Cucumbers are one of the most important supplemental foods for your birds. There are of course some birds that do not like cucumbers.
In the wild, lovebirds eat a variety of seeds, fruits, leaves, and buds. A few species eat insects and larvae as well.
We may not be able to feed exactly what the lovebirds eat in the wild but we have to design the feed in such a way it resembles as close as it is possible to what the lovebird eats in the wild.
The feed for the lovebirds should be well balanced. A well-balanced feed for lovebirds will have seeds, vegetables, fruits, and nutritional supplements.
There are a few things to note while feeding cucumbers to lovebirds. As the lovebird’s beaks are small and the skin of the cucumber is too thick, we have to prepare them for our birds.
The fleshy part of the cucumber is what the birds love. The skin has fiber which is good for the bird’s health. Seeds also have nutritional value in them. Lovebirds need a little bit of our help from us to make it available for them.
How Often Should You Feed Cucumbers to the Lovebirds?
Cucumbers can be fed once or twice a week to your lovebirds. The key here is moderation. Cucumbers should not be more than 5% of the overall diet and should be treated as a snack.
Lovebirds need variety in their diet. They can get bored of cucumbers if you feed them every day. Lovebirds can turn into picky eaters if they get bored.
Cucumbers are a great source of supplemental food during summertime as it is mostly water. This helps in the hydration of the birds during hot days.
Seven Benefits of feeding Cucumbers to Lovebirds
Cucumbers have a lot of benefits for lovebirds. It is a joy to watch these little birds munch on the cucumber.
Below is a list of seven benefits of feeding cumbers to lovebirds;
- Cucumbers contain 96% water which helps in keeping the birds hydrated especially during summers.
- Cucumbers are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
- They also have antioxidants that fight off viruses and boost their immune system.
- Cucumbers are great for the bird if they have any digestive issues.
- Cucumbers are an excellent source of protein and fiber for our lovebirds.
- Cucumbers are great for managing weight.
- Cucumbers are an excellent source of nutrients, micronutrients, and vitamins. These keep the skin and the feathers of the bird healthy and help in bone growth.
Negatives of Feeding Cucumbers to Lovebirds
There are also some negatives that we should be aware of in feeding cucumbers to lovebirds. The following are to be considered.
- As cucumbers are mostly water, it has less calorific value. Feeding only cucumbers will lead to nutritional deficiency.
- If the portion size is big, cucumbers could lead to bloating.
- Since cucumbers are mostly water, a high portion size could also lead to diarrhea.
- Store-bought cucumbers may have pesticide residuals and wax coating. These could be harmful to your birds.
How to Make Store-bought Cucumbers Safe for Lovebirds
The store-bought cucumbers are usually industrially farmed. Hence the outer layer of the skin can have a wax coating which helps the cucumbers last longer in the store.
They may also have pesticide residuals on top of the skin. It is our job to remove these and make them safe for our birds.
You can use a homemade or store-bought vegetable wash to remove the wax. Soak the cucumbers in a solution of vinegar and water for 10 minutes and then wash them well under running water.
This removes most if not all of the pesticide residuals and wax.
You could also peel away the skin but remember that skin is healthy for the lovebirds. It is a good source of fiber for them and is nutrient-dense.
How to Prepare Cucumber for the Lovebirds?
- Cleanliness is essential for the health of your birds. Wash your hands well before preparing the food for your birds.
- When getting cucumbers for your birds, ensure they are not rotten. This could create an aversion for cucumbers in the birds.
- If you have taken the cucumber out of the refrigerator or if it is cold., keep the cucumber out until it reaches room temperature.
- After washing the cucumbers well, cut the cucumbers into small pieces. You could also grate it using a grater. Do not use a blender and turn it into a paste.
- Place the cucumber pieces in individual trays. This depends on the number of birds you have. An individual tray for each bird is the idea. This prevents food fights between the birds.
- There is no need to remove the seeds from the cucumbers. Cucumber seeds are safe for your birds. They have fiber, beta-carotene, minerals, and calcium that aid your birds’ health.
- Do not offer cooked cucumbers to your birds. Pickled or fried cucumbers could lead to your bird’s death.
Adding a few pieces of cucumber along with their usual diet does help in keeping them healthy but we should ensure not to overfeed them.
On an overall note, whatever we feed lovebirds, should be well-balanced.