Along with vegetables, fruits make up around 20-25% of your parrot’s diet. Providing a variety of vitamin-rich fruits is the best way to keep your parrot healthy, but can feeding parrots mango do them harm?
Mango is a healthy and tasty fruit that many parrots love eating. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, and K, which help boost the immune system and keep bones strong. Mango is also a good source of antioxidants, potassium, and folate. However, it’s high in sugar, which sometimes leads to sugar addiction and weight gain.
Most parts of mango are suitable for parrots to eat, including the flesh and skin. However, the seed contains traces of cyanide, which is poisonous and must be removed or roasted to make the mango non-toxic.
Can Parrots Eat Mango?
Mango is safe for parrots to eat and is encouraged because of its numerous health benefits. Mango makes a tasty treat for parrots who love the taste and texture of tropical fruit.
Fruit is an essential part of a parrot’s diet because it provides vitamins and minerals that parrots can’t get from other food sources. Similarly, fruit is in abundance in their natural habitats, such as the rainforest.
However, mangos have a pit in the center. While mango seeds are edible when cooked, the raw pit isn’t. It can also get stuck in your parrot’s crop if it’s accidentally eaten whole. As a result, mangoes must be appropriately prepared before they’re given to a parrot.
Do Parrots Like Mango?
Some mango varieties are grown in West Africa and South America, including Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. Many parrots are native to these countries, including macaws, parakeets, African grey parrots, and yellow-faced parrots.
Mango is a food that many parrots naturally eat in the wild. They’re sweet and full of flavor, which many parrots enjoy. Parrots also love the:
- Textured skin
- Stringy inner flesh
Because mangoes can be torn and ripped apart, parrots get mental stimulation when mangoes are provided raw, preventing boredom.
Nutritional Information of Mango
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of raw mango (165g) contains the following nutrients:
|Nutrient or Mineral||Amount|
|Vitamin A||89.1 µg|
|Vitamin C||60.1 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.196 mg|
|Vitamin K||6.9 µg|
Is Mango OK For Parrots To Eat?
Mango is neither toxic nor poisonous to parrots, so it’s fine for them to eat. As we’ve already mentioned, the pit can cause problems. However, as long as that’s removed before serving, mango makes a tasty treat.
That being said, you shouldn’t feed your parrot mango too often for the following reasons:
Mango is high in natural sugar, containing 22.5g per 165g cup. Even though this is the healthiest form of sugar, it’s addictive. Many parrots love the taste of sweet foods and will reject their pellets and seeds in favor of something more palatable.
As a result, too much mango leads to malnourishment, as they lack some of the vitamins and minerals that parrots can only get through other food sources.
While mango makes a welcome treat for parrots, you must only feed it as part of a balanced diet alongside various other fruits and vegetables.
Because of the high sugar content, too much mango causes weight gain, which leads to obesity if you feed your parrot mango too often.
Mango also contains a high level of carbohydrates, which contributes to the problem. Slow-paced captive parrots struggle to burn excess calories off as they’re not as active as wild birds. Weight gain can lead to significant health problems, including:
- Heart disease
- Fatty lipomas
- Fatty liver disease
- Mineral deficiencies
- Swollen joints
It also affects their mood, causing irritability and aggression.
To offset the adverse effects of mango, ensure your parrot gets plenty of out-of-cage time. Provide fun toys and games that encourage them to move. Interacting with them daily also encourages your parrot to be active.
Is Mango Good for Parrots?
Mango contains many vitamins and minerals that can keep your parrot strong and healthy. When fed as part of a balanced diet, mango reduces the chances of health conditions developing. That’s because it contains the following things:
Mango contains higher vitamin C levels than many other fruits, including tomatoes, bananas, and berries. Vitamin C is needed to:
- Boost the immune system
- Heal wounds
- Lower blood pressure
- Prevent cancer and bad cells from forming
- Prevent kidney diseases
- Regulate blood sugar
- Regulate cholesterol
Parrots with severe vitamin deficiencies are prone to plucking out their feathers. They may even obsessively preen themselves and chew the feather’s tips, causing pain, discomfort, and permanent bald patches.
Adding foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as mangoes, to your parrot’s diet is a good way to ensure their levels don’t dip, reducing the chance of health issues.
According to MSD Manual, vitamin A is crucial for a healthy immune system. Parrots with an all-seed diet are most at risk from vitamin A deficiencies, even when they’re supplemented with pellets. As a result, mango is a necessary addition to a parrot’s varied diet. Signs of a vitamin A deficiency include:
- Nasal discharge
- Swelling around the eyes
- Shortness of breath
- Passing large amounts of urine (polyuria)
- Excessive thirst or drinking
- Poor feather quality
- Feather picking
Parrots with vitamin A deficiencies are also at risk of secondary bacterial infections, so it’s a serious condition. With 89.1µg per standard cup (165g), mango can help treat or prevent a lack of vitamin A.
While mango doesn’t have as much vitamin K as lettuce and cheese, it can still provide parrots with a boost when they need it.
Vitamin K creates strong bones and healthy eggshells, reducing the chances of chick mortality. It also promotes blood clotting. While this doesn’t sound like a good thing, it stops cuts and scrapes from bleeding profusely, which can cause anemia in severe cases.
When a parrot suffers from a severe vitamin K deficiency, it’s at risk of internal hemorrhages, which are often fatal.
As described by MDPI, mango is a rich source of polyphenols, which are a diverse group of organic micronutrients. These include:
- Gallic acid
- Ellagic acid
Along with these nutrients, mango contains approximately 25 carotenoids. As described by Science Media Exchange, carotenoids convert into vitamin A and help boost a parrot’s immune defenses and prevent cellular damage.
Mango contains high levels of potassium, which prevents injury by making the bones and muscles healthy and strong. Potassium deficiencies are normally followed by brittle bones and poor muscle function. Potassium is also necessary for:
- Reducing blood pressure
- Reducing stress levels
- Regulating muscle contractions
- Regulating nerve signals and fluid balance
In particular, stress can cause havoc with a parrot’s health and wellbeing, leaving them prone to depression and self-destructive behaviors.
Mango is a rich source of folate. Parrots need it to form uric acid, a waste product expelled from the body through urine and feces. Parrots with a folate deficiency experience:
- A weakened immune system
- Impaired cell division
- Under-development of the reproductive tract
Can Parrots Eat Mango Skin?
Some parrot owners mistakenly believe mango skin to be inedible and throw it away. However, it’s packed with antioxidants and nutrients, including fiber.
While the skin is fun for parrots to tear through, it has a slightly unpleasant bitter taste, which some parrots might not enjoy. The skin also contains urushiol, which is a mix of organic chemicals. While it’s not toxic, it causes an allergic reaction in some parrots.
Another thing to be aware of is where the mango came from. Unless it’s an organic fruit, it may have been grown where pesticides are used to protect crops. Cheaper mangoes are more likely to be affected.
That being said, compared to other fruits, mangoes are thought to be low in pesticides, so there’s not too much risk of pesticides harming your parrot.
To be on the safe side, always wash your mango thoroughly before feeding it to your parrot. That way, all harmful chemicals are removed, and there’s no risk of pesticide poisoning.
Can Parrots Eat Mango Seed?
Whether or not parrots can eat a mango’s seed has a slightly complicated answer. As mango is a stone fruit, mango seed contains a compound called amygdalin. When eaten, it’s broken down into hydrogen cyanide, which is poisonous.
While research in this area is limited, a few seeds aren’t going to cause much harm, but many owners are against feeding them to their parrots because of the health risks.
Cyanide isn’t a heat-stable substance and doesn’t survive cooking, so roasting the mango seeds is the best way to make them safe to eat.
Can Parrots Have Dried Mango?
While fresh mango is always the healthier option, dried mango makes a viable alternative for your parrot to enjoy.
Freeze drying locks in all the beneficial vitamins and minerals that make your parrot healthy. It also has a chewier texture, providing parrots who love ripping them apart with plenty of mental stimulation.
However, when picking up dried mango from the grocery store, study the ingredients list carefully. Avoid any that contain sulfides, as they sometimes cause an allergic reaction.
Similarly, avoid preservatives and additives, as they’re unnatural for parrots and may cause harmful reactions.
Can Parrots Drink Mango Juice?
As long as mango juice is prepared at home from fresh mango, it’s fine for your parrot to drink and provides all the same vitamins and minerals as a raw fruit. Parrots that are deficient in vitamin A or C benefit the most from mango juice.
You can provide it in your parrot’s water dish, allowing the parrot to drink it whenever it feels thirsty. If the flavor is too strong or sweet for your bird, dilute it down with fresh water.
However, keep in mind that store-bought mango juice is high in sugar and additives to keep it fresher for longer. So, it’s not suitable for your parrot as it may lead to weight gain and sugar addiction. It might not even have the same good nutrients as fresh juice due to the manufacturing process.
How To Prepare And Feed Parrots Mango?
There are two easy ways to feed your parrot mango. The first is to wash the mango, remove the seed, and cut the fruit into a manageable portion (either a half or third, depending on your bird’s size). Feed it directly to your parrot and let it tear into it on its own.
The second way is to remove the skin and seed and cut it up into small bitesize chunks. Place the chunks into a dish and let your bird pick them out. This is the easiest and cleanest method, but it takes away the mental stimulation.
Mango is a good addition to your parrot’s diet, especially if you’re looking to add more vitamin A and C. Most parrots love the taste and texture, and enjoy the juiciness of the fruit. However, because of the high sugar levels, limit your parrot’s mango intake and reserve it as an occasional treat.