The other day, when my daughter was having a glass of milk before going to sleep, our cockatiel and pet bird swooped down, landed in the glass’s rim, and began pecking at the milk. She was quick to remove him from the situation—it was her milk after all! – but I did become concerned as I’d never given my cockatiels milk before. But, can cockatiels drink milk
So, can cockatiels drink milk?
No, they cannot. Milk contains lactose, a type of sugar that requires a specific enzyme to be properly digested. Cockatiels lack this enzyme and will thus experience painful digestive issues if they consume any dairy product. In short, do not let your cockatiel drink milk since they do not digest Lactose.
Though a cockatiel drinking a limited amount of milk or drink lactose free milk likely won’t create any problems, you should still try to keep them from consuming any dairy. They typically shy away from it on their own, but you should take care when handling milk near your cockatiel.
Can cockatiels drink milk- Why not?
The main reason is due to lactose intolerance. Cockatiels, and all birds for that fact, cannot digest dairy products properly if there is no enzyme present. Milk from cows has high levels of lactose making it especially difficult to break down.
Cockatiels cannot consume lactose because they have no reason to in the wild. As I said, all birds, even most animals, are intolerant of lactose (mammals become lactose intolerant as they age).
Birds are not fed via their mother’s teat when they’re born; instead, they learn to hunt for food.
Animals do not naturally produce lactase, the enzyme needed to break down lactose, after maturity. This is because other foods are more nutritious and readily available. Lactose intolerance would never have evolved as it does not offer any advantage to animals.
We are alone among our species in continuing to drink milk after weaning, especially if it comes from another species. It’s more unusual that we’re lactose tolerant than that cockatiels aren’t.
Can cockatiels drink milk- Understanding lactose
All substances that end in “-ose” are generally some type of sugar, such as fructose and glucose. Lactose is no different; it’s a specific kind of sugar most often found in dairy products. When an animal has a new offspring, the mother produces milk that contains lactose to feed the child.
A problem would arise for your cockatiel if it tried to consume lactose in any form. This is because mammals are the only animals with a gut enzyme that can break down lactose. Even among mammals, this ability is lost during adulthood.
Cockatiels cannot efficiently break down sugars in milk, leading to indigestion and discomfort. Not to mention, it can even give them diarrhea. Birds lack the necessary components to properly digest cow’s milk.
Can cockatiels drink milk, particularly plant milk?
Can cockatiels drink plant milk? While plant-based milks, such as oat or soya, do not contain lactose, they are nevertheless quite precisely developed for people. There may be no lactose, but different brands will include various components and any kind of highly processed foodstuff like this might have a hazardous component.
Dairy milk can cause digestive problems in cockatiels, plant milk is a safer alternative. Plant milk is not especially good for your cockatiel but they won’t be bothered by the taste anyway so it’s best to leave it out.
It’s possible that your cockatiel is just curious if it shows interest in your milk of any sort; after trying it for the first time, it will probably lose interest.
Can cockatiels drink milk, particularly hemp milk?
Can cockatiels drink hemp milk? Hemp milk, despite being quite different from other plant milks in many ways, still has several issues. It’s been chemically altered and may include a number of unusual components. Not to mention that your cockatiel is unlikely to care for it. All it takes to drink is water—if you want to pamper your cockatiel, provide food rather than milk.
The negative news is that, for sure. There’s never a good reason to let your cockatiel drink milk, even if it seems like it wants it. Dairy is dangerous for cockatiels and other animals in the animal kingdom. If you offer your cockatiel milk, it will cause all sorts of digestive issues. While plant milk does not contain lactose, there may be other components that are harmful.
Bottom Line- Can cockatiels drink milk?
It’s a good idea to let your cockatiel out of its cage at mealtime and share your food when socializing it. Your cockatiel will feel like a member of the flock this way. Although this is an excellent method to strengthen your bond with your bird, it is also up to you to understand what foods are acceptable for cockatiels.
As an example, your cockatiel can drink almond milk and coconut water, but you have to be careful not to feed it chocolate or onion. If your bird eats something poisonous by mistake, call an avian vet as soon as possible for commentary.