Greens should make up some portion of your 'tiel's variety diet. Sprouting seeds is one painless way to offer them.
| As seeds release
vital nutrients as they germinate, sprouted seeds are a healthy treat.
For stubborn 'tiels who won't touch anything but dry seed, soaked seeds
(for 24 hours) and then sprouted seeds make an excellent introduction
to fresh foods (with patience). As if that's not enough, sprouting seeds
is easy and inexpensive.
First off, pick your seeds or beans. Some easily sprouted ones are sunflower, sesame, mung, lentils, alfalfa, chick peas, buckwheat, pinto, adzuki, and kidney. Soak your seeks in filtered water overnight. Then, pour off the water. Rinse the seeds twice a day with more fresh water, and allow plenty of air between rinsings.
That's it! Times vary, but they should be ready in about three days (in particular, the cold temperatures of winter months increases sprout time). They should grow no more than a quarter of an inch for greatest nutritional value.
For more information, read the October 1996 BirdTalk article "Sprouted Seeds" by Alicia McWatters.
Since your cockatiel can drown in small amounts of water, narrow glasses, buckets, and uncovered toilet bowls are a danger as well. Also figure that if your bird's wings aren't clipped, there exist another set of potential problems; for example, uncovered windows, if flown into, can kill. We greatly suggest wing clipping. It doesn't hurt, isn't even permanent (birds molt, or get new feathers, at least once a year), and makes life a lot safer.
Remember: common sense is your best guide to keeping your bird (heck, and yourself and your human family) safe.