Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage? (#1 Answer)

Thinking of feeding some lovely fresh chopped cabbage to your tiel? Think again. In this article, we look at why it might not be such a good idea.

Cockatiels are loving and gentle pet birds. These small birds love fresh fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, fresh foods help keep pet cockatiels happy and give them a balanced diet. Fresh vegetables like cabbage are loaded with numerous vitamins, minerals, and folate.

So, can cockatiels eat cabbage? The answer, surprisingly, is no.

In this article, I will tell you why in detail.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Cabbage Nutritional Info

Cabbage is low in calories but is packed with various nutrients. One cup of chopped cabbage contains the following nutrients.

  • Calories – 22 grams
  • Calcium – 3 percent of Daily Value(DV)
  • Potassium – 3 percent of DV
  • Magnesium – 3 percent of DV
  • Folate – 10 percent of DV
  • Protein – 1 gram
  • Fiber – 2 gram
  • Manganese – 6 percent of DV
  • Vitamin C – 36 percent of DV
  • Vitamin K – 56 percent of DV
  • Vitamin B6 – 6 percent of DV

Cabbage contains B6 and folate, both of which are essential for various body processes in birds. Calcium is important for egg production.

Additionally, it is a rich source of vitamin C, which is necessary for increasing immunity and reducing the incidence of heart diseases.

Antioxidants in cabbage are also important for keeping birds healthy. Cabbage is also a source of various micronutrients like riboflavin, iron, and vitamin A.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Why It Is Unsafe For Cockatiels

So, despite all experts suggesting vegetables as important for birds and having so much nutrition in them, why is it that cabbages cannot be given to cockatiels?

Adding nutritious food like cabbage to the human diet is highly beneficial. But unfortunately, the same thing does not hold true for birds.

Cabbage is not toxic. It won’t cause disease or death. But it contains oxalic acid like other leafy green vegetables, which can cause calcium deficiency.

Calcium is very important for any bird, including cockatiels, as it helps strengthen muscles and bones. It is even essential for egg-laying.

If your bird is eating lots of cabbage, you must provide your tiel with calcium supplements; otherwise, it will quickly become sick.

It’s better to consider cabbage as an occasional treat for cockatiel.

These birds can be trained to eat a variety of foods. So you can easily substitute cabbage with other fresh fruits or vegetables with the same nutritional value.

For instance, sweet potato and is a good choice to add to your bird’s diet as it contains vitamins and minerals, which help boost the immune system. Similarly, spinach and peas are also a powerhouse of nutrients.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Can Cabbage Be Given To Cockatiels In Any Form?

Cabbage can be raw or cooked. There are many types of cabbage – savoy, red, white, and green. So are all of them bad for your cockatiel? Let’s talk about each type briefly.

Can Cockatiels Eat Raw Cabbage?

Raw cabbage can cause problems in cockatiels. It contains more oxalic acid than the cooked version, which can cause calcium deficiency in your bird (as told before).

Additionally, raw cabbage is quite hard to bite and can even cause digestive problems.

So, it might be better to choose other vegetables like carrots or lettuce for your cockatiel.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Can Cockatiels Eat Cooked Cabbage?

Cooked cabbage can remove most of the oxalic acid present in it. But still, I will not recommend you feed your bird only cooked cabbage because it has fewer nutrients.

A deficiency in proper vitamins and minerals can make your bird sick very quickly.

Avoid cooked cabbage and switch to other fresh vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, peas, sweet potato, and so on.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Can Cockatiels Eat White Cabbage?

White cabbage contains the highest amount of oxalic acid in the cabbage family. Never give it to your pet bird.

There are many other healthier alternatives to cabbage. You can give them to keep your bird healthy.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Can Cockatiels Eat Red Cabbage?

Red cabbage is not really some other vegetable. It is just got a different color, but if you look at the nutritional info charts, there is hardly any difference.

Just like its green brother, red cabbage also contains oxalic acid, which is not good for the pet bird’s health.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Can Cockatiels Eat Savoy Cabbage?

No cockatiels should not be given savoy cabbage.

There are more than 400 varieties of cabbages, but almost all of them have at least some oxalic acid, which, as I discussed above, can cause severe calcium deficiency.

I do not recommend giving any type of cabbage to a cockatiel.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

What Should I Do if My Bird Ate Cabbage?

If your bird eats cabbage, you don’t need to panic because it does not contain toxins. All it does is stop the bird’s body from absorbing calcium.

Hence one or two bites here and there aren’t a problem.

Over the long term, however, cockatiels need calcium during breeding, and calcium deficiency can also weaken bones. It can impact the quality of eggs produced.

So, if your bird likes to eat cabbage, try adding foods rich in calcium, like almonds and carrots, to their diet. This way, the bird can meet its nutritional requirements.

What Fruits and Vegetables Should Cockatiels Eat?

Fresh vegetables like sweet potato, spinach, peas, and mustard greens should make up at least 20-25 percent of the daily diet of cockatiels to meet all their nutritional requirements.

You can even offer some fresh fruits like berries, papaya, or melon on every alternative day.

Fresh foods can significantly help in keeping your bird healthy. Additionally, fresh water should be available every time.

Can Cockatiels Eat Cabbage

Additionally, cockatiels love to eat various types of seeds, including both fruit seeds and grass seeds.

They even eat mustard seeds, but they are high in fat and have less nutritional value. So, try always to feed mustard seeds in fewer quantities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods are toxic to cockatiels?

Certain human foods can be toxic to cockatiels. We are listing them below
Apart from this, xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many products, is also toxic to them. Foods with high salt and sugar content are also bad for cockatiels.

What vegetables are toxic to parrots?

Some vegetables can be toxic to parrots which are listed below
Dairy products
In the parrot family (which includes many pet birds, including cockatiels, budgies, conures, and lovebirds), most birds suffer from similar toxicoses.

Is raw cabbage good for budgies?

Budgies love to eat raw cabbage, but you should feed them in moderate quantities. As I discussed in the article, it can cause a lack of calcium absorption.
Moreover, cabbage also causes digestive issues like gas and bloat in these birds. You can try to give your budgie chopped cabbage to keep the amount it eats low.

Wrap Up

Cockatiels can learn to eat fruits and vegetables, and they are mostly good for them.

Cabbage is also nutritious, but as bird owners, we should not give it to our pet cockatiels because it can cause calcium deficiency in the long term.

It’s best to find some other fresh vegetables with nutritional value similar to cabbage.

Thank you for reading this article.

Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.
Team Beauty of Birds is separate from the “Parrot Parent University” parrot training course and its instructors.

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