Can Birds Eat Cheez-Its? Important Dietary Facts to Know!

One of the beloved foods we feed birds daily besides bread is crackers. So now, if you are to run out of your regular graham crackers, you might think about whether Cheez-Its are an alternative to the regular ones.

Well, it depends on the situation. Sometimes, you can feed your birds the diet. On other occasions, you’ll have to find alternatives.

Birds shouldn’t consume Cheez-Its crackers, as they are lactose-intolerant. Moreover, these snacks do not offer any meaningful nutritional benefits, only empty calories, making them a poor choice for our feathered friends.

To get a clear insight on whether it is truly wise to feed birds human foods like Cheez-Its and even regular crackers.

Hence, let’s take a look at the first question that comes to one’s mind.

Are Cheez-Its Safe for Birds to Consume?

The first thing you should consider is whether the building blocks of Cheez-Its itself are safe or not. Cheez-its are on the market as cheese crackers. 

Hence, we have to analyze briefly if each component of Cheez-Its is non-toxic.

Can Birds Eat Cheese?

In my opinion, if you’re conscious about birds’ health like me, then no. That is only in the case of regular dairy cheese.

Birds are highly intolerant to lactose. Therefore, introducing lactose to their diet can open them up to innumerable diseases. 

Any amount or type of cheese (other than vegan ones) makes them vulnerable to these diseases. Vegan cheeses are non-dairy; therefore, they are safe for consumption.

Are Crackers Safe for Birds? 

Surely, birds will enjoy crackers. However, in the long run, their disadvantages can be deadly.

A sulphur crested cockatoo is eating a cracker

Crackers are human food, just like cheese. Mass-produced crackers are to add something to a human’s diet. 

On the contrary, they withhold no beneficial nutrition to a bird’s health. 

Why, might you ask? Similar to bread, crackers consist of hollow carbohydrates and little to no fiber. It will fill birds, yet it isn’t enough for them to sustain their lifestyle.

Cheez-Its’ components provoke numerous diseases into their system that can be deadly with time.

Not to mention, these cheesy crackers are filled with salt to please our taste buds.

What Diseases Can Cheez-Its Cause?

As mentioned earlier, Cheez-Its are very controversial regarding bird safety. So what diseases can they cause?

Multiple diseases become deadly as time passes. However, being able to treat them is a whole other scenario (we’ll discuss it briefly).

Homemade cheese crackers on a bowl

Here’s an extensive list of possible diseases caused by Cheez-Its consumption in birds:

  • Angel Wing Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Musculoskeletal Disease
  • Obesity
  • Liver failure

However, to birds, a high sodium-concentrated diet is a straight-up poison. 

Birds receive enough sodium from their natural diet. Introducing more into their system can lead to salt toxicosis or salt poisoning.

Although the symptoms of salt toxicosis may seem minor, it takes a toll on your bird’s mental and physical health.

Are the Diseases Caused by Cheez-Its Consumption Treatable?

A few pecks of Cheez-Its won’t harm birds immediately. 

Despite that, Cheez-Its can cause substantial damage to birds if you plan on making it a regular thing.

So, are these damages treatable? To a certain extent, yes. 

However, if the amount of salt or cheese your bird consumed is beyond normal, it’s best to seek medical help as soon as possible.

Chances are most of the cases will be treatable even though Angel Wing diseases are permanent.

Aftercare of your bird is a crucial time that ensures its speedy recovery. Hence put extra effort into taking care of your bird around this time.

A List of Healthy Treats for Your Bird!

It is essential to research food that is healthy and enjoyable for your birds. Unfortunately, most human foods are toxic to birds.

An iIberian magpie is eating a red grape

This section is perfect if you don’t know what healthy snacks to treat your bird! Let’s dive into some of the treats you’re birds will surely enjoy:

  • Frozen GrapesSour and sweet grapes are a perfect refreshment for your birds on a scorching summer day.
  • Homemade Multigrain Bread – Multigrain bread is a great healthy treat that provides your bird fatty acids and high protein from the nuts and multiple grains. 
  • Cooked Rice – If you want a source of carbohydrate in your bird’s diet through something it is going to enjoy, cooked rice is perfect

Last but not least, it’s always important to remember that health comes before pleasure. 

Birds are versatile creatures; they will enjoy whatever you serve. Hence, it’s your responsibility to ensure they enjoy safe and healthy food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here I’ve answered the FAQs about feeding Cheez-Its to birds.

Can Birds Eat Cheese Chips?

Birds are severely intolerant to lactose. Unless it’s vegan cheese chips, you risk your bird being extremely ill.

Even being vegan, chips are human food. Meaning it will contain salt to please the human palate. 

Although that amount of salt may seem insignificant: to birds, it can instantly throw their sodium chloride concentration off balance causing salt toxicosis.

Can Birds Eat Cheese Crackers?

Crackers are just another calorie-dense version of chips.

Hence, it makes it more detrimental to a bird’s health than a cheese chip considering the empty calories won’t allow them to receive proper nutrition.

Not to forget, lactose intolerance and salt toxicity will ruin a bird; physically and mentally.

Can Baby Birds Eat Cheez-Its?

Young birds are sensitive creatures. It’s best to stave them off from human foods as it can harm them critically.

Contracting diseases like salt toxicity once can cause permanent damage and stunt their growth. It can deprive them of their ability to fly.

Baby birds shouldn’t consume human foods like Cheez-Its.

Can Wild Birds Eat Cheez-Its?

No, it’s not safe even for wild birds.

Final Remarks

To sum up, birds can eat Cheez-Its, but whether it’s safe or not is a whole other thing to consider.

In my opinion, you should keep birds at bay from all human foods. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Keeping everything in mind, you should prevent the practice of feeding crackers of any sort to birds. It’s the least one can do.

If you suspect a bird may have fallen ill from foods like Cheez-Its, contact a medical professional or pet poison helpline in that instance.

Photo of author

Written and Fact-checked by David Neff

Author at BirdBonica

David is an expert birder and bird parent with in-depth knowledge of birds. He has years of experience observing birds in their natural habitats, studying their diets, behavior, and more. (Learn more about David here...)

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