Note: Pet Educate is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

Can Cockatiels Eat Rice? [What Every Owner Needs To Know]

If you own a pet cockatiel, then naturally you are going to have some questions about their diet. What about rice? Is this safe to feed, what types of rice could you potentially offer and how does it need to be served. These are just some of the questions which we will look to address today. I’ve done some research which I would like to share with you below.

So can cockatiels eat rice? Cockatiels can eat rice – both brown and white rice. Brown and wild rice are preferred because it contains more nutrients. However, rice should not make up a significant proportion of the diet and should only be fed infrequently and as a treat.

Adding diced and cut-up vegetables to the rice is a good way of adding variety and improving the nutritional content further.

You should look to feed your cockatiel a varied diet consisting of premium seeds, pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

This will ensure they remain healthy, are able to fight off a potential infection, and also grow out their unique feathers.

Certain proteins, grains, and nuts can also be fed in moderation.

One of which is rice – let us now take a closer look at this food and how you can safely feed it to your bird.

Can Cockatiels Eat Brown Rice?

Cockatiels can eat brown rice, and they generally enjoy eating it.

Many owners report that their cockatiels enjoy consuming brown rice. It can be fed either on its own (cooked), or mixed into its regular food.

Brown, and other types of wild rice, are considered a better option when feeding rice to your bird.

This is because it contains more vitamins and minerals than white rice (which is processed and has had all of these removed).

Brown Rice Nutrition

Brown Rice Nutrition:
Brown Rice Nutrition per 28g. Source: NutritionData

Consider that due to the nature of brown rice, it contains the husk and fiber.

For this reason, you need to cook it for longer to ensure that it becomes softer for your cockatiel to consume.

You then need to leave an ample amount of time for it to cool down to ensure your bird does not burn themselves.

You may notice when feeding brown rice that it sticks to your cockatiel’s beak.

They will then nibble, shake it off, pick it up again, and then the cycle tends to repeat. It’s quite endearing to watch.

Brown rice should be fed in moderation, but is a grain that is good to feed alongside whole wheat bread, baked corn, and bread. It is a good source of carbohydrates.

Can Cockatiels Eat White Rice?

Cockatiels can eat white rice, and they equally will and do enjoy eating it.

Again, you can feed it on its own, but for white rice, it is best to mix it in with other fruits and vegetables as it does contain any nutrition at all.

This is why white rice should be fed more infrequently and as a special treat. Take a look below at the lack of nutrition that white rice has:

White Rice Nutrition

White Rice Nutrition:
Un-enriched White Rice Nutrition per 28g. Source: NutritionData

As you can see, there is still some nutrition in white rice, but there is quite a lot less.

Consider that white rice is more processed, but it does cook more quickly, especially if you opt for a shorter grain variety.

Just make sure when cooking white rice you leave sufficient time for it to cool before offering it to your bird.

How To Feed Rice To Your Cockatiel

When it comes to feeding your cockatiel rice, whether brown or white, first and foremost it is best to cook it.

By cooking the rice, you are making it easier for them to digest and they will generally prefer to eat it in this way.

When providing cooked rice, you should only ever boil and steam it. Water should only ever be used.

You should not look to add salt, spices, or any added fats (like butter) – this is not required and can cause more harm than good to the health of your bird.

When feeding rice to your bird, you must ensure it is fully cooked and then give it sufficient time to cool down.

This will prevent digestive issues and the risk of burning to your bird’s mouths or insides.

You only need to serve a small amount of rice at a time – you can either feed it to them directly or place it in their bowls.

Some owners like to mix it with other foods.

Mixing in diced carrots, peas and corn work well, and this can provide a more wholesome treat for your bird.

Equally, you can add in a small amount of fruit, like a cubed apple.

But, what about uncooked rice? This is not ideal to feed nor does a cockatiel generally enjoy consuming it in this way. In fact, as it is more difficult to consume, some tiels will not even attempt to try and eat it at all.

In Summary

You may have heard of a popular rumor circulating the internet that birds, including tiels, cannot eat rice. This is a myth.

It does not expand in their stomachs, disrupts the digestive system or causes death like some will have you believe.

Cockatiels can eat rice. In fact, they generally really enjoy doing so. Especially when you offer it with some other treats, fruits, and vegetables.

That being said, rice should never make up a significant portion of their diet. It should be an infrequent treat given in small quantities in moderation.

Brown rice is best, but white rice can equally be provided and enjoyed.

It’s important to note that not all cockatiels will be fond of it, just like other foods. Each bird has their own unique preferences and these should be respected.

Other than that, be sure to provide your cockatiel with a high-quality seed blend like ZuPreem from Amazon (which contains all the nutritional variety and mental stimulation your bird needs).

It will ensure your bird gets the exact vitamins and minerals they need to live a healthier longer life and be more vibrant with better feathering.

From there offer a variety of different fruits and vegetables – cutting them into small pieces for your bird to safely consume.

Apples (without seeds), bananas, oranges, carrots, peppers, broccoli, corn on the cob, and peas are some of the best.

Add in some protein sources like dried legumes (black beans, navy beans, red beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils) and lean meats (chicken) and your bird will have all that they need

Grains, like rice, can then be an enjoyable treat every once in a while.

Wondering what else Cockatiels can eat? My following guides may be of help: