Endemic to the temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, strawberries are a hybrid species that are widely cultivated for their bright red fruits. These plump berries have a sweet and juicy taste and are also known for their nutritiousness. When you’re helping yourself to a couple of strawberries, have you wondered about sharing them with your feathered pets?
Can cockatiels eat strawberries? Yes, they can as long as you stick to moderation. Strawberries are loaded with various micro and macronutrients, just like the other berries, which makes them a healthy snack for your pet cockatiels. They contain countless tiny seeds that pose no threat to your cockatiel’s health and can be fed to them as a whole.
When feeding strawberries to your birdies, always go for the fresh ones, as dried strawberries have far too much sugar than is recommended for them. Also, feed them these fruits in moderation, or they can prove to be detrimental to their health.
Have you ever wondered in what way could strawberries contribute to your cockatiel’s health? Why shouldn’t these treats be offered to your pets more often? This article will give you answers to all the strawberry-related questions you might have for your feathered pets.
Are strawberries healthy for cockatiels?
Cockatiels, being a sucker for everything sweet, will never turn down an opportunity to eat strawberries. But the mere fact that these birdies are fond of strawberries isn’t reason enough for you to feed these fruits to them.
As a concerned pet parent, it is also your responsibility to figure out how strawberries can contribute to their health. If you have no idea about it, don’t worry; that’s what we are here to help you with.
Let’s begin by exploring the nutritional composition of strawberries given in the table below:
|Vitamin A||17.28 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.024 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.022 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.386 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||5.7 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.125 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.047 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||24 mcg|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)||58.8 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.29 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.2 mcg|
|Potassium, K||153 mg|
|Phosphorous, P||24 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||16 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||13 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.41 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.386 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.14 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.048 mg|
|Dietary fibers||2 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
As you can see in the table above, strawberries are quite nutrient-dense despite their small size. To learn more about how the nutrients present in strawberries can benefit your cockatiels, keep reading:
Strawberries have an abundance of Vitamin C
According to the table, strawberries contain about 58 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, which is more than enough for your feathered pets. Vitamin C is highly beneficial for the cockatiels as it can strengthen their immune system and create antibodies to keep them healthy. Moreover, it also has a positive impact on their mental health and can reduce their stress levels.
Strawberries can prevent your pets from bleeding out
Strawberries also contain vitamin K, which is responsible for the healthy blood coagulation in your pet’s body. If cockatiels have healthy blood clotting, it will prevent their blood from flowing out profusely, even at the slightest cut or wound.
Strawberries have a high level of folates.
Did you know that folates are essential in the production of red and white blood cells in your pet’s bone marrow? That’s why cockatiels need an even higher level of folate in their body when they’re infants. Folates play a crucial role in their rapid growth and development and are also necessary during their pregnancy.
Lastly, folates are involved in converting energy from carbs and help your little pets stay playful and chatty throughout the day.
Strawberries are rich in potassium
If you go through the table again, you will notice that strawberries contain over 153 mg of potassium per 100 grams. This is good news for your little birdies as potassium can benefit their health in several ways:
- It can strengthen their bones.
- It can improve their metabolism rate.
- It can regulate their blood pressure level.
- It can help them in retaining water, preventing dehydration.
- It can protect them from health problems like kidney stones, strokes, and osteoporosis.
Strawberries can promote your pet’s digestive health
Strawberries contain fiber, which is the macronutrient responsible for regulating your pets’ bowel movements. It also contributes to the growth of the healthy gut bacteria in their body, keeping their digestive tracts smooth functioning.
Other health benefits
In addition to the advantages mentioned above of eating strawberries, there are more ways in which these fruits can help them:
- Strawberries are rich in Lycopene, a plant nutrient that gives them their red color. Lycopene has strong antioxidant properties and is beneficial for their eyes, lungs, and cardiovascular health. It can also protect them from diseases like sunburn and cancer.
- They contain carbs and protein in abundance, both of which are the primary energy sources for your cockatiels.
- Studies have shown that eating strawberries can also keep your pet’s cholesterol levels in check.
Risks involved with overfeeding strawberries to cockatiels
There’s a reason why fruits occupy only a small portion of your feathered pet’s diet, with pellets and seeds making a bulk of it. All fruits, including strawberries, contain fructose, a natural sugar that lends them their sweet taste. The quantity of fructose varies from fruit to fruit; some fruits have more of it than others.
As you might’ve noticed in the table above, strawberries contain 4.89 grams of sugar per 100 grams. While this doesn’t seem like too much for you, for your cockatiel, it is.
Like many other birds, Cockatiels also cannot produce the enzymes that help in the quick breakdown of fructose. That’s why eating too many strawberries can easily upset their stomach.
In the long run, the overconsumption of sugar can also cause severe health issues like obesity and diabetes in your pets. Therefore, you must feed strawberries to your pets only twice a week.
Can cockatiels eat strawberry seeds?
If there’s something you need to know about strawberries, it is that they are botanically considered flowers and not fruits or berries.
The tiny, yellow seed-like things that you notice on their outer skin are not really seeds but tiny fruits, all of them having their own seed. And if you are worried about the safety of these almost invisible seeds, you needn’t be. They are just as harmless for your pet friends as they are for yourself.
What about strawberry calyx? Is it edible to cockatiels?
Strawberries have a small, green calyx attached to their tops which we usually discard while eating the fruits. Do you need to practice the same ritual for your cockatiels, or can they eat the calyx as well?
Well, while the calyx itself is entirely harmless to your pets, it is often sprayed with pesticides to keep the pests away from the fruits. That’s why it is best to remove the calyx from strawberries before feeding these to the cockatiels.
However, if you purchase organic strawberries, you don’t necessarily need to remove their calyx for your birds.
Can you feed dried strawberries to cockatiels?
All the strawberry-lovers out there will agree how unfortunate it is that strawberries do not grow all year long.
Luckily, there’s a way around it; dehydrating and storing these fruits is an effective way of enjoying them whenever you want to, even outside their season. Dried strawberries have an added crunch to them and are often used in pies, cakes, and other baked goods.
But is it a good idea to feed the dried strawberries to your feathered pets? Dried strawberries don’t contain anything that could be outright lethal to your cockatiels, so you can feed these to them occasionally.
However, for the sake of your pet’s health, you must feed these treats to them in strict moderation. Remember, the sugar content of these dried fruits is roughly 14 times higher than that of fresh strawberries. And since too much sugar can be detrimental to their health, your pets can suffer if they overeat dried strawberries.
If you’re planning on feeding dried strawberries to your cockatiels, dehydrating these fruits at home is a much safer alternative than purchasing store-bought dried strawberries.
These strawberries have been processed, which means they might contain several additives and preservatives that can hurt your little birdie’s health. Therefore, it is best to feed them only homemade dried strawberries.
Preparing dried strawberries is easier than you think. All you need to do is cut down thin slices of these fruits and bake them in the oven. Many people prefer to use dehydrator machines for this purpose, which work equally well.
Frequently asked questions
Can you feed strawberry leaves to cockatiels?
Not all cockatiels are interested in eating leaves, but if yours seems to be, there’s no harm in feeding them strawberry leaves occasionally. Just remember to wash the leaves thoroughly beforehand.
Can baby cockatiels eat strawberries, too?
When they’re young, cockatiels have a fragile digestive system and are even less capable of digesting the sugar in strawberries. Therefore, you should avoid feeding them high-fructose fruits such as strawberries.
Is it necessary to serve cockatiels water along with strawberries?
Cockatiels often like to dip their fruits into the water before eating them. Therefore, it is best to serve them water along with all fruits, including strawberries.
Conclusion: Can Cockatiels Eat Strawberries?
Cockatiels are as fond of fruits as they are of seeds. In the wild, these birds are used to eating a diverse range of fresh fruits.
Strawberries happen to be one of these fruits and can also be fed to them in captivity. However, since the fructose present in these fruits can be detrimental to their health when overfed, it is best to keep their strawberry intake limited.