I took my son out fishing for the first time recently, and we both had a great time—and caught a lot of fish, too!
Fishing can be really dull if you don’t catch anything, so I think we got lucky.
In any case, he’s keen to get back out and try it again.
One thing that was a bit of an issue was just how well that first trip went—we had more fish than we knew what to do with!
I’m always keen to share new things with my cockatiels, though, so I decided to check if it was safe for them.
So, can cockatiels eat fish?
Cockatiels can eat small amounts of fish, although we are talking really miniscule amounts. Their ordinary diet in the wild wouldn’t include any animal flesh, as they are herbivores. However, in very small amounts, some fish can be beneficial to them. Again, though, I would really stress the moderation.
So, fish is not in itself a big problem for cockatiels.
However, ‘fish’ obviously includes quite a lot of different and varied species even in what we cook.
So, just be careful of what exactly you’re giving them, and only give them very small amounts.
Read on to find out more.
Is fish good for cockatiels?
In some ways, it can be.
In very small amounts, fish is a nice treat that some cockatiels have been known to love, and can make a nice change from their ordinary diet of seeds, fruits and vegetables.
They may benefit from the extra protein, and from certain fatty acids like omega 3.
Fish is often very salty, though, depending on where it comes from.
The big distinction you need to be aware of is saltwater vs freshwater fish.
Saltwater fish contain a great deal more salt, as you might expect, and have a saltier, brinier taste.
Freshwater fish are likely to be your best option.
They will provide the extra protein without the problems associated with high levels of sodium in saltwater fish.
In any case, fish is only going to be good for your cockatiel in highly regulated amounts.
As I said, they are herbivores in the wild, and can happily go their whole life never touching meat or fish.
So, if you do want to give them fish, only give them a very small amount.
If they don’t like it, don’t try and force it—many cockatiels just won’t be interested.
Is fish bad for cockatiels?
In large amounts, yes.
Any type of fish in too large amounts is going to be bad for your cockatiel, so you should always keep moderation in mind.
That said, there are some types of fish that are worse for cockatiels than others.
Again, fish is a very broad category—don’t feed your cockatiel anything that you wouldn’t eat yourself.
Don’t feed them poisonous blowfish, for instance!
Plain, white fish is mostly going to be fine.
Avoid saltwater fish, though—they are much brinier and saltier, and this will be highly problematic for your cockatiel.
To reiterate, though, many cockatiels can happily go their whole lives without ever eating fish.
They don’t need it in their diet, so it’s just an added treat—it will be very bad for them if you try to replace their regular diet with fish.
Can cockatiels eat raw fish?
Yes, they can—again, depending on the exact type of fish.
Plenty of kinds of fish are great for us raw, too, and in fact it’s probably best to give them raw fish if you are going to at all.
Not to hammer home the point, but again, tiny amounts is all you need.
Do research on the specific type of fish you have.
Some could well be toxic to cockatiels when raw.
Mostly, they won’t be—again, plain, commonly consumed white fishes like cod are totally fine raw.
In any case, raw fish should only be a treat if they seem to enjoy it.
Don’t try and make them eat raw fish—it doesn’t contain anything they especially need.
Can cockatiels eat cooked fish?
In all honestly, there likely isn’t a great deal of difference between cooked and raw fish for a cockatiel.
I would advise raw as being better simply because it won’t have any oils or other cooking substances on it which would be less palatable to your cockatiel.
Again, very small amounts of cooked fish would be fine.
Say, if you were sharing something from the dinner table, if you’re in the habit of doing that.
In general, though there are much better snacks you can give them, that will be tastier and provide more health benefits.
So, the simple answer is that cockatiels can eat fish—but, really, there’s no particular reason for them to do so.
As I said, in the wild, they are pure herbivores, and eat almost entirely seeds and some fruit.
It’s all plant matter, in one way or another.
Any large amount of high protein food like fish is going to be a bit of a shock to the system, so if you are feeding them fish, make sure it is only very small amounts.