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Can Cockatiels Eat Eggs? What You Need to Know

Oliver Jones

You just brought home a new cockatiel and you’re trying to figure out the best foods to feed it. You know your bird needs a good source of protein to stay healthy and you immediately think of eggs. Then you wonder, ‘Can I feed my bird eggs? Is that, gulp, some sort of forced cannibalism?’ Cockatiels have a wide variety of foods they can eat, but are eggs one of them? Continue reading to find out whether cockatiels can eat eggs.

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Can Cockatiels Eat Eggs?

Cockatiels can eat eggs. They are safe to feed to your bird and provide an excellent source of protein, minerals, and vitamins for your pet. Eggs should be fed in moderation as they can be high in fat, which is unhealthy for your bird. Feeding eggs to your cockatiel should be limited to about once per week. Also, to answer your other question, feeding your cockatiel is not a form of forced cannibalism. Many birds steal the eggs of other birds to eat in the wild during breeding or molting seasons because the eggs are a rich protein source.

What’s the Best Way to Prepare Eggs for My Cockatiel?

You might have to try preparing eggs a few different ways before your cockatiel will eat them. Chicken or quail eggs are fine to feed your bird and they are more readily available to the average shopper. Bear in mind that your bird is likely not going to eat the whole egg but will eat its fill. You can try serving the egg raw to your bird as that is how they would typically eat an egg in the wild. Hard-boiled or soft-boiled are also options, but you will likely need to cut it up into smaller pieces for your bird to eat. You can also fry the egg, or prepare scrambled eggs, but do not use any oils or spices in your preparation as it will make your bird ill. You can feed the eggshells to your bird as well because they are an excellent source of calcium.

Cockatiels Eat Rice from a mans hand
Image Credit: Snoopy0107, Shutterstock

What Other Food Can Cockatiels Eat?

Cockatiels should be fed pellet food, such as Kaytee Exact Cockatiel Food. PetMD also recommends that 30 percent of your bird’s diet be comprised of vitamin-A-rich vegetables and fresh fruits, such as carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. Higgins Safflower Gold Natural Mix Conure & Cockatiel Food is a good seed mixture to give your cockatiel when you want to give your pet a treat.

Here is a list of foods that are safe for your cockatiel to eat:

  • Spinach
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots

blue cockatiel eating
Image Credit: Ines Porada, Shutterstock

What Foods Should Cockatiels Avoid?

Avocados are poisonous to all birds and should not be fed to your cockatiel. Onions are also toxic and should be avoided. Salt, caffeine, and chocolate are also foods that should be avoided to keep your cockatiel healthy. Alcohol should also be avoided as it will make your bird ill.

Hygiene of supplemental food offerings is very important to your cockatiel’s overall health. If you feed your bird any fruits or vegetables during the day, make sure to remove the leftovers at the end of the day to prevent mold and bacteria from growing and making your bird ill.

Why Won’t My Cockatiel Eat?

Many mature cockatiels are used to their main diet being comprised of seeds, but pellets are the best food source to feed them to keep them healthy. To help your bird switch its food, you will need to slowly wean them off the seed over the course of weeks or months. You can lower the amount of seed food offered and add a container of pellets to encourage the new diet. Many people mix the seeds and pellets and slowly reduce the seed mixture to gain bird acceptance.

As for fresh foods, you may have to experiment with various foods to figure out what your cockatiel likes to eat. This is normal behavior, but be patient, as it may take some time to figure out which foods you bird will reliably eat as part of its normal diet. Always make sure you provide your cockatiel with plenty of fresh water every day as part of a healthy diet.

Cockatiels Eat Rice
Image Credit: Nipa Noymol, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Cockatiels will eat eggs as part of a protein-rich diet. You may have to experiment with different methods of preparation to determine how your bird likes its eggs: hard-boiled, scrambled, soft-boiled, fried, or boiled. Your cockatiel will likely not eat the whole egg but will eat until it is full. Remember to also feed your bird a pellet diet, supplemented with fresh foods, such as broccoli, tomatoes, berries, and more. Your cockatiel may have some trouble with sudden changes to its diet, so start slowly and be patient when offering new foods to your pet. And don’t forget that feeding an egg to your bird is not forced cannibalism because birds eat eggs in the wild as a great protein source!


Featured Image Credit: Rasa Kasparaviciene, Unsplash

Oliver Jones

Oliver (Ollie) Jones - A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master's degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.