Bird treats from the pet store are okay in a pinch, but they often contain little to no nutritional value for your pet. For this reason, we recommend only offering such treats to your cockatoo if you’re in a pinch. Though it may take a little extra time and forethought, making your own bird treats is a much healthier and cheaper alternative. When you DIY treats, you can control what goes into every recipe so each can be catered to your individual bird’s tastes.
Read on to find our favorite DIY treats your cockatoo will love.
The 13 DIY Cockatoo Treats
1. DIY Nutriberries by Flying Fids
This YouTube video is a great instructional on how to make healthy Nutriberry treats for your cockatoo. You’ll need dates, dried figs, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, spray millet, oats, and your bird’s pellets. A food processor is necessary to combine the ingredients.
Tip: When choosing dried fruits for this recipe, avoid any containing preservatives or added sugars as neither is good for your cockatoo. In addition, use unsalted nuts, as too much salt isn’t healthy for your bird.
2. DIY Blueberry Sweet Potato Treats by The Happy Cockatoo
This soft-baked treat recipe pairs two extremely healthy foods that most cockatoos enjoy – sweet potatoes and blueberries. All you’ll need is a cup of flour, mashed sweet potatoes, and blueberries. Mix the ingredients and bake for 25 minutes.
Tip: Try different ingredients every time you make this recipe. While sweet potatoes work great as the base, you can also use pumpkin or butternut squash. Mix up the add-ins by trying leafy greens or berries.
3. DIY Sweet Potato Balls by Allrecipes
Keeping with the sweet potato theme, these nutrition-packed bird balls are an easy-to-put-together snack for your cockatoo. You likely already have most of the ingredients for this recipe on hand – sweet potatoes, bananas, mixed vegetables, raisins, apples, and oatmeal.
Tip: Keep out just one or two balls to serve your cockatoo, and freeze the rest as they keep very well in the freezer. Put them in a resealable plastic baggie, and they’ll keep for months.
4. DIY Savoury Grain Bake by Three Birds and a Cloud
While this grain bake recipe needs several ingredients, the result is a savory casserole-like treat your cockatoo will love. You’ll need to raid your pantry for a few types of grains, including lentils, wild rice, couscous, and pasta, as well as mung and black beans.
Tip: This recipe makes quite a few servings, but it is freezer-friendly. Leave frozen portions to thaw overnight and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to warm them before serving. Check the temperature to ensure it won’t burn your pet.
5. DIY Seed Cookies by PDS Non-profit
This recipe for seed cookies requires just four ingredients you likely already have on hand. Mashed sweet potatoes form the base of the cookies, alongside flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix all the ingredients and scoop them onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are golden.
Tip: Don’t have sweet potatoes? That’s okay! Another great seed cookie recipe calls for 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup oats, 2 tbsp crushed nuts or seeds, 2 tsp cinnamon, and one ripened banana.
6. DIY Bird Pudding by Cockatiel Cottage
Cornmeal is the main ingredient in this easy-to-make bird pudding. All you need to do is add the cornmeal to a pot of boiling water and stir until it thickens. Then, add your bird’s favorite pellets, two baby food jars, and veggies. Serve the pudding warm to your cockatoo and refrigerate the leftovers.
Tip: Though the recipe calls for jars of baby food sweet potatoes and applesauce, you can choose whatever flavors your cockatoo enjoys best. Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors to find a combination that drives your bird wild.
7. DIY Bird Bread by Cockatiel Cottage
Countless bird bread recipes are online, but the key is finding one that doesn’t take unhealthy shortcuts. This recipe is one of our favorites because the ingredients are easy to find, and most are likely already in your pantry. You’ll need your bird’s pellets, an egg, a small jar of baby food, and crumbled Nutriberries.
Tip: Since most birds love Nutriberries, including them in the recipe will draw your pet toward its healthy snack.
8. DIY Peanut Butter Crackers
Peanut butter is one of those foods universally loved across many species, so including it in your bird’s homemade treats will surely be a home run.
One of the easiest snacks you can make for your cockatoo is peanut butter and crackers. Simply smear some PB onto a cracker and watch your bird go nuts for it. Of course, crackers aren’t the healthiest food for birds, so keep this snack as an occasional special treat.
Tip: Use natural peanut butter without sugars added, and opt for crackers without salt.
9. Yogurt Covered Strawberries
This tasty treat is one you’ll probably like, too.
Cut up some strawberries into sizes your cockatoo can easily grasp. Dip the fruit into yogurt and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Freeze them to harden them, and then serve a piece or two to your bird at a time. Yogurt should only be offered in moderation as it is dairy and can upset your pet’s tummy.
Tip: Choose plain yogurt, as the flavored varieties are too high in sugar.
Though serving up a tasty breakfast omelet for your cockatoo might sound strange, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse for birds. They are packed with protein, calcium, and vitamins like A and D.
To make an omelet, crack an egg into a freezer-friendly storage bag, such as those from Ziploc. Add some of your cockatoo’s favorite ingredients, like sunflower seeds or millet. Squeeze the excess air from the bag and zip it closed. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the bag in. Let it cook for approximately 14 minutes to ensure the egg is cooked thoroughly.
Once it’s cooked, remove the bag and place it on a cutting board. Cut open one side and slide the omelet onto your working surface. Let it cool completely before serving it. Discard any leftovers after an hour to prevent bacteria growth.
Tip: Chop up some of your cockatoo’s favorite veggies and add them to the bag with your egg.
11. DIY Frozen Fruit Pops
Frozen fruit pops are a fantastic summer treat for both you and your cockatoo, and they’re super simple to make. All you need to do is combine oat or almond milk with fresh or frozen fruit in a blender. Add some water as needed to make it the right consistency. Then, pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze overnight.
Tip: Try different milk and fruit combinations to see which your cockatoo prefers most.
12. Peanut Butter Apples
Cockatoos often love apples’ sweet, crunchy texture, so incorporating them into a tasty snack is usually a win for bird owners. Of course, you already know that PB is a favorite snack for many birds, so try smearing it on top of your bird’s apples for a surprise snack.
Tip: Up-level your apple and peanut butter snack game by sprinkling your cockatoo’s favorite bird seed on top. This results in a sweet and savory treat that most birds go wild for.
13. Veggies and Peanut Butter
Pair your cockatoo’s favorite vegetable with peanut butter for a sweet, buttery, and healthy treat. Cover the veggie in smooth or crunchy peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed.
Tip: Celery or carrots work particularly well for this recipe.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on treats for your cockatoo when you can make ones just as tasty and even healthier with the ingredients you have at home. As a bonus, since you’re controlling everything going into each recipe, you can customize it to your cockatoo’s tastes.
Featured Image Credit: Vicki Nunn, Pixabay