can cockatiels eat oranges

Cockatiels are not only adorable little birds but also fancy. Keeping a cockatiel at home requires zero tolerance for negligence and it must be provided with the right amount of care and attention. There happens to be a lot of dissimilarities between a pet cockatiel and a wild cockatiel. A wild cockatiel knows what to eat and moves around with a flock. The one you have at home doesn’t have that company and has little knowledge on what to eat and what to avoid. 

So, it is your duty to provide your cockatiel with the best food possible and for that, you need to have adequate knowledge first. And as per today’s topic, if the question arises in your mind, ‘Can cockatiels eat oranges?’ The answer is yes, cockatiels can eat oranges and it is considered to be one of the best fruits that you can feed them. Oranges contain a rich amount of Vitamin C, which is a vital element for the proper growth and development of a cockatiel. Just remember not to feed too much and avoid the seeds.

Can Cockatiels Eat Oranges? The Bright Side of Oranges

Orange, as a fruit, is an excellent choice for feeding pet birds because of its nutritional profile. One mid-sized orange contains,

  • 60-70 calories.
  • 60-100 milligrams of Vitamin C.
  • 10-15 milligrams of Vitamin A.
  • 10-12 grams of sugar.
  • Zero fat.

Your cockatiel needs a good amount of calories to stay fit. Vitamin A and C are necessary to prevent different types of diseases and to aid their metabolic processes. The sugar present in oranges helps to activate the digestive enzymes, which is also a positive fact. Other than these ingredients, oranges contain thiamine, potassium, folate, etc., which help a cockatiel in systemic development and maintenance of body processes. Oranges also have a small amount of fiber which can help in nutrient absorption and normalize bowel & bladder habits. But, I will recommend you not to use oranges as the main source of its food. It can be used as snacks in a very low amount. 

The Dark Side of Oranges

Orange is one of the best among all fruits until you are not crossing the limit threshold. Feeding excess oranges can cause varieties of illnesses. Orange is a citric fruit and it contains a good amount of sugar which is a lot in case of feeding a little pet bird. Excess sugar intake can cause restlessness or tiredness, fatigue, malaise, etc. Oranges also contain fibers, which if fed extra, can cause constipation and other systemic errors. Too much presence of Vitamins in a cockatiel can create hypervitaminosis. 

A cockatiel suffering from hypervitaminosis can show over-excitement, nagging, and sometimes toxicity that can lead to systemic failures and even death if not treated. Other than the case of overfeeding, the condition of the orange should also be considered. A rotten or infected orange can contain different parasites and bacteria that can easily attack your cockatiel and ruin its bodily activities. If you can provide it with the freshest oranges in an adequate amount, there should not be any incidence of illnesses.

Orange Peel – Can Cockatiels Eat Orange Peels

Can Cockatiels Eat Orange Peels? Yes, cockatiels can eat orange peels but it is not a healthy item. Most of the nutritional value hides inside the flesh of the orange and the peel is quite unnecessary. However, if your cockatiel is interested in peels, that’s a different case. But it is a good practice to refrain them from eating peels since it is hard and may cause choking hazards and maldigestion. Orange peels can also carry microorganisms though you’ve washed the orange thoroughly. So my advice will be to keep your cockatiel away from orange peels.

Orange Seed

The scenario is the same for both orange seeds and peels. Orange seeds also contain no necessary nutritional factors and can cause choking hazards frequently. Also, these are hard to chew and digest, which can also make the cockatiel uncomfortable and stressed. So whenever you’re feeding your cockatiel with orange, always try to put those seeds away.

Orange Slice

The flesh of the orange sliced into different pieces is the main attraction of a cockatiel. Mostly it will be attracted to that part only and you should also make sure to feed your cockatiel with the flesh since it carries all of the nutritional factors. You can mix one slice of orange with other food items to enhance the nutritional benefits or simply offer the orange separately as a tasty snack. Make sure not to waste the juice when you’re separating the slices. 

Orange Juice

Cockatiels enjoy orange juice as a beverage a lot. But you need to make sure that the juice is 100% organic. Even a small amount of chemicals can put the life of your cockatiel at risk. You can simply blend or mesh the orange to squeeze out the juice and serve it. This type of raw juice contains too much sugar and is highly acidic, which can create systemic errors in your cockatiel. So it is my recommendation to dilute the orange juice with clean water to minimize its concentration and sugar or acidic value.

Feeding Process

The feeding process includes the amount and timing of feeding your cockatiel with orange. Some say that one mid-sized orange is enough to satisfy the basic needs of a cockatiel for at least a week. I personally wouldn’t recommend you, such staff, as keeping fruit for more than a week can produce intoxication. I recommend you provide one or a maximum of two slices of oranges daily as snacks, not as a part of the balanced diet. You can ever tear up portions of a slice and hand-feed your cockatiel. About 10% of daily intake is sufficient to reap the main benefits of oranges.

Other Fruits to Offer

can cockatiels eat orange peels

Other than oranges, there are also some good nutritional fruits that you can offer your cockatiel for its betterment. Some of these fruits are,

It is recommended to remove the seeds before feeding to avoid choking hazards and digestional problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can a sick cockatiel eat oranges?

Answer: Yes, a cockatiel can eat oranges even when it is sick. If your cockatiel is suffering from malnutrition or vitamin deficiency disorders, oranges are a perfect choice. But, if the disease is related to excess sugar intake or any kind of disease for which your vet has told you not to provide any citric fruit, you should refrain from feeding oranges to them.

Q. What is cockatiels’ favorite food?

Answer: A cockatiel loves to eat mixed seeds, pelleted foods, treats, etc. You can combine vegetables and fruits with these items to make a balanced diet and your cockatiel will love that. But if I opine, cockatiel love bird seeds the most.

Q. Can a cockatiel eat popcorn?

Answer: Well, a cockatiel can eat popcorn, but there are some risks too. Cockatiels love popcorn to have as treats or snacks. But the remains of popcorn often cause choking hazards to your cockatiel, which can become fatal sometimes. I will recommend you not to feed popcorn too frequently and only feed them under your monitoring. 

Q. Can a cockatiel eat garlic or onion?

Answer: No, cockatiels can never eat garlic or onion. These are toxic food materials and contain some life-threatening substances that can instantly kill your beloved pet bird. Also, onion and garlic don’t do much help if you think about their nutritional benefits. All in one, cockatiels should avoid garlic or onion to refrain themselves from getting severely ill.

Q. How do I know my cockatiel is hungry?

Answer: You should feed your cockatiel, maintaining a time schedule mostly. But sometimes it can get hungry and show some signs to let you know this. Bobbing of the head is the most common sign. Also, it can come close to you when you are eating something or fly towards some food materials and start to nibble those. These signs, in general indicate the hunger of your cockatiel and you should provide it with a balanced diet or snacks depending on the time schedule.


Maintaining a cockatiel at home doesn’t require huge attention or nursing, but there is no place for absolute negligence here. I always try to make sure my cockatiel looks healthy and stays fit inside. To do that, I need to choose what is the best for my cockatiel and what is not. If you want your cockatiel to be cheerful and happy, you need to practice such behaviors as well. You need to pay adequate attention to the diet of your cockatiel and the basic cleanliness and hygiene. 

Feeding an orange may sound very simple, but the complications can be life-threatening if you become careless. So, I think you’ve got all the answers to your questions by now and next time someone asks you, ‘Can cockatiels eat oranges?’, you should reply with a wise face that yes, cockatiels can eat oranges and even they love it, but it can become dangerous if provided with lack of knowledge.

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