Recently I’ve been looking for new things I can add into my parrots diet to change things up for him and more importantly give him quality nutrients that he’s not getting from his current diet. I was grocery shopping recently and stumbled upon dates, which I love and haven’t had in a long time so I bought them.
However with most foods that I buy I tend to share with my bird to give him little snacks and see if he enjoys them. With me not being sure if dates were safe for him to eat I researched it and put my findings it one article so other parrot owners like me don’t have to desperately search the internet. We’ve wasted enough time let’s find out what the answer is.
Can parrots eat dates? Yes parrots can eat dates they are a safe food for them to have. Dates actually provide our precious birds with some well needed health benefits like reducing the chances they get cancer, promote brain health, contain a great amount of fiber to help their digestive system and many other benefits. However they aren’t perfect and like most foods you should feed them in moderation, especially because dates have a high level of sugar in them.
In this article I’ll explain the benefits of dates, are fresh or dried dates best and some other things I think you need to be aware of before feeding your parrot.
Date Benefits For Parrots
We know dates are good for Parrots but just how good are they? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional information.
one average-sized Deglet Noor date contains :
|Dietary Fiber||0.6 (g)|
Source Of Fiber
Dates make for a great source of fiber, a type of carbohydrate that’s great for helping your parrots overall digestive system health. It does this by :
- Preventing constipation by making stools softer and larger
- Regulating blood sugar levels
- Effective for controlling your parrots weight
- Better overall gut health
Raspberries, pears, broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower and carrots are all great alternatives if you want to give your parrot more fiber in their diet.
Full Of Antioxidants
Dates contain flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid. These three things work together to promote heart health, contain anti-inflammatory properties and help lower the risk of your parrot getting cancer or heart disease.
In the body there are unstable atoms called free radicals which cause harm however antioxidants like those in dates work to neutralize these free radicals to slow down or prevent harm being done.
Promote Brain Health
Studies have shown that dates are beneficial for reducing the activity of beta proteins in the brain, which go on to form plaque in the brain.
Another study has shown dates to be helping for lowering inflammatory markers which in turn can lower the risk of your parrot getting neurodegenerative diseases.
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 dates 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 that your parrot can also eat include : bananas, spinach, broccoli, potatoes and lentils.
Magnesium is vital for many functions in your parrots body and brain. It’s necessary for lowering blood pressure and it also has anti-inflammatory benefits.
It’s also needed for regulating their heartbeat and keeping the bones strong.
Copper is also present in dates, the mineral not the chemical. Copper is found in all body tissues and helps with the production of red blood cells. Copper also helps your parrot with :
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Improved immune system function
- Collagen production
- Antioxidant function
Nuts and seeds are great examples of foods high in copper, luckily parrots love them and are safe to eat!
Iron is one of the most important minerals for staying healthy, this is due to the role it plays inside the body. They include :
- Better sleep
- Improved concentration
- Boosted immune system
- Less feelings of fatigue
- Boosts the production of hemoglobin
Spinach, broccoli, kale, raisins and peas are all safe alternatives that contain copper you can add into your parrots diet.
Dried Dates Or Fresh Dates?
Many prefer dried dates as they are easier to store and can be stored for longer without having to worry about them going off.
Dried dates are typically higher in calories so that’s something to consider if you are worried about your parrots weight, especially if they aren’t very active.
Are There Any Risks To Feeding Your Parrot Dates?
Dates pose no immediate risks to your parrots health with any dangerous toxins or things like that. However dates are very high in natural sugars so I recommend only feeding a couple to your parrot at most 2 times a week. Fed in moderation and dates will be beneficial to your bird with all the health benefits explained above, although anything more and your parrot will start to feel the effects of too much sugar.
Similar to humans sugar isn’t actually deadly for parrots it’s just the compounding effects that too much of it has makes it unhealthy for them.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know dates are perfectly safe for your parrot but what other foods will benefit your parrot?
- 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!
Dates For Parrots – Final Thoughts
Given that you fed them in moderation due to being high in sugar, dates can be beneficial to your parrot with all the positive health benefits they can bring. However I wouldn’t recommend feeding them to your feathered friend more than twice a week due to the high calories and sugar.
This just means there’s more room in their diet for other healthy delicious snacks like strawberries, kale, watermelon or banana. I hope you found this article useful and your parrot is grateful for a new addition to their diet!