Please see the attached document for a fantastic healthy eating guide, provided by Animal Enrichment Australia (previously known as Kirsty’s Bird Toys). Kirsty sells affordable, hand made, and natural toys which are enjoyed much more than standard pet store ones.
REMEMBER TO CHECK SITES CONFIRMING THE PLANT IS SAFE!
1. PLANTING SEEDS
- With time you’ll find the perfect ratio between soil underneath and above seeds – the more soil used overall the better. Approx 1 inch above seeds.
- Lightly spread evenly both under and over the seeds, but don’t compact – roots and shoots need room to grow through.
- Water the soil with a spray/mist bottle until it’s all dark brown. Note the colour before it’s been watered so you know in the future when it will need watering
- Sprinkle seeds in one layer – they can be touching if you want, so essentially you can use as much as you want, as long as they aren’t on top of each other (doesn’t have to be perfect)
- Don’t fill the pot completely to the top because it will rise slightly as the shoots start to grow.
- Water the soil with a spray/mist bottle until it’s all dark brown.
2. WAITING FOR SEEDS TO SPROUT
- Place plastic over the top of the pot/place it loosely in a plastic bag or something similar and leave it in a dark place. Check on it every day or two to see if it needs watering (if all/most of the soil is light brow), but won’t need it often.
- Depending on what you’re growing the seeds can start shooting from about 5 days to 1-2 weeks. Once you start to see the shoots coming through the soil remove the plastic and put it in the sun and water as usual (with a spray/mist bottle until it’s all dark brown)
3. AS THE PLANT GROWS/MAINTAINING GROWTH
- Try to give it direct sunlight at least for an hour every day. I like to offer it to the birds one day, then leave it in the sun for a few hours the next day. This gives optimum growth and also keeps the birds from getting bored
- Depending on how much sun it gets will depend how much water it needs. Check the soil and once most/all of it is light brown water as usual (with a spray/mist bottle until it’s all dark brown)
- I’m still working on finding the perfect balance of sun and water, but this is the best I’ve found so far, but keep a mental note of it all so you can figure out what’s best. It may vary for different plants
Caution: Wheat grass is easiest to grow, but with finer shoots like linseed and those that come through with a bird seed mix, you need to be very delicate with watering, otherwise you will flatten them and render it useless, looking something like the picture on the left)
WHAT SOIL TO USE
As far as I’m aware this is the best quality, is bird safe and only $2.18 from Bunnings!! The only problem is it makes 9L and you have to make it all. It’s ok to keep it in a bucket until you need to use it again.
- In my opinion wheat grass and the bird seeds you buy for them to eat are the best. They’re easy to grow, very healthy, and my birds love it. The best sprouts you can get are from health food shops or markets. Ensure you only get ones from Australia or other countries you know have high standards. Avoid ones from China.
- Kmart and Bunnings sell small packets of Sprouts and Wheatgrass for about $5 which works out much more expensive and I find the birds don’t enjoy them as much.
- Most supermarkets have a ‘crunchy combo’ too which is convenient but more expensive than buying from the markets. I also worry about pesticides on those.
- As usual, suggestions are welcome once you’ve tried it out on your birds.
As usual I refer you to Cockatiel Cottage for more information. This website is a fantastic source for all information on Cockatiels.
- Safe Foods, Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs & Treats
- Safe & Toxic Plants
- Healthy & Toxic Table Foods
- PELLET VS. SEED DIETS
- Types of Diets
- Introducing New Foods