Strawberries are known as an excellent source of nutrients, but is it safe for cockatiels to eat and enjoy them as we do? We like to give a variety of fruits and vegetables to or our bird(s) because we want them to be healthy by obtaining all the vitamins and minerals they need!
So, can cockatiels eat strawberries? Cockatiels can eat strawberries. Berries are among the safest foods to feed to birds including cockatiels. Remember not to overfeed your cockatiel strawberries or any fruit for that matter. The fruit should be provided infrequently and only as a treat. The main bulk of these bird’s diets must be pellets.
If you have a pet cockatiel (or are thinking of getting one), you will routinely think about potential food sources to provide. Strawberries are no exception. This article will now explore in further depth why feeding strawberries in moderation is a good idea.
Strawberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, and they help support the growth and maintenance of healthy feathers in your cockatiel. This berry further supports your bird’s immune system; protecting them from bacteria, viruses and other problematic germs they may come into contact with.
It is perfectly safe, and even preferable, to offer strawberries to your cockatiel a couple of times a week (1-3 times).
Make sure that you only provide small amounts at a time (1-2 strawberries in one sitting). This is because despite their wealth of nutrients and vitamins, they do contain natural sugars. In excess, this could lead to health problems for your bird (like weight management issues).
Nonetheless, if fed appropriately strawberries are a great source of nutrition. Strawberries are abundant in:
- Vitamin C – which is necessary for a healthy immune system.
- Folate (vitamin B 9) – folate is vital for healthy tissue development and cell function.
- Potassium – This mineral is involved with many essential body functions like regulating blood pressure.
- Manganese – Manganese is crucial for many processes in your birds body.
- Fiber – Strawberries are high in fiber which needs to be included in your cockatiel’s diet. The fiber contained in strawberries promotes healthy bowel movements in your birds.
Can Cockatiels Eat Strawberry Seeds?
Cockatiels can eat strawberry seeds. Strawberry seeds are not toxic to birds in the same way that apple and apricot seeds are toxic to birds.
Strawberries are irresistible to cockatiels because they are deliciously sweet, and it is a bonus that strawberries contain many essential vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that your cockatiel needs for optimum health. In short, strawberries and their seeds are perfectly safe for cockatiels to eat.
Your biggest worry is contamination, as strawberries are contaminated with more pesticides in comparison to many other fruits.
Make sure that you wash the strawberries thoroughly before feeding them to your cockatiel.
No bird owner wants their beloved pet to be sick from contamination. Pesticides have even caused fatalities in some birds.
If you are very concerned about your cockatiel consuming harmful pesticides, organic is the solution. If you can, it is advised you opt for organic if possible and available.
Remember to regulate the number of strawberries you feed to your cockatiel. Make sure only to feed strawberries to your cockatiel a few times a week and include other fruits and vegetables.
You must bear in mind that cockatiels have crops, and when they eat food, it can stay in the crop for 12 hours before it’s digested.
Because food stays in the crop for some time, make sure that the strawberries you feed your cockatiel are fresh.
Strawberries spoil at a faster rate than most fruits, this can cause their crop to bloat, and it can make them very sick. A bloated crop can be very painful for your bird.
How To Feed Strawberries To Cockatiels
You will find that feeding strawberries to your cockatiel can become quite messy. Make sure that you are ready to clean up when they finish.
A mess is inevitable when you feed something as colorful and juicy as strawberries to your bird.
You can chop the strawberries into small pieces to allow your cockatiel to pick them up by themselves; this reduces the mess somewhat.
Before feeding strawberries to your cockatiel, there are some steps you must follow to ensure that your bird is happy and enjoying the fruit:
Wash Off Potential Pesticides & Dirt
If you were going to eat strawberries, you would surely wash them. The same goes for your cockatiel. Thoroughly clean the berries, removing any visible signs of dirt and debris.
Cut The Strawberries Into Small Pieces
Cockatiels have small beaks. Make sure that you cut the strawberries into small pieces so that they can be quickly picked up and eaten.
Sometimes birds are frightened of the color red, so, cutting the fruit into smaller pieces will make it less intimidating.
Read Your Birds Body Language
Disliking strawberries is not beyond the realm of possibility for your cockatiel. Many love strawberries, and if you put it straight into their cage, they will go for it.
Other birds may be frightened, especially by the color. If you notice you’re birds are stressed, remove the fruit and try again later.
Serve The Strawberries With Greens
Since many birds consider red to be a predatory color, help them to overcome this fear by disguising the strawberry.
Get creative and introduce green in among the strawberries. Excellent choices of greens include broccoli, cucumber, parsley, and cabbage.
Remove Leftovers At The End Of Each Day
Make sure to remove any uneaten strawberries from your bird’s container. Food left uneaten in a cage can spoil very quickly, especially strawberries.
It’s natural to want to encourage your cockatiel new foods like strawberries but not to the point where you leave it, forget it, and it eventually rots.
Bacteria will grow, and if your bird consumes the rotten berry, they are likely to become very sick. It isn’t a risk worth taking, so clean up at the end of each day.
Cockatiels can eat a diversity of fruits and vegetables; it’s good to know that strawberries are among the safest fruits and that there is more than one way to offer them to your cockatiel.
It is advantageous to recognize that cockatiels like many birds have a fear of the color red, understanding this fact helps many owners to sensitively read their bird’s body language, before offering new foods.
Can cockatiels eat strawberries? Most certainly, albeit in moderation. 1-3 times per week is advised.
When it comes to food, cockatiels are very discerning regarding what they like and do not like.
You must make sure that you do not force your bird to eat something that he doesn’t want to eat; this will only cause stress.
When wondering what to feed your cockatiel, variety is vital.
Serve up a variety of fruit and vegetables in small amounts to your cockatiel.
It is an excellent idea to offer food that’s chopped or shredded in small pieces as this will encourage your cockatiel to try the new foods on offer.
Other than this, be sure to provide them with high-quality pellet feed which should make up the majority of their diet.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on the best pellets, if you are looking for some.
Wondering what else Cockatiels can eat? My following guides may be of help:
- Can Cockatiels Eat Grapes?
- Can Cockatiels Eat Cucumber?
- Can Cockatiels Eat Lettuce?
- Can Cockatiels Eat Mealworms?
- Can Cockatiels Eat Cheese?
- Can Cockatiels Eat Eggs?
- Can Cockatiels Eat Rice?
- Can Cockatiels Eat Bread
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.