Living with a parrot companion can test your culinary imagination as these clever birds are always interested in new experiences, and that curiosity extends to their food.
If you are on the constant lookout for healthy fruits and veggies, it’s only a matter of time before you consider cucumbers. But, can parrots eat cucumbers?
Yes, Parrots can and will eat cucumbers and though there are many picky parrots, the crisp, succulent flesh of the cucumber tends to leave them whistling a happy tune.
Is Cucumber Healthy for Parrots?
As a firm and substantial as a cucumber can appear, their translucent flesh gives away the truth. These fruits are mostly water. That’s not exactly a detraction…
Parrots love juicy fruit and veggies that allow them to hydrate while they eat. So, yes cucumber is safe and healthy for parrots, check the nutritional table below.
Nutritional Content of Cucumber
|Nutrition Facts||Per 10g|
|Vitamins & Minerals|
Do not make the mistake of feeding too much cucumber to your parrot pal.
All that water completely overwhelms the meagre fibre content of this plant, leading to uncomfortable loose stools, and even diarrhoea for your bird.
You can avoid this by making sure that the other components of your bird’s diet have plenty of fibre. It’s an easy fix that allows you to focus on the benefits cucumbers have to offer.
This fruit does contain a tiny amount of protein, and a larger, but still small, amount of carbs.
Altogether, a whole cup of cucumber only provides 16 calories, so remember to pair with more energy-rich options or you’ll end up with a lethargic bird.
Their antioxidant content is notable and will lend your parrot some defence against inflammation and the development of chronic diseases.
The skin and seeds also contain beta carotene, which can improve sight and reduce macular degeneration due to age.
The vitamin content of cucumbers is primarily in their skin and seeds. Several vitamins may be present in trace amounts, but this fruit reliably contains high levels of the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
The vitamin K levels are impressive, with a single serving giving a human 62% of their daily requirement. For a parrot, this is even more potent and boosts their bone health and metabolism.
Meanwhile, Vitamin C joins the other antioxidants to stave off illness and inflammation.
As for minerals, cucumbers offer significant amounts of:
Potassium is involved in keeping your bird’s fluids balanced, by regulating blood pressure, for instance, and preventing painful bloating and constipation.
Manganese contributes to healthy bone structure, while also joining antioxidants to fight inflammation.
Magnesium’s benefit to your parrot’s health is much fold and works in tandem with magnesium on the bones, whilst teaming up with potassium to keep your bird’s blood pressure low.
How to Prepare Cucumbers for Parrots to Eat
Before you get down to slicing and dicing, pick your cucumber wisely. If you grew it in your own garden, then you know whether it has been exposed to pesticides or other contaminants.
However, when purchasing cucumbers from the shop, you should opt for the organic type. This isn’t to impress your bird by splashing the cash on their food, it’s purely for their health.
Cucumbers that are not certified organic are sometimes given cosmetic upgrades. They are coated with wax and buffed to appear healthier and more desirable.
The wax coating isn’t anything you want your bird eating, especially because it makes washing away pesticide residue harder — or even impossible. And, wash them you should.
Even the organic variety should be scrubbed before being fed to your parrot. If you can’t get organic, no worries. Play it safe, and simply pare the skin away entirely.
At this point, you can put on your chef’s hat, nevermind if your bird laughs. Raw cucumbers can be prepared by slicing them thin or thick, chop them into chunks or julienne into sticks.
Don’t be afraid to really show off your knife skills.
If your cucumbers have the skin on, carefully peel it in a spiral that your parrot can toy with. Vary the size and shapes of the pieces.
You can also cook the cucumbers. Boil them to create more tender fare, and see if your bird prefers that. Take it one step further and serve them mashed, if your bird prefers soft-serve.
Just know that many nutrients are lost when these fruits are heated.
There are some preparations you should not use, however.
Can Parrots Eat Pickled Cucumbers?
Pickled cucumbers are a no-go. The extremely high salt content of the brine can cause your bird to experience kidney failure, among other maladies.
Don’t fry cucumbers for your parrot, either. Not only will this basically destroy all the nutrients, but it will also replace them with excessive amounts of unhealthy fat.