Can Cockatiels Eat Sunflower Seeds? What Is The Truth?

As an omnivorous parrot species, cockatiels can eat almost everything. One can feed them different pellets, seeds, tropical fruits, vegetables, and some meat protein.

Can cockatiels eat sunflower seeds? Yes, cockatiels can eat sunflower seeds. It is a good source of nutrients. Moreover, it will be great if they eat sunflower seeds with other edible seeds from grains, hemp, and other plants.

However, there are some more facts about the amount and method of feeding sunflower seeds to cockatiels that you should know. This article will trach you everything about them.

Can You Feed Sunflower Seeds To Pet Cockatiels?

Can You Feed Sunflower Seeds To Pet Cockatiels?

If you have pet cockatiels, you can feed sunflower seeds to them. You can provide these seeds with or without other seed food items. Moreover, these seeds are very healthy for cockatiels, and they love their taste.

But, nothing is great if it is consumed more than necessary. While feeding sunflower seeds, feed them in moderation or as snacks, which will be beneficial.

To prevent your cockatiel from becoming obese, sunflower seeds can be used in a seed mix. The recommended percentage of seed in a cockatiel’s diet is between 20% and 30% for optimal health. If your cockatiel’s present diet consists mainly of sunflower seeds, you should gradually break the habit of this food.

Additionally, feeding sunflower seeds occasionally is good for the cockatiels’ appetites. It’s a rare case, while cockatiels deny eating sunflower seeds. But, if they don’t like it, it is recommended not to feed forcefully.

Do Cockatiels Like Sunflower Seeds?

Do Cockatiels Like Sunflower Seeds?

Yes, almost all the cockatiels love sunflower seeds. These seeds have different flavors, making them a favorite for cockatiels. In some cases, it becomes a habit for them to eat the seeds only. Remember, never let them make this a habit. Consuming so many sunflower seeds may lead to severe health issues.

Health Benefits For Cockatiels Eating Sunflower Seeds

Eating sunflower seeds in moderation is great for cockatiels’ health. These seeds contain different types of nutrition. They have protein, fat, iron, carbs, vitamin E and B6, fiber, and others. All these nutritions are very necessary for cockatiels.

Moreover, its flavor helps to improve cockatiels’ taste for food. For a completely balanced diet, sunflower seed is great. Seeds’ protein and fat help to regain energy and keep active. These seeds also aid in making their feathers and skin deeper and smoother.

Risk Factors Of Eating So Much Sunflower Seeds

Risk Factors Of Eating So Much Sunflower Seeds

Are sunflower seeds bad for cockatiels? If you feed sunflower seed to your cockatiels too much, it can threaten their health. Sunflower seeds contain around 40%-50% fat, which is a matter of risk. Excessive eating of sunflower seeds may cause obesity in some.

Moreover, sunflower seeds are rich in carbohydrates but poor in other important elements. Pet cockatiels who are fed only sunflower seeds tend to gain weight and are more at risk of developing health problems such as fatty liver and atherosclerosis. These health issues can lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

So, for good health, you should feed sunflower seeds to your cockatiels occasionally. You may feed by mixing them with other grain seeds.

How many sunflower seeds can a cockatiel eat?

Depending upon the size of the cockatiel, a shallow dish with 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of seeds per day is enough. However, you may consult with a pet nutritionist. He/she can suggest you properly after checking up on your cockatiels’ overall health.

Additionally, you can give your cockatiels a treat of sunflower seeds once or twice weekly. It’s a perfect fit for their palate. If you feed them the same thing every day, they may get bored with it and stop eating.

How Do You Prepare Sunflower Seeds For Cockatiels?

Sunfloewr seeds for cockatiels

There are two ways of feeding sunflower seed to cockatiels. One is direct feeding of only sunflower seeds. In this way, you just need to put the seeds in a bowl and offer them.

Another way is mixing sunflower seeds with other types of seeds and then feeding. This is the best way of feeding seeds. In this way, cockatiels get all the nutrition of all the seeds.

Can You Feed Sunflower Seeds To Baby Cockatiels?

Well, you should not feed sunflower seeds to a newborn baby cockatiel. However, some feed them the paste of the seeds. But we recommend feeding them only soft foods for the first one month. And then start feeding seeds with different pellets and bird foods.

Video: Cockatiels Eat Sunflower Seeds | Youtube


Here we gathered and answered some most asked questions regarding “can cockatiels eat sunflower seeds”.

Can Cockatiels Eat Salted Sunflower Seeds?

Never offer your cockatiels salted sunflower seeds. Avoid not only salty seeds but also any other foods that have salt. That is because salt threatens a cockatiel’s liver and overall health. Moreover, it makes their digestive systems weak. So, if you have a pet cockatiel, don’t let them eat salted sunflower seeds.

Can cockatiels eat black sunflower seeds?

Yes, cockatiels can eat black sunflower seeds, but not so much. Moreover, you should feed them fewer of these seeds than the other varieties of seeds. That is because black sunflower seeds have more oil than the other sunflower varieties. And so much fat consumption is not good for the cockatiels diet. So, you should feed them these black oil sunflower seeds in a minimum quantity.

Can cockatiels eat roasted sunflower seeds?

Yes, cockatiels can eat roasted sunflower seeds. Moreover, the roasted seeds are their favorite food item. Feeding roasted seeds has no additional benefits. The nutrition is the same as the raw seeds. Sometimes a cockatiel may fail to digest the raw seeds. In that case, eating the roasted seeds is a safe option.

Can cockatiels eat fresh sunflower seeds?

Yes, cockatiels can eat fresh sunflower seeds. Most birds can eat them. Fresh sunflower seeds contain so much nutrition. But remember, feeding these seeds excessively is not good for their health. You should not replace the regular bird food with only sunflower seeds. Feed the fresh sunflower seeds no more than twice a week to maintain your cockatiels.


Hopefully, you can understand that eating sunflower seeds is safe and beneficial for cockatiels as long as it is done in moderation. If they consume the seeds excessively, it may make their stomach upset and lead to liver disease. Moreover, it can cause them to become obese since sunflower seeds are rich in fat. Wish your cockatiels have good and sound health!

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