A cockatiel weighs around 80-120g. When your cockatiel doesn’t fall within the range, you should think how to make cockatiel gain weight so that it can enhance the health condition.
There are many reasons for a cockatiel to remain underweight and some of them include poor diet pattern, depression, genetic problems, and poor eating behaviors. As a cockatiel parent, you need to take some measures to let your cockatiel gain weight.
So, how to make cockatiel gain weight?
- Rework on the diet chart.
- Control the activity level if your cockatiel is hyperactive.
- Separate from other birds and give attention.
- Increase in food quantity.
- Regular communication with your bird.
- Use weight gain supplement.
In this article, I will tell you how to work on each one of these solutions based on my experiences and the vet’s advice.
Home remedies to make cockatiel gain weight
Rework on the diet chart
Cockatiels are picky eaters and often tend to pick less healthy ones in their meals which can affect their calorie levels. When your cockatiel is losing weight, it is an indicator that he is lacking protein and fat.
This technique worked wonders as I did not give him the option to choose other foods whenever peanuts were given. Over time, he enjoyed having peanuts. In addition to peanuts, you need to give them ample sunflower seeds and grains as they enjoy eating them and also gain desired calorie levels.
Ensure he does not turn overweight. In that case, we have another article to guide you with simple and effective remedies – how to make cockatiel lose weight?
Control the activity level if your cockatiel is hyperactive
Sometimes, cockatiels tend to be hyperactive or can be pestered by other birds in the same cage which can make them lose weight.
If your cockatiel is too active, you need to control his activity levels by restricting his place and moving toys away from him. This approach can give him the chance to sit idle for some days that can increase weight due to carbs content in his body.
Separate from other birds and give attention
If you have several birds at your home, your cockatiel can be losing weight because you do not give him the desired individual attention. Sometimes, the thin cockatiel might be stamped by another bird as well and we have a guide to address that scenario – Why is my budgie standing on other budgie?
In that case, all you need to do is pick him separately and handfeed him for a few days. While this can be a tiresome job, you can see him gaining weight rapidly and this is a plus for his mental health as well.
In the long run, separating from other birds cannot be feasible. However, a temporary separation is good since you tend to know what his wants and health issues are.
Make note of the health conditions of other cockatiels as well. It so happens that one cockatiel loses weight because of a disease and this quickly passes on to other birds. This is another redlight that you should be aware of.
Increase in food quantity
A cockatiel needs to be fed twice a day with 2 tablespoons (~30 grams) of pellets or seeds. In addition to a solid diet, you should also give him the option to drink water adequately.
When your bird is underweight, it is a good idea to give him 3-4 tablespoons (~45-60 grams) of pellets or seeds a day. This will not only give him the energy to stay active but also let him gain weight faster.
Regular communication with your bird
Mental health of a bird is often underestimated. Just like you and me, a bird can suffer from isolation and loneliness. If you are away from home for a few days or if the human interaction with the bird is poor or if the cockatiel is alone all day, he/she can suffer from stress.
This is dangerous if this has been the case for quite a long time. Here are a few things to do to enhance your cockatiel’s mental health.
- Allocate multiple playtimes each day.
- Give your cockatiel ample space to explore your home.
- Introduce another bird as he recovers from stress.
- Give him as many toys as possible.
- Talk to him regularly and establish a physical touch.
You need to know which birds to pair up with your cockatiel. We have a detailed guide for the same – What birds can be kept with cockatiels?
Use weight gain supplement
If none of the steps mentioned above works for your cockatiel, you should take your bird to an avian vet who would possibly suggest a multivitamin supplement for weight gain.
Here is one supplement that has worked wonders – Bird Superfood (from The Missing Link)
The advantage of supplements is that the appetite of your cockatiel increases and the diet gets balanced with all essential nutrients in each meal.
Note. Do not give supplements for weight gain without consulting your vet.
How do I know if my cockatiel is underweight?
Your cockatiel is underweight if he weighs below 80g and keel bones become visible and sharp.
In that case, your cockatiel can also run out of muscles and become excessively skinny.
The shape of your bird is just sufficient to determine if he is in the right shape or not. Pet Food Manufacturers Association has released a bird size-o-meter that informs the absence of breast muscle and fat cover. Further, the breast bone becomes sharp to touch. This is an indicator to confirm that the cockatiel is underweight.
If you touch your bird, you can easily spot it out.
Here is a guide for touching budgies and you can apply the same technique for cockatiels as well. Do budgies like to be touched?
Cockatiel weight chart
A baby cockatiel below 7 weeks weighs between 5 and 95 grams based on the age (in weeks) but an adult cockatiel weighs between 80 and 120 grams.
Here is a cockatiel weight chart to help you track the weight based on your bird’s age.
Making your cockatiel gain weight is a hassle-free task as long as he does not have any other health complications. As a cockatiel parent, it is also highly advisable to make use of a bird scale to accurately measure weight differences.
As you follow the methods mentioned in this article, you should see a significant change in the weight of your cockatiel in 7 days. Promise!