As a first-time Cockatiel owner, it can be overwhelming to know which foods you should feed your feathery friend. Obviously, you should be careful what you feed them and this brings us to the question, can cockatiels eat oranges?
This quick answer is yes, cockatiels can and will eat oranges and it is a safe fruit with a rich nutritional profile that benefits your bird in several ways.
Cockatiels will always dictate what they like, so you should never force them to eat something. And as you serve the oranges, you should ensure they are either chopped or shredded.
You should keep an eye on what you give your cockatiels as they can easily become `seedaholics’. The key thing to note here is introducing a variety in the cockatiels diet.
In this post, we’ll discuss everything you should know as you introduce oranges to your cockatiel.
How Do I Prepare Oranges for My Cockatiel to eat?
Perhaps, the best thing about feeding your cockatiel with oranges is that they don’t need a lot of preparation.
Just like the other foods you introduce to your feathery friend, you should ensure the fruits are clean. As you’d imagine, an orange can go bad quickly in the summer sunshine.
While you can easily cut the orange in halves and throw it to your bird, you should be a little more creative. For instance, you can hammer a nail to the deck and stick an orange half.
I recommend you slice your orange the way you cut a cucumber or tomato for a sandwich. Be careful as you do this because you don’t want to risk the juices coming out of the fruit.
While some cockatiels will feast on the orange peels, others avoid eating them. Also, the peels may contain some elements of pesticides, so you may want to remove them first.
Besides, the majority of the nutrients are in the juicy part, not the peels. The only surefire way of checking whether the peels are pesticide-free is for them to be organic or homegrown.
If you want to give your bird dried oranges, you should ensure they don’t contain high amounts of sulfur dioxide as this may hurt the well-being of your feathery friend.
Another way of preparing the oranges is by extracting the juice. To ensure the juice is not too acidic, you should dilute with water. Only serve homemade orange juice.
Are Oranges Good for Cockatiels?
Oranges have a rich nutritional profile that consists of valuable vitamins, fibre, and calories.
Being a rich source of vitamin C, your bird is assured of a healthy immune function. Also, it helps to eliminate the free radicals that cause diseases.
Oranges also contain vitamin B, which has a positive influence on nerve tissues and helps in carbohydrate metabolism.
This essential vitamin keeps abnormal skin changes at bay. It’s also believed that the vitamin is responsible for antibody production and maintains healthy bones to a great extent.
Another important nutrient present in oranges is vitamin A. It keeps the skin in good condition and helps in the production of epithelial cells.
Although in small amounts, oranges are loaded with vitamin D that aids in the absorption and utilization of calcium in birds. Oranges are packed with fibre and ensures better digestibility of nutrients.
Apart from that, oranges are loaded with calories to keep the bird energized during the day and because it has no sodium, fat, or cholesterol, it can be a healthy treat for your birds.
Oranges have a high sugar content that is easily digestible. The sugar helps to activate the digestive enzymes.
Unlike artificial sugars that are difficult to break down, the natural sugar in birds keeps the glucose at the right levels. Another benefit of natural sugars is that they don’t give your bird diarrhoea.