When it comes to owning a pet cockatiel, it is common and only natural question the kind of foods you can offer. Providing treats is a rewarding experience, and variety is known to support the health and longevity of these birds. Some food, especially fruits and vegetables, instinctively appear safe. But what about eggs? Should you be looking to provide this protein source, and if so, what is the best way to do so? With multiple questions in mind I spent some time researching the suitability of them in a tiel’s diet. I will be sharing all that I found here today.
So, can cockatiels eat eggs? Cockatiels can eat eggs and they are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Chicken and quail eggs are perhaps the most widely available and both can be fed. However, eggs should only be offered in moderation, in limited serving sizes and cooked without added fats, condiments and seasonings. Hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled and even providing raw eggs are all excellent options.
It’s a good idea to encourage your cockatiel to try new foods, and it’s the best way to ensure your bird gets a varied diet.
The good news is that cockatiels are not ones to overeat, and while it’s good to encourage them to try new foods, you should never need to force them to do so. Your cockatiel will decide what they both do and do not want to eat – it’s entirely their decision. And, this must be respected.
Eggs are highly nutritious, and while it may seem strange that birds eat eggs considering they lay eggs themselves, its actually an entirely natural process. Many birds are known to eat the eggs of other species.
In the wild, cockatiels will steal an egg if it’s within easy reach. Beyond this, it takes a sharp mind to make it in the wild, and egg yolks contain a nutrient called choline. This nutrient feeds the brain, and it helps to relay signals in the brain at a rapid pace. This is perhaps one of the reasons they are so highly sought out.
You can offer up eggs in a variety of ways to your cockatiel – both cooked and even raw. Many owners report that their birds enjoy eating eggs soft-boiled, hard-boiled and scrambled. Anecdotally, more experienced birds often like their eggs raw (which is typically easier to digest).
Let us now take a closer look at this intriguing food source for cockatiels. We will look at the most commonly asked questions, including; are eggs healthy, how often and how to feed them to your bird. Lastly, we will cover other great treats that you can provide to boost the variety and nutrition in the diet.
So, be sure to keep on reading to ensure you obtain all the information you need!
Are Eggs Healthy For Cockatiels?
Eggs are healthy for cockatiels, as long as they are offered with some considerations in mind.
Perhaps the stand out considerations include; offering them in moderation and preparing them properly.
Let us now take a closer at the nutritional content of chicken eggs, the most widely available type and variety:
Nutritional Content of Chicken Eggs
|Vitamin B-12||0.5 µg|
|Vitamin A||90.5 µg|
As you can see, eggs consist mostly of protein and fats; which do need to be managed in a chickens diet.
That being said, eggs are very rich in a number of nutrients; including some highly important vitamins and minerals. For example, eggs contain decent amounts of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 along with zinc, iron and copper.
Beyond this, the yolk contains an essential nutrient called choline. Studies have confirmed that it boosts brainpower, helping the brain think at a faster rate. As you can imagine, this is essential any wild animal/bird and their survival.
We must remember that our pet cockatiels, despite being domesticated and kept in captivity, still have their natural instincts, behaviors and needs.
Additionally, choline is known to distribute other nutrients throughout the body where it’s most needed, and it also aids liver function.
So, being able to introduce more choline in the diet has its benefits, and eggs can be used as such.
Furthermore, the protein in eggs provide a number of amino acids that further support brain function. These all help to develop neurotransmitters, that enable messages to be delivered to neurons. These are crucial to allow fast-thinking.
We must acknowledge that amino acids cannot be created within the body, so we must consume foods that contain these acids. This is true for cockatiels as it is for us humans.
One other potential benefit of eggs are their shells.
Eggshells are abundant in calcium, which birds also need to consume in their diet. Not only does calcium play a role in helping a bird lay eggs with strong shells of their own, but it also plays a key role for captive birds in developing strong bones.
Eggs are a fairly economical source of food, and all of the egg is safe to eat. This does include the shell.
Otherwise, you can purchase cleaned and pre-crushed eggshells which is an effective strategy to supplement your birds calcium intake.
Eggs, from many different birds, are a healthy treat for cockatiels. Chicken eggs are perhaps the most popular and widely available, but quail eggs are a great option too. Either way, keep in mind that it must be part of a complete and nutritionally balanced diet.
Aside from a balanced diet, cockatiels need plenty of freshwater each day. Tap water will suffice, but access to fresh spring water is best.
It’s essential to change feeding and water bowls as bacteria and fungus can thrive in stagnant water.
How Often Should You Feed Your Cockatiel Eggs?
You can feed eggs to your cockatiel once per week, be it soft, hard-boiled, or scrambled. You can also offer the eggshells as long as you make sure that they are washed and crushed. They are an excellent source of calcium and a great natural way to supplement this important mineral.
When it comes to treats, like eggs, you must keep in mind that adult cockatiels require 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of pellets or seeds a day. This should be the mainstay of the diet; and provides them with most of the nutrition that they will need to be healthy.
As such, its imperative to seek out a high quality pelleted feed. Volkman do an excellent blend formulated especially for cockatiels, and you can get it for a great price over at Amazon.
Once they have had their mainstay of either seeds or pellets, you can think about offering treats.
Variety is crucial, and this ensures that your tiel receives not only adequate nutrition, but it keeps them interested in food by trying different flavors and textures.
How To Feed Eggs To Your Cockatiel
You can serve eggs soft, hard-boiled, scrambled and poached. Fried eggs are not ideal, primarily because they are fried in fat and this should be managed in the diet. Remember, eggs contain fats already.
Make sure that you don’t add any seasoning to eggs, like salt and pepper. Equally, condiments are not necessary and do not provide any benefit.
If you serve hard-boiled eggs, you can chop them up into small pieces or slice them. With soft boiled, you can crack the top and let your cockatiel peck away at it.
Bear in mind, that it isn’t advised to serve hard-boiled eggs to a cockatiel that isn’t used to eating eggs.
Boiling the egg removes the hard protein that makes it difficult to breakdown in the cockatiel’s intestines. You can introduce eggs gradually to a novice egg-eater, and it’s best to make sure that the eggs are cooked right through.
Scrambled eggs are easier for cockatiels to digest because they’re soft, but you must not use seasoning or use oil when cooking them. Equally, you should limit the amount of milk you add to them.
Some cockatiels can eat raw eggs, and this often includes the white, the yolk, and the shell.
You can purchase cleaned and packaged eggshells on the market when feeding eggshells if you do not want to prepare them yourself. Although if you do, make sure that they are cleaned and tested for contaminants. This is the type of product to buy from Amazon.
Before offering any egg, make sure that it is is cooled to room temperature before serving them to your bird.
Once they have finished, remove all uneaten egg from the cage to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.
Other Treats To Offer Your Cockatiel
Cockatiels like to eat a wide range of foods – this includes vegetables, fruit, and other treats.
As long as your tiel has his mainstay of pellets or seeds, you can guarantee they are meeting their nutritional needs.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure your cockatiel’s bowl is three-quarters full of seed or pellets each day. Make sure to discard empty seed hulls from your bird’s food dish.
Your bird can consume dark leafy greens like:
- Bok choy,
- and many more.
Leafy greens are usually high in vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. These greens are also an excellent source of iron and calcium. Your bird can consume leafy greens every other day.
Vegetables including the following also make excelelnt treats, and these birds love to consume them:
- Bell Peppers
Fruits like apple, banana, melon, strawberries, and more can be fed once a week. Fruit is high in fructose so if your tiel overindulges, the sugars can cause health problems.
Your tiel must consume more veggies than fruit.
You can offer millet spray or a honey stick to your cockatiel no more than once a month as a special treat.
Sprouting seeds is another popular choice to feed to cockatiels, and they are packed with nutrients.
In their natural habitat, cockatiels dine on pods, fruits, nuts, legumes, seeds, and flowers – these are live foods.
For a tiel in captivity, sprouting seeds are a welcome treat that replicates their natural feeding habits. Sprouting seeds are an excellent source of nutrition in the winter when fresh veggies are in short supply.
Sprouting is relatively inexpensive, and you don’t need much equipment; you can sprout seeds on kitchen paper.
You can do the water test to see if your seeds will germinate, put some seeds into a container of water, and if they float to the top, chances are they will not germinate; however, the seeds at the bottom of the container will germinate.
If you enjoy nature walks, there is plenty of food available that is ideal for cockatiels like young nettles, dock, and chickweed. You will also find berries like hawthorn and cotoneaster that many birds like including cockatiels.
Foods To Avoid
Certain foods must never be fed to your cockatiel.
Processed foods typically contain additives that are not healthy for birds.
Sometimes cockatiels can be naughty and fly away with a slice of their owner’s cake, fries, or pizza; you must never encourage this type of behavior.
When it comes to specific foods, you must stand your ground and not let your bird get their way.
If your cockatiel eats the odd unhealthy treat, there is no need to panic; if it’s only a small piece, chances are it won’t harm them.
In terms of what you may inadvertently offer, avoid feeding the following foods:
- High salt foods
- High fat foods
Eggs are a perfectly acceptable treat to offer your cockatiel, but you should only provide eggs in moderation.
Cockatiels require a nutritionally balanced diet, and they derive most of the nutrition they need from their mainstay of seeds or pellets.
Make sure that your cockatiel has at least one and a half tablespoons of seeds or pellets before offering treats such as eggs.
A healthy cockatiel will be active, bright-eyed, and have smooth, glossy feathers, and he will have an upright posture.
If the feathers look dull, fluffed up throughout the day, or they are sitting at the bottom of their enclosure, this is a clear sign of poor health.
Cockatiels often prefer to sleep with their heads tucked beneath one wing; however, if this occurs for many hours throughout the daytime, this is also a sign of poor health.
It’s crucial to understand how a healthy cockatiel should look, and the signs are always transparent. As long as your bird eats a mainstay and enjoys a variety of healthy foods, they should be perfectly fine and live a happy and long life in your care,
Treats at that point, become a rewarding and exciting addition.
Can Cockatiels eat scrambled eggs? Cockatiels can eat scrambled eggs, so long as they do not contain any added fats, milk, seasoning or condiments. Scrambled eggs are relatively easy for a bird to consume and many enjoy eating them this way. Nevertheless, scrambled eggs should be served as a treat, once per week at most.
Can Cockatiels eat hard-boiled eggs? Adult cockatiels can eat hard-boiled eggs, as well as soft-boiled eggs too. Younger cockatiels and those not use to eggs will do better with egg either raw or scrambled. However, many older cockatiels enjoy pecking at the yolk and can be an enjoyable experience for them. All in all, hard-boiled eggs should be served as a treat, once per week at most.