Cockatiels are chirpy and extremely adorable pets. But do you know which human foods are healthy for your cockatiel? Oats, maybe?
Can cockatiels eat oats? Yes, cockatiels can eat oats. However, oats should be only given to your pet bird as an occasional treat. They cannot be a substitute for the primary seed mix diet that pet cockatiels are used to.
Oats are healthy, yes. But their nutritional makeup is a bit too much for the delicate digestive system of a cockatiel. However, most cockatiels will love uncooked rolled oats. They can be given oats as a rare treat or oats can be used as a reward during taming and training.
Why can’t oats be given as a primary meal?
Oats being a healthy food choice for humans, it would seem like a good idea to feed some to your cockatiel, too. While this may not be a bad idea, feeding your bird too many oats could be a problem.
All birds in the parrot family are susceptible to diseases due to iron-storage in the body and cockatiels are no exception. Cockatiels do need iron to prevent anemia. But excess quantities of iron through diet can be the reason behind the iron-storage disease.
The problem with this disease is that it cannot be easily detected in its early stages. And by the time the bird has enough symptoms, it is usually too late.
Oats are naturally high in iron. In addition to this, store bought oats for humans are often fortified with nutrients such as Vitamin C. Vitamin C increases iron consumption in the body. Hence, the oats we eat are not really suitable for pet birds.
For the same reason, other breakfast cereals would also not be suitable as bird food since they too are supplemented with nutrients.
In what form can oats be given to a cockatiel?
Oats spray can be given to cockatiels as a treat. It not only makes for a tasty snack for your pets, but it also encourages their natural foraging instinct. As they have a fun time working to get to the oats, it provides them with some exercise, too!
If your pet cockatiel likes oats, they can be given rolled oats as a treat, too. Of course, if you can find a variety that is not fortified with nutrients, it is always better. Raw, uncooked oats can be scattered for them to snack on.
Alternatively, you can also feed the birds oats from your hands during training sessions.
Oats won’t cause harm to your pet as long as you don’t feed them too much of it.
Why not give oats an interesting twist?
Everybody needs variety and your pet cockatiel is no exception. Once in a while, you can surprise it with a tasty oat treat that you can whip up within minutes in your kitchen. Just take some rolled oats and add an egg to it.
Mix well and spread it on a baking sheet. Bake for ten minutes in a pre-heated oven and your bird-friendly treat is ready. Cut up into small pieces and let your pet snack on them. You can store these treats in the fridge in an air-tight container for 3-5 days.
Yes, even though it seems a little weird, Cockatiels and other parakeets and parrots can eat eggs. We tell you everything about parrots and eggs in this article here!
Do bird seed mixes contain oats?
Yes. Some bird seed mixtures do contain oats in small quantities. It is not usually harmful since the mix contains many other seeds and the oats are in a very less quantity. Also, the oats added in seed mixes are raw oats.
They aren’t supplemented or sweetened. Hence, they are good for your bird’s health since these mixes provide variety in taste as well as nutrition. If you read the label on the seed mix carefully, you can see that some contain oat groats.
Oat groats are oats that are in their hull. This is unprocessed food which retains the original nutrients. And it also does not have any supplements added for human consumption making them very safe for your feathered pets.
Can cockatiels be given oats porridge?
Giving cockatiels porridge oats is a bad idea. When the oats are cooked, they become sticky. If your bird feeds on such porridge, it could harden on their beaks.
Even as a rare and occasional treat, oats are best given in the raw form. Cooked oats can do more harm than good for your pet’s health.
You probably like to share some of your food with your Cockatiel (who doesn’t?). Instead of porridge, have a look at these foods here:
- Can you share some popcorn with your Cockatiel? More on that in this article!
- Can Cockatiels eat blueberries?
- Can Cockatiels have grapes?
What other foods should you avoid for cockatiels?
You need to take good care of your cockatiel and make sure that it feeds on a healthy diet. These delicate birds can get sick if they feed on certain foods. Below are some of the foods you should stay clear of.
- Foods that are high in sugar, salt, or fats
- Seeds of fruit
- Chocolate or any other sweet
- Foods that contain artificial sweeteners
- Raw beans
The above list of foods can prove to be toxic for your pet. These foods have been associated with liver damage, severe impaction of the digestive system, and even death.
Which other treats can be safely given to cockatiels?
Cockatiels love variety in their diet. Even though their primary diet will consist of a seed mix, they love their treats and snacks. However, all cockatiels are different and they all will favor different treats.
So, take cues from your bird as to what it likes and provide it with alternatives so that it can snack on different foods. Below are some of the foods that you can feed your pet apart from the usual seed mix.
- Green veggies such as spinach and greens of turnips, beets, mustard, collard, etc.
- Other vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, kale, pumpkin, corn on the cob, dried tomatoes, etc.
- Fruits such as bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, apricots, etc. depending on seasonal availability.
- Chicken and other meat in extremely small quantities.
- Eggs, hardboiled or cooked without oil, again in small quantities.
- Sprouts can also be given occasionally as a good source of protein.
- Dairy products such as yogurt and cheese can be given in moderation.
- We have created a small list of 15 Cockatiel treats for you here! Cockatiels love them and they are totally inexpensive!
Do remember to thoroughly wash any fruit and vegetables that you give to your pet. Also, fresh foods when left in the cage for too long can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Hence, always remove any leftovers at the end of the day.
Also, make sure you wash the food dishes in hot, soapy water after every use.
Apart from food, make sure that your pet cockatiel is always provided with clean drinking water. Replace the water regularly since you don’t want your pet to drink contaminated water and get sick.
Regarding water, you might want to read the following articles in order to make sure that your Cockatiel stays well hydrated:
- Is your Cockatiel not drinking water? Read our article on that here!
- Why your Cockatiel is drinking so much water
- How long Cockatiels can go without water
Can cockatiels eat cornflakes? Commercially available cornflakes are loaded with sugar, salt, and flavors. This makes them a very unhealthy food option for cockatiels. Unflavored plain cornflakes can be given to your pet as an occasional treat.
Can cockatiels have honey? Yes. Honey is safe for cockatiels. It is used in seed sticks and seed balls which you can safely give to your pet cockatiel as some tasty and nutritious snack. However, too much honey is bad due to the sugar content.
Can cockatiels eat sugar? No. You should never give sugar to your cockatiel in any form. Processed white sugar is bad enough, but you should keep your pet away from all sugary snacks.