A COCKATOO has been banned from eating cheese and onion crisps after her favourite treat left her feeling as sick as a parrot.

Cindy enjoys nothing more than munching a packet of crisps, as well as oven chips, toast and cheese, as an occasional treat from owner Brian Lambert.

But, after becoming ill, the nine-year-old grey and pink Australian Galah cockatoo, has been banned from eating her favourite snacks.

She was taken to Gilmoor Vets in Durham City because she was suffering from sickness and diarrhoea, where tests revealed she had dangerously high liver enzymes and cholesterol, which pointed to a diagnosis of fatty liver.

Owner Brian, from Kimblesworth, near Chester-le-Street, who has owned Cindy for four years, said: “She loves cheese and onion crisps and chips as an occasional treat, but we are trying to cut everything out.

“She is feeling so much better now we have changed her diet. Like many bird owners, we didn’t realise sunflower seeds were high in fat as they’re a healthy treat for humans.”

Vet Deborah Stafford is warning bird owners about the danger of feeding too many sunflower seeds and other treats.

She said: “Birds like Cindy are sunflower seed junkies as they are incredibly tasty and appealing, but can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

“We are carefully changing Cindy’s diet to a complete balanced diet in pellet form and her health is really improving. She is much better now and even the colour of her feathers has improved with the right diet.”