Vegetables, greens, and fruits should form an important part of a cockatiel’s daily diet. In fact, specialists recommend that a tiels 20-25% daily diet should be made of veggies, fruits, or greens.
Can cockatiels eat Zucchini?
Cockatiels can eat zucchini. It will provide cockatiels with vitamins and minerals plus some antioxidants that boost cockatiel’s immune system. Mix zucchini with other veggies to provide a balanced diet to your pet bird. A high percentage of captive cockatiels diet should be pellets about 70% with the rest coming from fruits, vegetables, and greens.
Overfeeding fruits and vegetables, especially ones that have a high water content can lead to digestion issues.
Therefore, given that most vegetables and fruits have a high water content it is always advisable to adhere to the 20-25% rule.
Are Zucchini healthy for Cocktiels
The table below shows the nutritional profile of zucchini. source
Benefits of feeding Zucchini to Cockatiels
It is recommended by most bird experts to ensure that if you have a pet bird, they have an access to clean water every day.
Wild cockatiels get access to water in the streams, eating fruits and vegetables is another easy way to ensure that they are hydrated throughout the day.
Zucchini like all vegetables has a high water content that will keep cockatiels hydrated especially when mixed with other veggies.
However, do not substitute a source of fresh clean water for the cockatiels with veggetables and fruits rememmber they should make about 20-25% of the tiel daily diet.
Vitamins are very important in the growth and development of all birds, including cockatiels. While commercially made pellets will provide most vitamins that cockatiels need.
It is good to add some variety to the daily diet of your cockatiel, zucchini will provide some of the vitamins that are much needed for the health of your cockatiel.
Vitamin A is very important in that its deficiency affects reproduction, digestion, respiration, and immune system.
Its precursor, beta carotene is very important if you are looking at boosting the coloration of your tiel, and the health of the cockatiel eyes.
Lack of enough vitamin A can actually lead to life-threatening health implications, such as respiratory and digestive tract infections.
One of the most frequently seen infections, particularly in parrots fed an all-seed diet, is the fungal respiratory disease aspergillosis.
Sterile pustules and cornified plaques inside the mouth are also commonly diagnosed, with enlargement of the sublingual salivary glands.
So avoid feeding cockatiels an all-seed diet, and opt for commercially made cockatiel pellets.
Other vitamins that are found in zucchini that are beneficial to cockatiels include vitamin E, C, and K.
Vitamin E plays an important role in boosting and maintaining the immune system of cockatiels.
Combined with selenium, they help fight the effect of oxidative stress that would otherwise cause oxidative stress.
Deficiency of vitamin E commonly known as hypovitaminosis E will lead to a condition known as white muscle disease. That leads to pale-colored muscles and weakness.
If cockatiels suffer from a deficiency of vitamin E they become susceptible to diseases such as the protozoal gut parasite Giardia spp. and may pass undigested whole seeds in their droppings.
Cockatiels that are fed an all-seed diet are the most susceptible to these vitamin deficient infections since seeds are mostly composed of fats.
Minerals are equally as important as the vitamins, their deficiency can lead to life threatening side effects.
The two most important minerals are calcium and phosphorous. The availability of one affects the absorption of the other.
For instance, if phosphorus is higher than calcium in the diet, it will hamper the absorption of calcium.
Therefore, specialist advise that you should aim for a balance of 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous for injured, young, or juvenile and laying birds and about 1.5:1 calcium to phosphorous respectively for adult birds.
Calcium and phosphorous are used in the making of bones and the entire skeletal structure. Phosphorus is also used in the transfer of genetic materials. source
However, that does not mean that you should go overboard when feeding feeds with calcium.
When calcium exceeds the amount by the body by about 1% it will decrease the absorption of fats, proteins, zinc, magnesium, iron, iodine, and phosphorus and may even lead to calcification of bones when there is an excess of vitamin D.
A cockatiel fed pellets and a balanced diet will not supplementation which may interfere with the mineral balance in the body.
Potassium on the other hand facilitates the maintenance of the membranes, the good news is there is rarely a deficiency of potassium among birds fed a balanced diet.
Read more: What foods are toxic to cockatiels?
Antioxidants are very important in the body of cockatiels and other birds in general. They help in reversing the effects of oxidative stress that can cause cellular damage.
Antioxidants have also been associated with improving and boosting the immune system of birds based on this study.
The best sources of antioxidants are vegetables and fruits in the form of vitamin E and selenium. Which were the two antioxidants used in the case study mentioned above.
How to feed zucchini to cockatiels
The best form of zucchini to feed to your cockatiel is one that is organically grown, free from all chemicals. Since it can be hard to tell whether a zucchini was grown organically especially if you are buying them from a local supermarket. Follow the following steps.
- Thoroughly clean the zucchini to get rid of any chemicals
- Cut the zucchini into small pieces that your cockatiel can easily eat
- You do not have to peel the zucchini
- Remember to mix it with other vegetables such as bell peppers, celery, broccoli, etc
- Remove the uneaten food at the end of the day.
While cockatiels can eat zucchini safely, you should mix it with other vegetables to make a healthy and balanced diet. The highest percentage of your cockatiel diet should be composed of pellets that are made specifically for cockatiels. You can check these pellets here that are high quality and will provide your cockatiel with the nutrients that they need.