Nothing beats a slice of sweet watermelon on a hot summer’s day. Your lovebirds will feel the same way!
Lovebirds can eat watermelon as a treat, especially if the weather is hot and you want to keep them hydrated. However, too much watery fruit like watermelon will lead to digestive problems and diarrhea, so you need to be careful about how much you give to them.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about feeding watermelon to your lovebirds, so you don’t have to deal with an explosive mess.
Benefits of Watermelon
Watermelon must be fed to lovebirds in small amounts, or else the high fiber and water content can upset their digestion.
Your bird will probably love having watermelon as a treat, and it certainly has health benefits.
Here are some of the beneficial vitamins and minerals in watermelon:
- Vitamin C – great for immunity and healthy skin
- Potassium – promotes a healthy heart and blood pressure
- Iron – essential for oxygen levels and energy
- Vitamin A – supports healthy feathers
- Fiber – helps get the digestive system moving (sometimes too much)
Your lovebirds will need only a small chunk of watermelon here and there, so it doesn’t make sense to go out and buy watermelon especially for them. But if you’ve got one in the house for the humans, there’s no reason why you can’t share a bit!
Preparing Watermelon for Lovebirds
If your watermelon isn’t organic, it’s essential to remove the skin. This is where the pesticides are most concentrated, so you don’t want your lovebirds to nibble on it.
Some people remove the seeds because they could be a choking hazard, but they aren’t poisonous. In fact, lots of birds enjoy eating the seeds.
That said, many seeds are toxic for birds, including apple pips, so you need to be careful about this!
Serving Watermelon to Your Lovebird
After you’ve removed the skin (and maybe the seeds), you can cut your watermelon into small pieces and pop them on a dish in the cage.
You could also create a fruit kebab as a novel perch for your bird or hang chunks of melon from the cage bars for enrichment.
If you have a close relationship with your lovebird, you could hold a slice and let them eat it from your hand.
Don’t chase them around with the food, though. If they already aren’t sure about you, that’s only going to make them trust you less!
Oh, and don’t forget to take uneaten fruit out of the cage at the end of the day. This will help prevent flies and mold.
What If Your Lovebird Starts Choking?
It’s unlikely that your bird will choke on watermelon seeds. However, if that happens, you’re probably going to panic and want to get involved.
In most cases, you should stay out of it. Don’t scream or run around, or your lovebird will get even more stressed out.
Just keep a close eye on them, and let them cough the seeds up by themselves. If they don’t manage to get the seed out after several attempts, you might have to turn them upside down and press down on the keel to help them dislodge the obstruction.
After they’ve dislodged the seed, you will probably want to take them to the vet. If you had to press down on their keel, they could have some injuries that need to be checked out.
I don’t want to make you paranoid because it’s pretty unlikely this will be a problem. But it’s best to be prepared for the worst, just in case!
Alternatives to Watermelon
Here are some other fruits that are great for lovebirds:
- Apples (not the seeds)
- Cherries (not the stones)
- Grapes (in small amounts)
FYI, lovebirds can have food allergies, so if you notice your bird reacting badly after you gave them a fruit that I said was safe, go with your instinct.
If they have an allergy, they will probably get itchy. They might also tap their toes, flick their wings, or pluck out their feathers. These behaviors are normal to some extent, but if they suddenly become more frequent, you might want to investigate what is going on.
To be healthy, lovebirds need a suitably varied diet. They should have a diverse range of fruits and vegetables, but these should make up only a small part of their diet.
If you’re feeling a bit unsure about how to feed your lovebird properly, this introductory video on lovebird nutrition should help you out.
What Not to Feed Your Lovebird
Lovebirds can eat most fruits and vegetables, but some of them are toxic. Here are some foods that you should keep away from most pet birds:
- The green parts of tomatoes and potatoes
- Seeds and pits of many fruits (most are toxic, but not all of them are)
- Salty food
- Junky, processed food
Making Your Own Food for Your Lovebird
Most people feed their lovebirds with a special seed and pellet mix that they pick up from the pet store. You could make your own version in bulk. It would probably be cheaper, but you’d need space to store all the ingredients.
If you’d like to have a go at making some treats for your lovebirds, here is a simple recipe you can check out.
Don’t overfeed your birds with these treats, as the fats and sugars can lead to weight problems if they overdo it on the seeds and honey.
Watermelon has a place in a healthy, balanced diet for your lovebird. However, reserve it for an occasional treat rather than a regular mealtime addition.
You can make watermelon safe for your lovebird by removing the skin. You also might want to remove the seeds to prevent your bird from choking. (It’s unusual for a bird to choke on seeds, but the risk is there.)
Try to think outside the box when you feed melon to your birds. For example, if you hang it from the cage bars or put it on a perch skewer, your birds will have some entertainment as well as a tasty snack.
My name is Niels Joensen, and I’m the creator of Wings and Beaks. I got my first two budgies at the age of 13, and right away, I fell in love with these beautiful tiny birds. Wings and Beaks is where I share my knowledge and passion for budgies with other bird owners.