Can Cockatiels Eat Kale? Is It a Superfood for Them, Like It Is for Us?

Getting fit? You might be taking a lot of kale, raw, cooked, and as juice. But what about your pet bird? Can cockatiels eat kale, and is it good for them too? Let’s figure it out.

Cockatiels are gentle and loving pets, but they need constant care, especially in terms of food, activity, and companionship.

A healthy diet is essential to keep them strong. You should give your pet bird a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables for a balanced diet.

Yes, cockatiels can eat kale. Kale is a superfood for humans, as it is abundant in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. And those same nutrients are important for your bird as well.

But don’t get carried away. Always give veggies and fruits in moderate quantities. The main diet of your bird has to be seeds and granules.

Can Cockatiels Eat Kale

Kale Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels

One cup of kale, or approximately 67 grams of raw kale, includes the following nutrients.

  • Vitamin A – 206 percent of DV
  • Vitamin K – 684 percent of DV
  • Vitamin B6 – 9 Percent of DV
  • Vitamin C – 134 percent of DV
  • Copper – 10 percent of DV
  • Calcium -9 percent of DV
  • Magnanese – 26 percent of DV
  • Potassium – 9 percent of DV
  • Magnesium – 6 percent of DV
  • Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, and iron – 3 percent or more of DV.

Moreover, one cup of kale has approximately 3 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrates. You can see why it is considered so good for humans!

Let us understand how this powerhouse of different vitamins and minerals helps to keep cockatiels healthy.

Vitamins Present In Kale

  • Vitamin A – It is helpful for vision and boosts the bird’s immune system and cell production.
  • Vitamin C – It promotes the kidneys’ health and helps maintain good skin. Simultaneously it improves the respiratory system of your bird.
  • Vitamin B6 – Increases hemoglobin production and brain health.

Minerals present in Kale

  • Potassium – Helps in maintaining proper blood pressure in birds and prevents strokes.
  • Copper – Helps in developing healthy bones and improves the immune system
  • Calcium – Helps in developing strong bones and muscles. Additionally, it is essential to have healthy breeding.
  • Manganese – Helps in preventing blood clotting problems.

Kale is also a good source of protein and fiber, essential for muscle production and improving gut health.

Can Cockatiels Eat Kale

How Should Kale Be Given To Cockatiels?

You can serve kale along with other fresh foods such as sweet potato and mustard greens, citrus fruits like oranges, and different types of seeds like grass seeds.

This nutritious food will help in keeping your bird’s body healthy. Here are the various types you can offer kale to your bird.

Raw Form

You can give raw kale to your cockatiel as it is packed with vitamins and minerals. Make sure you wash the kale thoroughly in water and then chop it upto into pieces.

Cockatiels are a small bird species; if you give them large pieces of kale, it can get stuck and cause choking in even adult birds.

I suggest you chop the kale into fine pieces and then feed it to your feathered friend.

Cooked Form

You can also cook the kale a little bit and give it to your bird, especially if it is a smaller one. However, it is best to not cook it like human food.

Don’t add oil while cooking, and never put onion, garlic, or any spices. While oil is not good for your birds’ health, the spices can be toxic.

If you want to give kale in the cooked form, then it’s better to steam it. But remember, steaming takes away some of its vitamins and minerals.

Kale Flakes

Kale flakes are a great occasional treat for your cockatiel. But make sure you read the ingredients before serving your bird.

If it has a high amount of salt, then it’s not healthy for your bird.

Additionally, if the kale flakes contain garlic, you should never feed it to your bird because garlic is toxic for them.

It’s best to serve unseasoned kale flakes to a cockatiel.

Can Cockatiels Eat Kale

Kale Juice

You can also give kale juice to your bird, but only occasionally. Make sure only to give freshly made juice extracted at home, not the packaged juices available in stores.

Package kale is not good for a cockatiel’s health because it contains sugar and other additives. These ingredients can cause obesity in your bird.

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

You can give about 8 grams (0.3 oz) of kale once or twice a week.

Cockatiel love to eat fresh vegetables, and leafy greens are very good for them. Kale is highly nutritious for them, but it should always be given in moderate quantities.

It cannot become a staple in their regular diet; it can only be an occasional treat. You can provide it at most one or two times every seven days.

Cockatiels need to be fed 30-40 grams of fresh food in their daily diet to fulfill their nutritional needs, of which vegetables and fruits should make up approximately 25 percent.

Are There Any Dangers To Giving Kale to Cockatiels?

There is no danger in feeding kale to cockatiels. But don’t overfeed your bird. Try to always feed in moderate quantities, and treat kale just like other leafy green vegetables.

Additionally, kale has a small percentage of oxalic acid, which can hinder calcium absorption in birds. Calcium is essential for making the bones stronger and for egg production.

Therefore excess kale may also not be a good thing.

Can Cockatiels Eat Kale

Frequently Asked Questions

Can birds eat raw kale?

Adding leafy green veggies like raw kale is a healthy option for your bird’s diet. Raw kale is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for cockatiels.
For instance, it contains calcium which is required for healthy bones. It also contains protein and vitamins A, C, and K.

Can cockatiels eat raw cabbage?

Yes, cockatiels can eat raw cabbage. But I will not recommend providing raw cabbage to the birds.
Cabbage contains oxalic acid, which can obstruct calcium absorption in your bird.
If you give cabbage to them regularly, in the long term, your bird can have calcium deficiency and, consequently, weaker bones and easily broken eggs.

Is kale toxic to pets?

Kale is an excellent food as it is the powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals. You can feed kale to cockatiels and other parrots.
But there are certain pets, like dogs, for whom kale is not recommended. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and, in the worst case, kidney stones.

Can cockatiel eat a raw potato?

You should not give raw potato to cockatiel as it contains toxic compounds like solanine, an alkaloid that can cause serious digestive problems.
It’s best to boil potatoes and then serve them to your bird. But boiling can destroy some of the nutrients in potatoes.

Wrap Up

Nutritious food like kale is a great option to add to your cockatiel’s diet. But always provide it in moderate quantities to your pet bird.

Additionally, preferably serve only raw kale once or twice a week to keep your cockatiel healthy. Thank you for reading this article.

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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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