Recently, my daughter began asking for a pet.
I knew that she really wanted to have a pet that was relatively intelligent and could be taught a few tricks too, but I didn’t think our lifestyle was suited best for a dog.
I work longer hours, and she is too young to be able to care for a dog on her own.
So, we decided together that we should get a bird.
After some research, she was so excited about cockatiels — so that’s what we got!
Of course, we had done research to understand the basics of what cockatiels eat, but we soon began to wonder about other types of food that might be beneficial to the bird.
One day, I was tending to our garden where we grow a variety of plants, including aloe vera.
As I was harvesting some of the aloe vera plant, I wondered if this was something that our cockatiel could eat.
So, I did some research to find out “Can cockatiels eat aloe vera?”
The answer is yes, cockatiels can eat aloe vera. However, aloe vera is not the most beneficial food for your bird to consume. In fact, too much aloe vera can lead to digestive issues. So, aloe vera should be limited to a nice treat for your cockatiel, instead of a large part of their diet.
In this article, we’re going to dive deeper into how often it is safe to feed your cockatiel aloe vera, what other foods are best suited for your cockatiel’s daily diet, and how too much aloe vera can impact your cockatiel’s health.
Is aloe vera healthy for cockatiels?
Yes, aloe vera does have a number of health benefits for your cockatiel.
There are 75 active ingredients in aloe vera, including such as vitamin A, C and E — all three of which are very important for your cockatiel to get in their diet.
These vitamins will help boost your bird’s immune system and overall health. Amino acids and sugars found in aloe vera will provide energy and protein to your cockatiel, which are also important parts of their overall diet.
Aloe vera can also help with skin irritation and make sure that your cockatiel’s feathers stay healthy, soft and shiny.
Why does aloe vera cause digestive issues?
Aloe vera is a natural laxative, because it contains a compound called anthraquinones.
Even for humans, it is recommended that you stick to a smaller serving size of aloe vera unless you have digestive tract issues that could benefit from a laxative.
Now, imagine the impact on your bird — which is much smaller than you!
In order to make sure that your cockatiel can benefit from the nutrients in aloe vera without experiencing digestive issues, feed them only the liquid from inside the plant and avoid the leafy portion — which has the most laxative effect.
What food should I give my cockatiel instead?
Remember, your cockatiel needs about 60 percent to 70 percent of its diet to consist of grains and seeds — and quinoa is one of the best grains you could feed your cockatiel.
Of course, you want to make sure that you are giving your cockatiel the proper portions for each meal.
Cockatiels should consume about 15 grams of food per day, meaning that about 9 to 10.5 grams should be grains and seeds.
It is always good to include some variety in the seeds and grains you’re feeding your cockatiel to avoid any nutritional deficiencies and have the healthiest bird possible.
There are so many grains and seeds that can add value to your cockatiel’s diet!
Some include; sunflower, safflower, thistle, millet, corn, and peanuts.
Make sure to avoid any fruit seeds, as those can be toxic to your cockatiel.
What else can I feed my cockatiel?
Cockatiels need a balanced diet that can include seeds, pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
In addition to seeds and grains, you can feed your cockatiel a plethora of other foods.
About 20 percent of their daily diet can consist of leafy greens and other vegetables, like sweet potatoes, sprouts, cooked beets, broccoli, carrots, carrot tops, corn, chard, endive, fresh sprouts, wax beans, parsley, pumpkin, red or green sweet peppers, watercress, yellow squash, and zucchini.
Remember, pesticides and other chemicals can be fatal to a cockatiel.
Try to stick to organic fruits and vegetables where possible, and make sure to thoroughly wash any food before giving it to your bird.
What other foods can be treats or snacks for my cockatiel?
Every other day, you can treat your cockatiel to some fresh fruit, like berries, melon, papaya or kiwi.
And ONLY about once a month, you can offer an even more special treat like a honey stick.
Lots of salt and sugar are also not good for your cockatiel to consume, so you should avoid giving your cockatiel too much of either.
While it’s okay to treat your bird every once in a while, it is important to stick to a diet that is filled with nutrients.
There are also some foods that you should avoid feeding your cockatiel altogether because they could make your avian friend sick.
Foods that are poisonous to your cockatiel include: shellfish, avocadoes, mushrooms, rhubarb, tomato, and eggplant.
You should also avoid the pits of apples, apricots, organs, cherries, peaches, pears, and plums.
Lots of salt and sugar are also not good for your cockatiel to consume.
As you can see, aloe vera can be a great addition to your cockatiel’s diet to help boost their vitamin, amino acid, and sugar intake!
Boosting their daily dose of these can ensure that your cockatiel is happy and healthy.
However, too much aloe vera can create issues for your bird’s digestion.
So, you’ll want to make sure that you’re keeping your cockatiel’s aloe vera intake quite small.
This is not a food that needs to be a staple in your cockatiel’s daily diet but rather can be a nice, healthy treat for your cockatiel to enjoy on occasion!