If you’re sunbathing by your pool on a sunny day, what kind of snack would you be craving? Something cool, crunchy, and hydrated: like cucumbers, right? Who doesn’t like these watery greens? They’re not only refreshing but also rich in a number of nutrients. But can these treats be shared by your feathered pets?
Can Cockatiels eat cucumber? Yes, absolutely. Cockatiels love eating cucumber because of its soft texture and subtle taste. Cucumbers can make a healthy snack for these birds as long as you’re careful about moderation. However, their seeds contain amygdalin and are, thus, unsafe for them. And if you’re not buying organic cucumbers, the skin could also be lethal due to all the chemicals and insecticides added to them.
Could your Cockatiel be allergic to cucumbers? Are there any negative aspects of feeding them these watery treats? And what about pickled cucumbers? Are they safe for the consumption of your feathered pets? If these questions have been pestering you, fret no more. This article holds the answer to all your doubts.
Is cucumber healthy for Cockatiels?
Do you know what the diet of a Cockatiel comprises of in the wild? Mostly seeds and occasionally fruits. Since cucumber is neither, it is only normal to wonder whether adding it to their diet would benefit their health.
Given below is the nutritional chart of cucumbers, take a look:
|Vitamin A||4.5 mcg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.026 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.034 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.258 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.04 mg|
|Vitamin C||2.8 mg|
|Vitamin K||16.3 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||0.5 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
As we can see in the chart, cucumbers have a high nutritional content. But do these nutrients help your Cockatiels? Yes, they do. Keep reading to learn which of these nutrients benefit them and how:
Vitamin A is essential for the formation of their epithelial, vascular, and mucous membranes as well as the maintenance of their immune system response and hormone production.
Thiamine helps in their protein, carbs, and fat metabolism, while riboflavin promotes erythrocytes formation. Vitamin C is responsible for the production of their blood cells and platelets and regulating their hormonal system.
Cockatiels need potassium for their cardiovascular functions and, combined with magnesium, these two minerals regulate the water balance in their body. Zinc maintains their musculoskeletal system and promotes metabolism, while calcium is essential for their bone health.
Cucumbers are also rich in antioxidants that strengthen your pets’ immune system and help them fight against infections and viruses.
You might not know this, but it is fairly easy for the cockatiels to get dehydrated. To ensure that it doesn’t happen to your pet bird, you should feed them water-rich food that promotes hydration, such as cucumber.
The downsides of feeding cucumbers to Cockatiels
After going through all the health benefits cucumbers can have for your little pet, you might want to feed them these every day! However, before you make that mistake, here are a few things that can go wrong with feeding them cucumbers:
Your Cockatiel might be allergic to it
Since cucumber allergy is very rare among humans, it might not sound so severe for your pet bird. However, here’s a thing you should know about Cockatiels: these birds can be allergic to literally anything.
While cucumber allergy is not very common in their community either, as a responsible pet parent, it is your duty to consider all possibilities before you feed them anything.
To make sure that your feathered pets are not allergic to cucumber, you should carefully observe them when they’re eating cucumbers for the first time and see if you notice anything unusual.
Their appetite could be ruined
All the Cockatiel-owners must know that their pets are quite fussy eaters. If the cucumber you serve them is bitter or old, it will ruin their appetite for the entire day, and they could ignore anything you feed them afterward.
To avoid any such mishap, you must taste a piece of the cucumber you’re about to feed them in order to make sure they taste fine.
Beware of bloating
Many of the Cockatiel-owners have reported that eating too many cucumbers has made their pets bloat. You can imagine how painful and uncomfortable bloating can be for these birds. Therefore, try to limit their cucumber intake.
The threat of Polyuria
Apart from bloating, there’s something else that can go wrong if your Cockatiels eat too many cucumbers. We’re talking about Polyuria, a condition in which your pet has a watery stool. If your pet discharges watery droppings once or twice, it is not a big deal.
However, if the condition persists for two or more days, there might be a serious problem. Under such circumstances, you must take them to an avian vet immediately.
Can Cockatiels safely eat cucumber seeds?
Seeds make up a majority of a Cockatiel’s diet. So, the cucumber seeds can’t hurt them, can they? Well, actually, they can. It might come as a surprise to many, but the seeds of cucumber contain amygdalin, a cyanogenic glucoside that, when broken down, turns into cyanide and can lead to cyanide poisoning in all birds, including Cockatiels.
Some of the common symptoms of cyanide poisoning in birds are anxiety, vomiting, tachycardia, agitation, and hyperventilation. In many cases, cyanide poisoning has also led to the death of the affected bird. Apart from cucumber, amygdalin is also present in the seeds of fruits like peaches, apples, pears, cherries, etc.
What about cucumber skin? Is it safe for Cockatiels to consume it?
Many bird-owners have asked this question, and its answer is: yes. The cucumber skin is safe and soft enough for Cockatiels to eat.
However, we would still recommend you to peel the cucumber before feeding it to them, because while the skin itself is safe, it could be contaminated with pesticides, insecticides, or other chemicals.
In order to prevent insects from feeding on the cucumbers, many farmers spray them with these chemicals. That’s why we wash the fruits and vegetables before eating them.
But is washing them enough? It might be for us, but not for our little pets. If they consume any of these chemicals, it might prove to be lethal to them.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of peeling cucumbers for their sake, you can buy organic cucumbers as well. These cucumbers are safe from any kind of chemicals or insecticides and are, thus, completely safe for your cockatiels.
They are a little more expensive than the regular ones, but if your pet’s health is concerned, you wouldn’t want to take any risk.
Is it okay to feed Cockatiels pickled cucumbers?
No. While the regular cucumbers are beneficial for Cockatiels when fed in moderation, the pickled ones are downright lethal for them. This is because these birds have a sensitive stomachs, and the spicy juices of the pickle can upset it. Moreover, fried cucumbers should also be avoided for the very same reason.
Cucumbers for Cockatiels: serving ideas
We’ve already talked about the dangers of pesticides, and some vegetable sellers also coat the cucumbers with wax to make them appear fresh.
Therefore, the first step of prepping cucumbers for your Cockatiels is to wash and scrub them thoroughly. An effective way of washing them is by letting them soak in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes and rinsing it with tap water afterward.
Once the cucumber is washed and ready, it is time to peel them. Unless the cucumbers you have bought are organic ones, you must peel them as a safety precaution. After peeling, you need to remove the seeds from them.
This is fairly easy; all you need to do is take a spoon and scoop out all the seeds from the middle. After you’re sure you have gotten rid of all the seeds, you need to chop them up into smaller pieces. For this step, you can use your creativity. Their treats can either be circular or bar-like in shape; anything works, really.
Now, you can either serve them the chopped cucumbers in their dish or go for a more stimulative way and hang them by the top of their cage using a piece of thread. Either way, make sure the cucumber isn’t sitting there untouched for too long.
In this article, we learned that cucumbers, when fed occasionally, can make healthy snacks for Cockatiels. However, you must remember not to overfeed them these treats, for it can lead to Polyuria. Moreover, since these are not a part of their natural diet, too many of them can upset the balance of their digestive system and can lead to several health problems.