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Can Cockatiels Eat Onions? What You Must Know!

Can Cockatiels Eat Onions

In the world of cockatiels, there is no such thing as a “normal” diet. Cockatiels consume a range of seeds, fruits, and vegetables in the wild. A cockatiel’s food in captivity should be equally as diverse. This leads to various questions occurring in mind as a concerned pet owner.

For instance, can cockatiels eat onions? No, cockatiels can’t eat them as onions are toxic in all forms. It happens due to the thiosulfate (sulfur amino acid), which destroys red blood cells in any bird’s body. Onion poisoning can be deadly but relatively uncommon. Best if you don’t feed them.

In this article, we have covered other necessary information regarding feeding onions to your feathered friend. If you want to know the other facts about feeding onions to your pet, read along. Because we don’t know what information might be necessary for the future. 

Can You Feed Onions to Cockatiels?

In no way, shape, or form should onions be offered to cockatiels or any other kind of bird because onions contain a chemical called thiosulfate. When cockatiels or any other type of bird takes thiosulfate, the body of the bird experiences a disruption in the calcium absorption process. It is a disorder fatal to the birds. It causes the bones of its spine to fuse together. They experience excruciating agony, which could ultimately lead to paralysis.

If you suspect that your cockatiel has eaten too much onion, you must quickly get your pet to an emergency veterinarian.

Can You Feed Onions to Cockatiels

In addition to the concerns already mentioned, there are other problems. Onion poisoning is a condition that develops after an individual consumes a significant portion of onions relative to their body size. It shows symptoms of onion poisoning such as cramping in the stomach region, nausea, and diarrhea.

Even though cockatiels might appear to eat onions normally without displaying any of the symptoms described above, there is still a chance that they will endure long-term discomfort. Therefore, it is not recommended that you give your cockatiels onion.

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Do Cockatiels Like Onions?

Cockatiels are sensitive to strong scents. While some cockatiels may be able to tolerate the onion odor, others may find it overbearing and unpleasant. Even though it seems like your bird would appreciate onions, it’s better to avoid serving them to your cockatiel until you know for sure. If they consume onion scent glands, they run the risk of poisoning.

Cockatiels Like Onions

In other words, the health and safety of your cockatiel is not a question of whether they enjoy it or not. Do not let cockatiels have onions, even if they want to try them. We should not expose onion to them. So, Keep onions away from them by wrapping them in foil.

Risks for Cockatiels Eating Onions.

As you already know, the thiosulfate in onions harms cockatiels. Pet birds that eat onions can suffer several potential problems or diseases like 

Do Cockatiels Like Onions
  • Vomit,
  • Anorexic,
  • Lethargic,
  • Weak, 
  • Dehydrated,
  • Discolored skin,
  • Anemia,
  • Paralysis,
  • Ulcers,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Seizures,
  • Even death,

Due to onion thiosulfate, it attacks red blood cells, causing Heinz body anemia. Deficient red blood cells might cause leg weakness. The toxicity of onions is rare but can be lethal. Cockatiels’ skin becomes discolored. Immediately seek veterinary attention if your cockatiel ingests too much onion.

Why Shouldn’t You Feed Onions To Cockatiels?

As you have read through and come to this part of the article, you already know why you shouldn’t. The thiosulfate existing in onion causes toxicity and harmful effect on cockatiels. 

One may think, what if I cook the onions and feed them to cockatiels? Or feed them powdered onion. No matter what form of onion it is, it will still be harmful to cockatiels. It also applies to onion broth; they are not an exception. Even feeding green onions and spring onions can cause the same effect. In birds, it can cause respiratory issues and possibly death due to its volatile nature.


Can You Feed Onions To Baby Cockatiels?

Don’t even think about it. Onion causes many difficulties to adult and mature cockatiels. The baby ones won’t even endure the mere smell of onions, let alone feeding them.

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The mere smell of onions also causes severe irritation to mature cockatiels. So, keep onions far away from baby cockatiels because cockatiels have a strong sense of smell.  


1. Is garlic the same as onion to cockatiels?

Onions are more toxic to birds, while garlic isn’t quite as harmful. 

2. Can Cockatiels Eat other forms of Onions?

Other forms of onions like powdered onion, cooked onion, onion broth, etc., still contain thiosulfate. So, they still are toxic as raw onions.  

Final Thoughts

Onions are poisonous to cockatiels despite having vitamins, potassium, fiber, antioxidants, and manganese. Avoid onion and feed your cockatiels alternatives. Other healthful vegetables to feed your pet bird include broccoli, corn, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, sprouts, mustard greens, etc.

But before feeding anything to your bird buddy, make sure you have your expert’s advice on your side or check on the internet for the correct information. If you don’t find such information, don’t feed it to them. And if you can, let us know. We will investigate the matter and will provide you with a valid answer. Thank you for reading.

Do you know if your cockatiels can eat celery or spinach? Read our articles about it to learn more.


Peter Kaestner

Hi there, my name is Peter Kaestner and I am the owner of As a avid bird watcher and enthusiast with a passion for ornithology, I want to share my knowledge and experience with other bird lovers through this blog. As someone who regularly participates in bird-related forums and groups online, I am dedicated to helping others learn more about these amazing creatures. However, it's important to note that while I am happy to share my expertise and advice, it is always crucial to consult with an avian veterinarian before making any decisions that could potentially impact your bird's health or well-being. Your bird's health and happiness should always be your top priority, and consulting with a professional is the best way to ensure that you are making informed decisions on their behalf. I hope that through my blog, I can help make a positive difference in the lives of birds and the people who care for them. Whether you are an experienced bird owner or just starting out, I encourage you to use this resource as a way to learn more about these fascinating animals and how to provide them with the best possible care.View Author posts