It was curry night at our house the other night, and there was so much food.
We always go big when it comes to curry night.
We had so much left over that we didn’t know what we were going to do with it. one small help with leftovers is always our cockatiel, but I thought better of sharing any of this with him given the complexity of the ingredients.
He did seem interested in the rice, though, and I thought that couldn’t do any harm—but I decided to check first.
So, can cockatiels eat rice?
In small amounts rice is fine for cockatiels, but there’s really no reason to feed them rice. They might enjoy it as a treat, but there are much better, tastier, and more nutritionally rich things that you can give them. If you do feed them rice, it should be only in tiny amounts very occasionally.
So, the simple answer is that cockatiels can eat rice, but they shouldn’t.
It is perfectly natural for us to want to share our food with our cockatiels, but the fact is they’re just not really equipped to digest anything more than a miniscule amount of rice.
There are much better things you can feed them as a treat, like fruits and vegetables, so stick to that.
Let’s look further into this.
Is rice good for cockatiels?
The simple answer is not particularly.
In small amounts, it poses no specific danger, at least in very small amounts.
But it also offers no benefit that the cockatiel could not get in a more accessible package elsewhere in its diet.
Rice is a grain, and there’s really no need for grain of this kind in a cockatiel’s diet.
Most of what they eat should be their regular feed and seeds, fruits and vegetables.
This is about the extent of variety they need, though you should provide a number of different fruits and vegetables.
Rice is a human food, really, and all it offers would be carbohydrates.
Though we tend to think of carbohydrates as coming from foods like rice and pasta, fresh plant-based food like fruit is in fact a complex carbohydrate, too.
So, rice is not especially good for cockatiels, and they will get all the carbs they need elsewhere in their diets.
But is rice actively bad?
Is rice bad for cockatiels?
My answer would be yes, it certainly can be.
As I said, small amounts is the key if you are going to feed rice to your cockatiels.
They only need a very tiny amount, otherwise it will begin to be bad for them in a number of ways.
For one thing, rice is not what a cockatiel’s digestive system is equipped to handle.
While it will be able to break down a small amount, even a little bit too much will become a problem.
It may end up sitting undigested in their gut, causing major pain.
It may also mean that their appetite is reduced, and they don’t get the full nutrient content of their regular food since they can’t eat it all.
Rice may seem harmless, and again, in small amounts, it probably is.
The fact is, though, that there simply is no reason to give them rice.
There are many better treats that they will prefer.
Can cockatiels eat raw rice?
If you are going to give them rice, raw is probably the best way.
This will eliminate any other ingredients which may be dangerous that get onto the rice during the cooking process.
Again, though, there’s no particular reason or benefit for doing so, so I would say it is best avoided.
If your cockatiel is very interested in the rice, let it try a single grain.
It most likely won’t be interested anymore.
What about cooked rice?
Can cockatiels eat cooked rice?
Cockatiels should not eat cooked rice.
Again, it shouldn’t for the same reasons I have already mentioned.
However, cooked rice poses its own potential problems.
If it has been cooked in any sauces or spices this can be a big problem for your cockatiel.
Even if it’s just plain cooked rice, there may have been salt in the water—too much of which is very bad for your cockatiel.
Don’t let them eat rice, whether it’s cooked or not.
There is simply no reason to.
So, however you look at it, there simply isn’t much benefit to giving your cockatiel rice.
There are plenty of tastier, much more nutritious snacks and treats you can give them that they will love a lot more and get a lot more health benefits from.
As I said, I understand the desire to share food with your cockatiel, but why not share their best treats with them?
This will keep your cockatiel happy and healthy.