Can Cockatiels Eat Meat? (+5 Kinds of Meat You May Offer)

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

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 it OK for cockatiels to eat meat?

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

Indeed, meat isn’t something cockatiels eat all the time. In fact, it’s even unusual to hear cockatiels eating such, as they are more of seed and plant eaters.

Still, these foods are safe and an excellent protein source, especially if fed in small amounts.

To understand further, let’s take beef as an example and look at its nutrition facts. HealthLine states that a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of broiled, ground beef with 10% fat content has:

  • 217 calories
  • 61% of it is water
  • 26.1 grams of protein
  • 0 gram of carbs
  • 0 gram of sugar
  • 0 gram of fiber
  • 11.8 grams of fat

Further, if you feed some beef, you will also offer the following vitamins and minerals to your pet:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Phosphorus

To give more thorough information, let’s get into each kind of meat you may offer.

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What types of meat can cockatiels eat?

When we speak of meat, there are a few varieties that come in our mind. Let’s take a look at each and see if they are all good for cockatiels to eat.


Cockatiels can eat pork, but only in small amounts as well. Further, if you’re giving pork, it would be best to offer only the meat and not the fats.

Pork fats may not be toxic to cockatiels, but you wouldn’t want your pet taking in that fat from pork.

Further, always make sure it’s well-cooked and without any added salt or seasoning.


Beef is one of the meat you may offer, and yes, cockatiels can eat beef. Beef provides quite a lot of nutrients, and your cockatiel will surely love eating, such in small amounts.

Still, the same thing as pork never feeds beef, which has added salt and seasoning. Further, it would be best to cut the meat into smaller pieces, as it can be quite chewy if cooked thoroughly.

Lamb and mutton

When giving lamb and mutton, your best bet would be to offer it shredded. This way, you won’t have to cut it and hand it over to your cockatiel.

Further, make sure you don’t give too much meat, as it can cause an upset stomach as well.


Cockatiels can eat chicken along with other types of meat, but only in small amounts. To learn more about this food for cockatiels, read this related article.


Turkey is just like chicken, and thus it is safe for cockatiels to eat. Like other meats, make sure that you cook it thoroughly first. Further, avoid feeding such in small amounts, and also avoid adding seasoning in it.

As a general rule of thumb, only feed meat on certain occasions and not all the time. Cook meat thoroughly by steaming or boiling, and avoid adding seasoning to it. Lastly, only provide meat in small amounts and shredded for ease of consumption.

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How much meat can cockatiels eat?


All kinds of meat 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 meat in bite-size pieces or shredded. Although cockatiels can nibble on chunks of meat, it would be easier for them to eat it in smaller ones.

If you are to feed meat 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 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.

Risks of feeding your cockatiel meat

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

Meat contains a high amount of fat.

All kinds of meat contain 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 meat and limiting it to small amounts only.

Meat 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. Still, it remains a safe food you can offer.

Although safe, 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 meat may contain seasonings.

Another thing is that meat, mostly the cooked ones, are always associated with seasonings.

For us, the meat 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 meat, which has seasonings in it. If your chicken treat has herbs, it would be best not to provide it.

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

Always remember that meat 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 beef

Image credits:

  • Photo by Kyle Mackie on Unsplash
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