During the initial days with my first cockatiel, I was confused about whether to give my pet bird any raisin or not. I was worried about whether eating raisins would be okay for my bird’s health. But now that I’ve been raising more than two cockatiels successfully for more than 5 years now, I have no longer any doubts regarding feeding my cockatiels raisins.
So can cockatiels eat raisins or dried grapes? Yes, cockatiels can certainly eat raisins. Without having to worry about the health of your pet friends, you can give them raisins as this particular food item doesn’t do any harm to the bird’s health. Cockatiels usually love to eat raisins and this food item can be fun for your birdie to eat.
However, it’s strongly advised not to plan your cockatiel’s daily diet based on raisins primarily. To make sure that your pet has good health, you need to ensure a healthy diet where along with raisins there will be high-quality seeds, mineral grits (even though you need to be careful when it comes to grit), and insoluble charcoal. To know more about raisins, the health benefits they offer and how to best mix raisins with seeds, continue reading.
Giving Your Cockatiels Raisins to Eat
Cockatiels are more like little children who do not know what to eat or what not. They easily get attracted and addicted to certain food items when given on a regular basis. However, as a pet owner, it’s up to you to practice caution when giving them food items that are always best for their health.
And raisins are one such food item that doesn’t cause any negative effect on their health. However, when giving raisins, one needs to be cautious about the quantity.
Just because the birds love to eat them, it doesn’t mean that you should give as many as the birds want. Giving raisins in moderate amount occasionally can do no harm.
Let’s take a look at the benefits that eating raisins can ensure to your cockatiels:
- Raisins are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals
- Raisins being high on calorie serve as a rich source of energy
- Raisins help with better digestion
- Raisins have more iron than grapes
Everything You Need to Know About Giving Raisins to Cockatiels
Nutrients That Raisins Provide
Knowing about the number and amount of nutrients that consumption of raisins offer can help you determine the amount you want to give your cockatiels. 1 Ounce of raisins offers the below-mentioned amount of nutrients:
- 84 Calories
- 1 gm Fibre
- 17 gm Sugars
- .6 mg Vitamin C
- 6% Potassium
- .5 mg Iron
Compared to raisins, one cup of grapes offers lesser calories and iron, almost the same amount of fiber, potassium, and sugars and more amount of vitamin C. In case you’re not sure about the number of raisins you should give to your cockatiel, make it a point to contact with a pet vet.
Also, if after eating raisins your cockatiel shows signs of poor health, which is most unlikely, take your pet immediately to a vet.
Other Dried Fruits That Cockatiels Can Eat
Apart from dried grapes or raisins, cockatiels can also eat other dried fruits such as dry banana chips, dried apricots, dried peaches, dried cranberries, etc.
But again, remember to control the dry fruit intake of your bird as just like normal fruits, dried fruits are high in sugar and too much sugar intake can take a toll on your pet’s health.
Raisins with Sulfites and without Sulfites
While buying dried fruits for your pet, whether it’s raisins or any other, make sure they are ‘unsulfured’ or without sulfites.
There are two types of dry fruits available in the market, one is ‘sulfured’ or with sulfites and the other is ‘unsulfured’.
The former type of dry fruits contains the preservative sulfite, which may cause adverse reactions in your cockatiels. Hence always opt for the latter which comes without the harmful preservative. i.e. sulfites.
Dry fruits with sulfites tend to be moister and softer than those without sulfites. Dry fruits are more like candies and raisins are considered to be one of the dry fruits containing high sulfites.
Therefore, it’s important to buy them carefully (without sulfites) and feed them to your cockatiel wisely.
Including Raisins in Your Cockatiel’s Diet
Remember, raisins are usually considered to be high in sugar and have low nutritional value. Hence, even if your cockatiel loves eating them, make sure to give raisins by mixing them with other healthy seeds or dry food mixes or with treats.
This ensures that while the bird can enjoy having raisins, consumption of raisins won’t interfere with your cockatiel’s daily intake of nutritional food. Too much consumption of raisin may lead to diarrhea in cockatiels.
The ultimate key to plan an ideal diet for your cockatiels is to include a variety of food items.
If you’re thinking about whether you can give raisins, then know that you can but not always on a regular basis but in certain intervals along with the base diet you follow which include mixed seeds, formulated bird foods, vegetables, millet spray and sometimes protein in the form of mealworms.
The base of your cockatiel’s daily diet needs to be formed by quality seeds.
While this base diet should cover 60 to 70% of your cockatiels’ daily food intake, it is only the remaining 30 to 40% of the daily intake that should consist of fresh fruits or vegetables or dried fruits like raisins, supplements or occasional treats.
Often cockatiel owners get confused about whether to give normal fruits regularly or dried fruits. But the fact is that you can give your cockatiels vegetables on a regular basis, but not fruits irrespective of whether it’s raisins or fresh mangoes or apples or any other fruit.
While fresh green veggies are recommended daily, raisins and other types of fruits should be given maximum 3 times a week.
Monitor Cockatiel’s Food Intake and Give Raisins Accordingly
When deciding to give your cockatiel raisins, you should first monitor your pet’s daily food intake. A cockatiel must be offered what he can eat in a day. Once you know the daily intake, divide it into 70-30 proportions and include raisins in that 30%.
Monitoring your cockatiel’s daily intake can not only help you in monitoring its regular sugar intake through raisins or other fruits but also lets you know whether your cockatiel is okay or not if its daily intake suddenly decreases.
What are the fruits that cockatiels can eat? Cockatiels enjoy a variety of fruits. From seasonal fruits like peaches, strawberries, pears, nectarines, and apricots to year-round available supermarket fruits like grapes, bananas, and apples, cockatiels eat them all. They can also eat tropical fruits like mango, oranges, kiwi, guava, and papaya.
Should cockatiels be given more fruits? Fruits are important in ensuring that cockatiels’ health flourishes and thrives. But giving too many fruits to the birds is never advised as fruits mostly contain water and sugar. Though citrus fruits like oranges provide Vitamin C as well; still, it’s best to give more vegetables and less fruit.
What food items should not be given to cockatiels? Chocolate, alcohol, and avocado should never ever be given to cockatiels as these may lead to the death of the birds. Also avoid food items like cabbage, milk, caffeine, cream, raw potatoes, any fruit seeds, eggplant, garlic, onions, mushrooms, rhubarbs, and any food high in sugar, sodium, fat.