I was making some toast for my breakfast the other day, when I decided to pull the toaster out and finally get underneath it to clean out all those pesky crumbs.
It’s one of those jobs that no one ever wants to do, but it has to be done.
You can’t ignore those crumbs forever.
Luckily, though, I had some help; my cockatiel came over and started hoovering up the crumbs the moment I moved it!
I assumed bread was safe for him, but I wasn’t sure.
So, can cockatiels eat bread?
In limited quantities, yes. Cockatiels do enjoy eating bread, but they should only really eat it toasted. Untoasted bread can be hard for them to digest—they prefer the crunchy, dryness of the toast. Even then, toast should only be fed in very limited quantities, once a week at most.
Bread is a processed human food, so you shouldn’t really get into the habit of feeding it to your cockatiel.
Small amounts of toast, we’re talking crumbs, is okay, but you need to be very careful of precisely how much you give them.
Read on to find out more.
Can cockatiels eat sliced bread?
In very small amounts, yes.
They may be interested in eating bits of sliced bread, and they may enjoy it too.
Sliced bread is fine, as it’s quite soft and there is no risk of choking.
However, you shouldn’t really feed them any substantial amount, and we would suggest it’s best not to get into the habit of giving your cockatiel bread.
Bread is filled with many ingredients which cockatiels would not get in their ordinary diets, and so it can be quite difficult for them to digest.
If they eat bread, and it sits undigested in their gut, this is going to cause pain, indigestion, and even diarrhea.
As a very occasional treat, then, small bits of sliced bread is not a problem.
However, in most cases, cockatiels will not be interested in eating plain bread—it’s too soft for them, and does not closely mimic any kind of food they would ordinarily eat.
To get a better crunchy dryness, you’ll want to toast that bread.
Can cockatiels eat toast?
This is the best way to feed bread to your cockatiels, and like I said, they will much prefer it this way.
It will be dry and crunchy, like the things they would be more naturally inclined to eat in the wild—seeds, nuts etc.
Toast is, furthermore, much easier for them to digest than untoasted bread.
Drying out in this way means that the bird’s digestive system has a much easier time breaking it down.
Small bits of toast are far less likely to cause digestive trouble than ordinary bread.
That said, you still need to be very careful about moderation.
Toast, however small the amounts, should still only be a very occasional treat for your cockatiels.
It will be a crunchy snack that they will enjoy, and the toasting process does negate some of the harmful properties.
It is still bread, however, and you shouldn’t get into the habit of giving your cockatiels human food.
Can cockatiels eat white bread?
Again, in small amounts, yes, white bread is perfectly fine for cockatiels.
Untoasted, they probably won’t be much interested—especially in plain, white bread.
There’s not really anything there that would excite most cockatiels.
That isn’t to say they won’t try their luck if they see you with some white bread.
But you probably shouldn’t buy white bread with the idea of feeding it to your cockatiel.
Again, ultimately, there are better, more appropriate things you can give to your cockatiel as a treat.
Bread is fine occasionally, but only occasionally.
What about brown bread, then?
Can cockatiels eat brown bread?
Brown bread is usually preferred as it often contains seeds and wholegrains.
But, obviously, if your cockatiel is just going straight for the seeds and grains and ignoring the bread—just buy a big bag of treat seeds for it!
Again, the same things apply to brown bread as applied to any other bread.
Any large amount of brown bread, untoasted, is likely to cause digestive issues for your cockatiel.
If you want to try giving them some brown bread, toast it first, and even cut it up a bit.
Again, though, while small amounts of toasted bread are totally safe, there are lots of better snacks you can give them.
Toast is best, then.
Untoasted bread can be tough for a cockatiel to digest—indeed, it’s tough for many of us to digest!
You just need to be very careful with how much you give them, then, and only give them toasted bread where possible.
They will probably prefer it this way anyway.
Really strict moderation is very important even for toast, as a cockatiel’s digestive system really isn’t equipped to deal with bread as such.
Once, maybe twice a week as a treat.