Coconut is very healthy not only in food but also on your skin, but what about your pet birds? Can cockatiels eat coconuts? Let’s find out.
When your pet cockatiel is out of its cage spending quality time with you, sharing a few pieces of coconut lying around might not seem like a big deal.
But then again, can cockatiels can eat coconut? You can never be sure about these things because many human foods can harm pets.
Thankfully, cockatiels can enjoy a wide variety of foods, which includes fresh coconut.
These adorable birds love the taste of coconut and enjoy its derivatives like coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut flesh.
Coconut Nutritional Info For Cockatiels
Coconut is a tropical fruit with immense benefits. It is packed with various vitamins and minerals that are excellent for your cockatiel’s body.
One cup of coconut meat, or approximately 80 grams of shredded coconut, has the following nutrients in it:
- Calories -283
- Fat -27 grams
- Sugar -5 grams
- Fiber -7 grams
- Protein -3 garms
- Carbs -10 grams
- Zinc -10 percent of DV
- Iron -11 percent of DV
- Phosphorous – 13 percent of DV
- Potassium – 6 percent of DV
- Copper -44 percent of DV
- Manganese – 60 percent of DV
- Selenium – 15 percent of DV
There are many minerals present in coconut that aid in various bodily functions of birds. For example, coconut meat has manganese, which is necessary for the pet bird’s bones.
It also has copper and iron, which plays a significant role in producing red blood cells. Likewise, it has selenium that helps in protecting the bird’s cells.
The antioxidants in coconut help improve brain health and boost the immune system.
Coconut has low carbs and is high in saturated fats and fiber, which help promote gut health and aid in blood sugar control for your adorable bird.
Most of the fat content of coconut is saturated fat, which helps produce energy in your bird’s body, making it more active. On the other hand, fiber also prevents your bird from getting overweight.
How Should Cockatiels Consume Coconut?
Pet cockatiels enjoy fresh fruit like coconut directly. So, you can feed fresh coconut pieces to your bird. But remember that fresh coconut also has sugar, just like other fruits.
Hence you should treat it only as an occasional treat, not as a staple diet. Excess sugar can cause a lot of problems in your bird.
Let’s discuss the various forms in which your bird can take coconuts.
You can give fresh, raw coconut to cockatiels. It is packed with minerals, saturated fat, and fiber.
Coconuts do not contain anything that is toxic to your bird.
To feed them, you need to break the coconut and cut the flesh into small pieces. Serve these pieces to your little bird along with seeds and grains, and also remember to keep a bowl of fresh water around.
Cockatiels love the taste, but they can get too attached to it, so make sure not to give too much in one go and keep varying the fruits that you add every day.
You can also give cooked coconut to your bird. But if you cook it with oil or spices, do not give it to them. Spices may contain garlic or onions, which can be toxic to your bird.
Additionally, when you cook coconut, it loses some of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, so it does not serve your purpose as much.
If your bird likes cooked coconut, it can be given in small quantities. But I would recommend you always give raw coconut pieces. Over time, your bird will start liking the taste of raw coconuts as well.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and pellets are all necessary for your bird’s health.
However, many veterinary doctors also suggest adding coconut oil in small amounts to the cockatiel’s food.
Coconut oil has various benefits as it contains medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid and capric acid.
These nutrients help improve the quality of your bird’s plumage and skin. It also reduces flaking in beaks and nails. Coconut oil also helps reduce dryness in your bird’s skin.
Try not to serve coconut oil more than once a day. Too much oil can be bad for your bird’s heart health.
Coconut water is not toxic for cockatiels. Make sure that it should be fresh coconut water and not the packaged products available in the market.
Some bird owners also like to add a bit of sugar to the coconut water to make it sweeter.
I would recommend against doing that. It will help the taste, but it adds to the already high sugar content of the water.
Coconut water is a good remedy for dehydration, so if your bird is suffering from diarrhea, you can give it to them.
You can also give coconut flakes to your bird. They contain similar nutrients as coconut meat, so it offers the same benefits to your cockatiel.
Just like the rest of the meat, coconut flakes also contain sugar. You should only feed your bird flakes in moderate quantities to avoid adverse effects.
How Much (And How Often) Should You Give Your Bird?
You can add 3-4 small pieces of chopped coconut meat to the food bowl of the bird once a day.
There is no doubt that coconut is highly nutritious and beneficial for the body of cockatiel. But that does not mean you should make it the primary food for your bird.
Cockatiels are picky eaters, and they tend to stick to what they like.
But as pet parents, it is our responsibility to veer them towards healthy foods and mix up their diets to ensure nutrition.
You need to feed a variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, and pellets for a balanced diet. Coconut and other fruits should comprise only 10 percent of the daily diet.
Mix up a coconut with other fruits for the best results. Moreover, make sure that no more than 25% of the bird’s diet is vegetables, fruits, and treats. The rest has to be seeds and pellets.
Are There Any Dangers To Giving Coconuts to Cockatiels?
Coconuts are safe for your bird. They are highly nutritious, and feeding your bird can protect you from various diseases.
But excess of anything is bad, and so is the case with coconuts.
Coconut is high in sugar, like other fruits, which is why it tastes sweet. Giving too much coconut can increase the risk of weight gain, heart problems, and diabetes.
Again ingesting too much coconut can result in digestive issues and stomach upset.
Coconut also has a fairly high-fat content, so too much of it can cause obesity in birds.
Remember to follow the guideline of not more than 3-4 small pieces in a day and changing it with other fruits every few days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Raw coconut good for birds?
Yes, you can give raw coconut to birds. Raw coconut is very beneficial for birds like cockatiels. It contains minerals like magnesium which helps in promoting bone health.
It also has fiber which helps your birds’ digestive system. But make sure that you feed coconut only in moderate amounts; otherwise, it can cause diabetes and heart problems.
Can I put coconut oil on my cockatiel?
Coconut oil has immense benefits for your bird.
You can apply coconut oil on the beak and skin of cockatiels. It will improve the shine and luster of their feathers and skin and avoid flaking and dryness.
You can also add a little bit of coconut oil to the bird’s diet. But make sure not to use too much of it.
Is coconut poisonous to animals?
No, coconut is not poisonous to animals. You can give coconut to cockatiels and other pets at home.
Ensure that you provide coconut only in moderate quantities. Otherwise, it can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues.
What foods should cockatiels avoid?
The foods that you need to avoid giving to cockatiels are as follows.
High salty foods
Coconut is one of the healthy options to add to your cockatiel’s diet. But that does not mean you should make it a staple in their everyday feed.
Add a few small pieces once in a while, while carefully mixing it up with other fruits.
Coconut and other fruits should constitute only 10 percent of the regular diet of your cockatiel in order.
Thank you for reading this article.