Fruits are a good source of vitamins and some fruits like figs are a good source of calcium for all birds. However, not all fruits are safe to be fed to birds. Below are the results of research I did on whether watermelons are safe for cockatiels.
Can cockatiels eat watermelon?
Cockatiels can eat watermelons together with the seeds. Watermelon should be mixed with other fruits such as papaya, grapes, guava, mango, apples, and berries as part of a balanced diet. However, due to high sugars that can cause health issues such as diarrhea watermelon should be offered moderately.
To maintain a healthy cockatiel, you should make sure that veggies, fruits, and greens make about 20-25% of your cockatiel daily diet.
Can birds eat watermelon?
Yes, all birds can eat and actually watermelons. The sweet taste of watermelons is highly welcomed by all types of birds apart from carnivorous birds such as eagles. However, omnivorous birds such as crows will devour a piece of watermelon.
Watermelon provides water for hydration to birds among other nutrients.
Is watermelon toxic to cockatiels?
Watermelon is not toxic to cockatiels at all. On the contrary, watermelon is a good fruit to offer to cockatiels on a summer afternoon, since it will help to keep your cockatiel hydrated.
Watermelons are also a good source of vitamin A and its precursor beta carotene whose benefits are discussed in details below.
Nutritional value of Watermelon
The table below shows the nutritional content of about 100 grams of watermelon, just to give you an idea of what your pet bird will be getting from eating watermelons.
Benefits of feeding watermelon to Cockatiels
Like all birds cockatiels need vitamins in their body, making sure you feed your cockatiel will ensure that they get all the essential vitamins they need.
Below is a list of vitamins that watermelon will provide to cockatiels and the importance of each.
Vitamin A/Beta carotene
Of all the other vitamins, most caged birds have been diagnosed with nutrient deficiency. Vitamin A is always at the top of the list, surprisingly enough vitamin A is very easy to get if you feed a balanced diet.
There is a common misconception that birds should only eat nuts, while they love nuts. Nuts are very poor in terms of vitamins and are mostly loaded with fats.
Fast forward, watermelon is a good source of vitamin A and its precursor beta carotene.
Feeding beta carotene-rich food is much better since the excess will be excreted as opposed to vitamin A-rich food, excess vitamin A can lead to liver and bone problems.
Feeding watermelon to cockatiels will provide both vitamin A and beta carotene. But you should not worry since you will not be feeding watermelons every day.
Vitamin A toxicity is very rare among birds that are fed a balanced diet.
The importance of vitamin A in cockatiels includes ensuring that membranes are properly established throughout the body. It also promotes eyesight and immunity system, respiratory and reproductive systems.
B vitamins are a group of vitamins that are water-soluble meaning the excess is excreted in the urine. the table below shows a group of B vitamins found in the watermelon and their benefits to cockatiels.
|Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid||transmission in the nervous system; deficiency causes shrieking, and seizures, feather picking, restlessness, (Thiamin)|
formation and action of enzymes; deficiency leads to poor growth, rough and dry skin.(Riboflavin)
energy production and tissue formation; deficiency causes neurological symptoms and poor growth.(Niacin)
metabolic reactions, enzyme formation, and carbon dioxide metabolism; deficiency causes metabolic system disorders. (Pantothenic acid)
Given that cockaties are high energy little birds fit for families with kids who like birds.
Cockatiels will need a constant supply of minerals in their diet.
“Cockatiels are vulnerable to obesity, iodine deficiencies, and other diet-related problems including feather picking and egg binding.”https://vcahospitals.com/
One of the best ways to prevent the problems outlined above is to ensure your cockatiel gets enough minerals in a balanced diet.
Watermelons will provide the following minerals to cockatiels.
While all the other minerals are important to cockatiels, calcium is perhaps the most important mineral in birds.
Calcium is closely linked with vitamin D3, vitamin D3 facilitates the absorption of calcium and its deficiency can largely lead to calcium deficiency.
Therefore, you should ensure your cockatiels are getting enough of each. While you can supplement them both, Vitamin D3 is readily available from the sun or from UVB light.
Note, you cannot put your cockatiel cage near the window and assume that they are getting enough sunlight. Your window plans filter most of the Uv light needed by your birds to synthesize Vitamin D3.
If you can take your pet outside to get a feel of the natural light.
That said, calcium facilitates clotting of blood, eggshell formation, the operation of the muscles, bone formation and maintenance, and feather attachment.
Calcium is also important in neurotransmission, this means that calcium deficiency could be one of the reasons your cockatiel is moody.
Calcium also regulates the absorption of manganese, which is need for your bird’s egg and bone formation plus growth and reproduction.
Other minerals present in watermelons that are beneficial to cockatiels include
|Iron||Formation of haemoglobin|
|Copper||Haemoglobin formation, skin bone and feather, plus nerve and enzyme function.|
|Zinc||Facilitates skin, beak, feather and claw health and formation, wound healing, digestion, and reproductive system.|
|Selenium||Together with Vitamin E they facilitate reproduction and help prevent oxidative damage.|
Fresh and clean water is very important to your cockatiel. Feeding them with watermelon will also help keep them hydrated all day long.
How to feed watermelon to cockatiel
As a general rule, always ensure that you get organically grown watermelons. Ones that have not been grown using chemicals.
- Thoroughly wash the watermelon fruit
- Cut a piece large enough to feed your cockatiel (s)
- Peel the watermelon fruit
- You can either remove the seeds or leave them
- Cut the watermelon into small pieces easily palatable by your cockatiel
- You can either hand feed or put them in a clean bowl
- Remove any uneaten watermelon within 10-15 minutes.
How often should you feed watermelon
Watermelon should not form a staple diet of your cockatiel or any bird for that matter, as we mentioned earlier fruits, veggies and greens should only form about 20-25% of your cockatiel daily diet and there are tons of fruits, veggies, and greens that you can feed your cockatiel apart from watermelon.
Therefore, mix it up, and always keep this in mind when a cockatiel refuses to eat a particular fruit or veggies it does not mean you should never try to feed them again.
No to a food item, one day does not mean no forever – KEEP TRYING!https://vcahospitals.com/
Frequently Asked Question
can cockatiels eat watermelon seeds? Yes, cockatiels can eat both watermelon and its seeds, just feed them in moderation. Birds have a hardy digestion system that is used to digesting various seeds and nuts.
Can you feed watermelon to cockatiel every day? With so many other fruit options available you should not feed watermelon on a daily basis. Mix it with other healthy fruits to come up with a healthy but enjoyable diet of fruits, veggies, and greens.
While watermelon is safe for cockatiels and provides them with various vitamins and minerals that they need in their bodies’. You should not make it a staple diet. As we stated earlier, poor nutrition is one of the causes of illness among caged birds. These birds can easily forage for themselves in the wild.
But since you took the responsibility of owning them, please make sure you provide them with the right food without compromising their health.
With soo many food options, poor nutrition should not be an excuse at all. Since releasing them into the wild is a BIG NO since they may not be able to get used to the wildlife again and may end up becoming easy prey to their predators, maybe donate them to a willing owner or take them to rescue centers.