your pet bird has access to fresh water at all times so it doesn’t dehydrate.

Moreover, get someone to place pellets, seed mix, leafy vegetables, and fresh fruits in their food bowls regularly.

How Long Can A Cockatiel Go Without Food

In this article, I will talk about how quickly you should replace your birds’ food bowls, how much to feed them, and what to do if they are being fussy and not eating.

Right, so let’s get to it, shall we?

How Long Can a Cockatiel Go Without Food?

As bird owners, you should ensure your pet bird has access to healthy, nutritious food and clean water.

However, if you are unable to feed your cockatiel, the best it can go without food for is about two days (48 hours, not three nights and two days).

After that, your bird will start feeling the effects of starvation.

If you have plans to stay out of the house for longer than that, make sure you fill their bowl of water and food before you go.

If you can’t make it – get someone else to feed them. That is your responsibility, as a pet parent.

How Long Can A Cockatiel Go Without Food?
Do not let your cockatiels go without food for more than a day.

How Much Food Do Cockatiels Need To Live?

A mature adult cockatiel needs around 1.05 -1.41oz pellets per day to be healthy. This is approximately one and a half to two tablespoons of bird feed.

A balanced diet for a cockatiel should include seeds and pellets (about 70%) and fresh green vegetables, fruits, and other treats (about 30%).

If you have cats and dogs at home, you know those pets can eat almost anything and will gladly overeat beyond what they can handle.

Pet owners need to feed them in lesser quantities (and there are even slow feeder bowls to get them to eat less).

But unlike cats or dogs, a cockatiel eats only as much as it needs. You should not try to feed it less than required.

Birds have a very fast metabolism and thus burn through whatever they eat very quickly. So it’s important not to underfeed them – it can be fatal.

How Often Should You Change Your Cockatiel’s Food?

You should ideally change out your cockatiel’s food every day.

Pelleted seeds make up a significant portion of a cockatiel’s daily meals. However, they will only eat a portion of what you serve in their feeding bowl.

So it would be best if you changed it every day or every two days, depending on how much your pet cockatiel consumes.

Change your cockatiel’s food and water bowls once a day.

When it comes to fresh food like vegetables and fruits, remember to change them daily since they can rot quickly if left out in the open for a long time.

They could develop mold and bacteria, which can be risky for your cockatiel.

How Long Can Your Cockatiel Be Left Alone?

Cockatiels are less socially dependent than budgies and other similar birds. They can be left alone for a little longer.

But it’s not recommended to do so for more than one day.

If you go on a longish trip, your cockatiel can manage with a two to three-day supply of pellets, but the water will get contaminated.

And beyond 12 hours, your bird might start getting anxious and stressed out.

So if you plan to go out of town, either take your bird with you or have someone watch your bird.

Also, leaving it alone for a long time can be detrimental to your cockatiel’s mental health as they thrive on social interaction and communication.

What To Do If A Cockatiel Is Not Eating?

Cockatiels need a balanced diet to survive and be healthy. If your pet is not eating, there might be two possible reasons that I can think of.

It might be a sign of sickness.

If your pet is not eating and you see it tired, sleeping at the bottom of the cage, and not interacting, you should take your pet cockatiel to a vet immediately.

If your cockatiel is not eating, it might be a sign of sickness or stress

A healthy cockatiel will never starve itself on purpose.

However, if you’ve just got your pet from a pet store, it might not be eating out of stress.

Once it adjusts to the new environment and becomes comfortable, it will start eating regular portions.

Observe other behavioral patterns to determine if or not your bird’s refusal to eat is a medical emergency.

How Long Can a Cockatiel Go Without Water?

Cockatiels can survive without water for roughly 48 hours. After that, they’ll start feeling the effects of dehydration.

Fresh vegetables and fruits are part of a cockatiel’s healthy diet. Foods such as spinach, berries, kale, etc., tend to have higher water content.

If you keep giving these to your bird, they will remain hydrated even without water.

However, ensure your pet’s water bowl is always filled with fresh water. Never leave it without food and water on purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a cockatiel doesn’t eat?

If your cockatiel is not eating, it might indicate illness or stress. Without food, your cockatiel will experience a state of starvation and lose energy.
So if you notice your bird refusing to eat along with other signs of sickness, you should take it to a vet immediately.

How often should you feed your cockatiel?

You should feed fresh food to your pet cockatiel twice every day. A cockatiel will never eat more than it requires.
So feeding them twice a day should take care of their nutritional requirements.
Also, change the water twice daily because it can get quickly contaminated in the cage with food and bird droppings.

What are the signs of starvation in birds?

Some signs of starvation in birds are ruffled feathers, low energy levels, unsteady movements, loss of balance, and weight loss.
Keep a check on your pet’s weight with the help of a vet.
Another way to tell if your bird is starved is to see if its keel bone, i.e., the bone that runs in the middle of the chest, is sticking out.

Can you force-feed a cockatiel?

As pet owners and bird owners, this is a rule of thumb, never try to force-feed a cockatiel. If your bird refuses food, force-feeding will only agitate it and put the bird under stress.
You can try offering your bird food in different ways and in small portions, but never force them to eat.
If your bird looks sick and is not eating, take it to an avian vet who will feed it food the right way.

Wrap Up

Cockatiels need food like seed pellets, vegetables, and fruits to be healthy.

They can survive for 48 hours without food and water, but beyond that, they’ll enter a state of starvation that can be detrimental to your pet’s health.

Hence, you should never leave your bird without access to food and water.

Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.
Team Beauty of Birds is separate from the “Parrot Parent University” parrot training course and its instructors.

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