Can Cockatiels Eat Chicken? (and the Risks of Feeding)

Cockatiels can eat chicken, yes. Cockatiels can eat chicken along with other types of meat, but only in small amounts. These foods can be a great source of protein, but there are better options you can give. When feeding chicken, it’s important to limit it to small amounts and not share such all the time.

Chicken, along with many types of meat, offers high nutrition, particularly protein. At the same time, it can also be high in fats, which we don’t want our pets to take in much.

For this reason, you may want to understand a little bit more about it before offering some for your pet.

Let’s take a look!

Is chicken good food for cockatiels?

Although unusual, chicken is good food for cockatiels. Chicken is rich in nutrients, especially in protein, which helps improve muscle growth.

Indeed, chicken and all other kinds of meat are not something cockatiels eat most of the time.

Still, these foods are safe and a great source of protein, especially if fed in small amounts.

To understand further, take a look at these nutrition facts. HealthLine states that a piece (172 grams) of a skinless and cooked chicken breast has:

  • 284 calories
  • 53.4 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of carbs
  • 6.2 grams of fat

By looking, you can already tell that protein makes up a big part of a chicken.

The only thing you should be mindful of is the way of preparing and feeding chicken to your pet.

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Can cockatiels eat cooked chicken?

Yes, cockatiels can eat cooked chicken, and it can even be a great source of protein. As long as a chicken is fit for human consumption, it’s also likely safe for cockatiels.

When feeding such, make sure you offer it without salt, seasonings, and other extra flavors.

Although the chicken in itself isn’t harmful, the seasonings you add when cooking can be.

For this reason, it would be best to offer plainly-cooked chicken. At the same time, it would be best to cook it without using oil.

A simple, boiled, or steamed chicken should be the best way to serve chicken to your cockatiel.

Another thing you should be mindful of is the amount of chicken you are about to give.

Let’s get into it more!

How much chicken meat can cockatiels eat?


Chicken meat, along with other types, are unusual food for cockatiels. Thus, it would be best to feed it only in small amounts, ideally as a treat or snack.

Another thing to note is that you should offer chicken meat in bite-size pieces or shredded. Although cockatiels can nibble on chunks of chicken, it would be easier for them to eat it in smaller ones.

If you are to feed chicken to cockatiels, make sure it won’t exceed 30% of a cockatiel’s daily food intake.

Cockatiels need a balanced diet to take in nutrients it needs for the day.

A significant amount of food should be pellets, taking up 60% or more of their daily intake.

The food’s 30% can be a variety of vegetables for added nutrition. The rest, which is 10%, should be for treats such as fruits, nuts, and seeds.

You can offer chicken and other kinds of meat as a substitute for both treats and veggies. However, it would be best if you never made it a substitute for pellets.

Always keep in mind that pellets are the best food you can offer, so make sure to give it to your cockatiel every day.

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Risks of feeding your cockatiel with chicken meat

Before feeding chicken to your cockatiel, you should be aware of the following risks. It will help you be careful and avoid unwanted incidents from happening.

Chicken contains a high amount of fat.

Chicken, along with all other kinds of meat, contains high amounts of fat. While fat is also essential for a cockatiel, too much intake can compromise their health.

For this reason, it’s essential to be mindful of feeding chicken and limiting it to small amounts only.

Chicken is not the usual food for cockatiels.

The usual food of cockatiels are pellets, veggies, fruits, seeds, and nuts.

Thus, you may find it unusual for cockatiels to eat meat like a chicken. Still, it remains a safe food you can offer.

Although safe, chicken and other meat should not be part of your cockatiel’s regular diet. It’s alright to give it a snack or treat, but not an everyday food it will eat.

Cooked chicken may contain seasonings.

Another thing is that chicken, mostly cooked bones, are always associated with seasonings.

For us, the chicken may have that unique flavor, but it only comes out with the aid of seasonings, such as salt and pepper.

Thus, it can happen that you are feeding only leftover chicken, which has seasonings in it. If your chicken treat has herbs, it would be best not to provide it.

Do cockatiels like eating chickens?

As I said earlier, it’s unusual for cockatiels to eat meat, such as chicken. Still, these birds usually find such treats appealing.

If your cockatiel were eating chicken pieces for the first time, it would be best to eat some in front of your pet.

These birds would get curious about what you eat, and it’ll make it easier to introduce the food.

Your pet may come to like chicken, but it doesn’t mean you can feed it as much as you want.

As always, you should feed chicken in moderation, as snacks or treats, and not too much.

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Cockatiels can eat chicken, although it’s unusual. Chicken is an excellent source of protein, and it’s alright for cockatiels to nibble on chicken in a small amount.

Chicken contains too much fat for cockatiels. For this reason, if you wish to feed protein-rich food, you can go for seeds and even eggs. Just make sure you offer other alternatives in small amounts as well. 


HealthLine’s nutrition facts on chicken (chicken breast)

Image Credits:

  • Photo by Egor Gordeev on Unsplash
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