Parrots need a well balanced diet to give them the best quality of life possible, this means foods like fresh fruits and vegetables should be included in it. However they shouldn’t be a feature in it with them only needing around 20% of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.
Apples are one of my favorite fruits the crunch followed by the sweet taste and juices make them delicious. They also have a 86% water content, this is great for getting all of the health benefits and hydrating yourself at the same time. However I’m assuming you’re not here for information on humans eating apples you want to know about your parrot. Let’s get into it.
Can parrots eat apples? Yes parrots can eat apples they are a safe and delicious fruit for them to have. Apples contain many vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, rich in fiber and antioxidants. However apples shouldn’t be a staple in their diet as they are very high in sugars that won’t benefit your bird in any way. You should add apples into your parrots diet but only in moderation.
In this post we are going to explain the potential health benefits of apples, can parrots eat the seeds and some other things you should know before giving one to your parrot.
Apple Benefits For Parrots
We know apples are good for our parrots, but just how good are they? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
One raw medium sized apples contains the following :
Apples are high in vitamin C, a vitamin your parrot needs for multiple functions in their body including a stronger immune system. Without it they would be open to disease and illness as the immune system would struggle to deal with it.
Vitamin C is also needed for :
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Lowering blood pressure
- Blood sugar regulation
- Improved cardiovascular health
- It protects the eyes
- Lowers cholesterol
Strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, peppers, cantaloupe and brussels sprouts all make great options for a source of vitamin C.
Also found in apples, vitamin A is needed for the health of your parrots skin and feathers. It can be hard to tell if your parrot isn’t getting enough vitamin A due to skin problems being hard to detect under the feathers. A way to tell though is if you notice your parrots feather quality getting worse.
Foods high in vitamin A include :
- Romaine lettuce
Source of Antioxidants
The older your parrot gets the more damage is done to their cells. This damage is caused by unstable atoms called free radicals, however antioxidants work to do the opposite of them and prevent or slow down the harm caused.
Apples also contain fiber, a nutrient important for the health of your parrots digestive system. Fiber can improve overall bowel health by reducing the risk of certain cancers and hemorrhoids.
Other benefits include :
- Better bowel movements
- It can be good for weight loss
- Lowers blood pressure
- Regulates blood sugar levels
Lastly, apples contain potassium. Potassium is a mineral that aids in the digestion of glucose and the metabolization of proteins. It also maintains and controls your parrot’s heart health, thus apples can actually help your parrot live longer!
It’s also beneficial to your parrot’s bone health, stroke prevention, and blood pressure management.
Foods high in potassium and safe to feed parrots include :
How You Should Feed Apples To Your Parrot
The best way to serve apples to your parrot is to slice them up into smaller bite sized parts. Doing this you eliminate any kind of choking risk, especially for smaller parrots.
Slicing them up also enables you to find the seeds and discard them as they are poisonous to our feathered friends.
Once you have your apple slice you should feed them right away as apples will brown very quickly and lose their delicious taste.
Are There Any Risks To Feeding Your Parrot?
Apples aren’t a perfect food as they do come with a few risks you should be aware of before giving them to your parrot.
- High in sugar
One medium sized apple contains around 10 grams of sugar. Although it’s natural sugars it’s still going to be bad for parrots in high amounts.
Sugar isn’t immediately toxic to parrots however regular over consumption will have negative effects on their life, just like it does with us humans.
Your parrot would experience things like weight gain possibly leading to obesity, high blood pressure and an unhealthy blood sugar level.
- Apple seeds are poisonous
While this doesn’t actually mean apples are a risk, they are still contained inside them so it’s important to know about. Apple seeds contain amygdalin that the body converts into a poison called cyanide.
This can be fatal in large amounts. It’s usually okay for humans as we might swallow the seeds accidentally while eating an apple, what makes this okay is the seeds need to be chewed and then swallowed to be harmful. However parrots wouldn’t be able to swallow them whole so they would chew and then swallow them and the poison would be released.
To avoid feeding the seeds slice up the apple and discard any you find, don’t leave them lying around for your bird to eat.
Can Parrots Eat Apple Skin?
Parrots can eat apple skin, in fact it’s encouraged that they do. The skin of apples is where the majority of the goodness is and that’s the reason you want to give apples to your parrot I would imagine.
Did you know an unpeeled apple contains :
- 332% more vitamin K than a peeled apple
- 142% more vitamin A than a peeled apple
- 115% more vitamin C than a peeled apple
The numbers speak for themselves, and they are not tiny margins. The nutritional difference in giving the skin to your parrot in enormous.
Apple skin is where the majority of those antioxidants lie also.
However one concern with apple skin is that they are coated in pesticides while they are being grown to keep away pests. This can be a problem for parrots as it will harm them but if you wash your apples properly before serving to your bird then there’s no reason they can’t enjoy the benefits apple skin brings.
Can Parrot Eat Apple Seeds?
Parrots love seeds and would most likely eat apple seeds if they were given to them. However parrots can’t eat apple seeds. They contain amygdalin which the digestive system then turns into a dangerous poison called cyanide that’s toxic to parrots (and humans).
Don’t worry if they accidentally ate one or two seeds they will more than likely be okay however it would do no harm taking them to an avian vet for some peace of mind.
Can Parrots Have Apple Juice?
Making some delicious fruit juice is a popular option among some parrot owners and as apples contain 86% water it’s a great way to hydrate and give them quality nutrients at the same time. Parrots can have apple juice but there are a few precautions you need to take.
You need to slice up the apple and remove the seeds as we have previously discussed they are poisonous to parrots. A good way to determine you have them all is picking out 5 of them, as that’s usually how many seeds are in apples.
Once you have some sliced up seed free apples go ahead and throw them into a blender to serve to your parrot. Remember as apples are high in sugar you need to limit how much you give them.
What about apple juice from stores?
You should avoid this kind and stick to fresh organic apple juice. This is due to store bought apple juice typically being full of sugars, preservatives and additives to try make it more appealing for humans to drink.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know apples are safe for your parrot to eat but if you’re like me then your always looking for new foods to improve your parrots diet to create some variety and and include vital things that aren’t already in your birds diet.
So what other foods can your parrot eat?
- Fruit & Vegetables
Foods like asparagus, broccoli, carrots, peppers, bananas, blueberries and pineapples are all fine and encouraged for your parrot to eat.
Things like almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts can be fed to your parrot. Just be wary of the fat content in some of them so they may need to be treated as a snack for your parrot. We don’t want them getting fat!
Apples For Parrots – Final Thoughts
Apples can be a great addition to your parrots diet, they provide much needed nutrition and on top of that parrots love them! Be sure not to solely rely on apples for vitamins and nutrients, add in other fruits for some variety. Remember to also give them to parrots in moderation due to the high sugar content and avoid those poisonous seeds.
I hope you have found this article useful and your parrot enjoys this crunchy new snack!
Related reading : Can parrots eat oranges?