One of the most important jobs of owning a cockatiel is making sure they are getting the nutrition they need to be healthy. While in the wild birds are dependent upon their instincts to find and forage for food. Caged birds do not have that issue, but, in turn, if not fed correctly, they could suffer from a lack of needed vitamins and minerals. But what about our pet cockatiels, can they eat bananas?
As a general rule, cockatiels can eat bananas as part of their normal diet, but like everything, it should be consumed in moderation. Fruit should only make up 10% of a cockatiel’s daily food consumption, along with other fruits like apples, mangoes, papayas, blueberries, and grapes.
|Nutrient||Amount per 100 g of Banana|
|Vitamin C||9 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.5 mg|
Check out our other Article What do Cockatiels Like to Play with
Can cockatiels eat a banana skin?
As a general rule, it is not recommended to feed cockatiels banana skins. They can be difficult to digest and may cause digestive issues. Cockatiels should be fed a balanced diet of specially formulated birdseed and fresh fruits & vegetables.
When we eat bananas we peel them and eat the sweet fruit inside. Other species can internally digest the tougher parts of the banana that we aren’t. Cockatiels are one of those species. Some cockatiels love bananas and their peels so, in moderation like anything else, this should pose no threat to your bird.
But be aware of the fact that pesticides are a normal part of farm life in some places and the outsides of fruits and vegetables can be riddled with toxins. When I unpack my produce I wash it with a mix of water and white vinegar first and then rinse with cold water. I let it dry and then put it away. I don’t want anyone in my home consuming toxins if I can help it.
We feel that way about our families so the same care should be given to the foods we feed our pets. Wash that peel well before giving it to your little buddy.
What Foods are Toxic to Cockatiels?
As a general rule, some foods toxic to cockatiels include avocado, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, and anything sweetened with xylitol. Also, onions and garlic can be harmful in large amounts. It is important to provide a balanced diet of specially formulated birdseed and fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure their health and wellbeing.
While there are foods in our kitchen that are fantastic options for your cockatiel there are human foods that are not good for them to consume at all. Avocados, chocolate, alcohol, broccoli, and spinach are on the list of what Cockatiels should not eat. The two latter mentioned foods are up for debate but certain experts claim that consuming broccoli and/or spinach will inhibit their ability to absorb calcium. So avoid them anyway.
Other Fruits and Foods Okay to Feed to a Cockatiel
Since we are on the subject, there are plenty of other options grown out of our lovely Earth that is more than fine to feed to your cockatiel. Some fruits you can feed your bird include apples, nectarines, peaches, apricots, and pears. Grapes and strawberries are good but can contain bacteria so be cautious if they are bruised.
But it doesn’t stop there. They can also eat papayas, mangos, guavas, and kiwi, which are all excellent suggestions. Cockatiels also like cantaloupe and watermelon. But overall, fruit has sugar so try to keep it in moderation as opposed to vegetables.
Vegetables that can be given to your cockatiel regularly include kale, romaine, bok choy, leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and watercress. When it comes to greens, the deeper the color the more nutrition it holds.
Squash and sweet potatoes are good but should be cooked. Carrots provide nutrition but should be grated or chopped small. You can also include string beans, peas, zucchini, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and corn on the cob. Be sure to cut them in simple to-eat portions.
What Can Cockatiels Eat List
Here is a list of fruits that can be served in moderation. The ones that can be bruised, like strawberries and grapes, should be given with caution. As you will see, there are so many options on this list it would be okay to skip the questionable ones altogether.
- Berries (Not if they are bruised)
- Cherries (will possibly turn stool red so be aware of that side effect)
- Grapes (Not if they are bruised)
- Honeydew melon
Vegetables and Herbs
As I mentioned earlier, vegetables can be served more often than fruits because they are not as high in sugar but some need to be cooked so we separated them between raw and cooked for simplicity.
- Beet greens
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Carrots (grated or chopped)
- Leaf lettuce
- Mustard greens
- Peas and pods
- Sprouts (fresh)
- Sweet peppers, red or green
- Swiss chard
- Turnip greens
- Wax beans (green and yellow)
Vegetables (must be cooked)
- Sweet potatoes
We included a list of herbs that are safe for your bird but they don’t serve any nutritional purpose that we are aware of and, while cayenne is listed as safe, it can be very spicy so I would avoid it anyway.
- Cayenne (see above paragraph before giving to your bird)
- Cilantro (Coriander and Chinese Parsley fall under this category)
- Ginger Root
- Lemon Balm
Other Safe Foods
There are several other foods you will find in your pantry that can be fed to your cockatiel. They are listed below. There is a difference in this list between cooked and what we marked as “freshly cooked.” Those listed as the latter should not be given to your bird after they have been cooked, sat in the fridge, and then reheated.
- Cooked barely
- Cooked brown rice
- Cooked cereals
- Cooked dried beans
- Cooked lima beans
- Cooked oatmeal
- Cooked pasta
- Cottage cheese
- Dried fruit
- Dry, unsalted nuts
- Freshly cooked chicken or turkey
- Freshly cooked eggs, hard-boiled, scrambled
- Freshly cooked fish
- Freshly cooked lean meats
- Whole wheat toast
These foods are fine to give as an occasional treat but shouldn’t be served as a meal.
- Animal Crackers
- Grape Nuts
- Rice Krispies
- Shredded Wheat
- Unsalted crackers
- Unsalted popcorn
- Unsalted pretzels
Foods To Avoid
This list isn’t broken down by fruit, vegetable, etc. We listed every food, herb, and substance you may eat but should never give to your cockatiel. Some of these are toxic, like fruit seeds, chocolate, onions, and garlic. Some of the others are up for debate or just not healthy overall so it’s best to avoid every food on this list.
- Anything moldy (blue cheese, etc)
- Artificial sweetener
- Bean plant
- Brazil nuts
- Eggs, uncooked
- Fish, uncooked
- Fresh peanuts
- Fruit pits or seeds
- Meat, uncooked
- Nuts in shells
Meals For Your Cockatiel
If you would like to make some interesting menu items for your bird feel free because a good menu will have a healthy balance of seeds, pellets, leafy and other vegetables, and a bit of fruit. Including a cooked protein once in a while will add more variety
Houseplants that are Toxic to Cockatiels
We don’t expect you to feed your cockatiel houseplants, but if you let them fly around your home you need to be careful what greenery you are keeping around. Here is a list of houseplants that are toxic to cockatiels.
- Autumn crocus
- Dumb cane
- Kalanchoe species
- Kalmia species
- Lily of the Valley
- Peace lily
- Rhubard (plant as well as food)
- Yew Taxus
- Zamia palms
As you can see, there are ample healthy options when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables that you can feed to your cockatiel. The basis of any healthy life is a good diet and, if you mix some fun things in with their regular helping of seed you’ll find that your cockatiel is happy for the treats and change in routine. Buon appetite!