If you own a cockatiel, you might already be familiar with the many selections of fresh foods they’re able to eat. If nothing else, you know how important fresh vegetables are to their diet. Cockatiels don’t just eat seeds and nuts. Fresh foods like kale are equally important to their diet, if not more so than these traditional items. But can cockatiels eat kale?
Yes, cockatiels can eat kale. Kale is not only safe, but it’s also an incredible nutrition choice for your cockatiel. Like with anything else, moderation is key to making sure they get every necessary component daily.
Kale is a leafy vegetable that is packed with many nutrients. It is also called “leaf cabbage,” as it belongs to the cabbage family, sporting edible leaves with stiff stalks. It is one of the most nutritious leafy greens that you can find.
However, not everyone will like the strong taste of this leafy green—but your cockatiel shouldn’t be among these disapprovers. Most cockatiels delight in the goodness of this sharp-tasting, delightfully crunchy-leafed veggie.
Benefits Of Feeding Kale To Your Cockatiel
However, to figure out whether kale can benefit your cockatiel’s health, you need to learn which nutrients are present in it.
A 1-cup serving of kale includes the following:
Kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables humans can eat. The same sentiment extends to our cockatiels. It is advantageous to have in their diet. Among other leafy greens such as spinach and dark leaf lettuce, kale is also tremendous for their bodies.
Also, in addition to these components, kale contains numerous vitamins and minerals such as:
- Fiber: Fiber helps regulate your cockatiel’s digestive tract, making sure things are running smoothly.
- Vitamin A: Protects the light-sensitive pigment in the retina of the eye and upkeeps immune production, cell recognition, and cell function.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin amps up your cockatiel’s immunity, protecting them from sickness.
- Calcium: This helps maintain a normal heart rhythm and assists the nerves in the nervous system to communicate with each other.
- Iron: Iron helps your cockatiel’s body to produce red blood cells.
- Vitamin B6: This helps with the cockatiel’s stress level, promotes brain health, is important for hemoglobin production, and can prevent issues like hyperexcitability, convulsions, twisted neck, and polyneuritis.
- Potassium: It promotes healthy blood pressure and helps with water retention, which in turn can prevent major health issues like a stroke.
- Vitamin K: This vitamin is great for bone development and helps with blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels within a cockatiel.
You may also want to read: Can Cockatiels Eat Broccoli?
How Much Kale Should You Give To Your Cockatiel?
Cockatiels can eat around 15 to 20 grams of food per day with around 60% of their diet consisting of pelleted seeds and the rest of the diet consisting of fruits and vegetables.
Kale should only be fed in moderation, between 1 to 2 times a week with other fruits and vegetables mixed in to balance out the overall weekly diet. In general, around 15 to 25% of a cockatiel’s diet should consist of vegetables meaning you can feed them around 3 to 5 grams of kale per day once or twice per week.
Realistically, you shouldn’t get any clap back from your cockatiel when you offer them kale. Kale, along with other leafy greens, are usually cockatiel favorites. You need to use no particular tactic when giving your cockatiel kale because it is easy for them to pull apart with their beaks.
What Types Of Kale Can Cockatiels Eat?
- Raw Kale: As long as you don’t go completely overboard in the amount of raw kale being fed to your cockatiel you should be fine feeding them the vegetable. It’s also easy to prepare as all you will need to do is rinse to clean from potential pesticides.
- Cooked/Steamed Kale: Cooked or steamed kale is also a great way to serve this bushy green vegetable to your cockatiel. Even cooking can reduce its oxalic acid content, however, some of its nutrient density may decline significantly.
- Kale Flakes: These can also be a good snack, but be sure to check the ingredients, since store-bought flakes may contain garlic or excess salt, both of which are unhealthy for cockatiels. As long as it’s a basic unseasoned kale flake, cockatiels should have no problems eating them.
- Kale Juice: You can feed your cockatiel kale juice but, make sure not they don’t drink too much as water-based nourishments like juice tends to have a lot of sugar and other additives.
Are There Any Risks To Giving Kale To Cockatiels?
Even though kale is a healthy green vegetable, there are a few things to watch out for when feeding it to your cockatiel.
Keep in mind that kale is heavy in oxalates, which can cause health concerns if ingested in excess.
Oxalates are chemicals that prevent the body from absorbing calcium and other minerals by binding to them. This can result in a lack of these critical nutrients.
Moreover, oxalates might contribute to the development of kidney stones and other health issues. For this reason, limiting the amount of kale your cockatiel eats is important.
Pesticides and other chemicals
Additionally, keep in mind that kale may include pesticides and other chemicals.
Pesticides can be dangerous to cockatiels, and other chemicals may also be harmful. Therefore, it is essential to select organic kale whenever possible.
If you can’t find organic kale, wash it thoroughly before feeding it to your cockatiel.
Also read: Can Cockatiels Eat Aloe Vera?
Cockatiels can eat kale, and it is a brilliant snack selection for them. However, it does not contain every nutrient that is important for good health, such as sugar or carbohydrates. Make sure your cockatiel’s diet is well-rounded as even too much of a good thing can be bad.
Daily snacking is fine but make sure to give your cockatiel lots of other vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to enjoy, too. The greater their dietary variety, the healthier they will be. That saves on vet costs and ensures your cockatiel lives a long life.