As a parrot parent I’m always on the look out for new foods I can add to my parrots diet for some variety and added nutrition. One food I have stumbled upon recently is the goji berry, also known as wolfberries they are a slightly sour but sweet fruit native to Asia. They are considered a super food for us humans but what about parrots? Let’s find out.
Can parrots eat goji berries? Yes parrots can eat goji berries they are considered a safe fruit for them to have as they contain no harmful toxins. Not only can parrots eat goji berries safely but it’s encouraged that they do. They are full of vitamin C, iron, copper, selenium and a fantastic food for overall eye health. Remember to feed them in moderation as part of a well balanced diet with other fruits.
In this article we will explain the health benefits of goji berries, should parrots have them dried or fresh and some other things we think you should know.
Goji Berries Benefits For Parrots
We know goji berries are good for our parrots, but just how good are they? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
28g of dried goji berries contains the following :
Great For The Eyes
By far the most prominent vitamin in goji berries is vitamin A. This vitamin is needed for healthy eyes and eyesight in your parrot.
Vitamin A also provides the following benefits :
- It’s an antioxidant
- Great for the immune system
- Helpful for healthier skin
- Promotes cell growth
- Improves bone strength reducing the risk of breaks
Vitamin A deficiency is quite common in birds, specifically those on an all seed diet. To prevent this make sure they get foods like leafy green vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, squash, mango and red peppers.
Full of Vitamin C
Goji berries also contain a healthy dose of vitamin C. A powerful vitamin that has many benefits for parrots with a big one being that it’s an antioxidant. These substances help your parrots cells from damage caused by free radicals. They are harmful molecules that can cause problems like cancer, however antioxidants work to neutralize them.
Vitamin C for parrots is also important as it :
- Helps protect the eyes and vision
- Lowers blood pressure and blood sugar
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Washes heavy metals from their body
Parrots use up a lot of vitamin C just by living so it’s important that they get enough in their diet to replace any that is used.
Foods like broccoli, strawberries, spinach, brussels sprouts, red and green peppers are all high in vitamin C and safe to give to your bird.
Copper is an essential nutrient needed in your parrots for helping with things like iron absorption, bone health, boosting the immune system, nerve health and it works with iron to help them form red blood cells.
Not enough copper in your parrots diet can cause cardiovascular issues along with osteoporosis.
Finally selenium is found in goji berries, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce the risk of your parrot developing age related illnesses like cancer or heart disease.
It’s also helpful for improving your parrots immune system making them more likely to fight off disease and illness to stop them from becoming sick.
Studies have also showed it to help improve thyroid function.
Brazil nuts, cashews, lentils and bananas all contain a good amount of selenium if you need some alternatives to goji berries.
Iron is an important mineral in your parrots body as it’s responsible as it boosts hemoglobin. This is needed for oxygen to be transported into the blood along with bringing carbon dioxide back to your parrots lungs among many more functions.
Iron is also beneficial for :
- Reducing fatigue
- Increasing energy and alertness
- Boosting your parrots immune system
- Aiding in abdominal processes
- Better sleep
However there’s such thing as too much iron which can cause problems like constipation so be careful to monitor how much they are getting.
How You Should Feed Goji Berries To Your Parrot
It’s rare that you’ll find fresh whole goji berries unless your close Asia where they are native to. The goji berries you’ll likely have will come dried, as a powder or juiced. All three are safe to give to your parrot.
Most commonly you will have dried goji berries which you can feed to your parrot on their own or you could make a little mix of berries with some strawberries, blackberries and raspberries depending on which kind of berry your bird likes.
Remember berries are typically high in natural sugars so you should give them in moderation as too much can lead to weight gain, increased blood pressure among other health problems.
Are There Any Risks To Feeding Your Parrot Goji Berries?
While goji berries don’t contain any immediate toxins that is life threatening to your parrot it’s important to be aware of a few things.
- Possible allergies
Goji berries can potentially trigger an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis which is a life threatening allergic reaction that can occur within seconds of consuming the food. Anaphylaxis is the same reaction peanuts can cause in some people. However it’s very unlikely that your parrot will have a bad reaction to goji berries and if you think they have then take them to an avian vet immediately.
- Lower blood sugar
This is a health benefit and a health problem all at once, because there is a problem with blood sugar levels dropping too low and causing issues.
Low blood sugar is called hypoglycaemia and can cause problems like :
- Blurred vision
Avoid feeding your parrot too many goji berries to prevent their blood sugar levels dropping too much. If you think your parrots blood sugar levels have dropped then give them a small sugary snack like some fruit juice.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know goji berries 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!
Goji Berries For Parrots – Final Thoughts
Goji berries are a great addition to your parrots diet, you probably know now why they are considered a super-food after reading about all the fantastic benefits it can bring yo your feathered friend. As good as they are remember to give them in moderation due to over consumption leading to negative health benefits.
I hope you found this post useful and your parrot enjoys this nutritious berry!