I was sitting reading the newspaper in the living room the other day when suddenly my cockatiel flaps its way through the door and comes and perches right next to me.
He does this often, so I wasn’t surprised until I saw that he was carrying a whole cherry in his mouth.
I’d seen the way he looked at me before—he was asking permission to eat it.
I guess he took it out of the kitchen—he is quite sneaky.
In any case, I wanted to be sure it was safe, so I looked into it first.
So, can cockatiels eat cherries?
Yes, cherries are safe for cockatiels, but you should always remove the seeds and the pit. Cherry seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, harmless to us but potentially harmful to a small animal like a cockatiel. Toxicity aside, cherries should still only ever be fed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
So, pitted cherries are totally safe for your cockatiel. Indeed, fresh fruits are an essential part of your cockatiel’s diet, so cherries make a great choice that they will love.
Read on to find out more.
Are cherries good for cockatiels?
In many ways, yes!
Cherries, first of all, are delicious and sweet, and your cockatiel will much appreciate the taste and flavor.
Though they are high in sugar, the small amount from one or two will actually be beneficial.
Beyond that, they are also a great source of fiber.
Fiber is really important to healthy digestion in your cockatiel, and fresh fruits and vegetables are probably the best source of this.
The fiber in cherries will help the rest of your cockatiel’s food go down equally well.
Cherries are also rich in many antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Antioxidants prevent the oxidisation of the body’s cells, and keep your cockatiel’s overall health at peak levels.
Combatting oxidative stress is really important in your cockatiel’s diet.
They are also beneficial to heart health, as they can help remove excess sodium from the cockatiel’s body.
This promotes healthier circulation, and can even mean that your cockatiel recovers more quickly from activity.
They also contain great amounts of many beneficial nutrients like vitamin C and potassium.
The health benefits of these nutrients are countless, and cherries are a great source.
Now, there are lots of benefits to cherries—but they don’t come without their caveats.
Are cherries bad for cockatiels?
Inherently, no, cherries are not bad for cockatiels.
They are healthy and filled with many great benefits.
However, it is the very fact that they are so nutrient rich that means they should be fed in careful moderation.
While fresh fruit is a really important part of your cockatiel’s diet, it should still only be a small part. as you can probably imagine given all the benefits I’ve just mentioned, cockatiels only need a few before they have gotten plenty of nutrition.
If you overfeed your cockatiel on cherries, this can cause indigestion, constipation and digestive pain.
You should always do your best to get a good balance in your cockatiel’s diet, and so feed them cherries once a week or so.
Switch the treats out for other vegetables and fruits in the meantime.
Just to reiterate, as well, you absolutely have to deseed the cherry.
Cherry seeds contain cyanide, so do not leave them in.
Let’s look at different ways of getting cherries in your cockatiel’s diet.
Can cockatiels eat cherry stalks?
Cherry stalks do not posed any particular threat, although they do contain greater concentrations of cyanide than the rest of the fruit.
For the most part, your cockatiel will just ignore the stalk anyway. It won’t want to eat it.
If you do see your cockatiel having a go on the stalk, it’s probably best to remove it from it.
There’s no real benefit to eating it, and even just as hard and pointy as it is could make it problematic.
Can cockatiels eat bing cherries?
Bing cherries are a favorite variety and widely available, and you’ll be pleased to know, totally safe for your cockatiel.
Most varieties of cherry are perfectly safe, so you should just try and find whatever is most readily available in your area.
Can cockatiels eat dried cherries?
Yes, and indeed dry cherries are a different kind of pleasure altogether.
Cockatiels will enjoy the crunchiness, which they otherwise wouldn’t get from fresh cherries.
Dried fruit is a great snack for your cockatiel, although you should be aware that they will lose a lot of health benefits in the drying process.
See if your cockatiel prefers dried or fresh cherries, and give them that from then on.
As long as you keep the all-important moderation in mind, then, cherries are a great treat for your cockatiel.
They’re rich in many beneficial nutrients, and they’re really tasty, too.
Your cockatiel will much appreciate you providing them cherries.
Just remember that they should only eat them occasionally as part of a balanced diet, and you should do your best to get a good variety of other fresh fruits into their diet.