Can Cockatiels Eat Popcorn? Is It Safe To Give To Your Pet Bird?

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You’re eager to settle in with a bag of popcorn and a movie when you get home. While you’d love to share your popcorn with your bird, can you? But can cockatiels eat popcorn? Is popcorn a safe food for your cockatiel?

Yes, popcorn can be given to cockatiels, but it should be plain and unseasoned. Also, only give it to them occasionally as a treat.

Here, we explore how much popcorn is enough for your cockatiel and the best way to prepare it. We also look at how not to prepare the popcorn, as we want your cockatiel to enjoy it in a healthy way.

All About Popcorn

Popcorn is a genre of corn that typically consists of dried kernels with a small percentage of water inside. When the kernel is heated, the water grows and causes the kernel to explode and result in popcorn. It’s believed by many that popcorn has been around for over 5,000 years and originated from New Mexico. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s during Great Depression when popcorn became popular because people were more likely to consume something that was cheap yet filling (like our beloved popcorn). Even now, countless years later, it continues to be one of North America and Europe’s most favored snack foods.

Did you know that popcorn is a whole grain food and a great source of fiber? Just 100 grams of popped popcorn contains 15 grams of fiber! It’s also high in polyphenol antioxidants, making it a healthy snack option.

Can cockatiels eat popcorn

Problems With Popcorn- Can Cockatiels Eat Popcorn?

Many studies show that the PFOA chemical in microwave popcorn is linked to several health problems. This same harmful chemical is also found in non-stick Teflon pans.

Cockatiels, on the other hand, have a high-fiber diet that includes fruits and vegetables. Cockatiels also consume pecans, which are high in selenium, which is essential for their health. The majority of cockatiel diets contain white rice rather than whole grains.

In fact, many pet owners report that it’s important to feed their birds the same amount of nutrition as they would human children (millions of calories). This may explain why cockatiels don’t grow as quickly as parakeets do—as one may expect from smaller bodies with less bone structure (but who has time for counting bones?). It’s worth noting that there are more studies available comparing certain brands/types of popcorn against each other when compared to making comparisons between commercial plain popcorn and homemade popcorn varieties like buttery or cheddar cheese recipes eaten at least twice a week over years so this can give further insight into what type of treats would be better suited towards your species needs such as dietary requirements.

Cockatiels have a high-fiber diet that consists largely of fruits and vegetables. Pecans are present in the majority of cockatiel diets because they’re high in selenium, which is required by the body. Many pet owners believe it’s critical to provide their birds with equal amounts of nutrients as people children (millions of calories)when feeding them; this might explain why cockatiels don’t develop as fast as parakeets do. Excessive intake sugar, caramel, cheese, butter, salt, and other unhealthy additives should be avoided by all animals.

Can Cockatiels Eat Popcorn? Is Popcorn Safe for Birds?

Cockatiels require specialized cockatiel pellets, which make up the bulk of their diet. These tiny balls contain a wide range of foods, including grains, corn, fruit, vegetables, minerals, and vitamins that have all been pressed into them.

Green beans, peas, and beets are the most popular greens for tiel. They should make up 75% to 80% of your tiel’s diet, with the rest of it consisting of fresh vegetables. Fruit is a nutritious snack but ought to be treated as a luxury and provided in tiny portions once per day.

Can Cockatiels Eat Popcorn?

So, can cockatiels eat popcorn? Popcorn is a healthy food because it is high in fiber and protein. It also contains several vitamins and minerals, such as Iron, zinc, magnesium and thiamin. However, when unhealthy toppings are used, the health benefits of popcorn can be completely offset. Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of popcorn for your cockatiel.

Can Birds Eat Popcorn With Butter?

While birds are known to have diverse diets, it is generally not recommended to feed birds popcorn with butter or any other type of processed human food. Birds have specific dietary needs and are best suited to a natural, species-appropriate diet.

Popcorn, especially when coated in butter or other additives, can be harmful to birds. The high salt and fat content in buttered popcorn can lead to health issues such as dehydration, liver problems, and obesity in birds. Additionally, the kernels of popcorn can pose a choking hazard to birds, especially smaller species.

If you want to provide food for birds, it is better to offer them natural and nutritious options. Birds enjoy a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects, depending on the species. These foods provide the necessary nutrients for their well-being and are safer for their digestion.

Remember, it’s always important to do some research on the specific dietary requirements of the bird species you encounter to ensure you are offering them appropriate and safe food.

Can cockatiels eat popcorn

The Downside of Popcorn for Cockatiels

Although we eat popcorn with unhealthy toppings, it’s delicious to us. These should be avoided when feeding your cockatiel popcorn.


Popcorn is often treated as a fun and crunchy snack, but it’s essential to be aware of the dangers popcorn poses to your cockatiel. Every seasoning and topping associated with popcorn carries potentially harmful health risks for your bird. This means salt, butter, various spices, and sugary toppings are all unhealthy for winged friends.

If you were to feed your tiel too many fatty foods from this group (for example: popcorn with butter), they could become obese– making them more vulnerable to developing fatty liver disease.


PFOA (used in the non-stick coating found in cookware) can be deadly for birds if they are exposed to it. In fact, if you leave a non-stick pan that contains PFOA on high heat, the fumes can kill birds.

Additionally, microwave popcorn is full of artificial ingredients that contain salt and flavorings that aren’t good for your tiel. It’s safest to avoid giving your tiel any microwave popcorn at all.

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How Much Popcorn Can You Give Your Cockatiel?

Although popcorn can be good for your bird, it should only be given as an occasional treat. Your cockatiel’s diet should mainly consist of pellets, fruits, and vegetables. Once a day and only one or two at a time is ideal when giving your bird any type of snacks or treats.

Can cockatiels eat popcorn? You can give your cockatiel a few popcorn kernels every week or so, as long as it’s air-popped and has no seasonings. You can pop some popcorn, set aside a couple of pieces for your tiel friend, then add whatever toppings you want to the rest. In short, avoid too much popcorn or greasy foods!

Bottom Line – Can Cockatiels Eat Popcorn?

A few air-popped popcorn kernels a couple times per week is a sufficient and healthy snack for your cockatiel, but avoid microwave popcorn at all costs when feeding your bird popcorn! Making stovetop popcorn at home is much healthier for you, but generally still contains oil – something your pet bird definitely doesn’t need.

Always consult your avian vet if you have any questions or concerns about your cockatiel’s health, dietary needs, and what treat options are best. In doing so, you’ll not only provide top-notch care for your pet but also extend their life expectancy.


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