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What do cockatiels eat?

cockatiel dietOne of the most common questions that i get asked is, What do cockatiels eat in the wild. How do i mimic their wild diet in captivity. The thruth is that the cockatiels eat a varied diet in the wild and you should strive ot do the same in captivity. Their diet will vary depending on the season. They will often eat whatever type of food is abundant at that time of year. This means that they might eat mainly seeds during a part of the year and mainly fruit during another. Cockatiels that live in different areas of Australia have a slightly different diet.

When you keep a pet cockatiel you should strive to give them a varied diet.containing seeds, greens and fruit. You can never provided them with a diet that is identical to that they eat in the nature and even if you could that would not be desirable. Wild cockatiels flies many miles each day. This will burn a lot of calories. A bird eating the same diet as wild birds will become obese. Obesity is one the most common health problems among cockatiels in capitivity and one of the mainr reasons they live a short life than they should. You need to make sure they get a complete diet without overfeeding your birds.

It is important to include crushed cla m (oyster) shells as a part of their diet to make sure they get enough calcium. This is extra important if you have an egglaying female.

Let us look a bit closer about foods that should be included in your bird’s diet.


There are custom designed cockatiel pellets that you can give your bird. They should never be the only food your bird gets but they can be a good basis for the diet. If you do not like to feed pellets you can base your pellets around seeds instead. Read more below.

You do not have to give your bird pellets. You can give them a good diet that do not include pellets. Some will say that you should always give your bird pellets. This is not true. It is easier to give your birds a good diet if you base it on pellets but you can do the same without giving them pellets. It is not hard to do so but require a little more work then using pellets. Wild birds does great without pellets. It is not natural for the bird to eat pellets.

There is nothing wrong with using pellets. But there is also nothing wrong with not using pellets.


Seeds from different types of grains, hemp, sunflowers, and other plants can be a good basis for the diet of your cockatiel. They should never be given just seeds. Make sure to include fruit and greens in the diet as well.

Do not include fruit seeds in your bird’s diet. Many fruit seeds are toxic.

Make sure to clean to seed bowl often and replace all the seed in the bowl regularly. The birds will drop the husk in the bowl and it might be empty even though it looks full.

Greens & vegetables

It is important to include greens and vegetables in the diet of your birds. You should make sure to include deep green veggies such as spinach, kale, chards. You should also always make sure to include carrots in the diet. It is usually best to shred the carrots.

fruits and greensMost veggies that are healthy for humans are good for your birds but there are some important differences. One such difference is that you should never give rhubarb to your cockatiel.


Almost all fruits except Avocados are good choices to include in the diet of your bird. Examples of goods fruits to include in their diet include grapes, apples, oranges, mango, blueberries, bananas, Rambutans, papaya and a number of other soft fruits.

Always remove the seeds from the fruit. Many types of fruit seeds are toxic.


It is important that your cockatiels have access to clean water. You should change the water every day and make sure that it is always clean. Change it if you see that it is dirty. Some birds throw food in the water and this will require you to change the water several times a day. Dirty water can contain dangerous bacteria.

Common questions

Can cockatiels eat fruits?

Yes. Fruit should be a part of any cockatiels diet. Please note that are some fruits such as avocado that you should never feed to your bird. It is best to research each fruit you want to give your birds before you do so.

You should never give your Cockatiels fruit seeds. Many fruits seeds can be dangerous.

Can cockatiels eat grapes?

Yes. You can feed your bird grapes. It is a good part of a varied diet. Grapes contain a lot of sugar and you should, therefore, limit the number of grapes you give your bird.

Can cockatiels eat raisins?

Yes. You can feed your bird raisins. Most cockatiels love raisins and will happily eat them.

Can cockatiels eat oranges?

Yes. Your cockatiel can eat oranges but you should remove the seeds before you give the orange to your bird. The seeds are dangerous for your bird.

Can cockatiels eat bananas?

Yes. Bananas are safe for your bird to eat and most cockatiels like bananas. Bananas are soft and easy to eat.

Can cockatiels eat peanuts?

Yes, your cockatiel can eat peanuts as long as the peanuts are human grade and free from mold. Old peanuts can be covered I mold that is dangerous for cockatiels. Peanuts are however very high in fat and cockatiels are pruned towards obesity when kept in captivity so it is very important that you do not give your bird too many peanuts. Make it a treat. Only use unsalted peanuts.

Can cockatiels eat carrots?

Carrots are very good food for your bird and I recommend that you regularly give them carrots.

Can cockatiels eat blueberries?

Yes. Blueberries are a good healthy choice for your birds. However many cockatiels will not like them and will refuse to eat them. Try including blue berries in the diet of your bird and see if they eat them. If they do you can make them a permanent part of their diet.

Can cockatiels eat Avocado?

applesNo, you should never feed you cockatiel avocado.

Can cockatiels eat apples?

Yes. Most cockatiels will eat apples. It is a good healthy choice for them. Make sure to remove the seed from the apples before you feed your birds. The seeds can be dangerous for your birds.

Can cockatiels eat cherries?

It is safe to feed your birds cherries but you should always remove the seeds first. Cherry seeds contain cyanide and are very dangerous for birds.

Can cockatiels eat mango?

Yes. Your bird can eat mango as a part of a varied diet.

Can cockatiels eat meat?

Yes. Meat can be a good source of protein and it will not hurt the bird if they eat meat. Some birds love meat others will not touch it. Do not give them too much meat. It can be a nice treat on occasions.

Can Cockatiels eat chicken?

Yes, Chicken is a good source of protein for cockatiels. It is not dangerous for your bird to eat chicken provided the chicken is fit for consumption. It is important to not give your birds chicken too often.

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