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Can Cockatiels Eat Chia Seeds? What You Need to Know!

Ashley Bates

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

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

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Chia Seed Nutritional Value

Chia Seed
Image Credit: SEMSEMS, Pixabay

Chia Seeds: Per 1 tablespoon

Calories: 60
Fat: 3g
Carbohydrates: 5g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 3g
Calcium: 8%
Magnesium: 10%
Iron: 6%

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia Seed in spoon
Image Credit: ValeriaLu, Pixabay

Every child that 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 what you might not know is that chia seeds are incredibly nutritious, providing tons of energy to the body. Chia seeds are chock-full of protein, making up half of their weight.

In addition, they have a wide variety of benefits that improve so many components of the body. Like any other cockatiel menu item, they need adequate amounts (without going overboard, of course).

Chia Seed Health Benefits and 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 wellbeing of your bird.

Some health benefits of chia seeds include:
  • Tons of omega fatty acids for brain and skin health
  • Creates healthy blood sugar levels
  • Increased fiber improves gut health
  • It contains tons of powerful 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, they contain a compound called phytic acid, which can lead to mineral malabsorption in large quantities.

Also, the nutritional value is often low or lacking in other areas. So, if you feed your cockatiel too many seeds in a day, it can decrease the amount of nutrition their bodies get from other food sources.

Do Cockatiels Like Chia Seeds?

Cockatiels are seed-loving birds—and chia seeds are no exception. They are perfectly small and easy for your bird to digest. They will love having chia seeds to pick at in their food bowl—most of the time.

Of course, every cockatiel has its favorite food items. Some might go gaga over a taste, while others prefer other snacks. It just 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. But we do not recommend feeding cockatiels chia seeds as a primary dietary staple.divider-birdcage

Cockatiels + Chia Seeds: Final Thoughts

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

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.