I was asking the same question that whether I should or shouldn’t give my cockatiels blueberries, a few years back when I brought home two cockatiels for the first time.
But, now after six years, having two grown and healthy cockatiels, I no longer have any doubts regarding feeding my cockatiels blueberries as I know exactly how much or at what intervals they should be given blueberries.
So can cockatiels be given blueberries? Yes, cockatiels can be given blueberries. When given in a small amount, blueberries can be a good fruit to feed your feathery friend and cause no harm. Cockatiels usually enjoy eating blueberries. However, one needs to be careful regarding the amount and interval in which blueberries are fed.
To include blueberries in the diet of your feathery friend, knowing about the nutrients the berries offer is important. Because it is only then that you can give the ideal amount of blueberries to your pet.
Blueberries being sweet fruits, they are good as small treats but not too wise a choice as regular food. To find out more about giving your cockatiels blueberries without causing any harm to its health, read on.
A Detailed Insight into Giving Blueberries to your Cockatiels
Nutrients Offered by Blueberries
Blueberries are nutritious, sweet and popular among bird-owners. Blueberries are full of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants while being naturally low in calories. This fruit is considered to be the most nutrient-rich among all the berries.
Just like any other dark-colored fruit, blueberries provide great support to maintaining the good health of your pet bird.
When they first appear, blueberries are green in color and then the color deepens to purple as the fruit ripens. It is the ripe blueberries that the cockatiels usually like eating. Not only blueberries are delicious, but your feathery friend also gets a good dose of vitamins from blueberries.
Even, blueberries are believed to contain the highest levels of antioxidants among all fruits and vegetables.
Let’s find out more about the nutrients present in blueberries and how they work for better health of the cockatiels.
- Antioxidants and minerals: The antioxidants found in blueberries work towards ensuring healthy feathers of the cockatiels. The presence of antioxidants in blueberries helps to keep the feathers of your cockatiel beautiful and shiny. Manganese, potassium, calcium are the minerals blueberries offer.
- Vitamins K and C: The good dose of vitamins C and K that are found in blueberries provides cockatiels the additional support needed to support the bird’s regulatory and immune system properly.
Including Blueberries in a Cockatiel’s Healthy Diet
To make sure that your cockatiel’s daily diet becomes a healthy one and the bird receives all the necessary nutrients, the key is to maintain variety.
Giving your cockatiels the same food again and again every day not only makes the diet itself monotonous but also prevents your bird from receiving all the necessary nutrients.
Hence, when thinking about giving your cockatiels blueberries, it can be a great decision since fruits are a cockatiel’s favorite.
But remember, too much fruit is never good for your bird and should not be the primary food item in its diet.
Not all cockatiels are the same. And similarly, not all cockatiels love to eat blueberries. It may be the case that yours doesn’t or shows signs of discomforts after eating blueberries. In that case, take the bird immediately to your closest avian vet.
If your cockatiel doesn’t like to eat blueberries, then make it a point to never force your bird to eat them. A cockatiel selects what it likes to eat and what not, on its own.
Rather, if you really want your cockatiel to have fruits, then try some alternative fruits that the bird can eat. If your cockatiel doesn’t eat any other food items such as blueberries beside the regular pellet or seed diet, then also, don’t force the bird, as it is completely fine.
For baby cockatiels, the blueberries need to be mashed well and then given; so that the baby bird can easily eat them. Giving too many blueberries to cockatiels may lead them to suffer from diarrhea.
Don’t worry if you notice dark droppings after your cockatiels eat blueberries as this is normal.
It’s best to give your cockatiels blueberries a few times in a week or more as an occasional treat. Just as other healthy nutrients, blueberries are also rich in natural sugary content; hence not letting your bird indulge in its sweet taste too much will be a wise decision.
Just like other birds, the intake of high amounts of sugar content often leads to health problems in cockatiels.
Are The Seeds of Blueberries Safe for Cockatiel?
Just like many other fruits (except avocado), blueberries are completely safe for cockatiels to eat. But the majority of these otherwise safe fruits contain seeds and pits that are harmful for cockatiels.
Yes, while the majority of fruits are usually healthy for cockatiels to eat in small quantity the seeds and pits of fruits like pears, cherries, apples, plums, nectarines, apricots, etc. are a strict no-no.
As these seeds and pits contain cardiac-toxic cyanide compound in small amount, they may lead to health issues in your cockatiel.
Like the fruits mentioned here, blueberries also have seeds. However, the seeds of blueberries are really small and contain no such harmful compound.
Hence, blueberries and other similar fruits like, raspberries, pomegranate, squash, and grapes are completely safe for cockatiels when given as they are. No need to worry about removing the seeds of blueberries.
Helpful Tips to Feed Your Cockatiels Blueberries
When giving you feathery friend blueberries, make sure to wash them thoroughly before serving. Thorough washing of fruits ensures that there remain no traces of pesticides or chemicals of any kind on the fruits that can harm your pets.
To give a thorough wash to the blueberries you buy to feed your cockatiels, first soak the berries in a bowl of cold and clean water for a few minutes. Then rinse the blueberries with fresh water again to get clean blueberries that can be fed to your birds.
Apart from washing the blueberries carefully, make sure to serve them in small amounts and in small pieces. Give the fruits to your bird either in small pieces or chopped or shredded as it will most probably increase interest in the bird to try the fruits.
Want to feed your Cockatiel other fruits? Have a look at our articles on different fruits below:
- Should Cockatiels eat grapes?
- Can Cockatiels eat raisins?
- Why strawberries are very healthy for parrots!
How safe are berries for cockatiels? All the different kinds of berries that are safe for humans to eat are also safe for cockatiels, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, etc. Along with being tasty and juicy, berries are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins that help cockatiels stay healthy and strong.
Can cockatiels eat oranges and bananas? Yes, cockatiels can eat both bananas and oranges. Cockatiels like eating bananas as they are soft and very easy to eat. They enjoy oranges too. However, while giving oranges, the seeds must be removed as they are dangerous for your pet. Giving fruits in small pieces helps cockatiels in eating them.
What vegetables can be given to cockatiels? Fresh vegetables are great sources of essential nutrients, hence ideal for cockatiels. Cockatiels can eat lettuce, sweet potato, carrot, winter squash, peas, beans, corns, bok-choy, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, kale, watercress, Swiss chard and a limited amount of spinach, parsley, and broccoli.