We love seeing animals eat, from raccoons using their little hands to grab some popcorn out of a bowl to parrots piercing into a grape, but what is the best food for them to eat?
Are grapes ok for parrots? They are safe for parrots to eat, but should only be provided sparingly due to grapes high fructose content. Think of grapes as a special treat for your bird rather than a staple of their overall diet.
Grapes are ok in moderation, but other fruits will taste delicious to your parrot and provide them with much more nutrition. Read further to find out the best foods for your parrot and some that you need to avoid.
Grapes are pretty high in sugar
Grapes are a general favorite for parrots due to the energy boost they get after eating this sugary treat. Making monitoring what they eat necessary. It might be best to give grapes as a treat before you engage your parrot in play or activity.
It will provide them with energy, and they will burn the sugary goodness out while playing.
Healthy in moderation
Besides fructose, grapes are full of vitamin K that will help your bird develop healthy bones and vitamin C to boost their immune system.
Still, don’t overdo it on the grapes if your bird is not active, it could be too much of a good thing and lead your bird to become obese. Depending on the size of your parrot, they should only have half a grape to two a day/ every other day.
What about the peel and the seeds? Are they okay for parrots?
If your bird is on the smaller size, you will need to cut it up into pieces before feeding it to them, for larger birds, you only need to place them in a bowl. The peel is no problem for parrots.
It’s best to give them seedless grapes, there is no known issue with grape seeds themselves (unlike apple seeds) however they could be hard for your bird to eat and digest.
What you need to know about grapes and pesticides before feeding
Something to keep in mind about these sweet morsels, grapes have an elevated level of pesticide contamination. While a simple washing will make them perfectly acceptable for human consumption, even a little whiff of pesticides will have harmful effects on your parrot.
Before providing any fresh produce, especially so for grapes, wash thoroughly before giving to your parrot.
Other fruits that are safe for parrots
If you want your parrot to eat healthier fruits in between treats, then try out the below options. Just a heads up, if you include grapes with other healthier fruits your parrot will most likely go for the grapes. Some other healthy fruits they can eat are:
They are not as sweet as grapes and bird enjoy both the flesh of the banana and love to play with the peel. Still, you need to be careful when feeding banana. We explain why here!
Apples are also highly nutritious to parrots; however, they must be prepared before you can give your parrot this treat. Make sure to the core and peel the apple. Then cut the flesh up in smaller pieces for your bird to eat.
It is important to note that the seeds in Apples are highly toxic to birds, so make sure to core the apple very well before giving your bird this treat.
Any berry that is safe for human consumption is safe for your bird to eat. Along with being tasty treats, these will also provide your birds with vitamins and antioxidants to keep them active and healthy.
If you want to know how to feed berries, have a look at our following articles:
- Should parrots eat blueberries? It might be a mess!
- Can parrots have strawberries? Why they are pretty healthy for parrots!
Another nutritious treat for your pet that can also boost their immune system. Before serving, make sure to peel and discard any seeds that might be inside.
Tangy tropical fruits are also good for your parrot, but keep in mind the sweeter they are, the more fructose that they have in them — provide these high fructose fruits sparingly.
If you want to know about the do’s and don’ts of feed oranges, read our article on that here!
The best diet for your parrot
While they can eat the pellets that you can find at your local pet/grocery store as any animal, they do better when we have some real nutrients added to their diet. The best foods for your parrot is a combination of their pellets and:
- Whole grains
If might sound like a lot for a parrot, but keep in mind, you can feed your parrot their pellets as their regular food and provide the above as snacks or supplement their vitamin intake. If you can accommodate it, then you can skip the pellets period and feed them fresh food.
Cook any legumes or whole grains before feeding them to your parrot. When served to ensure the temperature is not too hot, anything over lukewarm will burn their little tongue.
Something to note, the amount of food that you feed them will entirely depend on their size and activity level. The bigger your bird is the more food they will need. If your bird is on the more relaxed side of the spectrum, then keep an eye on the amount of food that you feed them.
Parrots can get obese, which will lead to difficulty with their feet, skin, and flight. If you do notice that your bird is getting on the heavier side, look at the food that you are giving them.
If it is high in fat and sugar, then implement some leaner foods as the main staple in their diet and try to incorporate some exercise into their routine.
If you are not sure about a particular food, then do a little bit of research beforehand. Certain foods that are deemed safe for one type of parrot might not jive well with your kind of bird.
What to avoid feeding your parrot
Anything that is a guilty pleasure for you, no matter how many times you eat it, is also not the best for your parrot. That includes processed, fried, fatty, or overly sugary foods. Other things to keep away from your parrot:
- Fruit pits and seeds
If it isn’t something that was specially designed for them to eat or not something that they can readily find in the wild, then it isn’t good for them to eat them.
If your bird has already developed a taste for food on the not such a great idea-list, then it is up to you how you want to manage it. If it isn’t poisonous to them, then you can either cut it out of their diet completely or limit it to special occasions.
Just make sure that however you are feeding them, it is to contribute to their health, rather than being amused that your parrot likes pizza.
Note that parrots can eat the flesh of the fruit, but can not eat the seeds or pits. When preparing fruit for your bird, make sure to peel, cut, and deseed everything that you give them.
Good proteins that can´t be provided by feeding veggies and fruits
Something that is in contention is whether parrots should eat meat and eggs. It is listed on some bad foods lists, while owners admit to providing their bird with flesh and even bones to snack on with no harm done them.
We had a closer look at that in the following articles:
Research your type of parrot and stick to the lean cuts to prevent them from overeating fat.
Do your due diligence in research and preparation for your parrot’s food. Also, pay attention to how your parrot reacts to the food that you provide it. Doing these two things will help your parrot live a long and healthy life.
Is Borax safe for birds? Boric acid is typically low in toxicity when it contacts a parrots skin, but when it is in the form of Borax if will irritate both their eyes and skin. If Borax is for cleaning their cage, alternatives are just water or adding one part vinegar to two parts water for more delicate areas.
Can you feed birds peanut butter? Many birds enjoy peanut butter, but make sure to look up your specific bird beforehand. While it is a nutritious treat, it is also high in oily fat and should be given to pet birds in moderation depending on size and activity level. Combine it with a banana for an extra healthy treat.
Can birds eat steel cut oats? Yes, depending on the bird, you can give them the uncooked oats or combined it with other healthy treats as a snack. Make sure to not give your birds cooked oats due to the glutinous texture it might adhere it’s beak together.