A cockatiel’s diet is mainly made up of seeds and pellets. The birds also eat a wide variety of nuts, fruits, and green leafy vegetables to supplement their diet. In the wild, cockatiels eat berries and vegetation as well.
But can cockatiels eat aloe vera? Yes, cockatiels can eat aloe vera. The plant contains vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are beneficial to cockatiels. Despite its many benefits, aloe vera shouldn’t be the main part of the bird’s diet since too much can lead to digestive problems.
Aloe vera is a great treat, but before you give your pet bird some, here’s everything you should know.
Can You Feed Aloe Vera To Cockatiels?
Yes, you can feed aloe vera to cockatiels. The plant is a great source of nutrients since it contains several beneficial compounds, the most prominent of which are vitamins A, C, and E.
The sugars contained in aloe vera provide energy for the bird. Aloe vera also provides 17 amino acids which are used to form proteins. Proteins are important for feather growth, wound healing, and general growth. The presence of amino acids makes aloe vera a great treat for young cockatiels.
Aside from the amino acids, the five enzymes contained in aloe vera facilitate various processes in the bird’s body.
Here are some of the nutrients offered by aloe vera and their benefits.
|Potassium||Potassium facilitates the function of heart muscles and maintains the correct fluid balance in the body.|
|Calcium||Calcium helps your cockatiel form strong bones. It also helps egg-laying cockatiels form egg shells.|
|Sodium||Sodium maintains electrolyte balance in a cockatiel’s body|
|Magnesium||Magnesium helps in blood pressure regulation and facilitates metabolism. Additionally, it helps your cockatiel deal with stress.|
|Vitamin B12||Vitamin B12 is used in the formation of proteins and also aids in metabolism.|
|Vitamin E||This vitamin facilitates your pet’s stress response. It also strengthens immunity and helps maintain healthy cells.|
|Vitamin A||Also known as retinol, it boosts immunity and promotes good eyesight.|
In addition to all the nutrients, aloe vera has antioxidants and antibacterial agents that protect a cockatiel from diseases such as cancer.
Benefits Of Aloe Vera To Cockatiels
Besides its nutritional value, aloe vera provides several other benefits to your cockatiel.
Aloe vera contains several compounds such as anthraquinones and aloin, which have laxative properties. These compounds help your pet bird clear toxins along its digestive tract and prevent constipation when ingested.
2. Wound healing
The antiseptic compounds such as saponins, auxins, and salicylic acid in aloe vera help keep wounds, both internal and external, clean. By keeping the wound clean, these antiseptics help your cockatiel heal wounds faster.
3. Healthy skin and feathers
The most common use of aloe for humans is in treating hair and skin. The plant has similar benefits to birds as it does in humans. It helps reduce itchiness, fights inflammations, and even treats some minor skin diseases. The plant’s medicinal contents make it an ideal remedy for sick birds.
Since aloe vera has excellent skin healing properties, adding it to your cockatiel’s diet will prevent infections and stop your bird from plucking its feathers. As a result, your feathered friend will have healthy skin and shiny feathers.
Which Parts Of Aloe Vera Can A Cockatiel Eat?
Cockatiels can eat most parts of an aloe vera. The plant is divided into three parts;
- The rind – the green outer layer.
- The latex – the middle layer of the plant.
- Aloe vera Gel – This is the fleshy inner layer of the aloe plant.
The aloe gel and rind are perfectly edible for your pet bird. The gel is the best part to feed your bird since it has the most nutrients. You can also let your cockatiel chip away at the rind, but it has little to no beneficial nutrients.
The latex part of the aloe leaf contains a compound called aloin, a strong natural laxative with irritating effects. If your cockatiel eats too much of the latex part, it may experience diarrhea, stomachaches, and nausea.
How Do You Prepare Aloe Vera For Cockatiels?
There are two ways you can feed your cockatiel aloe vera; as a drink or as a fruit. If you’re feeding aloe vera as a fruit to your pet bird, wash the plant thoroughly to eliminate any pesticides or contaminants it may have.
Although the outer part of the leaf isn’t toxic to cockatiels, the fleshy part contains most of the nutrients, so it’s the best for your bird.
To prepare aloe vera juice for your cockatiel, follow the procedure below;
- Put a liter of clean water in a jar.
- Place a 120-gram piece of aloe vera gel in the jar. Ensure you cut the outermost parts.
- Put the jar in the refrigerator for a minimum of one day. At first, the aloe vera will float and then sink when the gel juice is ready.
- Use pure water to dilute the solution before feeding your feathered friend.
To ensure you get the best juice, avoid shaking the jar and keep it in the refrigerator at all times.
What Are The Risks Of Aloe Vera For Cockatiels?
The anthraquinones present in aloe vera are a powerful natural laxative. While a small quantity of this laxative is great for detoxification, larger quantities lead to digestive tract problems. Hence, it is vital to feed your cockatiel small servings of the aloe plant at a time.
One great way to avoid problems is to feed your pet bird the gel part of the aloe since it is the green outer part that carries the most anthraquinones. In any case, the gel part of the aloe contains more nutrients than the outer leafy part, so your cockatiel will still get the same nutritional benefits.
Here are a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Can Aloe Vera Go Bad And Harm A Cockatiel?
If aloe gel is not stored properly, it will dry, losing most of its nutrients and active ingredients. However, even if your aloe vera goes bad, it will have no adverse health effects on your pet bird. To avoid having to store it, you can have an aloe plant in your compound. The proper way to store aloe leaves is by wrapping them and placing them in a refrigerator. As for gel or liquid aloe vera, the best way to store it is using a tightly sealed jar to avoid evaporation. Store the jar in a cool, dry place.
Can You Feed Aloe Vera To Baby Cockatiels?
Yes, baby cockatiels can eat aloe vera. The plant’s amino acid content is great for growing birds. However, since they are growing, it is vital that they be fed a balanced diet. 75% of a cockatiel’s diet should comprise seeds and pellets. The remaining 25% should add nutrients that balance the diet. Foods that you can add to your baby bird’s diet include; sweet potatoes, leafy vegetables, fruits like kiwi, berries, and various nuts.
Aloe vera is good for cockatiels since it has several essential nutrients. Besides offering great nutritional value, the plant also has skin remedying properties. Hence, if you feed your bird aloe vera frequently, it will have great skin and beautiful feathers.