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Can Cockatiels Eat Peaches? What You Need to Know!

Cockatiels-Eat-Peaches_Barbara-Rost_Shutterstock

Almost nothing is more satisfying than biting into a peach. Peaches are so sweet and juicy that you need to stand over the sink to eat them! But what if you want to give your cockatiel a bite of your peach? Are peaches safe for your cockatiel to eat?

Peaches are safe for a cockatiel! They make a delicious and healthy treat for cockatiels in moderation and with the complete removal of the peach pit and the flesh surrounding it. We’ll get into why this is and how beneficial peaches can be for your little feathered friend.

divider-birdsThe Healthy Peach

It’s thought that peaches may have originated more than 8,000 years ago in ancient China. They belong to the same family as nectarines, cherries, apricots, plums, almonds, and olives. These fruits are called stone fruit, or drupes, because they all have flesh surrounding a stone that contains a seed.

Peaches are used in a wide variety of products, everything from jams to pies to ice cream to chutney — or just straight from a tree and into your mouth!

Other than being delicious, peaches also boast multiple health benefits, which include:

  • They are packed full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.
  • Peaches contain antioxidants that help prevent cancer.
  • They might help reduce allergy symptoms.
  • They can contribute to healthy skin.
  • Peaches can aid in healthy digestion.
  • They can protect you against certain toxins.
  • They have the ability to boost immunity.
  • They can contribute to reducing blood sugar levels.
  • They can improve heart health.

Peaches can be a part of a healthy diet, but are there negatives?

Problems With Peaches

As yummy as peaches are, too many of them can lead to problems. If you eat too many peaches in a day, you could end up with bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. Peaches can also prove a real challenge for anyone with irritable bowel syndrome.

A medium peach is about 147 grams and contains about 13 grams of sugar or fructose. Too many peaches can lead to too much sugar in your system. This, in addition to a not-so-healthy diet, can lead to weight gain.

Lastly, while rare, some people are allergic to stone fruit, which includes peaches. If after you’ve eaten a peach, you start to notice swelling and/or itchiness on your lips, mouth, tongue, throat, and/or face, you might have a peach allergy. A more severe reaction can also include skin rash, coughing, and vomiting.

But what about cockatiels? Let’s look at the cockatiel’s typical diet.

A Cockatiel’s Diet

Cockatiels need a variety of different foods to make up a healthy and balanced diet. Pellets that have been specially formulated for cockatiels should make up the bulk of the cockatiel’s diet, about 75%–80%. Pellets are essentially multiple foods, such as corn and grains with vegetables, fruit, vitamins, and minerals, all compressed into tiny pellets.

Cockatiels also need various fresh fruit and vegetables to make up about 20%–25% of their diet.

Vegetables that are good for cockatiels includes:

  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Watercress

Good fruits include:

But just how healthy are peaches for cockatiels?

Peaches
Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

Cockatiels and Peaches

Peaches are full of vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial for your cockatiel. These health benefits for cockatiels include:

Vitamin A

  • Helps to build a healthy immune system and maintain stronger bones and mucous membranes
  • Contribute to healthy eyes

Vitamin C

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Contributes to the development of healthy bones and muscles

Vitamin K

  • Helps build strong bones to prevent fractures, breaks, and brittle bones

Vitamin E

  • Provides immune defenses to fight off diseases and infections
  • Assists vitamin A by protecting and regulating it

Manganese

  • Builds strong bones and eggshells (if your cockatiel is breeding)
  • If deficient, can be prone to muscle and joint problems

Copper

  • Can create healthy bones and connective tissues
  • Supports blood vessel health

Potassium

  • Helps prevent anemia because it aids in blood clotting
  • Aids in muscle and bone formation

Fiber

  • Helps in the digestive process
  • Reduces blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Keeps your cockatiel fuller for longer

What are the negatives of your cockatiel eating peaches?

Lutino Bronze Fallow Cockatiel
Image Credit: kikumin, Shutterstock

The Downside of Peaches for Cockatiels

Just like for people, too many peaches can lead to a deficiency in the cockatiel’s diet. There are a few other things that you need to look out for.

High Fructose

Just like with humans, too many peaches can lead to weight gain because of the high sugar or fructose content. A small amount of peach can end up being too much sugar for cockatiels, given how small these birds are. Peaches should only be given as a treat and in small amounts.

Peach Pit

Peach pits contain the amygdalin compound, which becomes hydrogen cyanide in the body when eaten. Hydrogen cyanide is highly toxic and can poison humans and the smaller cockatiel. Cyanide in birds can cause tissue damage and oxidative stress and can be fatal.

Pesticides

Peaches, like most fruit, are likely to be covered in chemicals and pesticides. Peaches also don’t have the benefit of a thick peel that can be removed, so cleaning them is essential. Symptoms of pesticide poisoning in birds include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures

If you observe your cockatiel showing any of these symptoms after eating peaches (or any other fruit), contact your vet immediately.

blue cockatiel eating
Image Credit: Ines Porada, Shutterstock

Preparing Peaches for Cockatiels

You should start by thoroughly washing the peach to remove any pesticides. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 cups of water, and soak the peach for about 15 minutes. This treatment should remove most, if not all, of the pesticides. You should do this even if you buy organic.

Take out the peach pit, and be sure to cut all of the flesh out that surrounded the pit. Peach skin is safe (after being washed, of course). Just cut up a small amount of peach, and you can give it to your cockatiel as is, mash it up in a bowl, or serve it with other pieces of fruit.

divider-birds

Conclusion

Small amounts of washed peaches are perfectly fine for your cockatiel as an occasional treat. You can also give cockatiels canned peaches, but be sure they only contain fruit juice, without any added chemicals or sugar. However, fresh is always best.

Be sure to only give a small amount of peach no more than once a week. Don’t forget to provide your bird with a variety of other fruit, even if your cockatiel seems to like peaches best.

Speak to your avian vet if you ever have questions or concerns regarding your cockatiel’s diet. Your cockatiel will probably love a little peach once in a while, and as long as you follow our advice and give your bird a balanced diet, your cockatiel will live a long and happy life.


Featured Image Credit: Barbara Rost, Shutterstock

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