Can Cockatiels Eat Walnuts? Is It Too Tough a Nut To Crack?

You may not be sure about giving nuts to your birds – after all; they can be hard to crack! For example, can cockatiels eat walnuts? I will share the answer below.

Yes, cockatiels can most definitely enjoy walnuts as part of their diet. 

Walnuts are rich in protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids that help support healthy skin, feathering, and brain development for birds. 

However, ensure the walnuts you feed are organic and free of pesticides and salt. 

In this article, I’ll tell you the benefits and drawbacks of walnuts and how to properly incorporate them into your pet bird’s diet

Can Cockatiels Eat Walnuts

Walnut Nutritional Info: Is It Good For Cockatiels 

Nutritional Info

The nutrients present in 100 grams of walnuts include:

  • Energy: 654 kcal
  • Protein: 15.23 g
  • Total Lipid (Fat): 65.21 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.71 g
  • Fiber: 6.7 g
  • Sugars: 3.61 g
  • Calcium: 84 mg
  • Iron: 4.91 mg
  • Magnesium: 168 mg
  • Phosphorus: 380 mg
  • Potassium: 441 mg
  • Sodium: 6 mg
  • Zinc: 2.6 mg
  • Vitamin C: 0.5 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.5 mg

Benefits of Nutrients

Protein: Feeding walnuts to cockatiels can boost protein. This can help build and fix tissue in the body.

Fiber: Walnuts are a great source of dietary fiber and can improve intestinal health by supporting regular bowel movements.

Antioxidants: Antioxidant levels, such as vitamin E and selenium, in walnuts, can protect the body from harmful free radicals and reduce the risk of diseases.

Minerals: Minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc are excellent sources of minerals. It is essential for maintaining good health and well-being.

How Should Walnut Be Given To Cockatiels?

When giving walnuts to cockatiels, it is best to provide them either raw or cooked but unsalted. 

Cooking can alter the nutritional value of the nuts and can make them less palatable for your pet cockatiel.

Raw walnuts offer greater nutritional benefits and are easier for small birds to digest. 

Cooked walnuts are much softer and may enable birds with weaker beaks to enjoy them more easily.


Raw walnuts are an excellent source of protein, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids for cockatiels. 

Ensure the walnuts are unsalted, unroasted, and unshelled. 

Walnuts have hard shells, making it difficult for some birds to crack open. 

It is best recommended to break the shell and feed the cockatiel. Thin shells contain tannins, which can cause intestinal distress in birds.


Cooked walnuts, when given to cockatiels in moderation, can provide them with valuable nutrition and a variety of flavor options. 

In addition, cooked walnuts contain an array of minerals and vitamins that promote healthy skin and feathers. 

Provide small amounts of cooked walnuts to birds as a part of their healthy diet. 

Ensure to offer walnuts only as an occasional treat and not as a primary diet. 

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

When feeding walnuts to a bird, it is essential to feed in moderation. 

An adult bird should be given no more than two walnuts a week. Preferably, split them into two separate servings. 

Walnuts are high in fats and oils, which can cause health issues if consumed excessively. 

Nuts can give birds texture-based dietary imbalances if fed too frequently. 

Therefore, it is recommended to offer varied food at each mealtime for a balanced diet. 

As with all treats, offer a few pieces at any time to ensure the bird does not experience digestive issues.

Are There Any Dangers To Giving Walnuts to Cockatiels?

Walnuts are known as a healthy and tasty treat for cockatiels. 

However, they are high in fat and should be given in small amounts as an occasional snack. 

Feeding large amounts of walnuts can lead to obesity and other health problems in cockatiels. 

Due to the large size and hard shells, certain risks are associated with giving walnuts. 

If the bird attempts to eat it and does not break through the shell properly, it can pose an injury. 

Feeding too many walnuts in one sitting can also cause gastric upset.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cockatiels eat almonds?

Yes, cockatiels can eat almonds. Almonds are a high-fat food item and should be given in small amounts to prevent obesity and other health issues.
Almonds can be served either raw or roasted, but they should be chopped up into smaller pieces to help the cockatiel chew them easily.
Cockatiels also enjoy almond butter or almond oil added to their food bowl.
As with all high-fat snacks, it is important not to give your pet too many almonds, as it could lead to weight gain or liver damage.

Can cockatiels eat pecans?

Cockatiels can eat pecans, but you should offer them to your birds with caution. Pecans are a high-fat food, so they should be fed sparingly to cockatiels and only in small amounts.
You should chop up small pieces of pecan to avoid choking hazards.
You might want to offer Fatty snacks like pecan, millet, and sunflower seeds only as an occasional treat, not all the time.
Additionally, Cockatiels do not consume much fruit or grains, so these nuts can provide an occasional nutritional boost to their diet.

Can cockatiels eat hazelnuts?

Cockatiels can eat hazelnuts as long as any shell or husk has been removed.
However, some cockatiels have difficulty digesting the oily nuts properly.
Furthermore, to prevent your bird from becoming overweight, it is best to limit the amount of hazelnut you give them.
Along with all other treats, a healthy diet full of nutritionally balanced pellets is best to ensure they get all their essential nutrients without putting on unnecessary weight.

Can cockatiels eat grapes?

Although grapes are safe for cockatiels to eat, they should be given in moderation.
Grapes are high in sugar and can cause obesity when consumed in large amounts, so it is best to limit how much a cockatiel has access to.
Cockatiels can also be sensitive to the acidity of grapes and may develop an upset stomach if given too much.
For this reason, vines should never be used as perches for cockatiels.
Rather than giving them whole grapes, consider chopping them into small pieces that are easier for smaller birds to eat.

Wrap Up

Walnuts can be an occasional nutritious snack for cockatiels. 

They are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc. 

However, it is important to feed them in moderation, as they are high in fat and can lead to health problems if consumed in excess. 

I hope you found this article insightful. If you like this blog, please feel free to drop comments below.

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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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