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feeding parrots citrus fruits

Can Parrots Eat Citrus Fruit? (Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit, Oranges)

(Last Updated On: July 1, 2023)

Citrus fruits are from the Rutaceae family. They’re native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Island Southeast Asia, and northeastern Australia, where many parrot species live.

The genus citrus contains the following fruits and many hybrids:

  • Oranges.
  • Grapefruits.
  • Lemons.
  • Limes.

Citrus fruits contain vitamins A and C, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium. They contain antioxidants, which protect birds from free radical damage and age-related diseases.

Can Parrots Have Citrus Fruits?

Citrus fruits are safe for parrots to eat, but they’re highly acidic.

They’re messy foods for parrots, so be on hand to clean the cage as soon as it’s finished eating. When feeding citrus fruit to a parrot, you can:

  • Put a few slices in a shallow dish for the parrot to pick out.
  • Hang a few pieces on the cage with string.
  • Juice them into the water to make a hydrating drink.

Parrots enjoy tearing into citrus fruits, so they’re a good source of enrichment.

How Much Citrus Fruit Is Too Much for Birds?

Citrus fruits should only comprise a small percentage of a parrot’s diet. Also, incorporate less acidic fruits, like bananas and coconut. Here’s a basic consumption guide:

  • Oranges, clementines, and tangerines: One slice every 2 days.
  • Lemon and lime: One slice per week.
  • Grapefruit: One slice every 4-5 days.

If you feed a parrot a lemon slice one week, feed it a slice of lime the next.

can parrots eat limes?

Is Citric Acid Safe for Birds?

Citric acid naturally occurs in sour fruits, especially lemon and lime, giving them a tart taste. It has several benefits for parrots, including the following:

  • Skin and feather health.
  • Digestive transit.
  • Immune health.
  • Kidney stone prevention.

Citric acid helps parrots absorb and process minerals like calcium, strengthening their bones.

Can Parrots Eat Lemons?

Despite their acidity, parrots can eat lemon in moderation. However, some parrots dislike the tart taste.

Be strict with how much lemon you feed a parrot, as it’s at risk of mouth ulcers. However, you can provide a parrot with lemon juice in water to reduce the potency.

Parrots can benefit from the mental stimulation and nutritional profile of lemon seeds.

Are Lemons Good for Parrots?

Due to its acidity level, lemon fights off alkaline infections, like yeast infections. They also cause good gut bacteria to grow, enabling the body to fight off other infections.

Lemon provides more vitamin C than most fruits. Vitamin C is vital for a parrot’s health because it:

  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Enables the body to absorb iron.
  • Keeps blood sugar levels stable.
  • Helps with the development of muscles and bones.
  • Lowers cholesterol levels.

Also, lemon essential oils positively affect a parrot’s mood.

Instead of throwing the lemon remnants away, mimic the effects of oils and dilute them in water, spraying them around the parrot’s cage to enhance its mood and sense of well-being.

Are Lemons Bad for Parrots?

The very high acidity is cause for concern, but small amounts of lemon won’t harm pet birds.

After harvesting, fruit producers spray lemons with a thin layer of wax to protect the flesh and keep the fruit looking fresh. That’s why you should only buy organic lemons.

Lemon Nutritional Information

One slice of lemon (8 g) has the following nutrients:

Nutritional ContentAmount Per Serving
Fiber0.224 g
Calcium2.08 mg
Iron0.048 mg
Magnesium0.64 mg
Phosphorus1.28 mg
Potassium11 mg
Zinc0.005 mg
Vitamin C4.24 mg
Vitamin A0.08 µg
Vitamin B-60.006 mg
Folate0.88 µg

Can Parrots Eat Grapefruit?

All parts of the grapefruit are safe for parrots to eat.

Not only is grapefruit healthy and delicious, but it provides parrots with mental stimulation. Most parrots enjoy tearing through the thick peel to reach the fruit inside.

You can also offer a parrot freshly squeezed grapefruit juice if you dilute it first.

Is Grapefruit Good For Parrots

Grapefruit is a superfood and a good source of the following:

  • Vitamins A, B6, and C contribute to overall health.
  • Calcium for strong, healthy bones and eggshells.
  • Magnesium enables the body to absorb calcium.
  • Potassium maintains blood pressure.
  • Fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and regular.
  • Antioxidants protect against free radical damage.
can parrots have grapefruit?

Is Grapefruit Bad for Parrots

Grapefruit isn’t toxic or dangerous for parrots, but like all citrus fruits, too much can be problematic.

In excess, grapefruit acid causes stomach and mouth ulcers. Grapefruit is also treated with pesticides, so clean the skin before offering it to a parrot.

While grapefruit contains natural sugars, too much causes oral bacteria to grow and multiply. When bacteria spread through the digestive tract, a parrot risks developing gastrointestinal problems.

Grapefruit Nutritional Information

One slice of grapefruit (25 g) contains the following nutrients:

Nutritional ContentAmount Per Serving
Fiber0.4 g
Calcium5.5 mg
Iron0.02 mg
Magnesium2.25 mg
Phosphorus4.5 mg
Potassium33.8 mg
Zinc0.018 mg
Vitamin C7.8 mg
Vitamin A14.5 µg
Vitamin B-60.013 mg
Folate3.25 µg

Can Parrots Eat Limes?

Limes are safe for parrots, but not all birds enjoy the sour taste. A parrot may be disinterested when there are tastier fruits for parrots, like papaya and strawberries.

Limes provide several nutrients that parrots can’t derive from other sources. Instead of giving a parrot a slice of lime to eat, dilute a small amount of lime and put it in its water bowl.

Are Limes Good for Parrots

Limes are good for parrots because they contain high levels of vitamin C, which help fight off infection, speeding up the healing process in the event of an illness or injury.

Limes also contain antioxidants, which lower the risk of age-related diseases.

Are Limes Bad for Parrots

Some parrots are sensitive to the effects of acidity. Also, if a parrot overeats lime, it’s more suspectable to yeast infections caused by digestive issues.

The peel of the lime can be problematic because it’s likely to be coated in pesticides and other chemicals. Some parrots enjoy biting through the lime’s peel, but you must wash it first.

Limes Nutritional Information

A slice of lime (8 g) contains the following nutrients:

Nutritional ContentAmount Per Serving
Fiber0.224 g
Calcium2.64 mg
Iron0.048 mg
Magnesium0.48 mg
Phosphorus1.44 mg
Potassium8.16 mg
Zinc0.009 mg
Vitamin C2.33 mg
Vitamin A0.16 µg
Vitamin B-60.003 mg
Folate0.64 µg

Can Parrots Eat Oranges?

Parrots can eat all parts of the orange, including the flesh, seeds, and peel.

Orange juice is a healthy option, although diluting it in water before offering any to a parrot is recommended. Most store-bought orange juice contains sugars and additives.

Parrots enjoy eating oranges due to the following:

  • Rough, textured skin.
  • Stringy inner flesh.
  • Juicy nature.
  • Seeds.
  • Sweet flavor.

Are Oranges Good for Parrots

According to Nutrition Research, oranges are a good source of fiber, which can decrease a parrot’s blood cholesterol levels. Oranges also contain the following:

  • Flavonoids, which improve and regulate blood flow and pressure.
  • Carotenoids and vitamin A lower the risk of age-related diseases.
  • Vitamin C fights off viruses and infections.
is citrus fruit good for parrots?

Are Oranges Bad for Parrots

Oranges don’t contain harmful toxins or compounds that negatively affect a parrot’s health.

While oranges aren’t bad for parrots, they contain natural sugars. Too much sugar can cause obesity, contributing to weight-related health conditions like arthritis.

If you feed a parrot too much orange, it could develop mouth and stomach ulcers.

Oranges Nutritional Information

A slice of orange weighing 15 grams contains the following nutrients:

Nutritional ContentAmount Per Serving
Fiber0.36 g
Calcium6 mg
Iron0.015 mg
Magnesium1.5 mg
Phosphorus2.1 mg
Potassium27.2 mg
Zinc0.011 mg
Vitamin C7.98 mg
Vitamin A1.65 µg
Folate4.5 µg

Can Parrots Eat Clementines?

Clementines are smaller and sweeter than oranges, with thinner skin. Smaller parrots, in particular, enjoy clementines more than oranges because they’re tastier and easier to hold.

Clementines are seedless, so parrots miss out on the fun of picking out the seeds.

Are Clementines Good For Parrots

Clementines contain essential nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin C.
  • Thiamine.
  • Folate.
  • Antioxidants.

According to Science Daily, thiamine helps the nerves function properly.

Are Clementines Bad for Parrots

Clementines contain higher levels of natural sugars than other citrus fruits. As it’s healthy, it’s not as bad for parrots as refined sugar.

Clementines Nutritional Information

One clementine slice (8 g) contains the following nutrients:

Nutritional ContentAmount Per Serving
Fiber0.144 g
Calcium2.96 mg
Iron0.012 mg
Magnesium0.96 mg
Phosphorus1.6 mg
Potassium13.3 mg
Zinc0.006 mg
Vitamin C2.14 mg
Vitamin A2.72 µg
Folate1.28 µg

Can Parrots Eat Tangerines?

Tangerines are similar to oranges and clementines but smaller and sweeter than oranges and slightly tarter than clementines. They also have soft, pebbly skin that parrots can easily peel.

Tangerines often have seeds, which some parrots enjoy picking out and eating.

Are Tangerines Good For Parrots

Tangerines contain as many nutrients as oranges and clementines, including:

  • Beta-carotene.
  • Beta-cryptoxanthin.
  • Vitamin C.

Smaller parrots find tangerines easier and more enjoyable to eat.

Are Tangerines Bad for Parrots

As with all citrus fruits, there are certain risks:

  • Natural sugars.
  • Acidity.
  • Pesticides and fertilizers.

Tangerines Nutritional Information

A slice of tangerine (12 g) contains the following nutrients:

Nutritional ContentAmount Per Serving
Fiber0.198 g
Calcium4.07 mg
Iron0.017 mg
Magnesium1.32 mg
Phosphorus2.2 mg
Potassium18.3 mg
Zinc0.008 mg
Vitamin C2.94 mg
Vitamin A3.74 µg
Folate1.76 µg

Providing a parrot with new fruits each day can keep it healthy. A pet bird can benefit from citrus fruit if you only provide a small quantity and offer different varieties.