Is grass something that your bird should eat? Or is it like a last resort thing that birds take in the wild? Let me clear all your doubts!
You may be surprised to know how many different things your pet birds can eat. Birds eat many things in the wild to survive, carrying some of these habits as pets as well.
Of course, as their caregiver, it becomes your responsibility to find out what kind of foods are best for them and fix a proper diet.
In this article, I will talk about whether or not you can give your birds grass. If you aren’t sure about whether to give it, how much to give, and in what way, read on.
Scientifically, grasses belong to the family Poaceae which encompasses cereal grasses, those found in natural grasslands like prairies and steppes and lawn grasses.
In the wild, most of them are fair game for cockatiels and many other bird species.
Grass Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels?
Cockatiels have a varied palate, from fresh foods to different types of seeds.
Grass is also something your cockatiel will like to have. And in terms of nutrition, grass can be an important addition to a bird’s diet.
In 100 grams of grass, you can find:
- 33 g of calories
- 3.3 g of carbohydrates
- 2.2 g of protein
- 4.6 g of fiber
There are a number of nutrients in grass that can be an important addition to your bird’s balanced diet.
Here is a list of things that are especially beneficial:
- Vitamin A keeps the bird’s eyes, bones, and feathers healthy.
- Vitamin C is highly essential to boost their immune system, keeping their heart healthy and maintaining low blood pressure.
- Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that improves fertility and overall metabolism.
- Calcium is important for bone growth and internal chemical reactions in your bird’s body.
In spite of all its positive nutrient content, one of the major negative sides of grass is its high-fat content, which can cause obesity in birds.
How Should Grass Be Given To Cockatiels?
When you think of feeding grass to your cockatiel, you must take care of two things.
Firstly, the quantity of grass you add to their diet, and secondly, how you feed it to them.
Most birds will like to have blades of grass that they can nibble on, but a few may prefer grass seeds instead.
Here’s what you can and cannot feed to your cockatiels.
It is safe for your cockatiel to eat lawn grass. A number of wild birds can be seen pecking on lawn grass, which goes to show that your pet bird can have it too.
This can be an easy food source for them, and they will like to munch on it.
However, it may not be such a good idea to give them lawn grass if grown with chemical fertilizers.
Wheatgrass can be an important source of nutrition for your bird.
This type of grass is rich in iron, calcium, and vitamins and has many enzymes that can help your bird’s digestive and immune systems.
As long as the quantity is moderate, it is totally safe for your cockatiel to eat wheatgrass.
Since birds are big fans of a variety of seeds, they will enjoy eating grass seeds as well.
These seeds contain fat that is important for energy in birds.
But it is also important to give the seeds in a limited amount.
These types of seeds are very high in fat content, as mentioned earlier.
Too much fat in a bird’s diet can lead to obesity, heart disease, and other health issues.
How Much Grass (And How Often) Should You Give To Your Bird?
The best idea to feed your cockatiels grass is to limit it as a snack or treat.
Try to limit it to only 10% of their diet, and do not feed them grass daily.
If your cockatiel is on a diet of pelleted foods, offer them a few blades of grass in their food dish as a treat on alternate days, replacing it with fruits and veggies on other days.
At most, you can offer grass to your cockatiels two to three days a week.
If you are mixing seeds, make sure that you limit the number of seeds to only 5-10% of the total portion.
Are There Any Dangers To Giving Grass to Cockatiels?
Grass is one of the main natural foods your birds can eat and is mostly a nutritious food.
However, commercially grown grass may contain chemical traces due to fertilizers which can be harmful to your birds.
Try to ensure that the grass you give them is organic and has been grown safely.
One more thing you should remember about grass is the high content of cellulose and fiber in it.
If your cockatiel is very young, it may have severe digestive issues because of the fiber.
Along with this, the fat content in the grass can also result in obesity and heart problems. Hence you should limit their presence in your bird’s seed mix.
You should also inspect any commercial seed mixes for excess grass seeds and avoid them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is grass OK for parrots?
Yes, parrots can safely eat grass. Wild parrots are known to enjoy grass as part of their daily diet, besides fruits and vegetables.
If you have a pet parrot at home, it can be a good idea to add grass to their diet. Make sure to keep it limited to a few blades on alternate days and not more than that.
What greens can cockatiels eat?
Cockatiels can eat a lot of different greens, including leafy and non-leafy vegetables.
Most cockatiels like to eat carrots, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and grass, to name a few.
They also like mustard greens and turnip greens, which you can give to them as an occasional snack.
Can cockatiels eat hay?
Yes, cockatiels can eat hay. In fact, it is one of their favorite foods. A lot of cockatiels enjoy a meal of fresh-cut hay.
You can offer it to your bird by keeping some hay at the bottom of its cage. Make sure not to put too much because excess hay can cause digestive problems.
What is cockatiel’s favorite food?
Cockatiels have a wide range of foods that they enjoy eating.
From green, leafy veggies to fresh fruits, they might like eating anything- and each bird is different!
The favorite food will depend on the bird, it’s upbringing, and what its breeder or owner has been offering to it.
To conclude, yes, cockatiels can eat grass. It is quite healthy for them, and they enjoy eating it in the wild as well.
Keep the quantity limited to a few blades once or twice a week. The grass can be of any variety – be it green, wheatgrass, or even grass seeds.
If you are giving seeds, try to limit the quantity because they are very rich in fats.
Make sure always to add a bit of clean water to the cage when you are feeding so that your baby can take a sip in between meals if it wants to.
Thank you for reading!