What can cockatiels eat?

Cockatiels should have a well-balanced nutritional diet to insure they will live a healthy and long life. We take a look at some of the things a cockatiel may eat.


Many experts would suggest that pellets are part of a cockatiels stable diet. It’s not natural for birds to eat pellets, but it is easier to give your bird a good diet based around pellets. There are many custom designed pellets, but it must not be the only food on their menu.


Seeds from different types of grains, hemp, sunflowers and other plants can be a good basis for the diet of your cockatiel. When feeding your cockatiel seeds, always make sure seeds are clean and free of dangerous fungus or any other substances. Always supply your cockatiel with new portion of seeds; cockatiels are very thorough in extracting seeds from their husks, so their bowl could be full of inedible husks and no food at all.

Do not include fruit seeds in your bird’s diet. Many fruit seeds are toxic.


Cockatiels enjoy eating almost all types of fruits; some examples are apple, mango, papaya, banana, blueberries, grapes, nectarine, orange, apricot, and cantaloupe. Fruit should be served in small portions, chopped or shredded. Offer your cockatiel a small piece of fruit to see if they like it or not. Don’t be afraid to vary this as you learn what your cockatiel likes. Care should be taken to ensure that there are no fruit seeds contained within any fruits you feed your cockatiel. Fruits seeds contain cyanide, a toxic element that could be very dangerous to cockatiels. Always wash fruits thoroughly, to make sure it is free of pesticides and chemicals. Given the size of your cockatiel, a small amount of cyanide can be fatal.


Vegetables are very good for cockatiels. Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, beet greens, dried tomatoes, corn, kale, spinach, sprouts, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mustard greens and turnip greens are all delicious treats. While most vegetables are better given raw, cockatiels prefer pumpkin and sweet potatoes cooked. Always avoid spices, of course. Wash all vegetables to make sure they are free of all chemicals and pesticides.


Cockatiels can safely eat small amounts of meat. Choose only good quality chicken and beef meat or some fish. Cockatiels also benefit from boiled eggs, scrambled eggs and some dairy products, such as yogurt and fresh cheese, like cottage cheese.


Fresh water is essential. You should change the water in your cockatiels cage every day and make sure that it is always clean. Change water if you see that it is dirty. Cockatiels love to throw food around and it may land in the water. Be prepared to change it regularly as dirty water can contain dangerous bacteria.

Toxic viands

You must avoid feeding your cockatiel viands. These exists in spicy and salty food, like garlic, onion, salt, caffeine, sugar and sugary food, fatty snacks and treats. Avoid avocados, rhubarb, chocolate and human food in general.


Wild cockatiels fly many miles each day. This will burn a lot of calories. So always be careful not to over feed your cockatiel, it is one of the most common health problems among cockatiels in captivity and one of the main reasons they may live a shorter life than they should.
It is important to conduct research on the potential foods that you will be feeding your pet bird and in any case of an emergency to consult a veterinarian immediately.

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