I was cooking a pasta sauce the other day, and as I always do when I’m cooking pretty much anything, I went way overboard on the garlic.
Who doesn’t love garlic, after all? It makes everything taste better.
As is often the case, though, I was being shadowed by my cockatiel, who was very interested in all the fresh produce I had out.
He was particularly keen on the garlic, though, which I had never seen him eat before. I decided to find out of if it was safe.
So, can cockatiels eat garlic?
No, cockatiels should not eat garlic. Garlic contains viands, and other chemical compounds like allicin, which can cause a variety of negative symptoms in a cockatiel. Small amounts are likely to be fine and there isn’t always a problem, but it’s still best avoided entirely.
As good as garlic might taste to us, then, to cockatiels, and indeed parrots in general, it poses a significant risk.
There’s no reason to feed cockatiels garlic, and no advantage to doing so.
It will, at best, do nothing, and at worst cause fatal injury.
Let’s look further into this.
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Is garlic bad for cockatiels?
Yes, unfortunately, it is.
Despite how flavorful it makes our dishes, for cockatiels, it is very dangerous.
This is for two essential reasons, as I mentioned: two dangerous chemical compounds found in garlic.
The first is the toxic viands.
Viands are common in many foods that are toxic to cockatiels, like avocado.
How exactly they act on your cockatiel’s internal organs is complex, but in the worst cases it can lead to total shutdown of vital organs.
In the worst case, then, your cockatiel could die from eating garlic.
This may sound dramatic, but it is entirely possible.
The other is allicin.
Allicin is an organosulfur compound extracted exclusively from garlic, and which can change into other sulfur containing compounds quickly in the body.
This instability is very dangerous for a cockatiel, as is the amount of sulfur that is potentially released.
Garlic, then, is very bad for cockatiels in general.
It will, almost certainly, avoid garlic of its own accord, but it still pays to be as safe and cautious as possible.
Are there any safe ways for a cockatiel to eat garlic, then?
Read on to find out.
Can cockatiels eat garlic paste?
The favorite of many a lazy cook, garlic paste is a great alternative to whole cloves.
It’s much easier to use and indeed to measure.
So, is it any safer for cockatiels in this form?
The answer, unfortunately, is no.
While it may be marginally safer than fresh garlic, the danger is very much still there, so there isn’t much sense in giving them garlic paste.
There is no nutritional benefit, anyway, and as I said, they will most likely have a natural aversion to it.
Garlic paste, even if cooked into something, is dangerous for your cockatiel.
In fact, the very process of cooking is likely to make the allicin release these sulfurs, too, which are uniquely dangerous to your cockatiel.
Don’t give your cockatiel garlic paste.
Can cockatiels eat garlic powder?
Garlic powder, as you might expect, is the same story.
While it’s once again very helpful for us in the kitchen, it, unfortunately, does not change the fact that the garlic contains dangerous compounds that could kill your cockatiel.
While, as I said, there is most likely higher concentrations of these volatile compounds in fresh garlic than in garlic powder or indeed garlic paste, the danger is always there.
There is, furthermore, no benefit whatsoever to feeding garlic powder to your cockatiel.
They won’t appreciate the taste or flavor, and will most likely ignore whatever you spread it on.
Can cockatiels eat fresh garlic?
So, as I’ve said, no form of garlic is safe, but undoubtedly the most dangerous is fresh garlic.
Fresh garlic contains the most allicin, and the highest possibility for it to change unexpectedly in the body during digestion.
So, no, your cockatiel can’t eat fresh garlic.
It poses all the same problems as any other form, indeed to a worse degree.
The bottom line is that your cockatiel will almost certainly have a natural aversion to fresh garlic.
It won’t bother trying to eat it.
Nevertheless, you should be careful of them having access to it when you aren’t around.
So, however you look at it, the safest way to feed your cockatiel garlic is not at all.
While it may, in many cases, not actually cause any harm, it also doesn’t actually come with any benefits, either.
It’s always best to be as cautious as possible, and avoid feeding your cockatiel anything that could potentially harm it.
They are only small animals, meaning something that can go wrong can go seriously wrong.
Avoid feeding garlic to your cockatiel.