Birds Need People Food



In addition to pellets and seeds, feed your birds a wide variety of greens and fruits, vegetables, breads, meats and cereals. Be careful with meat - tear it up into small enough pieces so that your bird will not choke on it. Avoid milk, as birds lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose and they may get diarrhea. Because of the way they are processed, however, cheese and yogurt can be fed without a problem. You should also avoid alcohol, avocado, caffeine, chocolate, rhubarb leaves and anything high in sugar, fat, or salt. Remember one (1) Sugar Frosted Flake to a Cockatiel is equivalent to an adult human ingesting about one (1) cup of sugar.


  • Dark green vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, dandelion greens, collard greens, mustard greens.
  • Vegetables high in carotene, such as sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, red peppers.
  • Other vegetables: turnips, green beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, legumes (like chick peas and kidney beans), hot peppers.
  • Fruits (no pits or cores, please): apples, grapes, bananas, oranges, melons, apricots, peaches, plums, oranges, tangerines, pomegranates, watermelon, kiwi.
  • Table food: cheese, eggs, pasta, rice, potatoes, wheat bread.

Note that your birds will have looser, more watery droppings when fed more fruits and vegetables.

It is not necessary to add vitamins to your bird's diet when it is eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.

Feed the table foods in separate containers from their regular food, and remove after a few hours, especially in the heat of summer, or just have them eat at the table like we do.  When your finished, their finished, and everything is put away.  It makes for a great social time, too.


STARescue, Inc.

Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11