Cockatiels have a very sensitive digestive system. With an improper diet, they can easily become sick and suffer from major health problems. There are several kinds of food that are considered harmful and toxic for them. Therefore, we must be very careful regarding the type of food we feed our little birds.
Cockatiels have a weak digestive system. Therefore, they cannot handle complex carbohydrates and sugar very well. Certain food items such as avocados, raw eggs, chocolates, allium vegetables, and iceberg lettuce are terrible for cockatiels. Besides these, avoid serving them any kind of processed food.
There is a lot of false and conflicting information out there. When researching which foods to give your cockatiel, you’ll want to take into account their natural diet.
Most of what a cockatiel eats should be pellets, seeds, fruits, and veggies. Anything that deviates from these should be avoided in order to maintain your cockatiel’s long-term health.
What Food Are Harmful To Cockatiels?
Cockatiels can not eat all the food items that are edible to we humans. There are certain food items that are strictly prohibited for our birds.
The consumption of these items can be hazardous for them. In some cases, consumption of the wrong food might even cause the immediate death of your pet cockatiel.
Unhealthy Pellet Mixes
You need to do proper research before buying a particular brand of food mix for your cockatiels.
The pellet mixes available in the local market may seem appealing to you, however, they might prove to be hazardous for your pet cockatiel.
This pellet mixes mostly have high sugar content, which can be hazardous for our pets.
Also, do not serve your cockatiels with food that is meant for other animals. I’ve heard stories of people feeding dog food to their cockatiels, which is not a good idea.
In addition, you also want to avoid food that is made for other small animals. I would advise you to provide your cockatiel with food that is specifically made for the health of a cockatiel.
Cockatiels are lactose intolerant. They do not have the ability to digest any kind of dairy products. This includes any kind of cheese, milk, and even yogurt (including pet-store yogurt treats).
Instead, cockatiels should be given water to drink. Daily fresh water is very important for keeping your bird healthy and hydrated.
Cockatiels cannot eat avocados at all. Avocados contain certain chemicals that are not suitable for consumption by our cockatiels. They are rich in fatty acids and person (a chemical) that can cause digestive problems in our birds.
Although avocados have a lot of health benefits for us, they are a terrible choice for our birds. Consumption of avocados might even lead to food toxicity in cockatiels.
Besides this, cockatiels cannot digest avocado seeds. Avocado pits are huge and hard for our birds to digest. It can easily lead to choking hazards in them.
If your cockatiel has consumed a tiny amount of avocado, it might not show any negative reactions. However, it would be best to consult a vet.
Raw Eggs/ Raw Meat
We should never serve our cockatiels with raw eggs, or meat. It is not at all safe for consumption by our birds.
These raw foods contain certain kinds of bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, that can lead to deadly infections in our birds. These infections are extremely tough to treat.
Also, consumption of raw eggs might lead to biotin (a B-vitamin) deficiencies in our cockatiels. Therefore, it is best to avoid serving our birds with raw eggs, or meat.
Processed Snacks Or Junk Food (Such As Fries, Chips & More)
Processed snacks or junk food of any kind is extremely toxic for our cockatiels. Cockatiels have a sensitive digestive system, therefore, they cannot digest fried and cooked food well.
Consumption of any of this food is terrible for their health. It can lead to several health problems in them.
Also, cockatiels do not handle spices well. Besides this, most processed foods are packed with excessive salt, carbs, and calories, which are extremely harmful to our birds.
We should never feed our cockatiels with chocolates. Chocolates are rich in theobromine (a chemical) and caffeine, which should be kept away from our cockatiels at all costs. Although cockatiels can enjoy some the human foods, chocolates are not one of them.
Besides this, chocolates contain a high amount of sugar, which might lead to serious digestive complications in our cockatiels.
If your cockatiel has consumed even the smallest piece of chocolate, you must monitor them closely. If they show any negative reactions, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Sugary/Salty Food Or Drinks
Cockatiels cannot handle excessive sweet or salty food. Overconsumption of salt or sugar leads to several health problems in our birds.
Excessive salty is known to make our birds seriously thirty. This means, they might end up over-drinking water, which can lead to poisoning in them.
Also, excessive sugar can easily make our cockatiels obese and diabetic. Therefore, such food should be avoided altogether.
Allium Vegetables (Onions, Garlic, Shallots & More)
Serving allium vegetables to the cockatiels is a terrible idea. Some of the common allium vegetables include onion, garlic, and shallots. These vegetables, in any form, are not suitable for consumption by our cockatiels.
Due to the presence of high amounts of antioxidants and Vitamin C, allium vegetables are excellent for humans. However, we should never seed them for our birds.
Store-Bough Cockatiel Treats
Cockatiel treats available in the local markets are far from healthy. It includes everything from yogurt treats to sugared dried fruit and mixes that contain a variety of nuts and legumes.
Most treat mixes have colorful pieces with a high amount of added sugar in them. Others contain pieces that are not healthy for cockatiels, including pieces of food, which should be avoided for our little pets
Therefore, these treats must be avoided at all costs.
What If My Cockatiel Ate Something Poisonous?
Being a responsible cockatiel owner, it is your duty to keep your bird safe and happy.
There was this one day when my cockatiel ingested something poisonous, that day proved to be no less than a nightmare for me.
You must keep a track of what you are feeding your bird. In addition to this, it is important to keep them away from toxic substances such as household cleaning products (detergent and soap), your food, poisonous plants, etc.
If you feel that your cockatiel has consumed something toxic, even by mistake, then these certain signs will help you identify the truth:
- Your cockatiel is facing difficulty in breathing
- Your cockatiel has a sore mouth
- Your cockatiel ignores his food
- Your cockatiel has a low body temperature
- Your cockatiel is lethargic
- Your cockatiel looks weak
If your little bird shows any of the above symptoms, then you need to take certain steps to make sure that they are fine. The best option would be to take your little one to a vet.
Food Safety Tips For Cockatiel Owners
You must understand that cockatiels have an extremely fragile digestive system, which basically means that you need to be very careful while feeding your cockatiels.
A cockatiel’s diet and eating habits need proper care and attention. If your little bird consumes anything inappropriate, it might lead to severe health complications in them.
Now, let us discuss some of the safety feeding tips that you must keep in mind if you own a cockatiel:
- Most cockatiels love to much on fruits and veggies. However, not all kinds of fruits and veggies are suitable for consumption by our birds. Consumption of the prohibited fruits and veggies can be hazardous for them.
- Always try to serve your bird with organic fruits and veggies only. Fruits and vegetables brought from the regular market are sprayed with chemicals, which might prove to be harmful to our cockatiels.
- Besides this, you must take care of the fact that you are not feeding your cockatiels with food that is high in sugar. Consumption of extra sugar can make our birds sick.
- When introducing any new food to your cockatiel’s diet for the first time, you have to be very cautious about the same. Start by serving in small quantities. Find out if your bird is facing any discomfort. If not, you are good to go.
- Never forget to remove all the uneaten parts of the fruits and vegetables once your little pet has finished eating. Decayed food releases a foul smell that might attract flies and rats to your cockatiel’s cage.
These are some of the important points that you must keep in mind before feeding your cockatiels to keep them fit and happy.