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What Fruits & Vegetables Can Cockatiels Eat? 20 Great Options

Cockatiels eating broccoli

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Feeding a variety of foods to your cockatiel can not only ensure their health by providing them with a wide variety of nutrients, but it can also provide a source of enrichment. These intelligent and curious birds enjoy being offered a variety of foods because it allows them to explore new textures and flavors.

However, not all fruits and veggies are safe for your bird, so it’s important to know what foods are safe options. Fruits and veggies should make up between 20-25% of their diet with the rest being cockatiel specific pellet food. Here are some of the top picks for fruits and vegetables to feed to your cockatiel.

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What Fruits & Vegetables Can Cockatiels Eat? 20 Great Options

1. Apples

apples
Image Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay
Considerations: Remove seeds
Good source of: Fiber

Apples are a tasty and widely available fruit you can offer to your cockatiel. Any apple variety is acceptable, although your cockatiel may show a distinct preference or dislike of specific varieties, so go with what your cockatiel seems to enjoy. It’s important to make sure you remove the seeds from apples before offering them to your bird, as the seeds can be potentially toxic to your bird. Your cockatiel might enjoy the challenge of snacking on a whole apple, but it’s best to feed slices or pieces so you can maintain appropriate intake.


2. Bananas

bananas
Image Credit: Pixabay
Considerations: Wash or remove peel
Good source of: Potassium

Bananas are another widely available fruit you can offer to your cockatiel. Since cockatiels are intelligent birds that enjoy puzzles, your bird may enjoy being offered an unpeeled banana so they can peel and then eat the fruit. If you offer an unpeeled banana, it’s important to thoroughly wash the peel to remove any pesticides or other chemicals that may be dangerous for your bird. Most birds will likely enjoy the ease of being offered peeled banana pieces.


3. Cherries

close up cherries without stems
Image Credit: Pixabay
Considerations: Remove pits and stems
Good source of: Vitamin A

Cherries are a tasty seasonal fruit that your cockatiel will enjoy sharing with you. Make sure to remove all pits and stems before feeding to your bird as these can be dangerous for your cockatiel. While fresh cherries are a great treat for your cockatiel, you should not offer processed cherries, like maraschino cherries, to your bird. These cherries contain far too much sugar for your cockatiel and can lead to stomach upset and other health problems.


4. Coconut

Hand Shredded Young Coconut Flesh to the Bowl
Image Credit: Ika Rahma H, Shutterstock
Considerations: Remove meat from shell
Good source of: Iron

Coconuts are a tropical fruit that your cockatiel is likely to enjoy eating. Finding fresh coconuts can be difficult in many parts of the world, but if you do come across fresh coconuts, it’s best to remove the meat of the fruit from the hard shell. Coconut shells are not likely to be enjoyed by your bird, and they could pose a choking hazard, on top of not having notable nutritional value. Avoid feeding sweetened coconut shreds, like those used in baking, to your cockatiel since these coconut shreds contain too much sugar.


5. Grapes

grapes
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay
Considerations: Wash well
Good source of: Copper

Grapes are easy to find in most grocery stores, and you can get a lot of them in a pack, often for a fair price. They can be a fun food for your cockatiel to enjoy, thanks to their manageable size, round shape, and pleasant texture. Make sure to wash grapes thoroughly before feeding to your bird to remove any dangerous chemicals. It’s best to remove grapes from the vine before washing so you can more thoroughly wash all parts of the fruit.


6. Grapefruit

Peeled grapefruit
Image Credit: Djaheda Richers, Pexels
Considerations: Peel
Good source of: Vitamin C

Grapefruit is a fruit that most people either love or hate, so it’s possible that your bird will feel the same way. To increase the likelihood of your cockatiel enjoying grapefruit, removing the rind and the white bits of rind that are sometimes left behind on the fruit will remove much of the bitterness that can be associated with grapefruits. These fruits are a fantastic source of vitamin C, which will help support your cockatiel’s immune system and healing and development of muscles and other tissues.


7. Pears

pears
Image Credit: AD1981, Pixabay
Considerations: Remove seeds
Good source of: Copper

Pears are often a seasonal fruit in many areas, so they may be an infrequent treat for your cockatiel. Make sure to remove the seeds from this fruit before offering it to your cockatiel. Like apples, pears can be offered whole so your bird has more of a challenge, but feeding slices or pieces is the best way to keep track of how much your bird is consuming. Make sure to wash pears well before feeding to your bird. Only feed fresh pears to your cockatiel, as canned pears often contain far too much sugar for birds.


8. Pineapple

sliced pineapple
Image Credit: Kotcha K, Shutteerstock
Considerations: Remove rind
Good source of: Vitamin B6

Pineapple is a tasty, sweet fruit that many cockatiels enjoy eating. It’s best to remove the rind of this fruit before offering it, but it is not a necessity since your bird will likely work around it. Feed pineapple in moderation since the sugar and acid content in this fruit can lead to stomach upset if fed in large quantities. Like with most fruits, avoid feeding canned or sweetened pineapple to your cockatiel as this will provide them with far too much sugar.


9. Raspberries

raspberries fruit
Image Credit: Ulrike Leone, Pixabay
Considerations: Wash well
Good source of: Fiber

Raspberries are a fun fruit to offer to your cockatiel, thanks to their interesting texture and flavor. You can even stuff them with pieces of other fruits and veggies, making for a more interesting and unique treat. Raspberries should be washed thoroughly before feeding to your bird. Their bumpy texture means they have a high likelihood of having pesticides and other yucky things on them, so thorough washing is a must.


10. Blueberries

Blueberries
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay
Considerations: Wash well
Good source of: Vitamin K

Blueberries are a fun treat that tend to be available at most parts of the year in grocery stores, which means you should almost always be able to have some on hand. Blueberries should be washed thoroughly before feeding to your cockatiel. This nutritious fruit is easy for your cockatiel to eat and doesn’t require any chopping or peeling beforehand. Many birds seem to enjoy the texture and shape of this fruit, making blueberries a good pick for an enrichment experience.


11. Peaches

Peach fruit slices
Image Credit: D_M, Shutterstock
Considerations: Remove pit
Good source of: Vitamin C

Peaches are a seasonal fruit that you’re not likely to be able to find year-round, which can make it a fun seasonal treat for your bird. Pits should be removed from peaches before offering to your bird. It’s also important to make sure to wash peaches well before feeding since their soft skin makes them susceptible to collecting undesirable things on the surface. It’s best to offer slices of peaches to your cockatiel to monitor their intake, but make sure not to feed them canned peaches since those have too much added sugar.


12. Mango

sliced mangoes on leaf-shaped saucers
Image Credit: liwanchun, Pixabay
Considerations: Remove pit
Good source of: Magnesium

Mangoes are a sweet tropical fruit that you may have difficulty finding in some grocery stores, but they can make a nice treat when you do find them. Make sure to remove the large pit before feeding mangoes to your cockatiel. Due to their high sugar content, mangoes should be fed in moderation. Canned, sweetened mangoes should not be fed to your cockatiel. It’s best to peel and chop mangoes before feeding to your bird.


13. Melon

Whole and sliced of Japanese melons
Image Credit: Kotcha K, Shutterstock
Considerations: Remove rind
Good source of: Vitamin C

Melons are often relatively easy to find, with many grocery stores carrying watermelon throughout the year. Cutting the meat of the fruit free from the rind is the best way to offer these fruits to your cockatiel. You can offer whole melon slices to your bird, allowing them to remove the fruit from the rind themselves, but make sure to remove the uneaten rind from their enclosure after they finish. Melons are a good food for supporting hydration in your bird.


14. Broccoli

bowl of broccoli
Image Credit: ExplorerBob, Pixabay
Considerations: Wash well
Good source of: Fiber

Broccoli is a common veggie that is usually easy to find and affordable in most areas. Due to its texture, it should be washed thoroughly before feeding to your bird. Raw broccoli is best for your cockatiel since cooking broccoli can remove some of its nutritional value. However, cooked, unseasoned broccoli is acceptable to give to your bird on occasion. Broccoli is a great source of fiber and is higher in protein than many other veggies, making it a solid food choice for your cockatiel.


15. Carrots

carrots
Image Credit: Kerstin Riemer, Pixabay
Considerations: Peel or wash well
Good source of: Vitamin A

Carrots are a common and affordable vegetable option to offer to your cockatiel. They come in regular and baby varieties, as well as orange and colorful varieties, giving you plenty of options. Make sure to peel or thoroughly wash carrots before feeding them to your bird. They are a root vegetable, which means they are below the ground before being harvested, so cleaning them well is necessary to remove any remaining dirt and dangerous chemicals.


16. Sweet Potato

Raw sweet potatoes on wooden background closeup
Image Credit: mama_mia, Shutterstock
Considerations: Best served cooked
Good source of: Potassium

Sweet potatoes are another widely available and affordable veggie option for cockatiels. They can be fed raw, but most birds seem to prefer them cooked. Consider baking, boiling, or steaming sweet potato pieces before feeding them to your cockatiel, but avoid overcooking them since this can remove nutrients. Also avoid seasoning them before serving to your bird. Sweet potatoes are not a true potato, so they are safe to serve raw if that is the way that your cockatiel seems to prefer them.


17. Pumpkin

pumpkin
Image Credit: stevepb, Pixabay
Considerations: Best served cooked
Good source of: Fiber

Pumpkins are a seasonal fall veggie that many cockatiels show an affinity for. Like sweet potatoes, pumpkins are best served to your bird after they’ve been gently cooked. Many birds don’t seem to enjoy raw pumpkin. Pumpkins can be fed peeled or unpeeled to your cockatiel, but you should make sure to wash the skin thoroughly if feeding unpeeled pumpkin to your bird. When cooked, the skin of a pumpkin is edible and safe for your cockatiel to eat.


18. Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce
Image Credit By: moerschy, pixabay
Considerations: Wash well
Good source of: Magnesium

Romaine lettuce is potentially the most widely available and affordable veggie on this list. It is important to wash it thoroughly before feeding, though, as lettuces have a large surface area for collecting pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. Some birds may enjoy being offered a head of romaine lettuce to shred and eat, while others may prefer just to be given leaves of this veggie to snack on. You can even make lettuce wraps for your cockatiel by wrapping other veggies and fruits in romaine lettuce leaves to make for a more interesting mealtime experience.


19. Beets

Red Beetroot with herbage green leaves
Image Credit: Ivanna Pavliuk, Shutterstock
Considerations: Best served cooked
Good source of: Vitamin A

Beets are a unique and tasty treat that your cockatiel will likely enjoy trying. Beets can be extremely messy, though, so make sure to be prepared to clean up any red staining left behind. Beets are best served cooked and peeled. Steaming or boiling beets and then allowing them to rest can make the skin easy and relatively mess free to remove, although you still may end up with staining on your fingers. Beets are an excellent source of multiple nutrients, but they can be an acquired taste, so it may take multiple feeding attempts to get your cockatiel to enjoy them.


20. Peas

green peas
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay
Considerations: Wash well
Good source of: Protein

Peas are one of the highest protein vegetables you can feed to your cockatiel. These tiny but mighty veggies should be washed thoroughly before feeding them to your bird. Fresh peas can be easily and quickly cooked by parboiling. Overcooking can decrease their nutritional value, so cook them just until they’re cooked through, which typically only takes a few minutes. You can feed canned peas to your cockatiel if you can’t find fresh peas, but make sure to rinse them well to remove any added sodium. Even with low or reduced sodium canned peas, it’s best to rinse before feeding.

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Conclusion

There are lots of great fruits and veggies you can offer to your cockatiel, and many of them are widely available throughout the year in most parts of the US. If you’re ever unsure of whether a fruit or veggie is appropriate for your specific bird’s needs, then talk to your bird’s vet to discuss it. Some foods are not suitable for birds with specific medical conditions, and it’s important to know what is and isn’t safe for your bird before trying new foods. Cockatiels can be prone to over-eating their favorite foods and leaving the more nutritious items. Make sure they are eating a variety of foods to avoid obesity and malnutrition.


Featured Image Credit: Trine Nordeng, Shutterstock

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