Can Cockatiels Eat Honey?

Cockatiels need a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, seeds, and pellets to stay healthy and happy. While some types of food are safe for humans to consume, they may not be suitable for cockatiels. One common question among cockatiel owners is whether their cockatiels can eat honey.

It is not recommended to feed your cockatiel honey. While honey is a natural sweetener, it contains a high amount of sugar, which can be harmful to cockatiels. The sugar content can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Can Cockatiels Eat Honey?

Additionally, honey may contain bacteria that can be harmful to cockatiels. Especially raw honey can have spores that make toxins that can cause botulism in birds. This sickness causes birds to become paralyzed and eventually unable to breathe.

Honey is widely regarded as medicinally beneficial as well as delicious, with a sweet flavor balanced by antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Even though cockatiels like the taste of honey, most kinds are not good for them to eat.

But if you want to give your cockatiel a natural sweetener, other options are safer. Fresh fruits, such as apples, bananas, and blueberries, can provide a healthy source of sweetness for your bird.

You can also offer your cockatiel small amounts of pasteurized honey (regular honey) as a threat.

Keep reading to find out more!

See Also: Can Cockatiels Eat Avocado?

Can I Give My Cockatiel Honey?

If you look in the honey section of your local grocery store, you will see that there are a lot of different kinds. The three most common are acacia, manuka, and buckwheat.

None of this matters when choosing honey for a cockatiel. If you want to add honey to the diet of a companion cockatiel, think about whether the honey is one of these two types.

  • Raw honey (wild honey)
  • Pasteurized honey (regular honey)

Of these types of honey, only pasteurized is safe for cockatiels, and even then, caveats apply. However, you should never feed your cockatiel raw or wild honey.

Let’s review the differences between these honey sources:

Wild honey (raw honey)

It is not safe to feed your cockatiel raw (wild) honey. While honey is a natural sweetener, it can be harmful to birds in certain circumstances. Especially raw honey can have spores that make toxins that can cause botulism in birds.

Botulism is a serious condition that can lead to paralysis and even death in birds.

However, as the name suggests, wild honey is extracted from nature and left untreated.

Wild honey is extracted directly from the countryside’s flowers or beehives. Many people enjoy wild honey for its health benefits, especially those who reject conventional medicine.

To appeal to people’s tastes, wild honey will also be sold as such. This makes it easy to identify when shopping. It will be sold by the jar, while the contents will be multicolored and likely crystallized.

Unfortunately, cockatiels have different bodies and immune systems from ours. Wild honey will contain a range of bacteria. This means that the risk of botulism is very high, and feeding this product to a cockatiel is potentially fatal.

Pasteurized honey (regular honey)

If honey is sold in a squeezy plastic bottle, it is likely pasteurized (though check the label to be 100% certain). The color and clarity of pasteurized honey will be much more uniform, and it will have a significantly longer shelf life than raw honey.

Pasteurization is the process of mildly heating foodstuff, usually at a temperature of around 212°F. Safety is the driving force behind pasteurization.

By applying this heat to honey, potentially dangerous toxins are eliminated, most notably Clostridium botulinum. However, many of the potential health advantages of honey are lost in the process.

If you want to give honey to a cockatiel, make sure it has been pasteurized. That means reading the label carefully; don’t be swayed by branding terms like “pure” or “organic.”

However, cockatiels are likely to be attracted to the taste of pasteurized honey. You could apply this honey to food to tempt a cockatiel into eating it or use it as a training treat, but you must do so sparingly.

Is Honey Safe For Cockatiels?

Is Honey Safe For Cockatiels?

Pasteurized honey is a safe option for cockatiels, but only in small amounts. This process of pasteurization removes almost all the goodness, leaving just sugar and carbohydrates.

Only licensed manufacturers can undertake the pasteurization process, so you will only find pasteurized honey for sale in grocery stores. If you buy honey from a wholesaler or beekeeper, it will be raw and unsafe for cockatiels.

One teaspoon of pasteurized honey has 16 grams of sugar if no other sweeteners have been added. Your cockatiel will not gain calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins, magnesium, potassium, or zinc from honey.

At least pasteurized honey won’t kill your cockatiel. The worst that can happen is that your cockatiel develops a taste for pasteurized honey and begs for more. Provide sweet alternatives that provide better nutrients as a counterargument.

Can Cockatiels Drink Honey Water?

Yes, cockatiels can drink honey water, but only with pasteurized honey inside. Honey water should not become a daily treat for your cockatiel. Only resort to this approach if your cockatiel is stubborn about drinking. Even then, consider a light fruit infusion instead. Honey water can be a way to stave off dehydration as a one-off, though.

See Also: Do Cockatiels Drink A Lot Of Water?

Cockatiels can be reluctant to hydrate, which is cause for concern.

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology say that when cockatiels are dehydrated, their droppings have less water, which makes it hard for them to get rid of solids.

Cockatiels are always drawn to sweet things, so putting a drop or two of pasteurized honey in their water might get them to drink.

To create safe honey water for cockatiels, follow these steps:

  • Bring some filtered tap water or bottled water to a boil.
  • Leave the water to cool.
  • Drop a teaspoon of pasteurized honey into the water while it is still a little warm but safe for a cockatiel to drink. Never use raw honey; all the usual risks still apply.
  • Mix the honey into the water and taste it once it has dissolved. The water should be slightly sweet, but the honey should not overpower it.
  • If necessary, add a second half-teaspoon and repeat steps 3 and 4.
  • Fill a shallow dish with honey and encourage your cockatiel to drink.

Can Cockatiels Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

Cockatiels should not be fed honey-nut cheerios or any other type of cereal regularly. While Cheerios are a low-sugar cereal that humans can eat, they are not nutritionally balanced for birds.

Cockatiels have unique dietary needs. To stay healthy and happy, they need a mix of seeds, pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. If your cockatiel eats mostly Cheerios or other cereals, it might not get enough nutrients and have other health problems.

Honey Nut Cheerios also have honey and flavorings that aren’t natural, which can be bad for birds. Honey has a high sugar content, which can lead to obesity and other health issues in cockatiels. Artificial flavorings may also contain preservatives or chemicals that are unsafe for birds.

If you want to offer your cockatiel a treat, there are safer options available. Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and leafy greens, can be a healthy and tasty addition to your bird’s diet. You can also offer your cockatiel small amounts of unsweetened whole-grain cereal or plain, air-popped popcorn as an occasional treat.

Overall, honey nut cheerios may be a convenient snack for people, but cockatiels should not eat them because they are not healthy or safe. Make sure your bird stays healthy and happy by giving it a balanced diet that meets all of its nutritional needs.

Can I Use Honey To Heal A Cockatiel’s Wounds?

Because of its antimicrobial properties, manuka honey has been used in wound care for centuries. As per the Swiss Archive for Veterinary Medicine, many vets do not use this honey when treating injured animals.

If your cockatiel injures itself while exercising and starts to bleed, you may be concerned about the risk of infection from the open wound. Even if the hurt area is covered with a bandage, you shouldn’t put Manuka honey on it.

A determined cockatiel will always be able to get to the sweet, delicious honey hidden beneath the wrapping. If it does so and then consumes the honey, the risk of botulism returns. This is far more concerning than slower wound healing.

You could use pasteurized Manuka honey to reduce this danger, but this is pointless. Pasteurization destroys the majority of the qualities that aid in wound care.


There are so many great options for supplementing your cockatiel’s diet. Unfortunately, honey is not one of those options, but we hope you’ve found some tasty alternatives to serve your cockatiel.

However, if you want to feed your cockatiel honey in small amounts, choose only pasteurized honey. Avoid raw or wild honey at all costs.

But even pasteurized honey should be approached with caution. Your cockatiel’s sweet tooth will be satisfied by fresh fruit, which has the same benefits as honey without the risks.

Cockatiel Enthusiast

My name is Bojan. I have been around Cockatiels for the past 7 years. I love writing about Cockatiels and helping people understand how these beautiful birds live, what they like, and how to provide them the best possible care.

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