No, cockatiels can not drink cow’s milk. Nor should they ever consume any sort of dairy product made from cow’s milk including cheeses, ice cream or butter.
Cockatiels are lactose intolerant and feeding them milk can cause problems with their digestive system and can be painful and even fatal.
They can also show symptoms of milk allergies which can result in vomiting and even death.
In addition, today’s cow’s milk contains many types of antibiotics, steroids and other drugs that do not completely break down in the cow and are passed on to anyone consuming it, including you and I.
It’s interesting to note that only humans drink the milk of another species and continues to consume it long after our natural weaning age.
So if a cockatiel isn’t going around drinking the milk from a cow, goat or other animal in the wild, it should be safe to assume they shouldn’t be drinking it at all.
Research has shown that the natural gut characteristics of a cockatiel do not have the natural bacteria to break down dairy products.
Can Cockatiels Drink Chocolate Milk?
No, cockatiels shouldn’t drink chocolate milk for the same reasons above.
In fact, chocolate milk is even more harmful as chocolate is considered a highly toxic food for all birds and should never be fed to them.
In addition chocolate milk has a lot of artificial sweeteners and preservatives and no real nutritional value for your pet.
So no, never give your cockatiel chocolate milk or chocolate of any kind.
What Happens if a Cockatiel Drinks Cow’s Milk?
Most often the bird will develop diarrhea and a possible mild case of nausea. In more extreme cases the intestines can become full of gasses and be quite painful for the bird. Your cockatiel may even begin to bite being in so much pain.
If your pet cockatiels show signs of diarrhea, vomiting or they begin to screech and move around a lot after consuming dairy products, you should bring them to a specialist avian veterinarian to be checked out.
Can Cockatiels Drink Coconut Milk?
Yes, cockatiels can drink coconut milk as coconut is something that cockatiels will eat in their natural wild habitats.
In fact, coconut milk has many beneficial qualities for a bird and unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk does not have any lactose at all.
If you decide to give your pet some coconut milk, it’s best, and cheapest, to just buy a coconut and make the milk yourself.
This way you can use all of the coconut for either you or your pet cockatiel. Start out with giving your bird the coconut water while you make the milk.
Place the coconut in a blender and then squeeze out the fresh milk from the pulp. The entire fruit is safe for cockatiel so whatever is left you can feed it to your cockatiel over the coming week.
Can Cockatiels Drink Soy Milk?
Yes, they can drink soy milk as it doesn’t contain any lactose and the bird can break down the milk in its gut.
There has been a lot of recent research on using soy and soy milk on chickens and soy has been found to increase gut microbes that can fight of common avian diseases.
But there are potential hazards giving soy milk to a pet cockatiel.
Soy milk is produced mainly for human consumption and has many unlabeled or undisclosed ingredients as well as artificial flavorings and preservatives.
While these additives may not seem like an immediate danger, over time with constant consumption it is possible they may cause future problems.
I you must give your cockatiel soy milk, purchase the purest form you can with the minimal amount of flavorings and preservatives.
Can Cockatiels Drink Hemp Milk?
Like soy milk, hemp milk is a plant based drink so the drink itself shouldn’t be harmful to your cockatiel.
It’s the other unnatural ingredients that are packaged into the milk you need to be concerned about.
It’s best to forgo a commercially produced milk and just make your own from seeds and water. It’s cost efficient and you’ll know your bird is getting only the very best ingredients.
The Importance of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
All birds should have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It is part of their natural diet and they contain all types of vitamins and minerals birds require to stay healthy.
Another important reason to always feed your pet fresh foods is their water volume. Most fruits contain high amounts of water in them making them not only a nutritious food source, but a water source as well.
This can become even more important when a bird doesn’t drink as often as it should. Or you are supplementing their diet with processed foods that don’t contain any water such as pellets and other dried or processed foods.
These foods not only offer no liquid intake for your bird, but due to their dry packaging they pull water from your bird in order to be properly broken down during digestion.
So rather than cheese or other dairy products that are bad for your pet, try to feed them as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible.
But never feed your pet cockatiel avocados, onion or garlic as they are toxic foods for all birds. See our list of toxic foods here.
Cockatiels should never drink milk or even consume any type of dairy product including cheese or ice cream. The enzymes as well as other harmful bacteria that are passed on from the cow are harmful to any bird’s digestive system.
If you are ever wondering “can my cockatiel drink milk” or any other liquid other than water, just think to yourself if the food or liquid naturally occurs in nature.
If the answer is no, then it’s a safe assumption that you shouldn’t be feeding it to your pet, even as a “treat”. If yes, like coconut milk, then definitely give your pet a healthy treat.
Stick to a variety of all natural foods and water for a healthy pet. The better you can mimic a cockatiel’s natural diet, the healthier your pet bird will be.