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Can Parrots Eat Blackberries? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

blackberries in white bowl

Vet approved

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

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

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Parrots in captivity need to eat a varied diet, and what that diet consists of depends on the species of parrot you have. Some parrot species are frugivores, while others are florivores, nectarivores or omnivores.  It is recommended that you discuss your parrot’s nutritional requirements with an avian veterinary specialist so that you give your parrot a balanced and nutritious diet. This article discusses parrots in general, rather than each specific species.

Parrots can safely enjoy eating a variety of fruits, and this variety can include blackberries.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that fruit shouldn’t take up a significant part of a captive parrot’s diet. Therefore, blackberries should be fed in moderation and as special treats. Here’s what you need to know before feeding your parrot blackberries.

bird divider

Are Blackberries Safe for Parrots to Eat?

Blackberries are a safe snack for parrots to eat as long as they’re given in moderation. While blackberries don’t contain any toxic properties, giving your parrot too many blackberries can end up being detrimental to their health. Blackberries contain a moderate amount of sugar, so overfeeding parrots with blackberries can lead to an upset stomach. Parrots are also prone to weight gain and obesity, so it’s best to refrain from giving your parrot too many sugary snacks.

Many blackberries are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides which can be dangerous for parrots to consume.  Given they are tricky to wash thoroughly, opt for organic blackberries so that harmful chemicals are less likely to be present. Still wash organic fruit before giving it to your bird to eat.

blackberries in a plate
Image Credit: Ajale, Pixabay

How Many Blackberries Can Parrots Eat?

As with many berries, blackberries are relatively low in calories when compared to other types of fruit. So, your parrot can enjoy eating several blackberries in a day. If it’s your parrot’s first time eating a blackberry, start by feeding them just one.

Be on the lookout for signs of an upset stomach, such as diarrhea, changes in the color of the feces, and excessive regurgitation. If your parrot gets sick from eating a blackberry, it’s best to refrain from feeding it to them again. Make sure also to contact a veterinarian if you see signs of illness so that they can assess your bird.  Birds can hide illness until it is too late to help them, so seeking veterinary advice early on is recommended.

If your parrot eats their first blackberry without any issues, you can continue to feed blackberries to them in moderation. Since blackberries aren’t a necessary part of a parrot’s diet, there’s no need to put extra effort or force your parrot to eat them. So, if you have a particularly picky or disinterested parrot, it’s okay to move on to feeding them other fruits that they enjoy eating.

Some parrots may end up loving blackberries too much. If your parrot develops a particular taste for blackberries, it’s best to reserve this fruit for a later part of the day or after your parrot eats their main meal (this should be a pellet based food formulated for parrots). This will ensure that your parrot is getting all their nutrients from their main diet. Serving blackberries with your parrot’s main meal may encourage your parrot only to pick out the blackberries and refrain from eating their usual food.

What Other Berries Are Safe for Parrots to Eat?

Parrots can safely eat many other kinds of berries. Along with blackberries, parrots often enjoy eating blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. In general, most fruits are safe for parrots to eat, as long as you remove the pit or pips of those fruits that have them e.g. peaches, apples, plums. Avocados however are highly toxic to birds so must be avoided completely.

All parts of an avocado plant are toxic to parrots and can cause them to get really sick. If your parrot eats a piece of avocado, or any part of an avocado plant, contact your veterinarian or an animal poison control hotline right away.

parrot savoring a delicious blackberry
Image Credit: Waltdisnei D Lopez, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Blackberries are safe for parrots to eat, and many parrots enjoy them. Just make sure to give your parrot blackberries in moderation since they don’t meet all of a parrot’s nutritional needs and contain a moderate amount of sugar. This will prevent an upset stomach and the development of other health issues. So, if your parrot ends up loving blackberries, make sure to feed them just a few berries a day as a special treat or snack. This will keep your parrot happy and healthy and encourage them to eat a well-balanced diet.


Featured Image Credit: Liliya Liutsko, Shutterstock

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