Cockatiels are friendly little birds. They make great companion pets, but they do need plenty of attention and you must ensure that they are given a healthy and well-rounded diet. Fruit should only make up approximately 10% of the bird’s diet, primarily because of the high levels of natural sugar they contain, but as long as you safely remove the pips, cherries are considered a beneficial addition to the cockatiel’s daily diet.
Are Cherries Safe?
The cherry itself is not considered toxic or dangerous to cockatiels. As such, if your bird steals a mouthful from the plate or the fruit bowl, it should not be any cause for concern. However, the pips do contain cyanide, and while it is not in a large enough concentration to pose a risk to humans, you should not let your cockatiel eat them.
Health Benefits Of Cherries
High in vitamins C and A, cherries also contain calcium, iron, and magnesium. These vitamins help ensure strong bone growth, good immune system health, and they also promote vibrant feather colors.
Feeding your cockatiels the wrong mixture of seeds can be dangerous to their health, so we recommend checking with an expert resource like The Ultimate Guide to Cockatiels, available on Amazon.
This excellent book will help you balance your cockatiels’ food sources by understanding the value of different seed types, dietary supplements, fruits and vegetables, and cuttlebone. You’ll also find tips on everything from housing to health care!
Cherries do hold some health benefits for the cockatiel, but you should take some precautions when feeding them.
The pit of a cherry contains cyanide. Therefore, before feeding them, you must ensure that all pits are removed.
Fruit should only make up approximately 10% of a cockatiel’s diet. This is because fruit is high in natural sugar. It can cause obesity and if you feed sweet fruit too often, it can cause your bird to ignore other food types. Anything more than half to a whole cherry is too much.
How To Prepare Cherries
Most parrots love the taste of cherries, so feeding them is easy. Remove the pit, cut the cherry up, and serve the fruit in a bowl.
Cherries do make a mess and the juice can stain. As such, you might want to feed this little treat in the cage and in a bowl. Be prepared to wash the red juice from your bird’s face.
The 4 Other Fruits You Can Feed A Cockatiel
Pellets usually make up the majority of a cockatiel’s diet. These account for 60% of the bird’s diet. 30% of the diet is vegetables, and this leaves 10% that can be fed as fruits and other treats. Cockatiels can eat some lean, cooked meats, but they also enjoy sweet fruity delights.
Cockatiels do enjoy fruit and especially like to eat blueberries. They are a convenient size and shape and they have a sweet taste that is appealing to your bird. Always ensure that you thoroughly wash any fruit or vegetable before feeding it, even if you do buy organic. Only feed a small amount, one blueberry cut up, and be prepared to bathe your ‘tiel after its treat.
Another potentially messy fruit, the strawberry is especially good at providing fiber in your cockatiel’s diet. Fiber helps maintain good stool shape and promotes good gut health, which has been linked to improved physical condition and health. Strawberries also contain folate, potassium, manganese, and are another source of vitamin C.
Grapes are also safe to give to a cockatiel. Wash them thoroughly and avoid feeding them too much. Grapes are an especially good source of vitamin K but, as with any of the fruits on this list, you should not feed too much. As well as grapes, you can also feed raisins.
Tomatoes have high water content, which means that they can help hydrate your feathered friend. They are safe for birds to eat and while your cockatiel might prefer the flavor of ripe tomatoes, green tomatoes may be more beneficial because they contain less acid. The acid content of tomatoes is the reason that you should feed only a limited amount, approximately a quarter of a slice, once a week.
Cockatiels benefit from a varied diet that usually consists of 60% pellets and 30% vegetables. The remaining 10% can be fed as treats, including some meat protein like chicken, and sweet fruits. The flesh of the cherry is non-toxic for your bird, but you must remove the pit because this contains cyanide.
Feed half a cherry cut up in a bowl, and be ready to bath your bird after it has finished making a cherry-red mess. Other fruits that you can feed include grapes (and raisins), blueberries, strawberries, and tomatoes. Always feed these foods in moderation, however, and avoid giving processed versions that contain preservatives and high levels of salt.
- Here’s a Thought: Can Cockatiels Eat Bananas? What You Need to Know
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