Cockatiels have been reported as top in the list of pet birds that suffer from obesity, egg binding and several other diet related health conditions. Therefore, getting your cockatiel diet right is crucial. Below is a research I did to find out whether celery can be in cockatiel diet.
Can cockatiels eat Celery? Cockatiels can eat both celery leaves and stalks. Generally, due to the fact that celery water content is far much higher than most of its other nutrients, celery should be fed moderately to avoid nutrients deficiencies. Aim to feed your parrot greens with much better nutrients value.
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Celery in Cockatiels Diet
As a rule of thumb, when looking for veggies or greens to feed any of your pets be it birds or reptiles consider choosing veggies and greens that have a dark green in color.
Mostly, pale veggies have a very high water content compared to other nutrients and only offer trace amounts of the other nutrients.
These pale veggies include Iceberg or Head lettuce, and celery. If your cockatiel is getting a balanced diet or any other herbivory or omnivorous, then you can give these pale veggies once in a while.
Their high water content can be a good technique for keeping your pets hydrated.
“Healthy molts, vibrant song and strong condition is achieved by feeding a balanced diet all of the time.”https://vcahospitals.com/
Nutritional Value of Celery
The table below shows the nutritional value of 100 grams servings of celery that your cockatiel can get. source.
|Total lipid (fat)||0.17||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||2.97||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||1.6||g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||1.34||g|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||3.1||mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||22||µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||283||µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.27||mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||29.3||µg|
Let take a deep look at how these nutrients even in trace amounts will benefit your cockatiel.
Celery nutrient benefits for Cockatiels
Cockatiels like all birds need a constant supply of clean contaminant free water on daily basis.
If the quality of your tap water is questionable you may need to seek bottled water.
Another and simple way to keep your cockatiels well hydrated is to feed them food that has a high water content.
While this method should not replace the convention way of watering your cockatiel, it will certainly help keep your pet bird hydrated.
Water constitutes the highest percentage of celery, and since other nutrients are in trace amounts, celery will at least help in hydrating your pet especially when combined with watermelons which cockatiels love.
All species of birds need various vitamins in their diet, below we will look at some of the vitamins found in celery, that can benefit cockatiels.
Vitamins are very important in all birds as they help in the maintenance of feathers.
Again, you should use celery as a staple diet to provide vitamins to your pet bird. Celery should only be part of the diet and even so, it should be fed sparingly.
Some of the symptoms that you shoud watch out for to know if your cockatiel is suffering from vitamins deficiency include,
White spots around their beaks, wheezing breathing, sneezing, slimy mouths, gaggling sounds, restlessness, diarrhea, crusty nostrils, loss of appetite, and dull feathers.
Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common dietary deficiency among caged birds.
Therefore, it is very paramount that your cockatiels eat a diet rich in vitamin A.
Luckily most veggies and plant materials such as carrots, cabbage, tomatoes are loaded with either vitamin A or its precursor beta carotene.
When looking to provide vitamin A to your cockatiels, beta carotene is much better since the cockatiel body will convert beta carotene into vitamin A in amounts needed by the body and excrete the excess.
However, as for vitamin A, the excess is stored in the liver since unlike B Vitamins that are water-soluble Vitamin A is fat-soluble and can cause health problems.
Celery, however, does not contain a lot of vitamin A to cause health issues to your pet bird.
Vitamin A is responsible for
Growth and development, production of hormones, the response of the immune system, formation of the epithelial, mucous, and vascular membrane.
Vitamin A is also responsible for the developing and maintaining a good vision.
Finally, most importantly for those who love those vibrant colors in cockatiels or other birds such as parrots, ensure you feed them enough vitamin A and you see how flowery they get.
Vitamin A deficiency will affect the three major system of the cockatiel or any bird body namely, Reproductive, digestive and respiratory system.
Serving your cockatiel a diet composed of greens will ensure vitamins A levels are always at par.
Other vitamins found in celery that are important to maintaining the health of your cockatiel include B, E, K, C.
Unlike the rest of the vitamins needed by birds, B vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble, this means that while fat soluble vitamins can cause health issues when fed in excess.
Water soluble vitamins such as vitamins cannot cause toxicity since when they are excess they are excreted from the body.
Lets take a look at the benefits of these vitamins in a table
Minerals are very important in the health of cockatiels, for cockatiel chicks, laying cockatiels there are no shortcuts you have to offer minerals.
Below the most important mineral that cockatiels need when you and when they are preparing to lay eggs.
As we mentioned ealier, cockatiels are very likely to suffer from egg binding.
“Egg binding is caused by the inability to expel an egg naturally, and is generally due to a deficiency of calcium in the bird’s diet.”https://www.petmd.com
There I said it, now let get everything on the table.
Calcium ranks on top of the tablle when it comes to the most important minerals in vertebrates animals.
Every bird need calcium for development of healthy and strong bones, and for reproduction.
Calcium goes hand in hand with vitamin D, yes the vitamin D that you can get from the sun. Calcium deficiency goes hand in hand with vitamin D deficiency.
How do pet birds suffer from lack of vitamin D, well I thought you’d never ask.
You see most pet bird owners put their cages next to the window and expect that their birds will get enough sunlight to synthesize vitamin D.
What they forget is that their window panes will filter most of the sunlight and block the required UV light to synthesize vitamin D.
So, now that you know putting your cage bird near the window will not provide it with enough sunlight to process vitamin D.
This is what you shoud do, you can either supplement vitamin D by buying vitamin D and calcium supplements. They mostly are sold together, or let your bird have some sunlight [the real one i mean].
Finally, you can buy some UVB bulbs designed to make sure your bird gets the UV light it needs to process Vitamin D.
Function of Vitamin D in cockatiels and other birds include
Blood clotting, eggshell, and bone formation, attachment of feathers.
Since calcium facilitates neurotransmission, its deficiency can affect the mood of your cockatiel.
Calcium also regulates the absorption of manganese a mineral that is very important in bone and egg formation and reproductive and normal healthy growth.
You can now see why it is very important for your cockatiel to get enough calcium.
100 grams of celery will give your cockatiel about 40mg of calcium. You should also be wary of foods that have higher phosphorus than calcium content. Phosphorus prevents calcium from being absorbed by binding into it. It is recommended that calcium should be twice as much as phosphorus.
Consult you vet to know how much calcium your cockatiel needs a day.
How to feed celery to cockatiels
The first thing is to get fresh organically grown celery. Then follow the steps below to feed celery to cockatiel
- Wash the celery both leaves and stalks thoroughly
- you can dust them with supplement
- Cut into small sizes easily palatable by cockatiels
- You can either feed in a bowl or hand feed
- Do not overfeed and make sure to mix with other greens
- Misting them will make sure your cockatiels gets enough water
While celery is safe for cockatiels to eat, it is nutritionally poor compared to the other veggies and greens. As I mentioned earlier, most cockatiel health related problems are caused by poor feeding such as obesity, iodine deficiency and feather plucking. Therefore, consult your vet if you observe any unusual behaviour in your cockatiel.
Lastly, celery should only form part of a healthy diet not a staple diet. It should only be offered once in a while. Greens such as asparugus are much more nutritious.