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Home > Birds > Can Cockatiels Eat Chia Seeds? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Info You Need to Know!

Can Cockatiels Eat Chia Seeds? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Info You Need to Know!

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Dr. Luqman Javed

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If you have a cockatiel, you already know what seed queens they can be. They love indulging in seeds of all kinds, but are chia seeds a smart choice for a healthy snack?

Yes! Cockatiels can eat chia seeds. Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious tiny seeds that will add a very substantial additional benefit to any meal. So, let’s find out what this ultra-healthy seed does for your cockatiel’s system and how often they should have some.


Chia Seed Nutritional Value

Chia Seed
Image Credit: SEMSEMS, Pixabay

Chia Seeds: Per 1 oz (28.35 g)

Calories: 138 kcal
Fat: 8.7 g
Carbohydrates: 11.9 g
Fiber: 9.75 g
Protein: 4.68 g
Calcium: 179 mg
Magnesium: 95 mg
Iron: 2.19 mg

What Are Chia Seeds?

Every child who grew up in the 90s remembers the chia pet commercials. You put a few chia seeds in some funky-faced pot. Then, all of a sudden, the character gets a full head of hair. But you might not understand just how much more these little plants contain.

Chia seeds are some of the tiniest seeds you’ll ever encounter. But you might not know that chia seeds are incredibly nutritious, providing tons of energy to the body.

In addition, they have a wide variety of benefits that improve many components of the body. Like any other cockatiel menu seed item, they will likely benefit when fed chia seeds (without going overboard, of course).

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.

The Ultimate Guide to Cockatiels

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!

Chia Seed Health Benefits & Concerns

Chia seeds are usually organic, with no harsh additives that could make them unhealthy.  They are packed with helpful nutrients that will only aid in the overall well-being of your bird.

Some health benefits of chia seeds include:
  • The fat content in chia seeds provide essential fatty acids, energy, and hormone precursors.
  • For breeding female birds, the nutrients in chia seeds contribute to egg-yolk formation.
  • They contain other useful vitamins and minerals
  • They are perfectly sized for cockatiel consumption

Even though these are great perks, chia seeds are also quite high in fat. So even though they might be wonderful otherwise, the fat content might be a problem if your cockatiel eats a little bit too much.

Also, the nutritional value could be higher in other areas. So, feeding your cockatiel too many seeds in a day can decrease the amount of nutrition their bodies get from other food sources. The fiber in chia seeds is something all pet owners should be wary of; high amounts of fiber in a parrot’s diet can lead to the loss of protein by making it transit too quickly through their system and expelled via their feces.

Chia Seed in spoon
Image By: ValeriaLu, Pixabay

Do Cockatiels Like Chia Seeds?

Surprisingly, cockatiels can eat chia seeds daily when they are portioned correctly. Nonetheless, it’s best to rotate different seeds in their day-to-day diet. In addition, cockatiels need many other seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables to stay healthy. So, chia seeds should never be a meal replacement and only make up roughly 10% of their daily diet.

Of course, every cockatiel has its favorite food items. Some might go gaga over a taste, while others prefer other snacks. It depends on your bird’s preference—and they won’t be afraid to let you know.

How Often Can Cockatiels Eat Chia Seeds?

Surprisingly, cockatiels can eat chia seeds every day. However, cockatiels need many other seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables to stay healthy. So, chia seeds should never be a meal replacement and should only make up roughly 10% of your daily diet.

Chia seeds are tiny, so you could easily toss a pinch into their daily food bowl, among other tasty seeds and veggies. However, we do not recommend feeding cockatiels chia seeds as a primary dietary staple.

cockatiel in cage
Image By: Simona Robová, Pixabay


Final Words

So, now you know that cockatiels can most certainly eat chia seeds. They are non-toxic and highly beneficial for a bird’s diet. You can give them a small pinch every day to go with their other food items.

Even though chia seeds are stuffed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, they are not a meal replacement for your cockatiel’s standard diet. Remember, they should only have about 10% of chia seeds in daily meals.

Featured Image Credit: april197707180, Pixabay

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