Can Cockatiels Eat Poppy Seeds? Are They Toxic?

Can cockatiels eat poppy seeds, or do their hallucinogenic properties affect the birds negatively? Are there any health risks of feeding these seeds to cockatiels? I look at all this.

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    Pet cockatiels should be given a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and different types of seeds for a healthy diet. And yes, poppy seeds are among them.

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      Poppy seeds are a good source of fatty acids, fiber, and other nutrients. They are a good addition to your bird’s palate.

      But you must feed them in moderate quantities to avoid adverse effects.

      In this article, I will talk about how to feed these seeds to your bird, how much to give, and what not to do when giving them.

      Can Cockatiels Eat Poppy Seeds

      Poppy Seeds Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels

      Poppy seeds are an excellent source of fiber and plant fats.

      There are also loaded with other nutrients essential for cockatiel health. 100 grams of poppy seeds contain the following:

      • Water – 5.95 grams
      • Energy – 525 Kcal
      • Protein – 18 grams
      • Total lipid fat – 41.6 grams
      • Fiber – 19.5 grams
      • Sugar – 2.99 grams
      • Calcium – 1440 mg
      • Iron – 9.76 mg
      • Magnesium – 347 mg
      • Phosphorous – 870mg
      • Sodium – 26mg
      • Zinc – 7.9 mg
      • Copper – 1.63 mg
      • Manganese – 6.71 mg
      • Vitamin C – 1mg
      • Thiamin – 0.854 mg
      • Vitamin B6 – 0.247 mg
      • Vitamin E – 1.77mg

      Let us look at how some of these are important for your bird’s health.


      • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps boost your bird’s immune system.
      • Vitamin B6: Poppy seeds contain vitamin B6, which is essential for keeping the brain healthy. Additionally, it strengthens your bird’s nervous and immune systems.
      • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is essential for maintaining your cockatiel’s skin and eyes. Additionally, it aids in boosting the immune system.


      • Calcium: Poppy seeds have calcium which helps to keep cockatiels’ bones and teeth healthy.
      • Iron: The seeds contain iron, which helps produce red blood cells in the bird’s body.
      • Magnesium: Magnesium helps in supporting the nerve and muscle system of the bird.

      How Should Poppy Seeds Be Given To Cockatiels?

      Poppies can come from numerous species of the Papaveraceae family. Some common ones are field poppy, opium poppy, papaver somniferum, and oriental poppy.

      Among these, the most common one, from which edible poppy seeds are extracted, is Papaver somniferum.

      California poppy seeds and papaver poppy are also good for birds.

      You can mix these poppy seeds with other seeds and then serve your cockatiel on a flat plate.

      Try to prepare your own seed mix because commercial seed mix has fillers that can harm your bird.

      You can mix poppy seeds with sunflower seeds, white millet, safflower or cannery seeds, paddy, and other seeds and pellets.

      Don’t forget to keep a bowl of fresh, clean water in your pet bird’s cage so that it can take a drink anytime it wants.

      Poppy seeds are nutritious for birds

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

        Seeds are like candy for your bird, and feeding them in moderation is best.

        An average cockatiel weighs about 100 grams. Hence, 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of seed mix are enough for a cockatiel’s daily diet.

        Poppy seeds can be a part of the seed mix. Please don’t give whole poppy seeds, as they can be dangerous for birds.

        Are There Any Dangers To Giving Poppy Seeds to Cockatiels?

        Poppy seeds are loaded with nutrients, but some of these can be dangerous if given in excess.

        For example, they are rich in fatty acids; giving too much can cause avian pancreatitis in your bird.

        Inflammation in the pancreas and can be fatal if not treated early.

        Always give poppy seeds as part of seed mix, not directly.

        Additionally, these seeds contain morphine. Ingesting a lot of poppy seeds can cause respiratory problems in birds.

        It can slow down the breathing rate and, in the worst case, even be fatal.

        Frequently Asked Questions

        Are poppy seeds poisonous to birds?

        No, poppy birds are not poisonous to birds. They are a good source of fats, proteins, and fiber which is essential for the bird to live longer and stay healthy.
        But it is better to offer poppy seeds as part of a seed mix, not as whole seeds. They can cause obesity and avian pancreatitis. They can also give your bird respiratory illness.

        Can budgies eat poppy seeds?

        Yes, budgies can eat poppy seeds because they are good sources of fats and proteins, essential for muscle building and maintaining healthy skin.
        But don’t give a lot of poppy seeds as it can cause obesity, respiratory diseases, and pancreatic inflammation.

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          Are poppy seeds poisonous to animals?

          Yes, poppy seeds can harm animals like cats and dogs. The level of morphine in sap and unripe seeds is quite high.
          If a cat accidentally eats an entire poppy plant, it will experience poisonous symptoms like vomiting, drooling, and dilated pupils.

          What are the seeds toxic to cockatiels?

          Most of the seeds are good for cockatiels. But there are certain fruits whose seeds and pits are harmful.
          For instance, apple seeds contain cyanide which is toxic for birds. So you need to remove the seeds before feeding.
          The pits in cherries, apricots, plums, and peaches should be removed before feeding your bird.

          Wrap Up

          Poppy seeds are a good source of vitamin, protein, fiber, and fatty acids for birds. But always give them as part of a mix of different types of seeds, not separately.

          You can add flax seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, canary grass seed, canola seed, wheatgrass seed, and others. The overall seed mix you give should not be more than 1-2 tbsp.

          Thank you for reading this article.

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