Avocados are the hot favorite food of the young generation, with people putting it in almost everything. But can cockatiels eat avocados? Let’s find out.
Cockatiels are some of the most popular pet birds in American households.
They are extremely smart and intelligent birds that very quickly become a part of your way of life. But keeping these birds at home brings in a number of responsibilities.
As a bird parent, there are many things that you should know, but the most important among these is what not to give your bird to eat.
In this article, we will talk about whether avocados have any place in your ‘tiels diet. Can you give your birds a taste of this popular fruit? Is it harmful to them?
Read on to find out.
Avocado Nutritional Info: Why Humans Love The Fruit
Avocado is being seen as a superfood right now due to its higher fiber and low carbohydrate content, which makes it a good item to manage cholesterol.
An average-sized avocado (7 ounces, or 201 gm) contains around 322 calories. The nutrient breakdown can be listed as follows:
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 30 grams (Polyunsaturated 3.66g, monounsaturated 19.7g, Rest is fatty acids)
- Fiber: 14 grams
- Vitamins: Includes a high proportion of Vitamin C, K, and E, around 30% of the daily required value
- Other nutrients: High content of Riboflavin, Niacin, Sodium, Potassium, and Copper.
The high concentration of healthy fats and fiber in avocados makes them good for a diabetic diet that helps reduce sugar absorption and improves good cholesterol.
It is known to help in building immunity (Vitamin C, Riboflavin, and Niacin).
Besides the health benefits, avocados are extremely popular now because of their unique appearance and taste.
The smooth exterior, the single hard seed inside, and the tangy taste make it a popular ingredient in salads, appetizers, and even sandwiches!
Why You Should Never Give Avocado To Cockatiels
Cockatiels are very picky eaters, and as a bird owner, you have to take up the responsibility of getting them used to a balanced diet.
It is best to include at least 25% of fresh vegetables and fruits in their diets to avoid them from becoming seed junkies and to ensure they get the proper nutrition.
Cockatiels get used to fruits and veggies very quickly, and they also like the taste of hot peppers and seeds.
Now, when it comes to avocados, people think birds can easily have them as nutritional fruit.
But for birds, avocado may be the most dangerous food item you can offer them.
The truth is several bird species (parrots, cockatiels, budgerigars, lovebirds etc) and some animals tend to suffer from avocado toxicosis due to the presence of a compound called persin in this fruit.
In smaller bird species like cockatiels, persin’s toxicity in about 20-30 grams of avocado can be a lethal amount that risks sudden death.
If they ingest avocado, a bird will likely show the first signs and symptoms of avocado toxicosis within 15-20 minutes.
They start getting weak or droopy and will not be able to hold on to a perch.
Other symptoms that can be observed by a veterinarian include rapid heart rate, difficulty in breathing, unrest, weakness, myocardial tissue damage, and liver failure.
In other words, avocado is like poison for cockatiels (and other pet birds). Avocado toxicosis can lead to the death of your bird.
Can It Be Given To Cockatiels In Any Form?
Instinctively, you will find cockatiels avoiding avocado in large amounts.
If your cockatiel ingests it in any form by mistake in a very limited amount, it will not cause harm to the bird’s health.
But it is nevertheless best to keep your bird away from this fruit by any means possible. Let’s look at whether avocado is safe for them in any format at all:
Can a Cockatiel Eat Raw Avocado?
Try not to keep raw avocados anywhere near the reach of your cockatiels.
Make sure you don’t eat it in front of them, especially the chicks, lest they become curious about the fruit.
Most birds stay away from avocados instinctively, but younger ones might not have developed the sense to avoid them.
Can Cockatiels Eat Cooked Avocado?
Cooked foods that contain avocado, like guacamole, can also be dangerous for your birds.
While cooked avocado may seem more innocent, the persin content might be even higher in this form since the fiber has been stripped off.
If you are trying to feed your bird guacamole, make sure not to give it more than one or two licks. We would suggest not trying it at all.
Can Cockatiels Eat Avocado Leaves?
No, the leaves of the avocado plant are also not the safest for a cockatiel. These leaves contain the same toxin that is in the fruit.
If you have an avocado plant in the house, make sure you keep it out of your tiels reach. It would be best to keep the plant outside the house or at least in a separate room.
Can Cockatiels Eat Avocado Stems?
Unfortunately, the stem of the avocado plant also contains a high amount of persin. Ingesting avocado stems can be more dangerous than the fruit itself.
If your bird gets curious and starts nibbling on the stem of an avocado plant, it can be dangerous for them.
Can Cockatiels Eat Avocado Oil?
Avocado is known to be high in oil content because of the seed, and many people use this oil for cooking their food.
However, feeding your bird food cooked with avocado oil is another no-no because it will have the same compound that can be fatal to your bird.
What Should I Do If My Bird Ate Avocado?
It can be difficult to see the early signs of avocado toxicosis if your bird has accidentally eaten the fruit. Typically, your bird might look restless, droopy, and weak.
But sometimes, if you find out early enough, your feathered friend may still have a fighting chance.
When your bird has ingested avocado, the basic first aid you should give is to try to get them to take a dose of activated charcoal.
This chemical can absorb the toxin in the bird’s body and might give it a fighting chance.
You should then rush them to a vet. They might try to manage the poisoning by doing a thorough screening of how much damage has been done.
It is difficult to save the birds in most cases because of their small size and body weight because even a relatively small amount of persin can be deadly for a cockatiel.
But still, the best chance a cockatiel has of surviving after eating an avocado is with a veterinarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods are toxic to cockatiels?
There are a few things that cockatiels should never be allowed to eat as they can be extremely harmful to their health.
These include avocados, caffeine, dairy products, tapioca, fruit pits, onion, garlic, and chives, anything with xylitol (artificial sweetener), Chinese cinnamon, and apple seeds.
Which birds can eat avocado?
Tropical raptors like Bellbirds, Trogons, Quetzals, and Black kites have been observed to eat avocados, despite the presence of persin.
This usually happens when there is no prey available. They consume avocados because it has a high fat content, which makes them sustain longer.
Can birds eat avocado skin?
No, birds should not be allowed to eat avocado skins as it contains the toxic compound persin.
If a bird ingests a high amount of avocado, even from the skin, it can be fatal for them. They will suffer from heart palpitations, weakness, respiratory distress, weakness, and, ultimately, death.
What human food is poisonous to birds?
Dairy products, chocolates, coffee/teas, onions, and garlic are some human foods unsuitable for birds.
Onions and garlic can rupture blood cells and cause heart damage. Chocolate, coffee, and tea contain caffeine which is also poisonous to birds.
Apart from this, anything that has high salt or sugar content is not good for most pets.
These are not toxic, but they can cause a number of health issues like heart and kidney damage if they feed on these things in high quantities.
When you have a tiny little bird at home, its health should be the most important priority. So make sure you never take a chance with their diets.
Avocados are dangerous to most birds and can even cause death. Everything, including the pit, the skin, its oil, stem, leaves, and of course, the fruit itself, are toxic.
Make sure there are no accidents and take the necessary precautions to keep your curious birds away from the plant.
Thank you for reading!