We all love the taste of cheese, and it is no different for cockatiels. Our cockatiel loves it much to eat cheese. But as we all know, that not all foods are safe for our cockatiels. So can cockatiels eat cheese? Here is some information we found out, plus something our veterinarian told us.
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Can Cockatiels Eat Cheese?
Can Cockatiels Eat Cheese? Cockatiels can safely eat cheese if they don’t react badly to lactose. They can also eat mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and swiss cheese. However, cheese is high in saturated fat and calories, so it is necessary to give it in moderation because it can lead to obesity.
Further, we will look at the benefits of cheese, although cheese isn’t a natural part of the cockatiel’s diet. Most owners avoid feeding cockatiels with cheese. Although cheese isn’t toxic food for cockatiels, it isn’t always processed well and can lead to diarrhea.
So let’s take a closer look at why cheese is healthy for cockatiels, which types of cheese are the most beneficial options, and which cheeses to avoid.
Is Cheese Good For Cockatiels?
All types of cheese are different, and all cockatiels respond differently when consuming cheese. If your cockatiel gets diarrhea, then you should feed it less cheese or no cheese at all. Cheeses without a lactose-free, low-salt, reduced-fat are healthier for cockatiels than others.
Cheese contains high amounts of saturated fats that increase cholesterol levels. As we already mentioned, too much fat in your cockatiel’s diet leads to weight gain. Although small amounts of healthy fats in the diet of cockatiel are essential, too much can lead to:
- Digestive problems.
- Fatty liver disease.
- Joint pain.
- Leg and foot injuries.
Saturated fats can coat the organs of the cockatiel, preventing them from functioning correctly and leading to premature death.
Cockatiels don’t respond well to lactose. Instead, they hatch from eggs and are feed on regurgitated food from their mothers. Female cockatiels do not breastfeed their young because they do not produce lactase, the enzyme responsible for the lactose in dairy products.
As a result, cockatiels may develop an allergic reaction or illness due to eating cheese. Cockatiels are also vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections. If your cockatiel consumes cheese, it may experience bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. Removing cheese from your cockatiel diet usually resolves this problem.
Although cockatiels will gladly eat salty foods, it’s still harmful to allow it. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which results in strokes, heart failure, and kidney problems.
Almost all cheeses go through a fermentation process and, therefore, sometimes pick up bacteria. Although it’s unusual, if your cockatiel eats cheese that contains bacteria, it can get sick. The most common signs are watery stools with foul-smelling and lethargy.
Additives And Preservatives
Additives and preservatives are available in some varieties of cheese due to their shelf life. Unfortunately, processed and sliced cheese has a long shelf life, and the additives and preservatives they’re made with are unhealthy for cockatiels.
Calcium is an essential nutrient for cockatiels, but many don’t get enough of it. It’s also responsible for strong and healthy bones. It is also necessary for muscle movement and nerve transmission. Without enough calcium, cockatiels can develop:
- Heart disorders.
- Poor eggshell formation.
- Feather plucking.
- High cholesterol.
- Muscular pain and contractions.
Cockatiels get their calcium solely from their diet. Other good sources of calcium besides cheese are cuttlebone, sugarcane, vegetables, and some seeds.
Protein is an essential part of the cockatiel’s diet, as it enables the growth and repair of cells and tissues. There are complete and incomplete proteins. Cheese belongs to the group of complete proteins which contain all 20 different amino acids.
Vitamin A is one of the most common dietary deficiencies in cockatiels. This vitamin is needed for bone growth and healthy secretion of the secretory glands. By consuming cheese, cockatiels increase the level of vitamin A.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the function of the brain and nerves of the cockatiels. In addition, it helps in the maturation of red blood cells. Therefore, if cockatiel experiences blood loss due to B12 deficiency, it may become anemic.
Many owners put their cockatiels on a seed diet, which contains deficient levels of B12. So provide a small amount of cheese if you want to add vitamin B12 to your cockatiel’s diet.
Cockatiels need vitamin K for bone health and eggshell quality. Vitamin K also promotes the blood clotting process. Cockatiels can also experience internal hemorrhages if they are deficient in vitamin K for a long time.
Cheese contains reasonable amounts of zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin.
- Zinc allows vitamin A to function properly, and helps in the production of insulin. It also helps with feathering, molting, and bone development.
- Phosphorus is also necessary for the formation of bones and eggs. So thanks to phosphorus, the metabolism can work optimally.
- Riboflavin plays a role in energy production and the formation of healthy red blood cells.
Which Type of The Cheese Can Cockatiels Eat?
Here is a list of several types of cheese.
1. Cheddar Cheese
If you are unsure whether to give your cockatiel a soft or regular cheese, then mild is a better option. Feed your cockatiel moderately with cheddar, just like any other type of cheese. Cheddar is low in lactose and high in sodium, which is excellent for cockatiels. Offer small bite-sized pieces of cheddar to your cockatiel.
2. Mozzarella Cheese
It would be best if you avoid feeding your cockatiel with mozzarella cheese. Because mozzarella is soft and gummy, it can clog the intestines and cause rapid death if left untreated. Although it contains a small amount of lactose and sodium, you should avoid it at all costs. Avoid feeding your cockatiel with any food that contains mozzarella.
3. Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese is an excellent snack for your cockatiel. This cheese is low in lactose and sodium but high in protein. Parmesan is great for anyone who is lactose intolerant. It is best to grate the parmesan as a flavor to other foods for your cockatiels.
4. Swiss Cheese
This cheese contains less fat than other cheeses but is high in sodium, vitamin A and calcium. Swiss cheese is also great for all lactose intolerant pets. Due to the low level of lactose and the hard texture, it is an excellent snack for cockatiels. If you decide to feed your cockatiel with this cheese, do it in smaller amounts.
5. String Cheese
String cheese is another snack that is not recommended. This cheese has a soft and rubbery structure, just like the mozzarella. Avoid feeding your cockatiel with this type of cheese because it can clog your pet’s intestines.
6. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is not a good snack for your cockatiel at all because it contains a high amount of lactose and can cause diseases in your cockatiel. It also includes a high amount of sodium. So the best option is to skip the cottage cheese and give your cockatiel some of the cheeses we recommended above.
How Much Cheese Can Cockatiels Eat?
Since cheese is not very safe for cockatiels to eat, it is not recommended to give it in large amounts. However, it is highly recommended from 3 to 4 grams per day.
Avoid giving your cockatiel cheese every day because it’s high in fat and can lead to weight gain in your cockatiel. Cheese also contains lactose and salt, which adversely affect the digestive tract of cockatiels.
If you want to offer your cockatiel cheese as a treat, make sure to serve it in smaller amounts and less often.
How Often Should You Feed Cockatiels With Cheese?
The best option is to feed your cockatiel with cheese every 1 to 2 weeks. This also depends on the type of cheese that you want to offer to your cockatiel. Cheese is not highly recommended in the diet of cockatiels.
Your cockatiel should always be given a variety of food as a treat if you want to prevent it from becoming picky. Of course, cheese is not the best treat, but it can be used to encourage your cockatiel to eat other foods.
Their primary food should consist of seeds and pellets.
Risk Of Feeding Cheese To Your Cockatiel
Here are three common reasons why you should be careful when feeding your cockаtiel with cheese.
1. Stomach Upset
Eating cheese in large amounts can upset your cockatiel’s stomach due to the lactose and sodium in it. Cheese can also easily damage your cockatiel’s digestive tract.
2. Digestion Problems
Cockatiels don’t have a strong lactose tolerance. Therefore, it is advisable to keep lactose away from their diet to prevent any health issues in your cockatiel.
3. The Sodium in Cheese Is Harmful To Your Cockatiel
Most of the cheeses listed above contain a lot of sodium. Sodium is what gives the cheese its great flavor. Although it makes cheese excellent tasty to us, it can still be a problem for cockatiels.
Cheese isn’t the best food that your cockatiel will enjoy at all. Cheese is safe for your cockatiel, but only in small amounts. Also, cheese contains sodium and lactose, which aren’t suitable for your cockatiel, especially in large quantities. If you want to feed your cockatiel with cheese, make sure you offer cheese that are low levels of lactose and sodium.
However, a better option is to offer it snacks such as seeds, fruits, or nuts. Your cockatiel needs a balanced diet, so make sure you feed it in smaller amounts.
Cockatiels can safely eat cheese if they don't react badly to lactose. They can also eat mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and swiss cheese. However, cheese is high in saturated fat and calories, so it is necessary to give it in moderation because it can lead to obesity.What are cockatiels not allowed to eat? ›
You must avoid feeding your cockatiel viands. These exists in spicy and salty food, like garlic, onion, salt, caffeine, sugar and sugary food, fatty snacks and treats. Avoid avocados, rhubarb, chocolate and human food in general.
So just like a human with lactose intolerance, dairy products make them sick. But what for us is an upset stomach, and a bad day can be very serious–even deadly–in a tiny bird. That's why any kind of cheese with too much lactose is dangerous for birds and should never be fed to them.Can cockatiels eat cheese puffs? ›
Cockatiels are popular pets, and are relatively easy to care for. One of the questions that people often have about cockatiels is whether or not they can eat cheese puffs. The answer is yes, cockatiels can eat cheese puffs. However, it is important to note that cheese puffs are not a natural part of a cockatiel's diet.What happens if a cockatiel eats cheese? ›
Cheese has lactose which a cockatiel cannot digest, and overfeeding them can cause diarrhea, vomiting, obesity, and other health issues. Many kinds of cheese also have a high amount of sodium in them, which is again unhealthy for cockatiels.Can cockatiels have eggs? ›
A female cockatiel can lay eggs even if there isn't another bird around. (Be aware that laying eggs is not the same as having babies. Eggs must be fertilized by a male before laying in order for there to be babies.)What is a cockatiels favorite food? ›
Cockatiels enjoy a range of foods, including commercial birdseed, pelleted food, vegetables, fruit and the occasional treat. A mixture of 75% pellets and 25% seeds will be the mainstay of your cockatiel's diet.What can hurt a cockatiel? ›
- Avocado. The leaves of the avocado plant contain persin, a fatty acid-like substance that kills fungus in the plant. ...
- Caffeine. ...
- Chocolate. ...
- Salt. ...
- Fat. ...
- Fruit pits and apple seeds. ...
- Onions and garlic. ...
Many parrots are afraid of the dark. Cockatiels are especially prone to night frights. Night frights are when your bird flaps and flails inside and around its cage. When this happens, immediately turn on a soft light and speak to your bird softly until he calms down and goes back to his perch.Can birds eat Cheerios? ›
Birds can eat Cheerios and often love to do so. But that does not mean that they are the healthiest choice for birds (or even for us!). Their high sugar content and salt content mean that they are not the best option if you are looking for foods to share with the birds.
If you enjoy a snack, you might wonder if can birds eat Cheetos too. Really, while birds will often snap these and other unhealthy snacks up if offered, you should not feed junk food like this to birds. The odd one here and there likely won't do too much harm, but definitely don't make it a regular thing.Can parrots eat pizza? ›
Pet birds should have only occasional additions to their main, balanced diet. Some pizzas may be just fine – but only as a very occasional treat.Can cockatiels eat Cheerios? ›
“Parrots often accept Cheerios or Grape Nuts (cockatiels seem to love them!) instead of seed, and they then seem more willing to try other things, like pellets,” Muscarella says. “If one is concerned about additives, there are organic cereals on the market.Are Takis okay for birds? ›
Do not feed Takis to birds.Are cockatiels allowed Pasta? ›
Can cockatiels eat pasta? Yes, both cooked (with no salt) and uncooked pasta are fine for parrots to eat. Include some cooked whole-wheat pasta in your cockatiel's fresh food mix or make a foraging toy that includes some uncooked pasta for your bird to snack on.What kind of cheese can birds eat? ›
Cheese: Stale, hard bits of cheese will readily be eaten by birds. Mild flavors such as American or mild cheddar are most suitable, but soft cheeses such as cream cheese are not. No moldy or rancid cheese should be offered to birds at any time.Can cockatiels eat yogurt? ›
Cockatiels can safely eat small amounts of meat. Choose only good quality chicken and beef meat or some fish. Cockatiels also benefit from boiled eggs, scrambled eggs and some dairy products, such as yogurt and fresh cheese, like cottage.Is dairy toxic to birds? ›
Dairy. Although not technically toxic, studies show that birds cannot digest lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products. As the amount of dairy in the diet increases, birds can develop diarrhea.Can cockatiels have grapes? ›
Can cockatiels eat grapes? Yes, and many 'tiels love them. Although grapes can be toxic to other pets, such as dogs, they are perfectly safe for birds. This fruit is very high in sugar, though, so don't give more than half a grape once in a while.Do female cockatiels talk? ›
The females will seek out favored people and make contact calls but they tend to be more particular to whose they answer. Female cockatiels, in general, do not imitate sounds or talk much; however, there may be a one- or two-word vocabulary. Female cockatiels mainly make one call.
Cockatiels don't object to people handling their eggs; aviculturists frequently inspect nest boxes and candle eggs to check for fertility. However, newly paired or less tame pairs can be more stressed when they are disturbed, so it is best to leave them alone so they do not accidentally damage the unhatched eggs.How often should I bathe my cockatiel? ›
Birds should be encouraged to bathe often, as their feathers and skin will look healthier if they bathe frequently. Start by offering a bath to your bird once or twice weekly. You may notice that your bird has a preference about the time of day it likes to bathe.How do cockatiels recognize their owners? ›
Cockatiels have great memory, vision, and hearing ability. They can easily recognize their owners through sight and sound. They will observe your behavior patterns and appearance to distinguish you from others and respond with unique behaviors specifically meant for you.What is the healthiest food for cockatiels? ›
Pellets are the ideal diet, therefore you are encouraged to slowly wean seed-eating birds onto a pelleted diet. Pellets should ideally represent approximately 75-80% of the bird's diet. There are many good brands of pelleted foods in the market place. Pellets come in different flavors, colors and shapes.Where should I not pet my cockatiel? ›
To help your bird build a healthy bond with both you and other people, keep caresses and petting limited to the head or feet only, and ask others to do the same. The reason for this is that birds' sexual organs are located directly under the wings on a bird's back.Can a cockatiel get mad at you? ›
Can a cockatiel get mad at you? Yes, your feathered friend can get mad at you. While they are usually very affectionate and friendly birds, they can become angry if they feel neglected or threatened. If they don't receive the attention they need, they may become aggressive or irritable.How do you punish a cockatiel? ›
It's very simple: you can't punish a cockatiel for bad behavior, whether it's biting, screaming or anything else you may not appreciate. Yelling, prodding, shaking the cage, slapping, taking away food and similar actions simply do not work. The reason is that parrots don't understand punishment.What do cockatiels do when angry? ›
If you hear your cockatiel hiss, he may be about to bite. Notice wing flapping. Wing flapping, when the bird makes an expansive gesture with his wings and moves them up and down, is usually a sign he's mad or annoyed. Try to leave him alone for a bit, if you've been bothering him.What do cockatiels hate? ›
COCKATIELS HATE FINGERS
Most parrots hate fingers and are afraid of them, especially, when first being tamed. The only thing the parrot can see are these things wiggling coming towards them, no wonder the parrot won't step up, or go near hands.
The Cockatiel “Scristle”
Some people will call this a “scream,? some a “squawk,” and others a “screech,” but whatever you call it, the cockatiel “scristle” (a scream plus whistle) is a frequent cockatiel vocalization. Cockatiels will utter this attention-getting squeal when they are upset, scared, lonely or excited.
Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and soda are tempting to share with your bird, but even a few sips of these beverages can be extremely hazardous to your feathered pal. Caffeine may cause increased heart rate, arrhythmias, hyperactivity and even cardiac arrest in birds.Are Rice Krispies OK for birds? ›
Rice and cereals
Any dry breakfast cereal makes for useful bird food, although you need to be careful only to put out small amounts at a time.
They should not be given to birds as they can be harmful to their health. Saltine Crackers: Saltine crackers are made with white flour and baking soda. They are extremely high in sodium and should not be given to birds.Are birds allowed popcorn? ›
Popcorn. Believe it or not, many pet birds enjoy snacking on popcorn. You can serve your bird either popped or unpopped kernels. If you choose to serve the popcorn unpopped, boil the kernels for a bit in plain water to soften the tough hulls.Can I throw popcorn to birds? ›
Many types of birds can eat popcorn kernels. It's also fine to feed birds popcorn that has been popped. Whether unpopped or popped, popcorn is full of fibre and low in sugar. Therefore, it's a nutritious treat that you can offer to your visiting birds.What human snacks can birds eat? ›
- Apples. Birds that eat apples: Eastern bluebird, pine grosbeak, gray catbird, northern cardinal, northern flicker, American robin, scarlet tanager, cedar waxwing and red-bellied woodpecker. ...
- Bananas. ...
- Eggshells. ...
- Melon, Pumpkin and Squash Seeds. ...
- Peanut Butter. ...
Can a parrot eat french fries? Parrots can eat cooked potato, and this extends to french fries. So yes, your feathered friend can have a bite, but for obvious reasons, shouldn't have more than a tiny bit. For most, half a small fry is more than enough.Can my bird eat spaghetti? ›
Cooked plain pasta or rice is a great source of carbohydrates for birds. Wash thoroughly to remove any oil or salt and cut into small pieces. As with cheese, no mouldy or rotten meat should be given to birds.Can parrots eat ice cream? ›
Can I Feed Ice Cream to My Pet Parrot? Pet parrots can eat ice cream in moderation. Be sure to only offer plain vanilla ice cream and avoid over-feeding them with sugary treats. As a pet bird owner, it's your responsibility to provide your bird with a healthy diet that is full of nutritious foods.Can cockatiels eat popcorn? ›
Cockatiels, and other birds of the parrot family, such as macaws, can safely eat a small amount of popcorn as part of their diet. This should be plain popcorn with no additives or flavorings and should be offered only in moderation.
No fatty or processed meat: Cockatiels should avoid fatty and processed meats such as sausages, bacon, and deli meats as they contain high amounts of salt and harmful preservatives.Can birds eat marshmallows? ›
A marshmallow is typically made from sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. Individually, those are all ingredients that a bird can technically have safely. You will find them in both commercial bird foods and DIY bird food recipes.Can birds eat Fritos? ›
Junk food such as chips, cheese puffs, corn chips, pretzels, and other foods are all bad for birds. They offer very little nutritional value and are filled with processed chemicals that have not been tested on birds, so their effects cannot be predicted.
Many birds enjoy spicy peppers too—but only because they can't actually feel the heat. We know that birds have different taste receptors from humans. In fact, all animals taste flavors differently (cats lack the ability to taste sweetness).Can cockatiels eat pretzels? ›
But, just as too much salt isn't good for us, it also isn't good for our birds, and even a little bit is potentially toxic to a small bird. Even a single salty chip or pretzel can throw off the electrolyte and fluid balance in a bird's tiny body, leading to excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney failure and death.Can birds eat ramen? ›
When we cook pasta or grains, it is subjected to intense heat that speeds the absorption rate up enormously. A bird's body will digest these foods long before they could expand to a degree where a bird was in danger. I can say without any hesitation whatsoever that dried pasta is safe for birds.Can cockatiels pizza? ›
Processed foods generally contain additives that are not healthy for avian species. If your Cockatiel flies down to your plate and flies off with a slice of cake, pizza or potato, this behaviour should not be encouraged; but it's unlikely they will suffer serious ill health by eating one piece of unsuitable food.Can birds drink vodka? ›
Just like with humans, too much alcohol ingestion can be fatal. Alcohol depresses the organ systems of birds and can be fatal. Whenever alcohol is being served in your home, keep your bird safe and secure it in its cage.Is it OK to feed birds cheese? ›
Birds can digest fermented dairy products, such as cheese. Mild grated cheese can be a good way of attracting robins, wrens and dunnocks. Warning: never give milk to any bird. A bird's gut is not designed to digest milk and it can give them serious stomach upsets or even kill them.Is cheese toxic to birds? ›
Yes, birds can eat cheese – and it's safe for them. Cheese is made of milk but unlike other dairy and animal products, it is low on lactose. While dairy products are not technically toxic, studies show that birds cannot digest lactose properly.
Benefits of Cheese to Birds
Generally, cheese is high in protein, minerals, and vitamins. It's a good source of protein for birds and helps balance their diet. By feeding birds cheese, they can get the essential protein they require to stay healthy and strong.
If you enjoy a snack, you might wonder if can birds eat Cheetos too. Really, while birds will often snap these and other unhealthy snacks up if offered, you should not feed junk food like this to birds. The odd one here and there likely won't do too much harm, but definitely don't make it a regular thing.Can birds eat oatmeal? ›
Yes, birds can eat porridge oats, but they need to be dry – cooked (or wet) and they will stick to and set around birds' beaks.Can birds eat bacon? ›
The chemical preservatives in commercial bacon become more concentrated once cooked. While this doesn't pose a health threat to humans, it can be harmful to birds. Bread and table scraps should be avoided, too.What is the most toxic thing to birds? ›
- Heavy Metals, Especially Lead, Zinc and Copper. ...
- Avocado. ...
- Caffeine. ...
- Chocolate. ...
- Onions and Garlic. ...
- Salt and Fat. ...
- Fruit Pits and Apple Seeds. ...
Eggs are a completely natural food and are good for your birds—they have no carbohydrates and no sugar—but, as with anything, moderation is key to a healthy flock.Can birds eat egg? ›
It might seem strange to feed them eggs, but cooked eggs are a highly nutritious and wholesome meal for many wild birds. They also love crushed eggshells, so you could even cook and crush up your boiled egg leftovers to feed to the garden birds!Why can't birds have dairy? ›
Birds lack the enzyme lactase, so they're lactose intolerant like some humans are. While there are some birds that like to have milk or cheese or yogurt in their diet, many of those things do have lactose in them.Can birds have pizza? ›
Pet birds should have only occasional additions to their main, balanced diet. Some pizzas may be just fine – but only as a very occasional treat.Can parrots eat peanut butter? ›
Peanut butter is a good high-protein food for birds, and they can eat any of the same types humans do. If you're buying it specifically for birds, look for natural or organic types with the fewest additives. Try offering crunchy peanut butter for an extra nutty treat.