Parrots are social creatures and want to be around their owners and family. They are also social eaters, which means they want to share your meal as well! And often, you’ll find yourself giving your parrot bits of whatever you’re eating.
You might think of this as a harmless exercise, especially if all you’re offering them is the healthy stuff off your plates, such as fruits or vegetables. But that is not necessarily the case. As humans, we have vastly different needs from our feathered friends. We are two different kinds of creatures altogether, so our body, and more specifically, our digestive system, can tolerate doesn’t necessarily apply to our birds.
Which is why we need to not only be careful about what we offer them, we should also be aware of the safe and unsafe foods for our parrots.
A popular fruit that is coming into the season is kiwi. This yummy fruit is laden with health benefits, but do those extend to our parrots? Read on to find out if you can give your feathered friends this delicious fruit!
Kiwi fruit is a kind of berry, specifically a Chinese gooseberry, which originates from China but got its name from the New Zealanders (they named it after their national bird).
Kiwi fruits can be described as both sweet and tangy. It is often described as a bit acidic but mixed with a tropical twist. The riper the fruit is, the sweeter it will be. You can eat kiwi either way, with or without its skin.
But kiwi isn’t popular only because it tastes so great. It is also packed with health benefits that make it a perfect snack. Kiwi is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which are needed to fight off illnesses such as asthma and even the common cold. Vitamin C also helps strengthen our immune systems. They are also rich in fiber, which aids smooth digestion. The nutrients present in kiwi fruit help regulate our blood pressure, which reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks and reduces blood clotting. These health benefits that we have mentioned are just scratching the surface. The list can go on and on.
But are all these health benefits limited only to us humans, or do they extend to our parrots?
Kiwi and Parrots:
Before we answer the question, there is a disclaimer that we feel the need to give. As pet owners, if there is one skill or art that you have to master, it is moderation. It is very easy to fall into the trap of indulging your pet in food that they seem to like to eat and is healthy.
However, too much of even seemingly healthy food can cause health problems in your pet parrot, and so you need to make sure you only offer them food in moderation.
As far as kiwi’s question goes, the good news is that kiwi is a perfectly safe option to be fed to your feathered friend. Not only do they find it tasty, but it also comes with lots of health benefits for your pet. However, there are limits to be observed when feeding your parrot kiwi.
What parts of kiwi are safe?
You can feed your pet parrot the entire fruit. The skin, the flesh, and the seeds are all safe to be offered to your pet (imagine if the seeds weren’t safe, and you’d have to pick them all out, the horror!).
Having said that, we generally wouldn’t advise you to offer the entire fruit to your bird. The most obvious follow up question is: which part isn’t safe? The flesh and the seeds are not the problems. The skin is. Fruits usually are grown with the help of pesticides, and pesticides, even in trace amounts, can prove to be toxic and even fatal to your parrot. The pesticide is usually found on the skin of the fruit if it isn’t thoroughly washed, and even then, there is a chance of some remaining.
This holds especially true with the skin of kiwi, considering its soft and furry texture. Pesticide in small amounts paves the way to health concerns for your parrot, and if ingested in small amounts over time, it is a slow death for your parrot. This is why we tend to prefer to avoid feeding the skin on kiwi.
However, if you are convinced that the skin is equally as important as the flesh, then the safest option to buy organic kiwi fruit. This (albeit slightly more expensive) is grown without pesticides and so doesn’t carry the risk of poisoning.
Feeding your parrot kiwi:
If you feel comfortable giving your parrot kiwi with skin, you can offer them the whole fruit. They will peel the skin off themselves and eat through the middle of the fruit. This is a great exercise for your parrot. Not only are they getting a nutritious snack, and peeling the skin will keep them busy and entertained.
The other option is to cut up the fruit and offer it to your parrot. Make sure to cut it in small bits because larger pieces carry the risk of being a choking hazard.
How many kiwis should we give?
Fruits and vegetables should make up around 50% of your parrot’s diet. Fruit should make up 25% of their diet. However, kiwi shouldn’t be the only fruit you feed them. It is always recommended to feed them with a combination of fruits for two reasons. Firstly, this is to maintain the balance of sugar intake, and secondly, it is to offer them various nutritional fruits.
Kiwi is a great option to offer to your parrot. Your parrot will reap all the benefits, but just make sure not to overfeed it to them and make sure you take the necessary precautions, and your parrot will munch away happily!