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Can Parakeets Eat Bananas? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Genevieve Dugal

By Genevieve Dugal

peeled banana

Vet approved

Dr. Ashley Darby Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Did you know that the term “parakeet” encompasses many different types of parrots, not just the cheerful little budgies found in many homes? A parakeet is not a specific type of parrot, but rather the name given to several species of small to medium-sized parrots with long tail feathers.

The feeding habits of these birds vary, with some being granivores (grain eaters), frugivores (fruit eaters), or a combination of both. Although they may have specific preferences, captive parakeets can generally adapt to eating a wide range of foods.

The good news is that parakeets can eat bananas, as long as they are offered in moderation.

Important note on responsible parakeet ownership: Before exploring the potential benefits and risks of bananas for parakeets, it’s important to keep in mind that since many parrot species are endangered or threatened, keeping some of these species as pets is prohibited in many countries. Fortunately, international efforts are being made to preserve the biodiversity of our parrots in the wild. But as a responsible bird owner, you should ensure that your parakeet comes from a reputable breeder and has all the necessary paperwork required by the law in your country.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the colorful world of parakeets and the potential benefits and risks of bananas for these vibrant birds.

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What Is a Parakeet?

Budgies, cockatiels, quaker parrots (also called monk parakeets), ring-necked parrots, and rose-ringed parrots are all parakeets. Indeed, the term is not limited to a genus or family of parrots, but rather applies to around a hundred species of small to medium-sized parrots that have long and slender tails.

Portrait of a Pair of Indian Rose-Ringed Parakeets
Image Credit: Ami Parikh, Shutterstock

What Are the Benefits of Bananas for Your Parakeet?

Few animals can resist the delights of a ripe and sweet banana! This fruit is packed with essential nutrients like vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, selenium, vitamin B9, magnesium, and fiber, making it a healthy and delicious option for your parakeet. Bananas are also higher in calories and carbohydrates than most fruits, giving your pet bird a boost of energy.

However, keep an eye on the portions offered. Bananas are full of sugar, and too much is not a good thing for your little winged companion.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Feeding Bananas to Your Parakeet?

There are potential risks to giving bananas to your parakeet, mainly due to the high calorie and sugar content of these fruits. Overeating treats like bananas can lead to obesity, diarrhea, picky eating habits, and nutritional imbalances. As a general rule, a few servings of bananas two or three times a week should be enough to satisfy your parakeet’s sweet tooth while limiting the amount of sugar consumed.

sliced bananas in a ceramic bowl
Image Credit: Nanette Dreyer, Shutterstock

How to Give Bananas to Your Parakeet

You can give your parakeet small pieces of banana, without the skin. It’s best to opt for organic fruit if you want to preserve the banana peel. In all cases, though, you must wash the banana and its peel well in order to rid it of all pesticide residues and bacteria. You can also crush the banana pieces and offer a homemade purée to your bird!

When they are done eating, remove any leftover fruit from their cage to avoid attracting pests like fruit flies, and harbouring bacteria that can harm your bird’s health.

What Can a Parakeet Eat?

A bird’s specific nutritional needs will vary among parakeet species, with some parakeets being more frugivores than granivores and vice versa. That said, the bulk of a pet parakeet’s diet should consist of high-quality pelleted foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and limited quantities of nuts and seeds.

A balanced diet for parakeets should include about 60–70% of a high-quality, species-appropriate, commercial pellet mix and 30–40% fruit or vegetables. Feeding a solely seed-based diet to a parakeet should be avoided, as this type of diet has nutritional deficiencies. However, seeds may be offered occasionally as treats.

Fruits and veggies that parakeets can safely eat include:
  • Apples (no seeds)
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Cherries (no pit)
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion greens
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines (no pit)
  • Orange (no peel)
  • Papayas
  • Peaches (no pit)
  • Pears
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchinis

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Other Treats Can You Give to Your Parakeet?

To please your parakeet while varying their treats, you can offer them these nuts and seeds on occasion: sunflower seeds, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Millet or corn seeds are also popular.

What Foods Should You Avoid Giving to Your Parakeet?

While sharing snacks can strengthen your bond with your parakeet, certain human foods should be strictly avoided due to their toxicity. Onions, garlic, rhubarb, avocado, caffeine, salt, cheese, chocolate, high-fat foods, dairy products, and xylitol should never be given to your pet bird.

Why Is an All-Seeds Diet Not Recommended for Parakeets?

Feeding an exclusive diet of seeds to your parakeet can lead to nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin A deficiency. While seeds are a natural part of many birds’ diets, they lack the vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health. Over time, an all-seeds diet can contribute to health issues like obesity and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It’s essential to diversify your parakeet’s diet with fresh vegetables, fruits, and formulated pellets to provide a well-rounded nutritional profile and support their health and longevity.

If you have concerns about the diet and health of your bird, it is best to seek advice from your veterinarian.

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Bottom Line

Bananas that are cut into small pieces and offered occasionally are delicious, nutritious, and safe options for your pet parakeet. However, keep in mind that it is easy to overfeed these little birds with sugary, high-calorie fruits like bananas. So, only offer your winged companion two or three small portions of bananas per week at a maximum, which will keep them happy while avoiding any negative effects!

Featured Image Credit: t_watanabe, Pixabay

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