Can Parakeets Eat Cockatiel’s Food?

Parakeets and cockatiels have different dietary requirements, so it’s generally not recommended to feed them each other’s specific food.

While there might be some overlap in their diets, it’s important to provide each bird with the appropriate nutrition for their species to ensure their health and well-being.

Cockatiels require a diet that is slightly different from that of parakeets.

Cockatiels need a mix of seeds, pellets, fresh vegetables, and occasional fruits.

They also benefit from a higher level of protein and calcium than parakeets.

Parakeets, on the other hand, thrive on a balanced diet of high-quality pellets, seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Their nutritional needs are distinct from cockatiels’.

If you have both parakeets and cockatiels, it’s best to offer them each their own species-specific food to ensure they receive the right nutrients.

Always consult with a veterinarian or avian expert for guidance on providing the best diet for your pet birds.

Parakeet and Cocatiel Eating Food

Size of the food

Parakeets are small-sized birds.

They have a tiny beak that allows them to peck on smaller seeds.

If the seed has a harder exterior, the parakeet will not be able to manage it.

In the Cockatiel’s diet, there are a number of large seeds that only the Cockatiel itself is able to eat.

Since Cockatiels are larger, they can easily feed on big-sized grains.

Parakeets cannot eat these bigger-sized grains because they might choke on them.

Therefore, you must eliminate any food from the list which is an unmanageable big size for the parakeet.

Out of the remaining cockatiel food, we are going to further filter the contents to suit it according to the parakeet’s capacities.

Exclude Nuts and Hardcover Seeds

If you are wondering whether or not parakeets can eat nuts and other seeds with a harder outer covering, you are not the first one.

The type of seeds in a Cockatiels food that has a harder exterior covering can prove to be harmful and dangerous for a parakeet.

Like it has been mentioned above parakeets are tiny little birds.

Though they like to explore all food varieties, their physical build does not allow them to do so.

Nuts and other seeds which have a hard exterior are simply not allowed for a parakeet.

The reason for this restriction is that parakeets have tiny beaks.

They do not have the strength or capacity to break open nuts.

In doing so they might injure themselves.

Therefore, as a pet owner, you must be very cautious about the exchange of this element between Cockatiels and parakeets.

Parakeets Favorite Food from a Cockatiel’s Diet

Parakeets readily enjoy the food items from a Cockatiels diet.

Out of all the seeds, the one that keeps enjoy the most is the sunflower seed.

This seed is simply the parakeet’s favorite.

Parakeet Eating Sunflower Seeds

If you let your parakeet enter Cockatiel’s gauge and feed on Cockatiel’s food, you will notice some really interesting things.

First of all, the parakeet will be very excited to plunge into the Cockatiels diet.

It will get consumed in eating and pecking at the seeds.

Because of the newness of the food items.

Since parakeets are curious birds, They dive into almost anything and everything.

But the most favorite item of the parakeet amongst every other thing is the sunflower seed.

The bird just can’t get enough of it.

Can Parakeets Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Yes, but in moderation.

Sunflower seeds are most definitely parakeets’ favorite from amongst Cockatiel food.

It is not clear why the parakeets love so much about the sunflower seeds.

But the vigor and enthusiasm for this type of seed are interestingly astonishing.

Despite being the favorites, sunflower seeds are not to be fed to the parakeet in larger quantities.

They are not meant for the bodies of parakeets.

Though it might be harmless if consumed occasionally and in smaller quantities, otherwise the effects can be dangerous.

High-Fat Content

The reason why sunflower seeds are not good for parakeets is that they have a high fat content.

The parakeets are small birds with a small organ system.

They do not have the required mechanisms for manageability to consume these high amounts of fats. 

If the parakeet goes on consuming sunflower seeds without checks and balances, it will end up in a bad condition.

As a pet owner, you must be very vigilant about it.

Since sunflower seeds are its favorite, it might consume them uncontrollably and get themselves overfed.

Due to the above-mentioned cause and effects, the parakeets shall be made to stay away from sunflower seeds.

If not taken proper care the bird’s health can be seriously damaged and disturbed.

What Will Happen If the Parakeet Still Consumes Cockatiel’s Food?

It has been described in detail that the cockatiel food is not suitable for a parakeet.

Both birds are remarkably different in their body types and food requirements.

They need different elements as foods to maintain their health.

The cockatiel food can be fed to the parakeet in emergency situations.

That too two by removing the nuts, hardcover seeds, and other high-fat grains.

But this replacement cannot be permanent in nature.

The bird feeds available for different families and species have been specifically designed.

They have been created distinctly for distinct birds.

Each type of food is expected to meet the complete nutritional needs of a given Bird.

If these are used interchangeably, they will not have pleasant effects.


In conclusion, while parakeets and cockatiels might seem to share similar environments and appearances, their dietary needs are quite distinct.

Feeding parakeets with cockatiel food or vice versa is not advisable, as each bird has unique nutritional requirements essential for their health and well-being.

It’s important to remember that proper nutrition plays a crucial role in the overall health of our avian companions.

Offering a well-balanced diet that caters to the specific needs of parakeets and cockatiels will contribute to their longevity, vitality, and overall happiness.

Whether you’re a parakeet or cockatiel owner, ensuring that your feathered friend receives the appropriate diet tailored to their species is an essential aspect of responsible pet care.

Consult with avian veterinarians or specialists to get accurate guidance on providing the best nutrition for your beloved avian companions.


What's the difference between parakeet and cockatiel food?

Parakeet food is formulated to meet the specific dietary needs of parakeets, while cockatiel food is designed for the unique requirements of cockatiels. Cockatiel food often contains higher protein and calcium levels compared to parakeet food.

Can feeding cockatiel food to parakeets harm them?

Feeding cockatiel food to parakeets occasionally might not cause immediate harm, but it can lead to nutritional imbalances if done regularly. It’s important to provide parakeets with the nutrients they need from their own food.

Why is it important to provide species-specific food?

Different bird species have distinct nutritional needs based on factors like size, activity level, and metabolism. Species-specific food ensures that each bird receives the appropriate nutrients for their health and vitality.

Can parakeets and cockatiels share any foods?

While it’s best to offer species-specific food, certain fruits and vegetables can be shared between parakeets and cockatiels, such as leafy greens, carrots, and bell peppers. However, always ensure these foods are safe and fresh for both species.

What are the risks of offering the wrong food?

Feeding the wrong food to parakeets or cockatiels can lead to nutritional deficiencies, obesity, and health issues. A balanced diet tailored to their specific needs is essential for their overall well-being.

Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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