I’ll be honest I had never heard of lychee before I wanted to add some into my parrots diet but I’m glad I did. It’s now one of my favorite fruits due to how incredibly refreshing it it. Lychee is a tropical fruit that has strawberry like skin with it’s sweet taste described to be similar to a pear or watermelon.
We know as parrot parents that most fruits are safe for our parrots to have but because parrots are like little children it’s good to be 100% sure. What about lychees are they safe for parrots to eat? Let’s find out.
Can parrots eat lychee? Yes parrots can eat lychee they are a delicious snack your parrot will love. They are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C. However there are some things to be aware of before feeding your parrot lychee. Before serving to your parrot you need to remove the pit and outer shell along with making sure the lychee isn’t ripe. Both of these things can harm your parrot.
In this article I’ll further explain the benefits of lychee, how to spot a ripe one and other important things you need to be aware of before feeding it to your parrot.
Lychee Benefits For Parrots
We know is good for our Parrots, but just how good is it? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of fresh lychee fruit contains:
Source Of Antioxidants
Lychees are a great source of antioxidants even more so than most other fruits that are notorious for being high in antioxidants. The two prominent antioxidants found in lychee are :
Rutin : A flavonoid which has been found to reduce the risk of certain cancers along with improved health benefits.
Epicatechin : Also a flavanoid that’s been studied to help protect against chronic diseases, reduce cancer risk and lower the chances of diabetes.
Fiber is also found in lychee, a type of carbohydrate needed for multiple functions that go on in your parrots body mainly the digestive system. It promotes better bowel movements making your bird less likely to become constipated. Fiber does this by increasing the weight and size of stools making it easier to pass through.
Fiber is also needed for :
- Helps maintain bowel health
- May help your parrot have a longer life
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Good for weight maintenance
Broccoli, berries, lentils, carrots, beets and brussels sprouts are all additional sources of fiber your parrot can have.
There is such thing as too much fiber in a diet that can lead to diarrhea so monitor how much you feed to your parrot.
In just 66 calories there is 71mg of vitamin C inside lychee. Parrots need this vitamin for an array of things including boosting the immune system to fight off disease, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, cleaning plaque from blood vessels and preventing cataracts among many more things.
It’s important parrots get enough vitamin C in their diet as a lack of can cause symptoms of self-mutilation like :
- Tearing their feathers out
- Preening excessively
- Chewing their feathers
Guava, kale, kiwi, spinach, watermelon, broccoli, brussels sprouts and strawberries are all alternative examples of foods high in vitamin C.
Potassium is an important mineral for helping your parrot regulate the fluid balance within their body, contracting muscles and sending nerve signals from the brain.
It’s largely found in their cells making it vital for overall cell repair, health and growth.
Foods high in potassium :
- Dried fruits
Use these different foods so you don’t rely on only one source of potassium for your parrots diet.
Lastly, lychee contains copper. A mineral that works alongside iron to help your parrots body create red blood cells. This is important for producing hemoglobin and making sure oxygen is transported into thee blood.
Copper is also needed for :
- Healthy and strong bones
- A strong immune system
- Helps absorb iron more efficiently
- Improved nerve and blood vessels maintenance
Seeds, nuts, beans, kale, spinach and meat are all good sources of copper safe to feed your bird.
How You Should Feed Lychee To Your Parrot
Before giving a lychee to your parrot it’s important to ensure it’s ripe and hasn’t gone bad. You’ll know when a lychee is ripe because the skin feels extremely soft to touch and is around 1 inch in diameter. A lychee that is too hard to touch won’t be ripe enough to feed to your parrot.
Another way to tell if from the color of the fruit, ripe lychees are typically a bright color. It will also have a floral smell to it if it’s ripe.
Can Parrots Eat The Stone and Seeds?
The seeds and stone should be removed from the lychee before you serve to your parrot. They are poisonous to both humans and parrots. Lychee stones also provide a choking hazard to our feathered friends even if they weren’t poisonous it would still be dangerous to give them to parrots as one could get lodged in their throat.
Luckily removing the pit and seeds is an easy job and not time consuming for you as a parrot parent to prepare.
A fully ripened lychee will have soft skin making it easy for you to simply peel with your finger or slice open.
Once you have done this pull the two halves apart and remove the stone and seeds.
Your parrot now has a safe nutritious fruit they can enjoy.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know lychee is 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!
Lychee For Parrots – Final Thoughts
Lychee can be delicious addition to your parrots diet, given that you’ve taken the necessary steps in making sure it’s safe for them to eat. You can do so by feeding it to them while they are ripe, and then removing the stone and seeds from the lychee. Remember as it’s a fruit it shouldn’t be featured too heavily in your birds diet with fruits and vegetables only making up around 20% of their diet.