Corn, also called maize, can be categorized as either vegetable, fruit, or whole grain, but most importantly, it is nutritious. It is high in insoluble fiber and various vitamins and minerals that humans and animals need. But what about pet birds like cockatiels?
Can cockatiels eat corn? Yes, cockatiels can eat, and they enjoy having corn as part of their healthy diet. It’s a good source of carbohydrates needed for energy. They can eat it raw or boiled, but it shouldn’t be seasoned. They prefer eating on the cob, where they can pluck kernels off.
While it’s safe for cockatiels to eat corn, do they prefer it raw or cooked? Read on to learn the answer and the nutritional benefit they have on the birds.
Can Cockatiels Eat Corn?
Cockatiels love and enjoy eating corn as they do other seeds. They love the natural texture of the kernels as well as their sweet taste. Seeds are among their foods in the wild, which means they are pretty familiar with the corn texture.
Sweet corn is a common type of corn consumed by people and animals. Cockatiels like it because of its sugary taste, which is two times more than other corn types. However, cockatiels can eat other types of corn, including field corn, popcorn, flint, and pod.
Nonetheless, cockatiels should be observed when eating corn, especially young cockatiels. They are prone to choking on the kernels, especially if they are too large. The hard seeds also move back and forth between the proventriculus stomach and gizzard during digestion, which can trigger stomach upsets.
A cockatiel’s healthy diet requires fats, vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, and proteins to balance. As such, you should provide your cockatiel with other fresh alternatives like tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and spinach that can go a long way in supplementing your cockatiel’s diet. With that said, corn should be an occasional treat, maybe one or two times a week.
What Are the Health Benefits of Corn to Cockatiels?
Corn is a low-glycemic index food, which makes it ideal for people and animals with diabetes. It’s also known for various vitamins and nutrients essential for healthy growth. The following table contains some of the nutrients in 100 grams of corn and the benefits to your pet cockatiel (Source: USDA).
|Cockatiels need calories for daily activities, including flying.
|Carbohydrates are an energy source and provide muscle strength.
|Birds need proteins for strong feathers, and tissue repair
|Cockatiels need fibers for digestive health and for lowering bad cholesterol levels.
|Birds use fat in their body as a source of energy and during the absorption of some nutrients.
Corn also contains Vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects your birds from cell damage. Other vitamins in corn include Vitamin E, B6, and A, as beta carotene, used as an antioxidant. Corn also has minerals like potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus needed for strong bones.
Do Cockatiels Prefer It Raw or Cooked?
Corn is healthier when eaten boiled, as evident in the nutritional table. Also, it is softer for the bird to pick from the cob. It’s also safer for younger birds as they are less likely to choke on it.
Some cockatiels prefer raw corn because of its rough and natural texture. However, raw corn is drier, which means much more effort for the pet while eating and during digestion. The choice differs between birds, and they should try both raw and boiled to decide.
How Do You Prepare Corn for Cockatiels?
Preparation is crucial when feeding your pet birds some new foods for the first time. It’s also best to expect the bird might not like the new food item at first but might later. When it comes to corn, preparations include boiling and sometimes shelling or shucking.
Boiling corn for cockatiels is the same way as preparing for humans. However, butter, salt, pepper, or other seasonings should be absent in the preparations. If your birds prefer shelled or shucked corn, prepare some in their feeding bowl.
For raw serving, hang the corn with its comb in the birds’ cage near their perch. You can also place the whole corn in the bowl for the birds to eat. Observe your cockatiels, and if they seem to struggle to eat the corn, shell and serve it as kernels in a bowl.
Most importantly, observe your bird to learn what they like most between raw and cooked corn. Also, observe them if they prefer corn on the comb or while shelled in a bowl. If you’re feeding young birds, grind the corn kernels for easier ingestion. It will also prevent potential risks of choking.
The following video shows a pair of cockatiels feeding on sweet corn on the cob. You will certainly love how they do it excitedly.
If you still have doubts about the corn diet for your birds, the following are some answers to common questions. They will broaden your knowledge of this crucial subject.
Can Cockatiels Eat Ground Corn?
Cockatiels enjoy corn kernels when they’re whole or ground. Ground corn is easier for these pet birds to ingest and digest. If your cockatiel is also younger than two months, grind the corn for safer ingestion.
Should Baby Cockatiels Eat Corn?
While corn is healthy, the kernel can be too large for your pet to ingest and choke them. The instance is common in young cockatiels, less than two months old. You can grind the corn into little pieces for them to eat or soften them by boiling them.
Corn is said to have been consumed since over 9,000 years ago when it was called teosinte. It’s appreciated for its benefits, including soluble fibers that reduce blood cholesterol levels in humans and animals. If you wondered if cockatiels can eat corn, they can and enjoy eating it.
Cockatiels can eat raw or cooked corn, and each has various advantages over the other. They can also eat the corn kernels whole or when ground into pieces. We trust that after reading this piece, you’re more confident about serving your pet with corn.