Safe Foods, Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Treats for Cockatiels
By Eleanor McCaffrey Copyright©
 This list may be printed  for your personal use for your own bird.
Any other use requires site owner's written permission. 

In addition to pellets, offer your bird a variety of safe table foods for a well balanced and nourishing diet. Table foods should include fresh fruits and vegetables each day as well as, other foods, seeds and treats. Portions should be kept small so all of of these foods combined do  not exceed 20% to 30% of your bird's diet or the personal recommendations of your avian vet. The list below may be printed out for you to use with your own bird.  Safe, fresh herbs and safe spices, along with safe seeds from garden plants are listed below the list of safe foods for cockatiels. For specific recommendations and limitations of individual foods, read our first page about Healthy Table Foods Click Here.

  • cooked chicken
  • cooked turkey
  • cooked lean meats
  • cooked fish
  • hard boiled eggs
  • scrambled egg
  • cottage cheese
  • yogurt
  • asparagus
  • basil
  • beets
  • beet greens
  • bok choy
  • broccoli
  • beet greens
  • brussel sprouts
  • carrots
  • carrot tops
  • celery
  • corn
  • chard
  • chicory
  • cilantro
  • collard greens
  • coriander
  • chamomile
  • Chinese parsley
  • cucumbers
  • dark green lettuces
  • dandelions
  • dill
  • endive
  • fennel
  • green and yellow wax beans
  • ginger root
  • kale
  • lemon balm
  • cooked lima beans
  • marjoram
  • mustard greens
  • oregano
  • peas and pods
  • parsley
  • *****
  • pumpkin
  • red or green sweet peppers
  • romaine lettuce
  • rosemary
  • *****
  • spinach
  • sprouts, fresh
  • sweet potatoes (cooked)
  • thyme
  • turnip greens
  • watercress
  • yellow squash
  • zuchinni
  • apples
  • apricots
  • bananas
  • berries
  • cantaloupe
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • honeydew melon
  • kiwi
  • mango
  • oranges
  • papaya
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapple
  • plums
  • watermelon
  • cooked pasta
  • cooked brown rice
  • cooked barley
  • cooked dried beans
  • dried fruit
  • bird bread
  • whole wheat toast,
  • oatmeal (cooked)
  • other cooked cereals
  • Treats Include:
  • Cheerios
  • Rice Krispies 
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Grape Nuts
  • unsalted popcorn
  • animal crackers
  • graham crackers
  • unsalted crackers
  • unsalted pretzels
  • Pet Shop Treats
  • Homemade treats. Click Here


Safe Herbs for Pet Birds : Basil, Cayenne, Chamomile, Chicory, Cilantro (another name for Coriander and Chinese Parsley), Dandelion, Dill, Ginger Root, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme. Dry cinnamon is also safe. Nutmeg is toxic.

Safe Seeds from Garden Plants: (not wild bird seed purchased in stores) Canary Grass, Canola, Caraway, Echinacea, Flax, Hemp, Millet (white proso and red) Nyjer, Pumpkin, Rape, Safflower, Sunflower, Thistle, Hemp, and Sesame.

Toxic Foods: Avocado, rhubarb, alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, sugary, salty, greasy foods, tobacco, leaves and stems from potato, tomato, eggplant and bean plants, seeds from apples, seeds from pears, seeds from oranges and lemons, apricot pits, cherries pits,  peach pits, and plums pits are toxic and can make your bird sick. Onions and garlic are also considered toxic because they cause  a certain type of anemia in dogs and cats. Even though birds have a unique type of blood cell that does not seem to be affected by this toxicity, onions and garlic for the sake of safety are also classified as being toxic to pet birds as well. Fresh peanuts, Brazil nuts and other nuts in shells are often contaminated with a toxic, mold-causing fungus. Avoid feeding them to your cockatiel. Dry roasted, unsalted nuts are considered to be safe.  Strawberries and grapes bruise easily and quickly become contaminated with a toxic mold. Use with caution.

Spoilage: Remove meat, fish, eggs and dairy products after 30 minutes to prevent spoilage. Remove other fresh foods within 1 hour or sooner during hot weather.

Shellfish, Meat, Eggs & Beans:  Avoid feeding your bird shellfish. (shrimp, crab, lobster etc.) because of high levels of bacterial contamination. A bacteria count that is considered safe for humans may not be safe for birds. Serve  freshly cooked meat, fish and eggs. Do not feed your bird meat, fish or eggs that have been refrigerated after cooking then re-heated.  Uncooked dried beans, barley, oats, rice, sweet potatoes, turnips and beets contain enzyme inhibitors that will interfere with your bird's digestion of food.  Cook them first to deactivate these compounds.

Grit: Healthy cockatiels and other pet birds, with the exception of canaries, finches, doves and pigeons, do not need grit to aid in digestion Feeding your cockatiel grit or using sandpaper type cage liners/perches  can make your cockatiel sick by causing digestive impactions.

Moldy Foods: Seeds, grains, fruit, meat, cheese, bread and other foodstuffs can become toxic if contaminated with mycotoxins.  Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced  by mold-causing fungi.  Never feed your bird mushy, discolored, bruised fruits or vegetables or a food that has mold growing on it. "When in doubt, throw it out."

Pesticides: Fruits and vegetables contain pesticides which are toxic for birds. Wash, scrub, peel and rinse well before serving. Soaking veggies for a few minutes in a mixture of grapefruit seed extract and water or apple cider vinegar and water will help to remove  them.

Canned: Vegetables in cans are often high in sodium content. The heat used during processing also destroys the vitamin content. Avoid them and use fresh or frozen instead. If you must use canned, rinse several times under running water to remove sodium.

  Mouth Feeding: Human saliva contains bacteria that is potentially toxic to birds. If you are getting a cold or the flu and you develop a secondary infection, your bird can get sick from you.  Avoid this habit and offer you bird a separate portion of food.

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