Strawberries might not be the first food that comes to mind when you’re brainstorming treats for your parrot, but they are a nontoxic snack that’s generally safe in moderation. There are a few factors to consider, such as portions and pesticides, but as long as you feed them small portions of washed, organic fruit, strawberries can actually be healthy for parrots. Here’s what you need to know next time you go produce shopping for you and your bird.
Are Strawberries Good for Parrots?
Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation. Parrots are able to make their own vitamin C (unlike us humans) but additional vitamin C in the diet may help support the immune system. Variety in a parrot’s diet can add enjoyment and enrichment for your pet.
Are There Any Risks of Feeding My Parrot Strawberries?
On the other hand, though, strawberries also have a lot of sugar. While the nutrients are nice, you’ll need to watch your parrot’s portions so that they can enjoy this tasty fruit without consuming too much sugar.
Eating too many sugary foods can lead to parrots to gain weight and eventually become obese. Pet parrots are much less active, and expend a lot less energy than their wild counterparts, so it’s important to balance their diet accordingly. In summary, strawberries can be good for parrots, but only in small amounts alongside a species-appropriate balanced diet.
In addition to the sugar contained in strawberries, pesticides can also be a huge problem for your parrot. These chemicals aren’t necessarily good for humans, either, but can be especially troubling to smaller creatures whose toxicity threshold is much lower. To avoid this risk, you should only feed organic strawberries to your parrot. Make sure you thoroughly wash them first.
Alternatively, you can also grow your own strawberries. While these berries tend to thrive in temperate climates, the USDA reports that all 50 states in the United States grow strawberries, as well as every Canadian province. Your local nursery likely sells the plants in early spring, and you can produce a small crop for your bird’s eating pleasure.
How Many Strawberries Should I Feed My Parrot?
There are hundreds of different parrot species that come in a variety of sizes and from different environments. As a general rule of thumb fruit should make up no more than about 5% of your parrot’s overall diet. Strawberries can be offered around once or twice a week to most parrots, in rotation with other healthy fruits.
Too many berries can lead to an upset stomach in the present and predispose your pet to weight gain in the future. You’ll need to determine the appropriate diet plan for your parrot and it is best to do this under the guidance of an avian veterinarian. The usual recommendation is that commercial pellets make up around 70% of a parrot’s diet, with the rest consisting of smaller amounts of vegetables, nuts, and a small amount of fruit.
Do Parrots Eat Strawberries in the Wild?
While some parrot species are omnivores, most of these tropical birds thrive on a primarily herbivorous diet consisting of nuts, berries, and seeds. However, parrots tend to live in subtropical and tropical climates that are a little too warm for strawberries, except at high altitudes. Thus, a strawberry and a parrot in the wild don’t have too many chances to meet. Wild parrots are more likely to forage native berries. Strawberries, despite their name, aren’t technically berries at all!
What Other Fruits Are Safe for Parrots?
Other fruits you might find at the market, such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries, are also safe for parrots in moderation. Like strawberries, conventional fruits can be laced with pesticides, so it’s important to buy organic and wash them before giving them to your feathered friend.
Not all fruits and vegetables are safe for parrots, though, so be sure to do some quick fact-checking before feeding them to your pet. For example, although it’s a tropical fruit that’s indigenous to areas shared with many parrot species, avocado is toxic to parrots.
Strawberries can be an excellent snack for your parrot, as long as the portions are small and you’re feeding them organic fruit. While many fruits and vegetables are safe for parrots, some are toxic, so be sure to do some research before giving your bird a new treat and seek advice from your vet. Parrot diets should consist of a combination of high-quality pellets and fresh foods. You should seek guidance from your avian veterinarian to get the right nutritional plan for your parrot species.