Kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is associated with New Zealand. The fruit was originally native to the East, hence why it’s called the Chinese gooseberry.
Many parrots love the taste of kiwi, as it’s sweet and juicy. Some parrots also enjoy pecking their way through the fuzzy skin that houses kiwi. A kiwi’s flesh, seeds, and juice are all parrot-safe.
Kiwi is packed with vitamins and minerals that bolster the health of parrots. This fruit contains calcium, which staves off hypocalcemia, and vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system.
Antioxidants are also found in kiwis, staving off serious illnesses as parrots age. At the same time, the fiber in kiwis promotes an active and healthy digestive tract.
All fruit must be fed to birds in moderation, and no parrot should eat more than 1 kiwi per week. Smaller species of parrots (like budgies, cockatiels, and lovebirds) should only eat half a kiwi at most.
Do Parrots Like Kiwi Fruit?
All parrots have unique likes and dislikes, but kiwi is typically a universal favorite.
Most parrots are drawn to sweet tastes, and the natural sugar found in kiwi overrides the acidic properties of this fruit. Many parrot species also eat kiwis in the wild, so they’ll trust that it’s non-toxic.
If you offer kiwi to a parrot, it’ll likely accept the fruit without question. Knowing that parrots enjoy kiwi is only half the question, as we also need to ask, “Is kiwi safe for parrots?”
Are Parrots Allowed Kiwi Fruit?
The only issue with kiwi fruit is its sugar content because it contains more sugar than many other fruits, leading to digestive distress in parrots (gassiness, bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea).
There are health benefits to introducing kiwi to a bird’s diet:
An advantage of introducing kiwi into a parrot’s diet is the high quantities of calcium.
Parrots will have weak skeletons without enough calcium and be more vulnerable to osteoporosis. Hypocalcemia also affects parrots’ reproductive systems, muscles, and nervous systems.
Parrots rely on their diet to obtain this mineral. By feeding kiwis to parrots, you negate the need to offer supplementation. Vary kiwi with other calcium-rich fruits.
For parrots to absorb calcium, they must be exposed to the sun’s UV rays for vitamin D3.
Despite the acidic qualities of kiwi, it’s not a citrus fruit. However, kiwi is just as high in vitamin C. Introducing kiwi to a parrot’s diet will increase the likelihood of a robust immune system.
However, parrots can organically create vitamin C in the liver from glucose.
Like so many other fruit and vegetables, Kiwi is high in fiber. This is essential for avoiding constipation.
The European Journal of Nutrition explains how one-third of the fiber in kiwis is soluble, and the rest is insoluble. Both types of fiber are essential for a healthy digestive tract.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to a parrot’s stool, making the passage of waste easier for a parrot. Meanwhile, soluble fiber helps parrots digest solid foods and absorb essential vitamins.
According to the Biological and Clinical Sciences Research Journal, kiwi is considered a superfood due to its high antioxidant levels. Choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin are all found in kiwi fruit.
Antioxidants reduce the number of free radicals in the body, minimizing the effects of oxidative stress. This can help prevent degenerative diseases like heart conditions and cancer.
Is Kiwi Dangerous for Parrots?
There are risks to feeding kiwi to a parrot beyond the usual caveats. All varieties of fruit should be fed once or twice a week (not daily) and shouldn’t be the main part of a parrot’s diet.
Kiwi is also higher in sugar than some fruits, which can cause digestive issues like diarrhea.
How To Feed Kiwis To Parrots
Larger parrot species may consume an entire fruit once a week without adverse effects, but it’ll be far too much for smaller birds. Also, uneaten kiwi spoils quickly at room temperature once peeled.
Cutting a kiwi into slices and feeding it over several days is recommended. Keep it refrigerated.
Each kiwi has 4 parts, all of which are safe for parrots to enjoy in moderation:
Most pet birds look forward to eating the kiwi’s juicy flesh.
Kiwi can be offered to all species and sizes of parrots in the following ways:
- Kiwi flesh can be sliced. Then, you can hand-feed the parrot as a bonding exercise.
- Dice the kiwi into small, bite-sized chunks and place them in a small bowl.
Parrots make a mess when eating their food, so clean up once the bird is finished.
Most of us peel away the distinctive furry skin that coats a kiwi fruit.
It’s optional whether you do the same before offering kiwi to parrots. Some birds enjoy working through the tough skin, while others find it irritating and frustrating.
If a parrot has a taste for kiwi skin, it has health benefits, including folic acid and vitamin E.
Unlike certain stone fruits, kiwi seeds don’t contain cyanide.
The seeds are also very small and unlikely to pose a choking hazard in even the smallest parrot species. Better yet, kiwi seeds are full of goodness that’ll benefit parrots.
The main advantage of kiwi seeds is the presence of Omega-3 fatty acids.
The Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery warns that atherosclerosis (the hardening of arteries) is a common concern in pet birds, and Omega-3 minimizes this risk of atherosclerosis.
Water is critical to parrots, but they can be fussy about hydration. If a parrot has stopped drinking or isn’t drinking enough, it’s unlikely to survive for more than 24-72 hours.
Can parrots drink kiwi juice? They can, and it’ll prevent dehydration and early death.
Be mindful of offering a parrot pure kiwi juice to drink because this can make them more reluctant to consume water. Try one-third fruit juice mixed with two-thirds water (occasionally).
How Much Kiwi Can Parrots Have?
Any fruit, especially those high in sugar like kiwi, should be offered to parrots sparingly.
It’s inadvisable to offer more than a half to one whole kiwi to parrot in a week. Excess sugar can lead to weight gain, while parrots can also ingest too much calcium (hypercalcemia).
Parrots can be fussy eaters, especially once they develop a taste for a certain food. Parrots may start rejecting other foods, including those that contain essential nutrients needed to thrive.
Kiwi is among the tastiest and healthiest fruits you can offer a pet parrot, but do so in moderation.