Can Cockatiels Eat Flax Seeds? (and Risks of Feeding Seeds)

Cockatiels can eat flax seeds, yes. Cockatiels love eating seeds, and flax seeds are one of the highly nutritious ones for your pet if given correctly. Although these seeds are healthy snacks, they 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. 

Flax 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 about flax seeds and cockatiels. If you have some questions about it, this article may be of great help to you.

Take your time to read on!

Are flax seeds safe for cockatiels?

Flax seeds are safe for cockatiels, and it’s even more than that. These seeds are highly nutritious for them as well. 

Flax seeds have two kinds, as they can be either brown or golden. Either way, both have the same nutrients.

To understand further, take a look at these nutrition facts. According to HealthLine, a tablespoon (7 grams) of flax seeds offers the following:

  • 37 calories
  • 1.3 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of carbs
  • 1.9 grams of fiber
  • 3 grams of total fat
  • 0.3 grams of monounsaturated fat
  • 2.0 grams of polyunsaturated fat
  • 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids

Aside from these nutrients, flax seeds also offer the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

You May Also ReadCan cockatiels eat mealworms?

How much flaxseed can cockatiels eat?

flax seeds

Although flax seeds are safe and nutritious for cockatiels, it still shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their diet.

Along with other snacks, seeds 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 flax seeds 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 flax seeds to once or twice a week.

Further, it would be best to feed flax seeds as the only treat or snack. Consider getting a variety of options like walnuts, almonds, and others.

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

Risks of feeding your cockatiel flax 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 flax seeds:

Flax seeds contain fat.

Flax 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.

While fats are somewhat essential, taking in too much can already be harmful. Thus, limit it to treat servings once a day.

Seeds have lesser calcium and vitamins.

Flax 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 typically easy to tell if a bird is eating an all-seed diet. The feathers are generally 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.

You May Also ReadCan cockatiels eat fish?

Do cockatiels like eating flax seeds?

Cockatiels would love to eat flax seeds, along with other kinds. In fact, most birds would peck on these seeds, given a chance.

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

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

Other seeds cockatiels can eat.

Seeds are rich and fatty, and they can make a tasty treat and a diet component. Aside from flax 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 flax 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 into 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
  • Chia seeds

Are chips and coconut safe for cockatiels? Check it out!


Cockatiels can eat flax seeds, and it can be a highly nutritious snack for these birds if fed in moderation. Along with other kinds, these 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. It’s important to note that these foods aren’t toxic, and your pet won’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.


Health line’s nutrition facts on flax seeds

Image credits:


Share on: