You should never do something as terrible as cutting your cockatiel’s food supply, but there might be several reasons as to why your cockatiel isn’t eating. So, you’re bound to wonder how long cockatiels can go without food.
Cockatiels can live for about 2 days, or 48 hours, without food, and after this time your bird’s survival instincts will start to kick in. However, many people suggest that the actual amount of time is much less, from 18-24 hours. It’s important to make sure that your cockatiel always has fresh water and food.
Once again, you should always avoid a scenario which would cause your cockatiel not to eat properly, or where you wouldn’t be able to feed your cockatiel on time, but generally, cockatiels can live for up to a day or two without food.
Now, we will discuss this more in depth, as well as when and how much food to give your cockatiel, and what kind.
What if You Have to Leave Your Cockatiel Alone?
Circumstances may arise where you have no choice but to leave home for several hours or days at a time. This may cause you to wonder about what to do with your cockatiel.
Is it OK to Leave Your Cockatiel Alone?
You may have a long day at work, you may have to go away for the weekend, or a family emergency could arise that forces you to have to leave for a bit.
Of course, these should be the only reasons why you would leave your cockatiel alone; otherwise, you may want to reconsider even having a cockatiel at all.
Just like any other animal, cockatiels need fresh water and food on a daily basis, and several times a day, too. And, cockatiels require social interaction, unlike some other animals, so you need to be around your cockatiel for as long as possible.
However, if you absolutely must leave your cockatiel alone, there is nothing saying you shouldn’t. Here’s what to do depending on how long you need to be away.
Taking Care of Your Cockatiel While You’re Gone
- Leaving your cockatiel alone for a short time (several hours-one day)
If you’re simply going to have a long day at work, or you’re going to be going away just for the day, you can leave your cockatiel at home. It’ll especially be fine if you have more than one cockatiel.
Try to have some music or a television show playing softly in the background so your cockatiel doesn’t get lonely. Some Cockatiels like music more than others. Some even dance to it! Read this article to learn more about the benefits of music!
Also, make sure that your cockatiel’s cage has enough toys to keep your cockatiel busy.
And, of course, make sure that your cockatiel has fresh food and water for the day. If you want to leave some treats for your Cockatiel while you are gone, we show you 15 awesome treats here!
- Leaving your cockatiel alone for a long time (several days)
If you’re planning to be away for more than a day, you will have to make some improvisions. Cockatiels cannot live for more than a day or two without food and water without suffering from dire consequences, including death.
And if you’ll be away for a while, your cockatiel will certainly suffer. If you can’t take your cockatiel with you, have someone come to your house and pet sit, or leave your cockatiel with someone you trust until you get back.
Your cockatiel might initially be scared of a different person, but this is better than what would happen if it’s left without food.
Now, let’s talk about how often you should feed your cockatiel and what to do if your cockatiel isn’t eating at all.
When and How Much to Feed Cockatiels
Since cockatiels are small animals, they will naturally need a lot less food more often than your other pets will. You’ll be surprised to know how little cockatiels eat, especially if you’re used to caring for much larger animals like dogs or cats.
Cockatiels must be given fresh food and water at least twice per day, if not more. And, the food has to be cut into small pieces, none of them being more than a half an inch in size. This is because anything much larger will be difficult for your cockatiel to swallow.
You probably already know that most of your cockatiel’s diet will consist of seeds and pellets, so if you’re going away for the day, it’s fine to simply leave seeds and pellets for your cockatiel since they won’t go bad as quickly.
However, if you want to give your cockatiel fresh food, such as vegetables or fruits, you should clear the cage of any remaining food after about an hour to prevent any food from rotting.
If you’ll be giving your cockatiel something that needs to be cooked, such as meat or eggs, make sure that it is cooked completely and that it has cooled off before you give any to your cockatiel.
Cockatiels will rarely overeat, and it’s not something that you may ever notice. They typically will eat about 15 grams every day.
It is also important to mention that your cockatiel needs fresh water at least twice per day, too, and everything you provide your cockatiel needs to be in a clean container. Cockatiels can’t go long without water as we explain in this article here.
Perhaps purchase two of each bowl or dish so that you will still have something to put your cockatiel’s food in while the other is being washed.
What if my Cockatiel is Not Eating?
Some people want to know how long cockatiels can live without food because they have noticed that their cockatiel is simply not eating.
There are a variety of reasons why this could be, but it’s recommended that you take your cockatiel to its avian vet instead of attempting to diagnose its problem on your own.
If you just got your pet, give it a few days to see if it adjusts to its new environment. Cockatiels tend to be stressed in new environments, and therefore, they will not be inclined to eat as much as they should.
If you feel that your Cockatiel might be scared, we recommend reading our articles on that below. They will surely help you:
- 6 Reasons why your parrot is afraid of you and what might help!
- 10 Things parrots are afraid of!
- Are Cockatiels afraid of cats?
Considering that your cockatiel is healthy, it won’t starve itself to death. This is also the case if you have made any changes to your cockatiel’s diet. You may want to call the person you got your cockatiel from or your vet to see what suggestions they have for your cockatiel’s food.
There is also a chance that your cockatiel is sick, and this is usually evident through other symptoms besides your cockatiel not eating, such as that it will be quiet or still. In this case, you need to give your vet a call for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
How long do cockatiels live?
Of course, there are many factors which determine how long your cockatiel will live for. But it’s generally accepted that cockatiels living in the wild live for about 15 years, whereas cockatiels living in captivity (in a home) can live for even 20 years or more.
How long can cockatiels be left alone for?
A lot of people suggest that cockatiels shouldn’t be left alone for more than 5 hours or so, but in reality, going to your full-time job should be fine. Make sure you have an hour to spend with your cockatiel and that it has all the entertainment it needs while you’re gone.
How long can cockatiels survive without water?
Just like with food, you should never leave your cockatiel for more than a few hours without water. They can live for about less than a day before suffering from dehydration. You always want to make sure your cockatiel has fresh water.