Can Cockatiels Eat Popcorn? (+Other Popping Facts You Need to Know)

Cockatiels can eat popcorn, yes. Popcorns come from healthy grains, and it has a lot to offer. However, popcorns should only serve as treats, and it should not be a part of your cockatiel’s regular diet. Further, be sure to give it unsalted and without any butter or flavor, as seasonings can be harmful to birds.

Cockatiels can eat a variety of snacks. For this reason, it can be tempting to share the food we enjoy ourselves. That’s where popcorn comes to play its part.

Popcorns are one of the many treats and snacks we and our pets can share and enjoy. Still, there are some things you need to know before feeding such to your pet.

If you plan to feed popcorn to your cockatiel, you should find the following useful.

Let’s get into it!

Is popcorn good for cockatiels?

Popcorn comes from a healthy grain, and it can also be nutritious to your cockatiel as long as you feed it right.

To further understand, take a look at this list. According to HealthLine, a hundred-gram serving of popcorn includes the following:

  • 387 calories
  • 13 grams of protein
  • 78 grams of carbohydrates
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 15 grams of fiber

Aside from these components, popcorn also offers a variety of vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Just by looking, you can already tell that popcorn offers high amounts of fiber and protein. Both components are excellent for your pet bird.

Further, the vitamins and minerals work their way to improve your cockatiel’s health.

Still, it would be best if you won’t offer popcorn in large amounts. Let’s dive further into how much popcorn you can offer.

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How much popcorn can cockatiels eat?

Like other snacks, popcorns are nutritious and safe for consumption. Still, it shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily meals.

Popcorns and other fruits and snacks should only serve as treats and not a 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 popcorn 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 cheese to once or twice a week.

Further, it would be best if you didn’t feed popcorn as the only treat or snack. Consider getting a variety of options for your bird’s snacks

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

Now, before you feed your pet some popcorn, you should be mindful of the following risks. 

Risks of feeding your cockatiel popcorn


Popcorns belong to snacks for your pet. While it is safe and nutritious, there are still some things about popcorn that can harm your pet.

Let’s get into each of these risks.

Popcorns with butter, salt, and other flavors

Popcorn in itself is safe and nutritious. However, the seasonings added in it can harm your pet.

Most popcorns contain butter, salt, and other seasonings to improve the taste. While it may be tolerable for us, it’s not healthy for our pets.

For this reason, you should avoid feeding popcorn with seasonings and butter. If you are making your popcorn, you can spare cook some plain ones for your pet. Afterward, go ahead and sprinkle flavors on your share.

Too much popcorn

Too much popcorn can take a toll on your cockatiel. As I said earlier, cockatiels eat an average of 30-40 grams of food per day.

Since popcorns are only snacks, it should only cover 10% of your pet’s food intake. That’s approximately 3-4 grams per day.

Giving too much popcorn isn’t healthy for your pet. Like us, cockatiels need nutrition coming from their primary food. For cockatiels, they should eat more pellets and a variety of vegetables. These two foods should form a big part of their diet. 

Can cockatiels eat butter in popcorn?

Cockatiels cannot eat the butter in popcorn. In general, these birds, like all other animals, shouldn’t consume too much butter.

Butter is high in fat and cholesterol. Both components are not suitable for your pet.

Most commercial popcorn has butter content in them. Thus, if you are going to offer some popcorn as snacks, it would be best to give it a plain one.

At the same time, it would be best if you make it yourself. This way, you can ensure that the popcorn is free from salt and seasonings, aside from butter.

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What snacks can I give my cockatiel?

Aside from popcorn, you can also offer other snacks in moderation. As long as you keep snacks in small amounts, it should be safe for your pet.

If you don’t have any idea what snacks to offer, here are a few starting options:

Fruits such as 

  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Cucumber
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Apple (remove seeds)
  • Banana
  • Cherries
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Aside from fruits, you can also offer nuts, seeds, and even other human snacks such as:

  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Bread
  • Cheerios
  • Rice Krispies
  • Mini Shredded Wheat
  • Animal crackers
  • Millet seed
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fruits with seeds not intact

What foods are toxic to cockatiels?

Cockatiels may have a wide range of food they can eat. However, it doesn’t mean all foods are safe for them.

As an owner, you should never feed the following food, as it can be toxic to your cockatiel, even in small amounts: 

  • Rhubarb
  • Avocados
  • Leaves and stems from tomatoes/eggplants/bean plants
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Fruit seeds
  • Greasy foods
  • Candy
  • Honey

Find out if you can offer some oranges and cherries for your cockatiel!


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

Popcorns come from whole and healthy grains. Thus, it can be an excellent snack for your pet. 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 popcorns forming only a small portion.

As long as you keep popcorn as a treat, your pet will have nutritious and balanced meals.


HealthLine’s nutrition facts on popcorn

Image Credits:

  • Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
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