Most parrots love eating fruit, but it is high in sugar. Fruit is an important source of vitamins and minerals, but parrots must eat a wide variety to get all the nutrients they need. If you’re looking for new fruits to feed your parrot, kiwi makes an excellent dietary addition.
Kiwi is one of the healthiest tropical fruits for parrots to eat. They’re particularly high in vitamin C and vitamins E, A, and K, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. However, they contain natural sugar, which can be addictive and leads to weight gain. Another thing to be mindful of is the kiwi’s acidity, as it can cause stomach ulcers if you give it to your parrot too often.
The entire kiwi fruit is edible. Before feeding it to your parrot, you’ll need to give the skin a thorough wash to remove any traces of pesticide.
Can Parrots Eat Kiwi?
Kiwi is a pleasant-tasting fruit that parrots really enjoy. It contains vitamins that parrots specifically need to remain healthy and strong.
While kiwi a good addition to a parrot’s diet, it is relatively acidic and high in sugar. Aim to incorporate fresh vegetables and fruits that are less acidic, such as banana and mango, into your parrot’s diet alongside kiwi.
Do Parrots Like Kiwi?
Because kiwi is a tropical fruit that’s naturally grown in regions where parrots live, many are familiar with it and eat it as part of their wild diet. Every parrot is different, and not all will enjoy the taste of kiwi. Some parrots don’t like foods that are too sweet, while others love sugar.
In the wild, parrots pick kiwis off the vines they grow from and tear through the skin, eating the flesh and seeds. Some parrots eat the skin, but others discard it because of the fuzzy texture, which some birds find unpleasant. When eating a kiwi, parrots enjoy the:
- Sweet, tangy flesh
- Black seeds
- Mental stimulation from pulling it apart
Kiwis are messy, so be prepared to clean your parrot’s cage as soon as it’s finished eating to prevent the sticky juice from getting all over its feathers. Parrots can be messy at the best of times.
Nutritional Information of Kiwi Fruit
The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) explains that one kiwi fruit (75 g) contains the following nutrients:
|Nutrient or Mineral||Amount|
|Vitamin C||56 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.975 mg|
|Vitamin A||7.2 µg|
|Vitamin K||72.5 µg|
Is Kiwi Good For Parrots?
As we’ve already touched upon, kiwi is a rich source of nutrients necessary for a parrot’s health and body function. Just one kiwi provides the following vitamins and minerals:
Kiwi is high in vitamin C. It contains 56 mg per 100 g. To put this into context, the fruits below are safe for parrots to eat and contain the following amounts of vitamin C per 100 g:
As a result, kiwis are one of the most vitamin C-dense fruits available.
Vitamin C keeps the immune system strong. It also prevents parrots from picking out their feathers, which birds with severe vitamin C deficiencies are prone to doing. Vitamin C also helps:
- Regulate blood sugar
- Regulate cholesterol
- Prevent kidney diseases
- Heal wounds
- Lower blood pressure
- Prevent cancer and bad cells from forming
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in birds and improves fertility, which is essential for breeding birds.
It also helps the body detoxify and enhances a parrot’s immunity, leaving them less susceptible to nasty diseases and conditions.
Parrots deficient in vitamin E are at risk of weight loss issues, so incorporating it into your parrot’s diet through the occasional kiwi is a great way to keep your pet healthy.
Vitamin A is a crucial vitamin for parrots. While kiwi doesn’t contain as much vitamin A as other fruits, such as mango, it still has a small amount that can boost your parrot’s levels, preventing deficiency.
Unfortunately for parrots, the line between vitamin A deficiency and overload is very fine, which is why fruit must be measured.
As described by the Journal of Nutrition, vitamin A is involved in reproduction, immunity, membrane integrity, and vision. Without it, parrots are at risk of poor eyesight and hearing, weak bones, slow growth, respiratory disease, and lowered immune function.
Kiwi is also rich in vitamin K, which creates strong bones and healthy eggshells. This helps to reduce the chances of chick mortality, so parrots that are breeding or pregnant require higher levels of vitamin K.
Vitamin K also thickens the blood, stemming the parrot’s blood flow whenever the bird experiences a cut or scrape. Without enough vitamin K in the system, the wound is at risk of bleeding profusely, which can lead to anemia.
Fiber keeps the gut healthy and regular, softening stools and bulking them out whenever the parrot suffers from diarrhea. Fiber also fills parrots up, preventing hunger pains and subsequent overeating.
Many parrots are deficient in calcium because they can’t digest lactose. As a result, cheese and dairy isn’t always the best food option for parrots needing calcium.
Just one kiwi contains 63 mg of calcium. As well as maintaining strong bones, calcium is also needed for nerve transmission and muscle movement. It also:
- Creates healthy eggshells
- Prevents hypocalcemia
- Stops parrots from plucking their feathers
- Reduces the risk of heart disorders
- Lowers cholesterol
- Prevents muscular pain and contractions
- Improves balance and coordination
Parrots get calcium through their diet, so incorporate kiwis as an occasional treat to boost their calcium levels.
Magnesium works alongside calcium, helping the body absorb the mineral. If parrots can’t absorb calcium, the bones become brittle and soft, increasing the risk of rickets.
Parrots also need magnesium for nerve and muscle function, temperature control, and bone growth.
As well as kiwi, parrots can get magnesium through seeds and sugarcane.
Potassium isn’t as well-known as other nutrients, but it’s vital for reducing stress levels and blood pressure.
As described by a journal on Plos One, parrots are prone to several behavioral problems, including feather damage and repetitiveness. Stress enhances these behaviors, so it should be avoided with a healthy, balanced diet packed with nutrients.
Potassium also regulates muscle contractions, nerve signals, and fluids.
Is Kiwi Bad For Parrots?
As kiwi is safe for parrots to eat, it has more health benefits than negatives. However, there are a couple of things to look out for, including:
Kiwi contains quinic, citric, and malic acids. This makes it a highly acidic fruit. While kiwi is unlikely to cause stomach ulcers when fed in small quantities.
However, if you feed your parrot kiwi too often, the fruit’s acid can cause painful ulcers that affect your parrot’s ability to eat. Symptoms include:
- Blood in poop and urine
- Cold or pale feet
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid weight loss
- Vomiting blood
Kiwi contains naturally occurring sugars. Too much causes watery droppings. It also deprives parrots of essential nutrients they need from other food sources.
Even healthy sugar can be addictive. Parrots that love sweet foods will often reject their pellets in favor of something tastier. Over time, parrots gain weight. If it’s left unchecked, parrots can become obese, increasing the risk of fatty liver disease.
Parrots can also develop diabetes due to sugar overconsumption, so you must only feed kiwi and other fruits in moderation.
Kiwis sometimes come from farms that use pesticides. As the skin is edible, these chemicals could get passed onto your parrot. If parrots eat pesticides, they may experience:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Head tilt
The skin absorbs the chemicals, leaving the meat untouched. That’s why it’s so important to wash the skin before feeding any part of the fruit to your parrot, especially if your parrot enjoys eating the kiwi’s outer layer.
Can Parrots Eat Kiwi Skin?
Parrots can eat kiwi skin, but only if it’s been washed first. Buying organic kiwi is a safer option, as they’re rarely grown with pesticides.
While the skin is packed with nutrients and minerals, not all parrots enjoy the fuzzy texture. This all comes down to personal preference.
However, the tough outer skin allows parrots to tear the fruit to get to the tasty flesh, providing mental stimulation. Birds must be able to keep themselves entertained to minimize the risk of boredom and stress.
Can Parrots Eat Kiwi Seeds?
Kiwi seeds are edible and healthy. They contain omega-3 fats, which are good fats that keep the brain and heart functioning properly.
Similarly, some of the fiber that comes from kiwis are contained within the seeds. Kiwi seeds also provide protein. Larger parrots, like macaws, require higher levels of protein.
While kiwi seeds alone don’t contain all the nutrients your parrot needs, they offer full health benefits when eaten together with the skin and flesh. Parrots love picking out the small seeds and swallowing them whole.
Can Parrots Have Kiwi Juice?
If your parrot doesn’t take to eating the kiwi fruit, you might want to consider juicing it instead. There are numerous health benefits in doing this, particularly as the fruit is high in vitamin C.
Avoid store-bought juices that are high in refined sugar, preservatives, and additives. This is because chemicals are added to keep them fresher and on the shelves for longer. These chemicals aren’t natural and can be harmful.
Instead, juice the kiwi at home to ensure no nasty ingredients are added to it. Offer it in a small, shallow dish or out of your hands as a bonding mechanism between you and your parrot.
How To Feed Parrots Kiwi
As well as the juicing method, there are a couple of other ways to feed your parrot a kiwi.
The first is to provide it whole with the skin and seeds intact. However, as we’ve already mentioned, the skin must be washed or soaked beforehand. Most parrots will easily tear into the skin.
The second way is to cut it up into bitesize chunks, either with or without the skin, depending on your bird’s preference. Feed it in a shallow bowl for your parrot to pick at. You could even incorporate the kiwi with other tropical fruits to create a tasty medley.
Either way, keep the seeds and feed them to your parrot so that it can eat them alongside the meat.
If you’re looking to provide your parrot with a wide range of vitamins and minerals, kiwi is one of the most nutritionally dense. Also, because of their juicy, tropical flavor, most parrots are drawn to the taste. However, be careful not to overfeed kiwi to your parrot to prevent the risk of sugar overload and stomach ulcers.