Can Cockatiels Eat Basil? (+Other Herbs You Can Offer)

Cockatiels can eat basil, yes. Basil is among the safe herbs you can offer to your pet, and it’s highly nutritious. Further, it provides quite a fantastic flavor that your cockatiel will surely love. The great thing about these herbs is that most birds enjoy eating them, including cockatiels.

Most people think of basil only as a part of a great salad or any great dish. However, it can also be something our pet birds can enjoy.

If you have some basil to spare for your cockatiel, you may want to take a few moments to read more. This article will offer you a handful of information to keep your pet safe while it enjoys basil treats.

Let’s get into it!

Is basil toxic to cockatiels?

Basil is not toxic to cockatiels. In fact, it is one of the safe herbs you can offer to your pet.

Herbs such as basil are famous for the fantastic aroma and flavor they give. However, most people often overlook their nutritional benefits.

To understand further, take a look at these nutrition facts. According to HealthLine, a tablespoon (2 grams) of sweet basil has:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Manganese

Dried basil is more concentrated in nutrients. However, most people use fresh ones in most dishes. When it comes to feeding such an herb to cockatiels, your best bet would be the fresh one.

Although basil is safe for cockatiels to eat, it doesn’t mean you can offer it as much as you want.

We don’t usually eat basil on its own, and so our cockatiels shouldn’t as well. For this reason, always treat basil, along with other herbs, only as treats or snacks, and not something as regular food.

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How much basil can cockatiels eat?

Basil, like other herbs, isn’t something you can give your cockatiel in a large amount.

These birds are prone to obesity, and so they need a balanced diet. Thus, while basil is high in nutrients, it can’t sustain a cockatiel’s needs for the day.

For this reason, it would be best to consider basil only as a snack, not forming more than 10% of a cockatiel’s food.

Pellets should take up most of their diet, as it is the best food to satisfy their nutrient needs. Thus, it should take up at least 60% of their daily food intake.

Another big part of their diet should be vegetables. Feeding different vegetables should serve your cockatiel well. Moreover, it should take more or less 30% of their food.

The remaining 10% or less can be part of snacks and treats. Aside from herbs like basil, you can also offer nuts, fruits, and seeds.

Risks of feeding your cockatiel basil


There’s not much of a risk when it comes to feeding your cockatiel some basil.

The only thing you should be mindful of when feeding it is never to provide more than the proper amount.

As I said earlier, basil and other herbs may be rich in nutrients and flavor, but it doesn’t mean you can give as much as you want. As always, limit basil and other herbs to a few bites and tastes.

Another thing is that basil, like all other herbs, contains essential oils. While these oils may not be toxic, too much of it can be harmful.

Since these herbs have fantastic flavor, it’s enough for your cockatiel to get a couple of bites. Any more than that could be unhealthy for them.

Another thing to be mindful of is feeding basil along with other seasonings and food.

While basil in itself isn’t harmful, adding some seasoning can make it so for your pet.

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Do cockatiels like eating basil?

Cockatiels love a variety of herbs, and basil can be one of these foods. In fact, it’s something they would also forage in the wild.

Since basil is rich in nutrients and flavor, it can be quite an enjoyable snack for your pet.

Still, it doesn’t mean that you can give it in significant amounts just because your pet loves it.

As always, limit basil and other herbs into a minimal amount of servings.

Other herbs cockatiels can eat.

Aside from basil, you can also offer other herbs for your cockatiel. If you don’t know where to start, you can have these herbs for starters:

  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Chicory
  • Cilantro
  • Celery Leaves
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Ginger Root
  • Fennel
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Marjoram
  • Mint (not too much)
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Dry cinnamon

As I said earlier, a variety of snacks can be healthy, but only in small amounts. Further, it would be best to give herbs only once in a while, and not all the time.

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Cockatiels can eat basil, and it is one of the many herbs you can give your pet as snacks or treats. It is highly nutritious and has a great flavor that your bird will surely enjoy.

The only thing you need to remember when feeding such is that herbs may be nutritious, but it shouldn’t form a big part of their diet. Cockatiels need a balanced diet, so make sure to limit basil snacks to small amounts only.

Further, by limiting basil snacks, you prevent your cockatiel from taking in too many essential oils. Thus, you should restrict feeding basil to once in a while and see it more as a treat.

As long as you maintain a balanced diet, you can feed basil from time to time without worries.


HealthLine’s nutrition facts on basil

Image Credits:

  • Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash
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