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Can Cockatiels Eat Pineapple? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

If you have a cockatiel, you know that these birds love to eat fresh fruit. It’s tempting to share every fruit or vegetable that you eat with your bird because it’s a delicious way to give them added nutrients. As you’re cutting up a piece of fruit yourself, you may stick a few pieces in your bird’s dish too. While so many different foods are safe for cockatiels, some are not. It’s important to know which are safe in order to avoid accidentally giving your cockatiel something that can make them sick.

So, can cockatiels eat pineapple? Yes! Cockatiels can safely eat pineapple and they greatly enjoy it. However, there are a few things to consider if you want to mix this fruit in with your cockatiel’s diet.

divider-birdsFresh or Canned Pineapple?

No part of the pineapple is toxic to birds. Your cockatiel can safely eat the flesh, skin, leaves, and core of fresh pineapple. They may not prefer to eat anything but the juicy flesh, but if they happen to eat a bit of another part of the fruit, it’s nothing to worry about. Fresh pineapple is the best way to offer your bird the nutritional benefits of pineapple without the risk of any added sugars. Artificial sugars can be toxic to birds, and they should not consume anything that’s been unnaturally sweetened. If you’re offering your bird pineapple from a can, make sure to read the label first and see if there are any artificial sugars in it. If the sugar is natural, it’s safe for your cockatiel in small quantities. Too many sugary foods could cause your bird to gain weight from consuming excess calories.

Giving your cockatiel fresh pineapple allows them to get the nutrients from the fruit that aren’t removed during the canning process.

  • Bromelain: This is an enzyme found in pineapples that boosts the immune system and aids digestion for your cockatiel.
  • Vitamin C: This is an antioxidant for your cockatiel and supports a healthy immune system.
  • Beta Carotene: This is the pigment responsible for the pineapple’s yellow color, and once eaten, it turns to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is an important part of a cockatiel’s diet to support eye and bone health.
sliced pineapple
Image Credit: Security, Pixabay

How Many Pineapples Should My Bird Eat?

Cockatiels need a balanced daily diet, so they shouldn’t eat pineapple very often. Most of their diet should come from pellets. The best diet for your bird is 70% pellets and 30% various fruits and vegetables. Cockatiels will opt for the best-tasting items first, so be sure to offer the fruits and veggies after giving your hungry bird their pellets. Pellets offer optimal nutrition and are an easy way to make sure your cockatiel is getting the vitamins and minerals that they need.

Dried Pineapple

If you’d love to give your cockatiel pineapple but think that the fruit will go bad before it gets eaten or you don’t want to fumble with messy cans, dried pineapple is an option. Natural dried pineapple with nothing added to it is the best and safest choice. Dried fruit can sometimes contain preservatives and added sugar. Anything that you offer your bird should be free of these ingredients.

Dried Pineapple
Image Credit: Pixabay

How Can I Feed My Cockatiel Pineapple?

No matter which type of pineapple you choose — fresh, dried, or canned — you can offer it to your cockatiel in several ways. Chopping it up into small pieces will help the cockatiel chew the fruit. If you’d like to offer a wedge of fresh pineapple to your bird, it could keep them busy for a while. Pineapple in wedge form shouldn’t be offered often because of its high sugar content, but by mixing pineapple with other things in your bird’s diet, you can keep them from becoming bored. You can also offer your cockatiel a small cup of pineapple juice to drink, as long as it doesn’t contain any added sugars or sugar substitutes. Natural pineapple juice from the fruit itself is safe for your bird. The fruit should only remain in your bird’s cage for 2 hours. After that, it can start to dry out, grow bacteria, and rot. Anything not consumed should always be removed and the cups cleaned thoroughly.

What to Never Feed Your Cockatiel

We now know that pineapple is safe for cockatiels, but what foods are not? Here’s a list of foods that you should never give your bird under any circumstances:

  • Avocado: This fruit contains a compound called persin that causes respiratory distress, heart damage, or sudden death in birds.
  • Caffeine: This can increase the heart rate of birds so much that it leads to cardiac arrest.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, which can cause increased heart rate, seizures, and death in birds.
  • Salt: It may be tempting to share a salty snack with your cockatiel, but too much salt in birds will lead to fluid and electrolyte imbalances that can cause kidney failure, dehydration, and death.
  • Fruit pits and apple seeds: These contain a compound that turns into cyanide in a bird’s body.
  • Onions and garlic: Onions contain compounds that can irritate the mouths and esophagi of birds as they chew them. Garlic contains allicin, which can cause anemia in birds.
  • Xylitol: This is an artificial sweetener that can cause hypoglycemia and liver damage.

divider-birdsFinal Thoughts

It’s fun to offer your cockatiel different foods and watch as they react to the different tastes and textures. Adding new things to their diet can keep them from becoming bored with the same old food. Have fresh water available for your bird at all times, and remove any uneaten fruits and vegetables from their food dishes or cages before they start to wilt and dry out. Now that you know pineapple is safe for your cockatiel to eat, we hope that you can incorporate this sweet treat into their diet occasionally. It’s sure to please your bird while offering them many health benefits too.


Featured Image Credit: Alexander Canas Arango, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.