Can Cockatiels Eat Cheese? Which Types Are OK To Give?

A delicious piece of cheese might seem like a great treat for birds, But can cockatiels eat cheese, and what precautions should you take while feeding it?

Cheese is not toxic to birds. So yes, you can give it to your cockatiel.

However, there are many types of cheese, some of which are high in lactose and sodium.

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    Always choose cheeses that are low in sodium and lactose for your bird.

    Cheese is a dairy product, and cockatiels don’t produce lactase, an enzyme that breaks lactose content in all dairy products.

    So, you should only offer cheese as an occasional treat to them to avoid digestive tract issues.

    Can Cockatiels Eat Cheese

    Cheese Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels?

    A small amount of cheese can benefit your little bird as it contains various vitamins and minerals which are good for cockatiel’s health.

    One hundred grams of cheese contain approximately the following nutrients.

    • Water -52.6grams
    • Energy -350 Kcal
    • Protein -6.15garms
    • Total lipid fat – 34.4 grams
    • Carbohydrate -5.52 grams
    • Sugar -3.76grams
    • Lactose -3.76grams
    • Calcium -97mg
    • Phosphorous -107mg
    • Iron -0.11mg
    • Potassium -132mg
    • Sodium -314mg
    • Copper -0.018mg
    • Riboflavin -0.23mg
    • Vitamin B6 – 0.056mg
    • Vitamin E -0.86mg
    • Vitamin A -1110IU

    Let’s examine what all of these nutrients can do for your bird.


    Vitamin E: Cheese contains vitamin E, which is necessary for good eyes, feathers, and skin of your cockatiel.

    Vitamin B6: Cheese contains vitamin B6, which helps strengthen the immune system and nervous systems of your bird. It is even responsible for the brain development of your bird.

    Vitamin A: Vitamin A is responsible for good vision and healthy breeding in your bird. Simultaneously it is responsible for keeping kidneys in good condition.


    Calcium: Calcium in cheese is responsible for forming the bones and teeth of your cockatiel. Moreover, calcium helps in the formation of eggshells for egg-laying cockatiels.

    Phosphorous: Phosphorus helps bone formation and balances various vitamins and minerals in the body.

    Other Nutrients

    Cheese contains protein which helps to build muscles in cockatiels. Simultaneously it comprises riboflavin which helps produce red blood cells in birds.

    How Should Cheese Be Given To Cockatiels?

    You should only give hard cheese to your cockatiel. Soft cheese can clog the throat of cockatiels, which can be a severe issue.

    Remember that a cockatiel has to eat various foods to have balanced nutrition.

    Grated cheese in fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to serve your bird. You can top it with other nutritious food and offer it to your bird.

    Keep a bowl of fresh water on the side, so your feathered friend can quench their thirst as well.

    However, all cheeses are not suited for birds. Let’s look at which ones you should give and which ones are a big no-no.

    Swiss Cheese

    Swiss cheese has a hard texture and a low amount of lactose. So you can give swiss cheese to your feathered friend.

    But it also has a high amount of salt in it. Hence you should give only small amounts of swiss cheese to your cockatiel.

    Swiss Cheese is ok for cockatiels

    Cheddar Cheese

    Cheddar cheese is low in lactose and can be given to your feathered friend.

    But always provide cheddar cheese in small amounts as it contains a high percentage of sodium, which is not good for cockatiels.

    Parmesan Cheese

    Parmesan cheese is safe for your bird as it has low lactose and sodium.

    It even adds flavor to your cockatiel’s food!

    You can grate parmesan cheese on different fruits and vegetables and serve them to your bird.

    Keep in mind, though, that parmesan cheese contains a higher percentage of protein.

    So, you must feed parmesan cheese only as a special treat to the bird.

    Cottage Cheese

    Cottage cheese is not good for cockatiels as it contains a high percentage of sodium and lactose, which can make your pet bird ill.

    You can skip this cheese and offer other types mentioned above.

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      String Cheese/Mozarella Cheese

      String cheese is also not good for cockatiels. It is a soft cheese and can get stuck in the intestine of your cockatiel, and so can mozzarella cheese.

      Both of these should not be given to cockatiels.

      Do not offer string cheese or mozzarella to your bird.

      How Much (And How Often) Should You Give Cheese To Your Bird?

      I would recommend you not give more than 3-4 grams of cheese in one week to your bird.

      Cheese does not contain any poisonous substances.

      But it has a high amount of lipid fats and lactose, which is unhealthy for cockatiels. That’s why cheese should not be considered part of the daily diet.

      You can offer it as a delicious snack once a week to your feathered friend.

      But pellets should be considered the staple for cockatiels, and sixty percent of the regular calorie intake should come from there

      About 30 percent should be fresh fruits and vegetables. The rest can include snacks (like cheese) or dry fruits.

      Are There Any Dangers To Giving Cheese to Cockatiels? Excess Salt

      Cockatiels love to eat salty food, and some types of cheese contain a high amount of sodium.

      While your bird would love them, giving these cheeses can pose a danger to the bird.

      High sodium content can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of diseases like heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.

      Apart from this, there are other issues to keep in mind as well.


      All types of cheese undergo the fermentation process during production.

      Therefore, they may contain harmful bacteria, creating health problems when ingested in large quantities.

      Your bird can suffer from running stool with an unpleasant odor or may have weakness due to such bacterial infections.

      Lactose Intolerance

      Most birds do not produce lactase, an enzyme responsible for breaking lactose present in cheese.

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        This is why mother cockatiels don’t breastfeed their little ones because they lack lactose and give regurgitated food to them instead.

        Cockatiels cannot digest a lot of cheese, especially those with a higher percentage of lactose.

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          It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues.

          Avoid cottage cheese because it is a soft variety of cheese


          Cheese contains a high amount of fat. Giving a small amount of cheese will not be harmful to the bird.

          But if you give it in excess, it can increase the risk of obesity and other health issues like joint pain, fatty liver disease, digestive problems, and weakness.

          Frequently Asked Questions

          Are cockatiels allowed cheese?

          You can give cheese to your cockatiel but in small quantities.
          Cheese has lactose which a cockatiel cannot digest, and overfeeding them can cause diarrhea, vomiting, obesity, and other health issues.
          Many kinds of cheese also have a high amount of sodium in them, which is again unhealthy for cockatiels.

          Can birds eat mozzarella cheese?

          Mozzarella cheese has low lactose content. But they are soft and, when ingested, can get stuck in the intestine, which can even kill your bird.
          So you need to avoid giving mozzarella cheese to your feathered friend.

          Can cockatiels eat yogurt?

          A small amount of yogurt will not harm your cockatiel. Yogurt has high lactose content, which can make your cockatiel sick when given in high quantities.
          Your bird can suffer from diarrhea or vomiting. So only offer dairy products in minimal amounts to your bird.

          Can cockatiels eat scrambled eggs?

          Cockatiel slove to eat scrambled eggs. They are safe for your bird but don’t try adding seasonings, fats, or milk.
          You can serve scrambled eggs as an occasional treat and give them once or twice a week to birds.

          Wrap Up

          Diary products like cheese are not good for cockatiels.

          But if you are concerned about its calcium and phosphorous intake, you can feed a small bit of cheese once every seven days.

          Try to add various fruits and vegetables to its regular diet to keep your bird healthy.

          Thank you for reading this article!

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