Butternut squash is similar to pumpkin, it’s a long oval shaped fruit with a yellowy orange color, with a hard outer skin covering the inner seeds and flesh. It’s thick outer skin makes it perfect for storing over several months, as it’s actually grown in during summer this makes it perfect for having over the winter months.
We know humans can eat butternut squash but you’re here for your parrot, right? I’ve researched everything from can parrots eat the skin right all the way to is it safe for them to eat raw? Let’s not waste any more time and get into it.
Can parrots eat butternut squash? Yes butternut squash is safe for parrots to eat and it’s actually encouraged that you feed it to them as it’s highly nutritious! Butternut squash contains countless vitamins and minerals that all come together to give your parrot a range of health benefits. Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and calcium are all among the quality nutrients packed inside this orange squash.
Butternut Squash Benefits For Parrots
We know butternut squash good for our Parrots, but just how good is it? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
One cup butternut squash contains :
Butternut squash also contains vitamin A, which is crucial for eye health, reproductive health, growth, vision, and a strong immune system.
Vitamin A contains antioxidant qualities, which help it fight diseases including cancer and heart disease.
Unfortunately, vitamin A deficiency is frequent in birds, but it is also easily avoidable. It’s more common in birds who eat solely seeds since they don’t get enough vitamins and nutrients.
Vitamin C is also present in butternut squash, which is excellent to your parrot’s immune system and cardiovascular health.
Vitamin C deficiency in parrots manifests itself in self-mutilation behaviors such as tearing their feathers out, preening, and chewing the tips of their feathers.
To avoid this, give your parrot vitamin C-rich foods such as peppers, kiwis, strawberries, broccoli, and citrus fruits.
Butternut squash also contain magnesium, which is necessary for a variety of bodily activities. Magnesium is beneficial to blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and bone strength.
It’s also thought to help with inflammation. Kale, spinach, and cashew nuts are all high in magnesium and safe alternatives you can feed to your parrot.
Butternut squash is also high in potassium, a mineral that is crucial for your parrot’s bone health, blood pressure regulation, and even stroke prevention.
Potassium is also vital for managing and regulating the heart health of parrots.
Calcium is important for the growth and development of your parrots bones, along with maintaining them. Also calcium is needed for muscle contractions. When a nerve stimulates a muscle it then releases calcium, the calcium helps the protein with this muscle contraction.
Calcium also has an improved effect on your birds cardiovascular system.
Other foods high in calcium that you can feed to your parrot are : green leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale, nuts and seeds along with legumes.
How You Should Feed Butternut Squash To Your Parrot
Preparing a butternut squash to give to your parrot can be quite daunting due to the thick outer skin but we’ve got you covered with a guide to make it as easy as possible for your bird to receive all the benefits of this wonderful fruit.
Step 1. To puncture the skin, use a large, hefty, sharp knife. Lean onto the knife to add weight (make sure the tips of your fingers are out of the way!) once it’s stuck in. and cut through the squash’s tough flesh with the knife, removing the top and bottom ends.
Step 2. Peel the outer layer of the squash with a sharp vegetable peeler in one hand while holding the squash in the other. You can also stand the squash upright and peel it with the peeler in downward strokes.
Step 3. Place the peeled squash on a cutting board and stand it upright. You want the squash to be sturdy, therefore it shouldn’t wobble. (If it’s shaky, make a second cut at the bottom to make it even.) With a hefty chef’s knife, make one long cut through the center from top to bottom.
Step 4. Use a spoon and scrape out the seeds. You can keep the seeds as they are perfectly safe for your parrot to eat, and they are extremely nutritious.
Step 5. For stability, place the squash halves cut side down on the cutting board. Cut the squash into slices, lengthwise, the desired width of your squash pieces, one chunk at a time.
Step 6. Lay the slices down (you can stack a few at a time) and make another set of lengthwise cuts if you’re cubing the squash. Then, to produce cubes, make across cuts.
Your parrot is now ready to enjoy the health benefits that butternut squash brings, there are 6 steps however it should only take around 5 minutes to have it fully prepared.
You can choose to feed butternut squash to your bird raw or cooked either is fine and safe for your parrot it really depends on how they like it and if you have the time to boil or have the butternut squash placed in the oven.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know butternut squash safe is 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!
Butternut Squash For Parrots – Final Thoughts
As annoying as they are to cut, butternut squash is a yummy and nutritious addition to your parrots diet. They are extremely versatile as you can feed them raw or cooked depending on what suits you as a parrot parent and of course your parrot.
They are able to eat the seeds although the skin may be too rough for them to chew. I hope your parrot enjoys this new delicious snack!