Can Cockatiels Eat Chia Seeds? (+Other Facts About Seeds)

Cockatiels can eat chia seeds, yes. Cockatiels love eating seeds, and chia seed is highly nutritious for your pet if given properly. Although chia seeds are healthy snacks, it can compromise your pet’s health if you give too much. Thus, you should only offer this food as treats or snacks once in a while.

Chia seeds are highly nutritious for us and our pets. Still, there are a few things you need to be aware of before feeding such to your pet bird.

For this reason, I did some research to answer questions related to chia seeds and cockatiels. If you have some questions about chia seeds, this article may be of great help to you.

Take your time to read on!

Are chia seeds good for cockatiels?

Chia seeds are great for cockatiels, and you can offer quite a nutritious treat if you spare some to your pet.

Chia seeds may be one of the tiniest you’ll ever encounter. Still, these small bits come packed with a lot of nutrients.

According to HealthLine, an ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contain the following:

  • 137 Calories
  • 1 gram of carbohydrate
  • 11 grams of Fiber
  • 4 grams of Protein
  • Nine grams of Fats (5 of which are omega-3s).

Aside from these components, chia seeds are also rich in many vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2

Chia seeds are incredibly rich in protein to the extent that it’s making up almost half of its weight.

It’s a great thing since a single ounce is only about two tablespoons. Still, you can already give your pet a highly nutritious snack.

Further, chia seeds are whole-grain foods, and it’s usually organic and gluten-free.

Another thing is that more than half of its fat content is omega-3, which is ideal for us and also for our pets.

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A good energy booster

Chia seeds offer great energy for our pet birds, and even for us as well.

Since most chia seeds are organic, you won’t have to worry about what it consists of, as it is safe for your cockatiel.

For this reason, if you are looking for healthy and energy-filled treats, chia seeds are your best bet.

How much chia seeds can cockatiels eat?

Indeed, chia seeds are highly nutritious and safe for consumption. Still, it shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily meals.

Seeds, along with other fruits and snacks, should only serve as treats and not the central part of their meal. For this reason, snacks and treats should only make up 10% or less of their meals.

In general, cockatiels should eat 30-40 grams of food per day. Thus, you should limit it to 3-4 grams per day.

Like all other birds and animals, cockatiels should have a balanced diet of a few things.

The most significant percentage should be pellets, making up a total of 60% of their daily diet. The remaining 30% should be for vegetables like carrots and fruits like grapes or raisins.

The key to a good diet is always balance. For this reason, you should limit feeding peanuts to once or twice a week.

Further, it would be best if you didn’t feed peanuts as the only treat or snack. Consider getting a variety of options like walnuts, almonds, and others.

Having a list of other vegetables gives your bird balanced nutrition.

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Risks of feeding your cockatiel chia seeds

chia seeds

Seeds, if fed in moderation, have a lot to offer for your pet. However, going for an all-seed diet would compromise their health.

Here are some risks of feeding your cockatiel chia seeds:

Chia seeds contain fat.

Chia seeds and all other seeds contain fat. Such a component provides the pits enough energy to turn into a plant.

Once a seed sprouts, the fat then transforms into another form of energy.

Seeds have lesser calcium and vitamins.

Chia seeds may be rich in vitamins and minerals, but it won’t suffice for a cockatiel’s daily intake. 

Of course, you can add a few more grams of seeds to their snacks, but going more than that can cause harm.

All-seed diet is unhealthy and unbalanced.

Most seeds get produced rapidly, and so their quality usually comes very low. 

Thus, it’s usually easy to tell if a bird is eating an all-seed diet. The feathers are typically dull, dry, and brittle.

Your pet’s health depends mostly on the kind of diet it has. Thus, choosing an all-seed diet instead of a variety can compromise health.

For this reason, it would be best to maintain a variety and create the right diet plan for your pet.

This way, you can be confident your pet gets the nutrients it needs for each day.

Do cockatiels like eating chia seeds?

Cockatiels would love to eat chia seeds. In fact, most birds would peck on these seeds, given a chance.

Still, it doesn’t mean that you should feed seeds as much as you want only because your pet likes it.

Chia seeds should only be snacks or treats for your pet. A little amount now and then should be healthy and nutritious for your pet.

Are seeds bad for cockatiels?

Seeds are not bad for cockatiels, not unless you give them too much. These feeds are rich in nutrients that are beneficial to birds and even to other pets.

As I said earlier, seeds don’t have a sufficient amount of nutrients to sustain a cockatiel. For this reason, it’s essential to offer these feeds in a limited amount and to avoid overfeeding with it.

Although too many seeds or an all-seed diet isn’t toxic, it can still affect your pet’s overall health.

What other seeds do cockatiels eat?

Seeds are rich and fatty, and they can make a tasty treat and a diet component. Aside from chia seeds, cockatiels can eat other pits.

These two seeds are rich in fat. Thus, if you are going to feed such, feed it in smaller amounts than chia seeds:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Safflower seeds

If your pet is large enough, you can feed the following seeds. For a cockatiel, however, you may want to crush it to smaller bits.

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Corn
  • Thistle
  • Pine Tree seeds

These seeds are small, making it more ideal for cockatiels and parrots of smaller species:

  • Millet
  • Hemp
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Buckwheat
  • Canary Grass
  • Flax Seed

Are pineapples and raisins safe for cockatiels? Check it out!


Cockatiels can eat chia seeds, and it can be a highly nutritious snack for these birds if fed in moderation.

Chia seeds, along with other ones, are rich in nutritional components. Still, it’s something that can’t sustain a bird’s diet on its own. Birds like cockatiels need a wide range of nutrition. 

Thus, if you own a cockatiel, it’s best to balance its meals with seeds forming only a small portion.

Seeds aren’t toxic, and your pet shouldn’t be in danger if you wish to give it an all-seed diet. However, it can compromise your pet’s health, so I won’t recommend doing so.

As long as you keep seeds as treats, your pet will have nutritious and balanced meals.


HealthLine’s nutrition facts on chia seeds

Image Credits:

  • Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
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