If you’ve got a cockatiel, you’ll know that they love treats, and you probably get almost as much pleasure from giving treats as they get from receiving them.
However, you’ll also be aware that some foods are not safe for your little bird. That might leave you wondering whether cockatiels can eat raisins.
Raisins are safe for cockatiels in moderation. They are very good for the birds and you will probably find that your cockatiel takes them eagerly and devours them. However, you should avoid feeding your cockatiel too many raisins on a regular basis, and always offer other foods alongside them.
Too many raisins can lead to a variety of issues, including diarrhea. View raisins as a treat, not the main component of your bird’s diet.
Why Are Raisins Good For Cockatiels?
Raisins contain high levels of iron, which are good for the birds. They also have plenty of potassium in them, as well as fiber and vitamin C. Cockatiels will benefit from all of these things, as well as enjoy the sugary snack.
Why Shouldn’t They Have Too Many Raisins?
You might then be wondering why they shouldn’t have a lot of raisins if raisins contain such important nutrients. Unfortunately, raisins are also very high in calories and sugar.
Because they have been dried and the water has been removed, they are not as healthy as grapes might be (though they do have more iron in them than grapes do).
If you feed your bird too many raisins, it may get sick from the sugar. All dried fruit should be rationed; it is not something that wild birds come across, and it has a much higher sugar content than the undried version.
Eating a lot of raisins might also give your bird diarrhea, which is unpleasant for you and uncomfortable for the bird. If your bird flies around your home freely at times, it’s a nuisance to have to clean up, and even a messy cage isn’t much fun to deal with.
The amount of calories is also a problem. You don’t want your bird to consume more calories than it needs, just as people shouldn’t eat excess calories. By keeping raisins as a rare treat, you’ll be ensuring your bird stays happy and healthy.
How Many Raisins Are Okay To Feed To A Cockatiel?
This does depend quite heavily on what else you feed to your cockatiel.
If you are already providing lots of dried fruits in other forms, you should feed it fewer raisins accordingly. Equally, if any of its other treats are high in sugar or calories, even if they aren’t dried fruit, give it fewer raisins.
You know your cockatiel’s diet better than anyone else, but as a general guide, fruits should make up about ten percent of your bird’s food, and should not be offered every day.
On the whole, cockatiels should be getting about sixty percent of their nutrition from their pellets. Another twenty percent should come from fresh vegetables (which can be given daily), and the final ten can be made up of fruit.
There isn’t a fixed number of raisins you can feed to your cockatiel, but you should be mixing them with other fruits to ensure your bird gets a variety of nutrients and vitamins.
Depending on what else you give the bird, consider offering it just a couple of raisins to start with. You could increase this to three or four raisins per helping if your cockatiel particularly loves them, but decrease the number if your bird seems to have any tummy troubles.
You should aim to provide some fruits every three days or so, and don’t offer raisins every time. Instead, try to vary what you give the cockatiel, even if it has favorites. This will ensure it is getting a balanced diet and minimize the risk of problems from over-eating one particular thing.
What Kind Of Raisins Should I Buy?
You might think that raisins are just raisins, but actually, it’s more complicated than that. You shouldn’t feed your cockatiel raisins that have sulfur dioxide in them. This is a preservative in many commercial dried fruits that helps them retain their color.
Sulfur dioxide isn’t toxic to your cockatiel, but it’s not great for it either. Ideally, you should give your bird sulfur-free dried fruits. If you can’t buy these, consider making your own dried fruit, or providing the fresh version instead.
You should also look out for other added chemicals and avoid them where possible. Your cockatiel wants fruit, no additives!
Do Raisins Count As Fresh Fruit?
When counting up your cockatiel’s weekly fruit allowance, you might be wondering whether to include raisins and other dried fruits. After all, they are not exactly fresh.
The answer is that yes, you should include them in that calculation. While they may not be “fresh fruit,” they contain many of the same nutrients and sugars, and not counting them could result in your cockatiel getting an imbalanced diet.
All fruit should be added to that overall figure of ten percent. If you are feeding this every three days, it should be about thirty percent of the bird’s food for that day. Any more, and you might notice that your cockatiel’s droppings become liquid and the bird seems lethargic.
If you have accidentally overfed your cockatiel on fruit, don’t panic. Provide plenty of pellets and seeds and give it time for its system to adjust. It should sort itself out in a day or two, but avoid doing it again.
If your cockatiel seems to respond badly to raisins (or any other food), you should take it directly to your veterinarian. Raisins should be safe for all cockatiels to consume, but you should get an ill bird checked out quickly to determine the cause of the issue.
Cockatiels love raisins and will gratefully accept this snack any time it is offered. Remember to limit the number of raisins you feed your bird to keep its health up and ensure it is getting a balanced and nutritious diet. The inclusion of other fruits and vegetables is crucial.