If you love backyard birds or own a feathered friend as a pet, feeding birds is an important, rewarding, and satisfying part of your interaction with them. If you’re like me, I often run out of birdseed and routinely look around my house for alternate sources of food for my birds to eat until I can run to the store.
I have often wondered if cucumber would be a fitting food source for my backyard birds. So, can birds eat cucumber, or should you avoid offering cucumber to your birds?
Can birds eat cucumbers?
Yes, Birds can eat cucumbers! You can put cucumbers out for wild birds to eat, and it is safe to give them to parrots and parakeets. The moisture content will help keep the birds hydrated, and the cucumber seeds are safe for most seed-eating birds.
Our research and experience with a large variety of birds will guide you through the details about feeding cucumbers to birds and the dos and don’ts regarding birds and cucumbers.
Feeding wild birds and giving treats to our pet birds is part of the enjoyment we get from our birds. Feeding them the wrong treats can have devastating consequences. Fortunately, a cucumber treat is a low-risk snack for birds.
Is Cucumber Good For Birds To Eat?
Cucumbers may be suitable for humans, but human food is not always safe for animals. Feeding the wrong foods to birds can result in digestive problems, diarrhea, and even poisoning if the food item is non-organic and contains chemicals.
While it is good to offer a balanced diet when feeding our birds, we must ensure that we are not doing more harm than good by providing them with the wrong treats.
Many people mistakenly think all plant-based food items are suitable for a bird’s diet. It’s all-natural, so it should be good.
Unfortunately, in the same way, that some plants can be toxic for us to eat, some plants and seeds can be harmful to birds, even if they are safe for humans.
Cucumbers may seem like a reasonably safe food to give to our birds, but we need to be sure that when our birds eat cucumbers, there is no risk to their health.
Are All Cucumbers Good For Birds?
All varieties of cucumbers are safe to give to your birds to eat. There are no potential issues for birds with the seeds from any cucumber variety either.
In some cases, seeds from other fruits can be toxic for birds, or produce digestive problems, even if the fruit’s outer skin or flesh is safe.
An example of this is apple seeds. It is OK to give the flesh of apples to your birds, but the seeds contain chemicals that are not good for some birds.
It would be best if you only gave raw fresh cucumber to birds. Never give pickled cucumbers to birds, as the acidic vinegar and high sodium content are not good for them.
Are All Parts Of The Cucumber Good For Birds
All parts of the cucumber are edible for birds, from the skin to the flesh and the seeds. However, the skin of the cucumber is only sometimes good for birds.
Many shop bought cucumbers are treated with pesticides and wax and polished to make the product more appealing to the consumer. The wax coating used to achieve this sheen on the cucumber is unsuitable for birds.
Certain pesticides used in the commercial growing of cucumbers can result in trace amounts of the pesticides remaining on the skin.
You should only provide organic cucumbers for your birds to eat. If you don’t have organic cucumbers, it is best to cut the skin off before giving them to your birds.
Can You Give Cucumber To Wild Backyard Birds?
If you enjoy the bird life in your garden, providing a bird feeder will attract more diverse bird species to your garden for you to enjoy.
Wild backyard birds are intuitive about what food types are good for them and what food is not.
Certain bird species are selective feeders and will only eat seeds, while others will eat seeds and fruit; others still are primarily insectivores and prefer to eat insects and worms.
Placing fresh cucumber in your garden for wild birds to enjoy is no problem. The birds that enjoy seeds and fruit will be attracted to your garden to eat the cucumber.
The soft, moist flesh of the cucumbers will attract the fruit-eating birds, and the seeds in the center will give a snack for the seed-eating birds.
Can You Give Cucumber To Pet Birds?
Birds kept as pets sometimes have different instincts than wild birds when it comes to eating the right food.
Fortunately, small amounts of cucumbers are acceptable for most captive birds.
The moisture content in the flesh is suitable for their hydration, and the trace amounts of vitamins in the cucumber will not cause excess weight gain.
Can Parrots eat Cucumbers?
Parrots have a varied diet in the wild and eat a diverse range of food, from nuts and seeds to various wild fruit.
Their primary dietary nutrition, however, is from seeds and nuts. Cucumbers can be added to a parrot’s diet as an occasional treat, but they should not be part of the bird’s daily diet.
The best way to feed your parrot cucumber is to peel it and cut the fruit into slices the bird can hold with its foot while it eats each piece.
If the cucumber is organic, you can leave the skin on when you feed it to your parrot. If the cucumber is not organic, or you are unsure, peel the outer skin before giving it to your parrot.
Birds do not do well with sudden changes in their diet, so if it is the first attempt at giving cucumber to your parrot, only offer one small slice to see how the bird’s digestive system reacts to the new treat.
If your parrot develops diarrhea after eating cucumber, it would be best to avoid cucumber in the future for the sake of your parrot’s health.
Can You Feed Cucumber To Parakeets?
Parakeets, or budgies, are very similar to parrots in their dietary requirements, but there are some differences in how the cucumbers should be offered.
Parakeets can eat the fleshy part of cucumbers, but the seeds contain amygdalin, which can be toxic for budgies.
While the amount of amygdalin in cucumber seeds is only 0.07 milligrams per gram, the substance can negatively affect parakeets.
If you feed cucumber to your budgies, removing the seeds would be best before giving them to your birds.
How To Prepare Cucumbers for Birds to eat
Whether you plan to give cucumber to your pet parrot or your outdoor garden birds, it will need some preparation before adding it to any bird’s diet.
Here are some quick tips:
- Make sure to rinse your cucumbers to remove any dirt or residue
- Make sure the cucumber is fresh and not rotting
- Make sure to remove the waxy skin of a non-organic cucumber
- Don’t feed the whole cucumber to your birds; instead, slice it thin, so it’s easier to eat. You can cut larger chunks if you have a parrot or expect larger birds to visit your outdoor feeder. Larger pieces are easier for larger birds to hold.
- Make sure to feed enough of the cucumber to provide a snack to your birds, not to replace your bird’s regular diet.
- Use a platform feeder to allow a variety of birds to enjoy cucumbers
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can birds eat cucumber skin?
It is best to avoid feeding cucumber skin to birds, especially if the cucumber is not organic. The waxy coating on non-organic cucumbers can make it difficult for animals, including birds, to digest.
Can birds eat raw cucumber?
Yes, birds can eat a raw cucumber. It is essential to use fresh cucumbers and rinse and slice them before feeding them to your bird.
Can birds eat pickled cucumber?
No, birds should not eat pickled cucumbers. The high vinegar content in pickles can be dangerous for any bird’s digestive health and should be avoided.
Can birds eat cucumber seeds?
Yes, most wild seed-eating birds can eat cucumber seeds. The seeds contain amygdalin, which can be toxic for some birds, such as budgies. Removing the seeds before feeding cucumbers to your pet budgie is best since they are likely to have less competition than wild birds and would potentially eat more seeds than needed.
Cucumber is a nutritious snack that many birds enjoy. When it comes to feeding cucumber to your pet bird, or wild birds visiting your garden, preparation and moderation are key.
Ensure to wash the cucumbers before slicing them into thin pieces, removing any skin from non-organic waxy cucumber if necessary.
Also, make sure not to over-feed your birds with cucumber, and instead provide it as a special treat to add variety to their diet. When done in moderation, cucumbers can be an enriching snack for birds of all sizes.
If you have questions or have given cucumber to your birds, let us know! We would love to hear from you and provide more information to our readers. We learn from each other’s experiences!
Remember to check our other blog posts for more information about birds and nature. Also, don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family!