Parrots are very social eaters, and they love sharing their meal with their owners. But not all the food humans eat can be consumed by parrots. Some food is even toxic, and a parrot should never have them. What about lemons?
Can parrots eat lemons? If you are holding back of giving lemons to your bird, just because you keep reading they are very acidic and harmful, don’t. Lemons, although acidic, when used in moderation, work great against yeast infections. Lemons, like any other citrus fruits, promote healthy bacteria growth in the gut. However, if you feed your parrot lemons every day, it will definitely bring more harm than good.
When it comes to giving citrus fruits to your parrot, there are a lot of different opinions from bird owners. Some say not to give citrus fruits at all, while others agree on giving your parrot citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit in moderation.
Are lemons safe for your parrots?
It is essential to know what food to give and not to give to your parrot. If you are thinking about changing your pet’s diet, add something new or remove particular food from its diet, it is vital you spoke to an avian veterinary first.
Your pet, like yourself, needs all the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy and happy both physically and mentally.
You may come across some articles that lemons or other citrus fruits are forbidden, and you should never give it to your parrot.
Here are some of the benefits that lemons and other citrus fruits have on your parrot:
- Lemons are definitely good to feed your parrot with once in a while. Although they are acidic, they work excellent against alkaline infections, the most common being yeast infection
- Lemons contain most vitamin C or ascorbic acid, which is needed to strengthen your parrot’s immune system
- Lemons also help support and promote healthy bacteria growth in the gut so it can fight other infections
- Citrus juices, especially orange juice, is high in sugar and may cause yeast infection rather than treat it if your parrot drinks it on a regular basis. Lemon water is the most acidic and should be used in moderation and preferably diluted
- The white skin on the oranges is known to have cancer-fighting properties
Lemon essential oil-is it safe for parrots?
Essential oils may help pet birds heal faster, improve their mood, and balance their hormones. You can use them safely, as long as you use them carefully. All essential oils must be diluted, and they should never get into your parrot’s eyes or mucous membranes.
The benefits of the lemon essential oil include the following:
- Helps calm hormones
- Helps your pet overcome the loss of a mate or a friend
- Helps increase your parrots’ appetite
- Helps reduce screaming
Other essential oils that are safe to use are:
- Roman Chamomile
- Clary Sage
You have to be really careful when using essential oils, either in a diffuser or as a spray. Consult with your avian vet first.
Is lemon water safe to clean the cage with?
Birds have a very sensitive respiratory system.
Strong smells will irritate their throat and nostrils, making them more vulnerable to infections. If your parrot is sneezing very often, that might be a sign that shows that you are using the wrong cleaning products. This article shows you when you should be worried!
When you decide to sanitize your parrot’s cage, instead of using toxic chemicals and synthetic scents, you can use lemon juice diluted with water, 50/50 solution.
Use gloves and follow these steps:
- Clean the surfaces of the cage with a cloth that has been soaked in the solution and let it sit for 15 minutes
- The citric acid in the lemon juice will get rid of the calcium residue from the dried feces
- Give it 15 minutes before you wash away the lemon juice
- Use another damp cloth and put baking soda on it. Scrub thoroughly
- Rinse the cage with water and dry before you put everything back inside
- You can also clean the birdcage with vinegar! We show you how to do that in this article!
Since cleaning the birdcage can take a while (and can be pretty annoying) we have created an article for you on that here: 10 Birdcage Cleaning Tips You Must Know!
Other citrus fruits that parrots can eat
There is a variety of fruits that you can include in your parrot’s diet. Most of them have many nutritional benefits, but some may be toxic when used too often.
Fruits like oranges, lime, lemons, tangerines, and tomatoes although acidic they have beneficial properties for your parrot. They have cancer-fighting properties, and they work against yeast infection and help digestion.
Acidic fruits are not banned from your parrot’s diet. However, you have to keep in mind to give a variety and in moderation. A piece of orange or lemon can be a treat, but you can’t give your pet bird a slice of lemon and nothing else.
Even though birds don’t usually eat the peels of fruits and vegetables, you still shouldn’t give your parrot the peel of a lemon or orange since they may contain a lot of pesticides, unless they are organic. We show you how to correctly feed oranges here!
Tomatoes are also good for your pet once in a while as long as you don’t feed it the part with the stems. However, if given very often, tomatoes can be poisonous to your bird. Read our article on parrots and tomatoes here!
Your parrot loves citrus fruit, but you need to be really wary of how you give it to it and how often.
The following tips will help you next time you want to give your pet a citrus fruit:
- Always dilute orange and lemon juice with water
- Give your parrot acidic fruits in small quantity and rarely (You can also give your parrot grapefruit – we explain more on that here!)
- Give your bird just the flesh itself, diced up into chunks
- Use only a few pieces along with some other fruit so your pet can have its pick
- Avoid giving your bird the seeds and the peel of the citrus fruit
- If you are not sure, ask your avian veterinarian’s opinion about giving citrus fruits to your parrot
The fruits parrots are not allowed to eat
Avocado is on the top of the list for banned food for parrots, especially the pit and the skin. Although some parrots had no trouble after consuming some guacamole and avocado, avian veterinarians highly advise against them.
Not only it causes problems in the digestive system of your bird, but in most cases it’s deadly. While apples, apricots, pears, peaches, and cherries are allowed to eat, apple and pear seeds and pits from the others contain cyanide and you should never give your parrot to chew on them.
Besides the fruits mentioned above, other foods that are forbidden because they are poisonous to your parrot include the following:
- Fried food
- Soft drinks
- Carbonated drinks
- Pits from cherries, apricots, peaches
- Food with artificial coloring
- Artificial juices
- Food with artificial flavor
- Apple and pear seeds
Is lemon tree safe for birds? Yes, lemon trees and other citrus trees are safe for birds and perches for birds. There are some trees and plants like avocado, black locust, castor bean, and calla lily that can make your parrot sick, and there are some that may even cause death.
Are lemon seeds safe for your parrot? The seeds contained in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are safe for your parrot to eat, as long as they are given in moderation.