Looking to add a bit of spinach to your bird’s diet, but not if cockatiels eat it? I will answer this question in the article below.
If you are bringing a pet cockatiel home for the first time, you should know that you are bringing a feisty little bird with a keen taste.
Birds have a limited taste palate, but they can be very picky about their eating. So, what do you do when you become a caregiver to one?
Today, I will talk about cockatiels and if they can eat spinach as part of their daily diet. Read on to find out.
Spinach Nutritional Info
For humans, spinach is one of the healthiest leafy vegetables you can find in the market. The good news is, it is the same for your pet birds.
In one serving of spinach, you can have the following nutrients:
- Total calories: 78
- Carbohydrate: 12g
- Sodium: 269 mg
- Potassium: 0g
- Total Fat: 1g
- Protein: 10g
- Sugar: 1g
- Dietary fiber: 7g
Spinach can have many health benefits in birds, from better immunity to better eyesight and digestion.
- Vitamin A in spinach can work as an antioxidant that reduces the risk of infections.
- Vitamin K allows for good blood and bone health.
- Iron in spinach works to create fresh blood cells, reducing the risk of anemia.
- Potassium and magnesium help to keep your bird’s nervous system healthy and active.
- The high water and fiber content of spinach make it a good addition to the diet.
The combination of all the healthy vitamins and minerals makes it a good addition to a cockatiel’s diet.
Can It Be Given To Cockatiels?
Yes, spinach is an excellent addition to a cockatiel’s diet. Of course, you have to keep a check on the quantity of spinach that you are feeding them.
Most birds love fresh spinach because of its munchy taste, and it can be a great treat for cockatiels.
Let’s look at the various ways in which you can offer this tasty treat to your birds.
The best way to feed spinach to your cockatiel is to give them in the raw form.
Fresh leaves have great nutritional value for younger birds, helping them build immunity.
Small bits of spinach leaves can be given to your bird when they are getting fussy about other foods.
Leaves are the most nutritious part of spinach, and they have the highest nutritional value among green veggies.
You can cut up leaves into bite-size pieces and make sure to wash them properly before you offer them to your bird.
You should remember that just like humans; birds have individual preferences.
While some cockatiels will turn away from cooked spinach, others may want to eat them only when they are slightly cooked.
So you can try either way and find out which is best for your little friend.
While there is no problem feeding cooked spinach to your cockatiel, it will decrease the nutritional value of the vegetable.
This might not be such a bad thing in the case of spinach.
Spinach has oxalates that reduce the absorption of calcium in birds. Cooking it will decrease the chemicals.
If your bird tends to eat more spinach, cooking it will decrease the chances of health issues.
Yes, baby spinach and lettuce can also be good for your bird’s health.
Baby spinach is a good snack for birds that turn their beaks away from normal spinach.
If you are feeding baby spinach to your cockatiel, try giving it raw and in tiny pieces so they can enjoy it as a snack.
More importantly, if you buy baby spinach from a store, you must take care of the quality of the leaves.
These leaves are frozen and should be thoroughly washed before you offer them to your birds.
It is safe for cockatiels to eat spinach stems, though they may be less nutritious than the leaves.
You should tear them up into small pieces before offering them.
The only problem with spinach stems is that they are thicker than the leaves and can become a choking hazard when your cockatiel is younger.
Birds enjoy picking up their food and tearing it up before they eat.
So it will not be a problem if you offer them pieces of spinach stems. They will have a great time munching away from the sides and enjoying a healthy meal.
How Much (And How Often) Should You Give Your Bird?
The quantity of spinach you can feed your cockatiel should not be more than 5-6 gms once or twice a week.
The balanced diet of an average cockatiel requires between 30-40 gms of food daily, including seeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Seeds and grains should make up around 80% of their diet. Leafy foods like spinach should only be about 20%.
This 20% can include leaves, stems, or cooked form.
Are There Any Dangers To Giving Spinach to Cockatiels?
A healthy diet of cockatiels consists mainly of different types of seeds. They enjoy eating a variety of seeds that they eat in small bites throughout the day.
So when they are eating veggies and fruits, you have to be aware of the quantity they are having.
Spinach is definitely a nutritious food to add to your bird’s diet.
But at the same time, the high fiber content in spinach can sometimes be a problem for birds.
Too much spinach can cause digestive issues in your cockatiel and extreme cases, cause severe diarrhea.
Their body cannot break down the complex carbohydrates that spinach has.
This is why it is important to limit the intake of spinach in your cockatiel’s daily diet. Overfeeding of any food item should actually be avoided, especially in small birds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods are toxic to cockatiels?
Some of the foods that you should never let your cockatiels eat are chocolate, avocado, caffeine, apple seeds, and food that have a high salt and sugar content.
These foods can be fatal to small and medium-sized birds.
Is spinach toxic to pets?
Spinach can be toxic to certain animals, especially if they eat it unregulated.
Dogs are one of the animals who should not be given too much spinach as it can result in kidney damage and blocks their body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Can cockatiels eat spinach every day?
No. it is not a good idea to feed your cockatiels spinach daily because of its high fiber content.
Spinach, when fed in high amounts, can cause digestive problems for the bird and cause an upset stomach if given unchecked.
Can you feed a cockatiel too much?
Yes. it is very much possible to feed a cockatiel too much. Cockatiels can be very picky eaters, and once they like something, they start demanding it more and more.
There are ample stories of “seed junkies” among cockatiels that I read on forums.
If your bird does not have a balanced diet, it can become obese, which is one of the leading causes of health problems among birds.
Spinach is an excellent snack for cockatiels. It has several vitamins and minerals that are important for birds.
Keep the amount limited to just 4-6 grams, once or twice a week, not more. Excess spinach can cause digestive distress.
Make sure you mix up spinach with other leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. Adding a variety of foods is the key to a good cockatiel diet.
Thank you for reading!