Can Cockatiels Eat Oats? Oatmeal?

Cockatiels should ideally be given pellets, seeds, seed mixes, and fruits and veggies. But can they also be given oats? Let’s find out.

Bird owners need to figure out the right food for cockatiels to ensure a well-balanced diet

Not only are cockatiels picky eaters, but many human foods are unsuitable and unsafe for them. 

Oats, for instance, are a nutritious treat for cockatiels but can be harmful in large quantities.

Can Cockatiels Eat Oats? Oatmeal?

Oats Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels?

To answer your question, yes – oats are good for cockatiels and offer several health benefits. 

This food item is an excellent source of calcium and other essential nutrients. 

However, oats should only be an occasional treat as too much of this grain is harmful to birds.

Nutritional Info

As I mentioned, oats can make a very healthy snack for a cockatiel. A standard cup of oats (81 grams) offers the following nutrients.

  • Energy: 307 Kcal
  • Fat: 5.3 grams
  • Protein: 10.7 grams
  • Fiber: 8.1 grams
  • Sugar: 0.8 grams
  • Carbs: 54.8 grams
  • Water: 8.7 grams

To sum up, oats are very rich in fiber and a major source of carbohydrates. 

They also contain several vitamins and a wide variety of minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium, etc.


  • Calcium: Apart from strengthening the bones, calcium also plays a crucial role in forming eggshells.
  • Protein: Oats are a good source of protein, which birds need for overall growth and muscle development. Protein is also essential to the healing of wounds.
  • Energy: Rich in calories, even a small amount of oats can give cockatiels enough energy for the whole day.
  • Vitamins: Different vitamins play different roles. For instance, Vitamin B3 is crucial to the health of the digestive and immune systems. Vitamin B5, on the other hand, helps with metabolism and blood formation.

How Should Oats Be Given To Cockatiels?

You may give your cockatiel oats by either cooking them, making oat rolls or preparing baked treats with oats and eggs. 

However, raw oats should be avoided for baby cockatiels as they can only eat softened foods.

Cooked oats

You can simply cook the oats or oat groats by simmering them in water or unsweetened almond milk. 

You can give the cooked oats to your cockatiels separately as a treat or mix it with the regular food mix.

Rolled oats

Another option is to roll the oats and offer them to the bird. However, this will work only if the cockatiel likes oats and eats them separately. 

You may either hand-feed your pet with rolled oats or scatter them around for the bird to snack on.

Baked treats

If you feel like making something special for your avian buddy, you can use oats and eggs to prepare a tasty and healthy treat. 

Simply add an egg to some rolled oats, mix it well, and bake the mixture for ten minutes. 

You can store this treat in an airtight container in the fridge for three to five days and give it to your pet in small pieces.

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

While a cockatiel can eat oats, they shouldn’t be the primary constituent of the bird’s meals.

At most, only 10% of a cockatiel’s diet should comprise oats and other grains. The remaining 90% is for seeds, fruits, veggies, and other foods.

In terms of weight, a cockatiel needs 1 to 1.4 ounces of food every day. Its diet shouldn’t include more than 0.1 to 0.14 ounces of oats. 

You may give the bird oats every day, as long as you do so in moderation. 

However, it’s still advisable to keep oats as an occasional treat that you’d offer to your cockatiel only once or twice a week.

Are There Any Dangers To Giving Oats to Cockatiels?

Cockatiels are vulnerable to diseases related to iron storage in their body. While they need iron for hemoglobin generation, the iron balance in their body is delicate.

Oats are inherently rich in iron content

Store-bought oats processed for humans are often supplemented with Vitamin C, which increases iron consumption. 

This is why you have to be careful while feeding oats to a cockatiel.

Iron storage disease is fatal, and unfortunately, it doesn’t show any symptoms until it’s already too late.

Can Cockatiels Eat Oatmeal?

Cockatiels can eat both raw oatmeal and cooked oatmeal but in very limited quantities. 

You have to be very careful about feeding your feathered friend instant oatmeal as it often carries excess salt and loses much of the nutrients during processing. 

Also, make sure to wash uncooked oatmeal in water to remove any debris from the raw oats.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cockatiels eat uncooked oatmeal?

Yes, cockatiels can eat uncooked oatmeal.
Oats are an excellent source of fiber and protein for cockatiels.
It is important to note, though, that uncooked oats should only comprise a small portion of their diet. 
The majority of their diet should be composed of high-quality seed and pellet mixes along with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Cooked oatmeal also makes a great occasional treat, but avoid any added sweeteners or seasonings such as honey, cinnamon, or raisins. 
They could cause digestive upset in your pet bird.

What kind of oats can cockatiels eat?

Cockatiels can eat a variety of types of oats, including steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and quick oats.
Steel-cut oats are the healthiest option for cockatiels, as they provide the most fiber and complex carbohydrates that slow digestion.
They can also be cooked in a variety of ways, such as boiled or made into porridge.
Rolled oats can be served raw; however, they should be ground up because larger pieces may choke the bird.
Quick oats should also be ground before feeding because they contain more sugar than other varieties, which is not good for birds in large amounts.

Can cockatiels eat Quaker Oats?

It is not recommended that cockatiels eat Quaker Oats.
Although oatmeal is a popular choice to give birds as an occasional treat, the oats found in most Quaker Oats products are too high in fat and calories for these birds.
It’s best to stick with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and other bird-safe feed when providing nutrition for your cockatiel.

Can cockatiels eat dry rice?

Yes, cockatiels can eat dry rice as part of their diet. Dry rice should be supplemented with other foods, such as greens and fruits.
For instance, cockatiels will often enjoy chopped-up carrots or orange slices in between meals.
When giving consumable treats or snacks to your pet birds, it is important to make sure they are not high in fat and have no artificial coloring or flavoring.
Too much-processed food and a lack of fresh fruits and veggies can lead to health problems for cockatiels.

Wrapping up

Just like us, a cockatiel needs a healthy diet comprising a variety of foods. 

No matter how healthy, any food can be harmful to them if consumed in excessively large quantities. 

Birds have a rather delicate balance of nutrients in their bodies, and they can be easily upset by an imbalanced diet.

Thank you for reading. I hope I’ve been able to answer your queries on feeding your cockatiel oats or oatmeal.

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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.

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