Not only are pumpkins a Halloween decoration but we can also eat them… who knew? Pumpkin is a type of squash that come with an earthy sweet taste. I was preparing one for carving at Halloween a few months ago and my parrot was watching me which led me to wonder if he could eat pumpkin.
I know they are allowed to eat other types of squash like butternut but I couldn’t feed him pumpkin without being fully aware so I researched it and have put my findings into this article in case any other parrot parents are curious. Let’s get into it.
Can parrots eat pumpkin? Yes pumpkin is a safe food for parrots to eat in fact pumpkin comes with many health benefits that can improve your parrots quality of life due to things like vitamin A, C, potassium, fiber and antioxidants being present in pumpkin.
In this article I’m going to explain the benefits of pumpkin, can parrots eat the seeds and other things you need to know so read on!
Pumpkin Benefits For Parrots
We know pumpkin is good for our Parrots, but just how good is it? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains :
By far the most prominent vitamin in pumpkin is vitamin A, a fat soluble vitamin. It’s main health advantage is to support healthy vision and protect the eyes. It’s also important for the immune system, cell growth and it’s antioxidant effects.
The antioxidants present in vitamin A are helpful to neutralize free radicals in the cells, a type of atom than can cause disease like cancer or other aging related problems.
However parrots tend to be deficient in vitamin A, this is mainly common in parrots that are on an all seed diet as these diets don’t contain many vitamins and nutrients.
To prevent a vitamin A deficiency in your bird feed them foods like spinach, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes and kale are all great examples of foods that contain vitamin A.
Your parrot needs regular vitamin C in their diet as it’s important for many different bodily functions than include :
- Lowering cholesterol
- Reducing blood pressure
- Boosting the immune system
- Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system
- Regulating blood sugar
Other foods that are high in vitamin C and also safe to feed your parrot are broccoli, kale, strawberries, cantaloupe, spinach and peppers.
There’s also potassium found inside pumpkin. It helps your parrot by :
- Regulating fluid
- Regulate muscle contractions
- Sending nerve signals
Potassium is also useful for the cardiovascular system as it’s known to lower blood pressure along with help your parrot maintain a healthy heartbeat
Peas, bananas, kale, spinach and pinto beans are all healthy alternatives containing potassium that you can feed to your pet.
Pumpkin also contains fiber, a type of carbohydrate responsible for how well your parrots digestive system performs. It helps with bowel movements by increasing the size and weight of the stool, along with softening it meaning there’s less chance your parrot will become constipated.
Fiber also acts as a weight maintainer meaning your parrot will be less likely to overeat and become overweight. This is because foods high in fiber are more filling keeping your parrot satiated for longer.
Other great health benefits of fiber include :
- Improved overall bowel health
- Lowered cholesterol
- Helps control blood sugar levels
Other foods high in fiber are apples, berries, broccoli, oranges, lentils and bananas.
A trace mineral vital for many functions within your birds body. The benefits include :
- Helps the body form collagen and absorb iron
- Maintains healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves and immune system
- Improved cardiovascular functions
- Has antioxidant effects
High In Antioxidants
Antioxidants found in pumpkins include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These have the ability to neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing damage to your cells.
Can Parrots Eat Pumpkin Bread?
Parrots can have pumpkin and it’s a great way to change up the meal a little if your bird is too picky to have the pumpkin by itself. However it’s recommended you make your own pumpkin bread so you know what exact ingredients are going into it, and how much
Store bought pumpkin bread might be too high in sugar or other additives that won’t benefit your parrot in any way.
Can Parrots Eat Pumpkin Pie?
Similar to the point above pumpkin pie is another alternative to plain old pumpkin if you make it yourself and know what is going into it as you don’t want to risk there being ingredients like onion in it that will harm your parrot.
How You Should Feed Pumpkin To Your Parrot
There are many ways you can feed pumpkin to your parrot and it all comes down to your birds preferences and the way they like it. Pumpkin is edible and contains no toxins that will harm your parrot although some may find it a little tough to eat.
I recommend slicing the pumpkin into a quarter and letting your feathered friend poke away at it when he likes there’s no need to slice it up. However as pumpkin is a fruit and it shouldn’t take up more than 20% of their daily diet you should still feed it in moderation.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know pumpkin 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Parrots Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are perfectly healthy to feed to your parrot infact they contain a lot of nutrients that actually might make it worth while for them! They may be small little seeds but they are packed with goodness like healthy fats, zinc and magnesium. Other benefits include :
- Heart health
- Full of antioxidants
- Can lower blood sugar levels
- High in fiber
Pumpkin For Parrots – Final Thoughts
I hope you’ve found this article useful and that your parrot enjoys all of the wonderful benefits pumpkin has to offer, remember if you’re going to feed your parrot pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread then it’s a homemade recipe with little sugar or other ingredients that may harm your little pet.
Also moderation is important like with many foods so make sure to feed your parrot a wide variety of healthy fruits and vegetables and don’t just rely on one.