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Can Cockatiels Eat Oranges? Essential Facts Every Bird Lover Must Read!

Can Cockatiels Eat Oranges

Cockatiels are friendly, beautiful pets. For their well-being, it’s essential to offer a balanced diet. While they primarily eat seeds and pellets, many owners are curious about feeding them fruits like oranges.

The answer is yes; cockatiels can eat oranges. Oranges provide cockatiels with essential vitamin C and nutrients like fiber, potassium, and folate. However, they should be given sparingly to prevent digestive complications.

When feeding oranges to your cockatiel, giving them only a small amount at a time is best. You can offer them a slice or two, and make sure to remove any seeds or pits. 

Wash the oranges thoroughly before offering them to your bird to eliminate potential toxins.

Can Cockatiels Eat Oranges?

Cockatiels are known for their diverse diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, seeds, and pellets. Oranges are one of the fruits that cockatiels can eat, but it is crucial to understand how much and how often they can have them.

Oranges, rich in vitamins C, B, and D and essential fiber, benefit cockatiels’ health. However, they should be given in moderation to avoid digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting.

When feeding oranges to cockatiels, giving them only a small amount at a time is best. It is recommended to remove the seeds and peel them before giving them to your cockatiel, as they can be harmful to them.

It is also important to note that not all birds may enjoy the taste of oranges. Some may prefer other fruits, such as apples or berries. As with any new food, it is best to introduce oranges slowly and observe your cockatiel’s reaction.

The Nutrition of Oranges

Oranges are a favored fruit for their sweet taste and nutritional benefits. Rich in vitamin C, they exceed the daily requirement for adult cockatiels. 

This vitamin bolsters the cockatiel’s immune system and aids in nutrient absorption. Additionally, oranges offer dietary fiber, crucial for digestion, with one medium-sized orange providing about 12% of a cockatiel’s daily need. 

They also contain potassium, essential for heart health and blood pressure regulation, meeting 5% of a cockatiel’s daily recommendation. 

Benefits of Feeding Oranges to Cockatiels

Cockatiels are known to be food-loving birds that feed on various types of foods, including fruits. Oranges are one of the fruits that cockatiels can safely consume, and they come with several benefits.

Feeding cockatiels oranges boosts their immune system due to the vitamin C, which strengthens their bones and protects against infections. Also, the fiber in oranges supports their digestive health, preventing constipation and related issues.

Another benefit of feeding oranges to cockatiels is that they contain potassium, essential for maintaining a healthy heart and regulating blood pressure. Cockatiels that consume oranges regularly can benefit from the potassium content in the fruit.

However, it’s important to note that oranges are high in sugar and should only be given to cockatiels as an occasional treat. Overfeeding oranges to cockatiels can lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes.

How to Serve Oranges to Cockatiels

When serving oranges to cockatiels, it is vital to ensure the fruit is prepared correctly to avoid choking hazards or digestive issues. Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Slice or chop the oranges into small pieces: Cockatiels have tiny beaks, so cutting the oranges into small pieces that are easy for them to eat is vital.
  2. Rinse the oranges: Before serving them to your cockatiel, rinse them thoroughly to remove any pesticides or dirt on the skin.
  3. Serve the oranges in moderation: Oranges can be given to cockatiels as an occasional treat due to their high sugar content, but they shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet.
  4. Monitor for any digestive problems: If your cockatiel experiences any digestive issues after eating oranges, such as diarrhea or vomiting, stop serving them oranges and consult a veterinarian.

Risks of Feeding Oranges to Cockatiels

While oranges can be a nutritious and tasty addition to a cockatiel’s diet, some risks are associated with feeding them to your feathered friend. Here are some of the potential risks to keep in mind:

Digestive Problems

Overfeeding oranges or any fruit can cause digestive issues in cockatiels. Due to their high sugar content, oranges can lead to diarrhea or vomiting. Always provide small quantities and observe your bird’s digestion.


Oranges are often treated with pesticides, which can be harmful to birds. Choosing organic oranges or washing them thoroughly before offering them to your cockatiel is crucial.

Choking Hazards

The seeds and peel of oranges can pose a choking hazard to cockatiels. Removing all seeds and peeling them before offering orange to your bird is vital.


Excessive sugar from fruits like oranges can lead to obesity in cockatiels. To keep your bird healthy, it’s essential to provide a balanced diet with various foods, including fruits and vegetables.

Can Cockatiels Eat Orange Peels?

Cockatiels can eat oranges, but what about the orange peels? Orange peels are not toxic to cockatiels but are not recommended for consumption.

Orange peels can harm birds, causing digestive issues such as diarrhea and containing toxic oils.

It is best to remove the orange peel before feeding the orange to your cockatiel. This ensures that your bird only consumes the fruit’s flesh, which is safe and beneficial.

Alternatives to Oranges in Cockatiel’s Diet

Fortunately, many other fruits and vegetables can be included in a cockatiel’s diet to provide a variety of nutrients and flavors.


  • Apples: Cockatiels can have apple pieces as treats; just remove the seeds and core first.
  • Berries: Cockatiels can safely eat blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries in moderation.
  • Melons: Watermelon and cantaloupe are excellent sources of hydration and nutrients for cockatiels.
  • Bananas: Cockatiels can have small pieces of banana as a treat, but they should eat only a little due to the high sugar content.
  • Grapes: Seedless grapes can be a tasty and nutritious snack for cockatiels.


  • Carrots: Cockatiels benefit from vitamin A in both raw and cooked carrots.
  • Broccoli: Cooked or raw broccoli can provide vitamin C, calcium, and other nutrients.
  • Cabbage: Raw or cooked cabbage can be a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
  • Beans and peas: Cooked beans and peas can provide protein and other nutrients for cockatiels.
  • Lentils: Cooked lentils can be a good source of protein and fiber for cockatiels.
  • Corn: Cooked corn can provide vitamins and minerals for cockatiels.

Other Foods

  • Nuts: Cockatiels can enjoy small amounts of unsalted nuts as a treat. Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are all good options.
  • Whole grains: Cooked brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains can provide nutrients and fiber for cockatiels.

It is important to remember that fruits and vegetables should only make up a small part of a cockatiel’s diet. 

Most of their diet should consist of high-quality pellets and a small amount of seeds. Always consult a veterinarian before making any changes to your cockatiel’s diet.

Other Important Factors in Cockatiel’s Diet

When planning a cockatiel’s diet, it’s not just about oranges. Cockatiels need a diverse diet that includes seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. 

Seeds should constitute about 20% of their daily intake, but avoid overfeeding due to their high fat and low nutrient content. Pellets packed with essential vitamins and minerals should be the primary food, making up 50-60% of their diet. 

Fruits and vegetables, contributing to 20-25% of daily intake, offer varied nutrients. Good choices are apples, bananas, carrots, broccoli, and spinach. 

Due to their sugar and fat content, treats like millet, whole-grain bread, and cooked brown rice should be given sparingly. 

Lastly, especially for female cockatiels, calcium supplements may be needed to prevent deficiencies and egg-binding issues.