What Can Cockatoos Eat? {A Complete List}

My cockatoo can’t stop eating or begging for more food. I have to be careful with allowing this behavior to continue. What can cockatoos eat and what should be avoided?

How do I offer the best possible variety of foods for my cockatoo?

I’ve got some tips and suggestions along with a complete list of foods on the menu for our cockatoos. Let’s check it out together.

What Can Cockatoos Eat?

Cockatoos need a varied and balanced diet. The following important food categories are acceptable for cockatoos in general:

  1. Pellets: The foundation of a cockatoo’s diet should be high-quality, commercially available pellets that are designed exclusively for them. These pellets include vital nutrients.
  2. Fresh Fruits: Provide a broad choice of fresh fruits, including melons, apples, oranges, grapes, and grapefruit. Remove any potentially poisonous seeds or pits.
  3. Veggies: Offer a variety of fresh veggies, including broccoli, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, bell leaf lettuce, and carrots. Onions and avocados should be avoided since they may be poisonous to birds.
  4. Nuts and seeds: In moderation, give out unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pecans. Cockatoos can also eat seeds including flaxseed, pumpkin, and sunflower.
  5. Cooked Grains and Legumes: For more variety and nourishment, you may add cooked rice, quinoa, lentils, and beans to their diet.

On occasion, you may give your birds tiny pieces of delights such dried fruit, whole grains, and millet spray. Make careful to give out sweets sparingly. Never forget to supply clean, fresh water.

What Human Food Do Cockatoos Eat?

There are some human foods that may be safely shared in moderation with cockatoos. Let’s drop a list below and see what you like:

  • cooked whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and rice
  • apples
  • bananas
  • berries
  • grapes (seedless)
  • melons
  • spinach
  • kale
  • cooked carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, peas
  • sunflower seeds
  • unsalted nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios in moderation

It’s important to keep in mind that cockatoos should eat a balanced, species-appropriate diet in addition to these human foods.

Do not offer anything with chocolate, coffee, alcohol, salty or sugary snacks, avocado, onions, and garlic, Make sure your cockatoo tolerates new meals well. Always introduce it them gradually and watch how they react.

What Is the Best Food for Cockatoos?

A balanced meal built on premium pellets specially made for cockatoos is the ideal food for these birds.

You can also include a variety of:

  • fresh fruits
  • vegetables
  • leafy greens
  • apples
  • berries
  • cooked carrots
  • cooked lentils
  • unsalted nuts, and seeds
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What Do Cockatoos Eat in the Wild?

Cockatoos in the wild eat a variety of natural foods that are available in their natural environments.

Their usual diet consists of:

  • Seeds and nuts from trees and plants, including eucalyptus nuts, banksia cones, and acacia seeds.
  • Fruits and berries, such as figs, berries, local fruits, and palm fruits.
  • Fresh leaves, shoots, flowers, and buds from a variety of plants and trees are the main sources of nutrition for cockatoos.
  • Insects, larvae and other tiny invertebrates that they come upon when foraging to augment their diet.
  • Tree bark and wood to support the health of their beaks.

Depending on the kind of cockatoo and the particular area they live in, their diet might change.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can a Cockatoo Drink Milk?

No, giving milk to cockatoos is not advised. Because their digestive systems were not created to absorb dairy items, cockatoos cannot tolerate lactose. The finest and safest option for their hydration needs is water.

2. Is Egg Good for Cockatoo?

A little. It’s true that eggs may add nutrition to cockatoos’ diets. Eggs that have been cooked, such scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, can be a rich source of protein and other necessary elements. However, eggs should only be consumed occasionally and as a part of a varied diet.

3. Is Bread OK for Cockatoos?

No. The consumption of bread is not seen to be appropriate or required for cockatoos. Some cockatoos may accept modest portions of plain, whole-grain bread as an occasional treat, but it has little nutritional value and can make them feel full without giving them the nutrients they need.

4. Can Cockatoos Have Sugar?

No. Giving cockatoos meals with extra sugar is best avoided. Because cockatoos have specific nutritional requirements, consuming too much sugar might result in obesity, dental difficulties, and other health concerns.

For their wellbeing, it is crucial to prioritize a balanced diet that focuses on organic, healthful food options.

5. Do Cockatoos Like Tomatoes?

Yes. Given their somewhat sweet and tangy flavor, tomatoes may be a favorite food for certain cockatoos. However, it differs from person to person.

With moderation and due consideration for their acidic nature, tomatoes are okay for cockatoos to consume. Avoid feeding green or under ripe tomatoes and remove the seeds.

6. Can Cockatoos Eat Cooked Potato?

In moderation. Cockatoos may consume cooked potatoes. It must be fully prepared and served without any additional flavors or oils.

Since potatoes are starchy and might cause weight gain, they shouldn’t make up a substantial portion of their diet. Before serving, make sure the potato has cold.

7. Can Cockatoos Have Chicken?

Cockatoos can have cooked chicken as a source of protein. Ensure the chicken is boneless, skinless, and cooked without any seasoning, spices, or additives.

It should be thoroughly cooked and cooled before offering it to your cockatoo. Chicken should only be a small part of their varied diet.


Cockatoos need a varied diet to stay healthy and happy. Their food should mostly consist of premium pellets made specifically for cockatoos, with a range of fresh fruits and vegetables as supplements.  Stay away from meals with unhealthy ingredients, too much salt, and extra sugar.


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My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.