Many parrot species hail from tropical environments where they have ready access to flavorful citrus fruits. All types of oranges are safe for parrots, including clementines, mandarins, and tangerines. However, some are healthier than others, with clementines, valencia, and Jaffa oranges preferred.
Parrots can eat 1 slice of orange every 2 days. Oranges are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Health benefits include faster wound healing, aiding the immune system, slowed aging, and better iron absorption. However, the sugar content and abundance of vitamin C can be harmful when consumed in large amounts.
Orange juice is a safe treat for parrots, but never offer your pet store-bought juice, as this contains additives and preservatives. Give them freshly juiced oranges that are diluted with water. The peels are safe for parrots to eat, containing an abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Are Parrots Allowed Orange?
As mentioned, most parrot species hail from tropical climates where citrus fruit is plentiful. So, it’s a natural part of their diet in the wild, and they’re well-suited to digesting the enzymes that oranges contain.
As long as oranges don’t become a staple meal, your parrot will benefit from oranges in its diet. Oranges are high in sugar, and too much vitamin C can still be harmful.
Types Of Oranges
All oranges are safe for parrots to eat, but some are better for your parrot than others.
Clementines are smaller than most oranges, but they contain a comparable amount of vitamins and minerals.
They’re often seedless, which makes them easy to snack on for smaller parrot species. However, large parrots often prefer having access to the seeds, so other types may be preferred.
Mandarins are small in size but slightly larger than clementines. They’re often seedless. Oranges are a hybrid of a mandarin and a pomelo. Despite the difference, mandarins are safe for your parrot to eat.
Tangerines aren’t considered a type of mandarin, but they’re safe for parrots to eat.
When compared to true oranges, they contain far more juice. Most of the vitamins and minerals in citrus fruits are contained in the peel and rind, so a tangerine’s relatively thin rind means that it’s less beneficial.
With more juice, you get more vitamin C, but also more sugar.
Are Oranges Good For Parrots?
Oranges offer health benefits, such as improved cell regeneration and eye health, due to their vitamins and minerals.
Here are the nutritional benefits:
|1 orange, medium-sized||Nutrition Information|
|Vitamin A||14 mcg|
|Vitamin C||70 mg|
Cell Damage Prevention
Oranges are abundant in antioxidants, which are known to prevent damage to cells. That’s because antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals.
Free radicals damage cells by causing oxidative stress. If your parrot has a lot of free radicals in its body, it will age quicker and may contract the diseases and illnesses that come with aging.
Free radicals are found in the environment, so it’s impossible to avoid being exposed to them. Instead, one of the best ways to limit oxidative stress is to ingest antioxidants. Oranges contain many different antioxidants.
According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they include:
- Vitamin C
- Carotenoids, especially lutein and cryptoxanthin
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, enabling you to heal from wounds. Alongside being an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps in producing collagen in the body. Collagen plays a significant role in healing wounds.
The function of iron is to create hemoglobin, which is part of a red blood cell. Hemoglobin allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to different parts of the body. Aside from that, iron keeps the immune system functioning well.
Immune System Booster
Like most citrus fruits, oranges are a great way to boost the immune system—the high amounts of vitamin C work to fortify white blood cells and fight off illness and disease.
Keeps Heart Healthy
Oranges have been shown to keep the heart healthy due to fiber and potassium.
According to the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, fiber has been linked to preventing cardiovascular diseases. Potassium is also linked to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, especially stroke.
How Much Orange Do Parrots Eat?
Oranges are good for your parrot’s health, but they should only be given in moderation.
For medium-sized parrots, it’s best to give no more than 1 slice every 2 days. If your parrot likes to eat the whole orange at once, feed only 1 whole orange every other week.
Citrus fruits, like oranges, are known for their acidity.
Acidic foods can be hard on the digestive system. When acid reaches the stomach, it has to be neutralized. When there is too much acid, the stomach can’t keep up, causing digestive upset and other issues.
Too Much Sugar
Too much sugar can cause a range of digestive and metabolic stresses in parrots, even leading to diabetes.
Aside from that, sugar can be addictive to parrots. This can lead to your parrot refusing to eat any other food, causing its diet to become unbalanced.
Sugar can lead to behavioral issues as your parrot demands more sugary foods and becomes irritable when denied.
Can Parrots Eat Orange Peel?
It’s safe for your parrot to eat orange peel.
This leathery outer surface is packed with vitamins and minerals that can’t be found in the main fruit itself. The texture will also be fun for your parrot to gnaw and tear at, turning mealtime into an enrichment opportunity.
Wash it first. Oranges are often sprayed with pesticides, especially those that you find on supermarket shelves.
These pesticides are harmful to a bird’s health. According to the Research Journal of Environmental Toxicology, pesticides can affect reproduction, feeding behavior, and the immune system.
Some organically-grown oranges may be cultivated without pesticides, but not all are. Even oranges that you’ve grown yourself can benefit from a quick wash.
Can Parrots Eat Orange Pips?
Orange pips, or seeds, are harmless to parrots. Unlike some fruit seeds, which may contain toxins, orange seeds don’t contain any harmful compounds.
For most parrots, the seeds are too small to constitute a choking hazard. More care might be necessary for really small parrot species, like budgies. For these parrots, it’s best to remove the larger seeds.
To be extra careful, opt for seedless varieties, like the valencia and Jaffa oranges.
Can Parrots Drink Orange Juice?
Parrots can drink orange juice but avoid the ones sold at grocery stores. These types often contain:
- Added sugars
Preservatives lengthen the shelf life of the juice, and the sugar makes the juice more palatable. However, too much sugar could lead to your parrot gaining weight.
You can juice an orange. Just note that the juice itself isn’t as healthy as a slice of orange. Many owners dilute the juice with water to lessen the sugar content and still give their parrots some juice to drink.
Parrots can eat oranges as long as they’re given in moderation and cleaned. Offer your parrot a few slices of fresh orange throughout the week with the peels intact.