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can parrots eat pineapple?

Can Parrots Eat Pineapple? (What Parts Are Edible?)

Last Updated on January 28, 2024 by Carrie Stephens

Parrots can eat pineapple (Ananas comosus), including the meat, core, skin, and leaves.

Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Parrots will benefit from improved digestion, immune function, healing ability, and disease resistance.

Most parrots like pineapple, but some dislike its sharp flavor. The natural sugars are usually sufficient to tempt even the pickiest parrot into eating this delicious fruit.

Suitability of Parts of The Pineapple

Pineapple contains no harmful substances, so it isn’t toxic or dangerous. Wild parrots eat pineapple to meet their high metabolic needs, as it’s an excellent source of quick-release energy.

It’s an essential source of hydration where water sources are hard to find. The average pineapple comprises 86% water. Some parrots are reluctant to drink, deriving water from their food.

Let’s look at the different parts of the pineapple and assess their suitability:

Pineapple Core

The core is safe and a good source of essential nutrients:

  • Bromelain. This proteolytic enzyme is an anticoagulant (slows blood clotting time), reduces pain and swelling, helps with muscle soreness, and is an immune system booster.
  • Fiber. The core of a pineapple contains more fiber, aiding digestive health and transit.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It’s an antioxidant that protects the cells against oxidative stress. It’s also needed for iron absorption, tissue growth and repair, and lower blood pressure.

You can safely feed a pineapple core to a parrot, but it may not be its favorite part of the fruit. Pineapple cores are less juicy, bitter, and thick-textured.

A parrot will likely prefer the juicy outer meat over the taste of the core. However, a few chunks or slices of the core can be put in the parrot’s food bowl.

When a pet parrot is bored, it can gain enrichment by grinding through the tough core.

can parrots eat canned pineapple?

Pineapple Skin

This thick, sometimes sharp outer layer will keep parrots busy. They can peck and gnaw at the surface, benefitting from the diverse range of vitamins and minerals in/near the skin.

This includes high amounts of beta-carotene, a pigment that gives the pineapple its bright yellow color. Once ingested, this compound is converted into vitamin A, which can improve parrots:

  • Eye health.
  • Hearing.
  • Bone strength.
  • Immune function.
  • Fluid balance.
  • Disease resistance.

Beta carotene is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and slows the effects of aging. It can also reduce the incidence of problems like feather-destructive behavior (feather plucking).

Many parrots have a vitamin A deficiency (hypovitaminosis A).

Pineapple Leaves

Pineapples have a tall crown of leaves on their heads that are usually thrown away during food preparation. Humans won’t benefit from these hard, spiky greens, but parrots can.

Pineapples belong to the bromeliad family, a common plant family in the tropics. Wild parrots and bromeliads co-exist. A parrot may instinctively know to rip, pull, and gnaw on the leaves.

Why Pineapple Is Good for Parrots

Pineapples benefit parrots in the following ways:

Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight free radicals, which cause large-scale chain reactions in the body’s chemical balance called oxidation. The oxidation process is reduced if a parrot gets enough antioxidants.

A parrot must eat pineapple and other nutritious foods with antioxidant properties. They reduce the harsh effects of aging and the risk of degenerative diseases.

There are many antioxidants in pineapple, including phenolic acids and flavonoids. According to the Journal of Natural Products, flavonoids have a positive effect on the following:

  • Limiting the incidence of allergies.
  • Fighting off viral infections.
  • Reducing inflammation.

Pet parrots should eat various fruits and vegetables for maximum health benefits.

Immunity System

The most abundant compounds in pineapple are vitamin C and bromelain, which achieve the following:

  • Cell regeneration.
  • Wound repair.
  • Bacterial and viral infection prevention.
  • Collagen creation.
  • Iron absorption.

Eating pineapple may enable parrots to recover from and ward off illness.

Digestion

Pineapple contains various minerals, enzymes, and compounds that can:

  • Strengthen the stomach lining.
  • Rebalance good bacteria in the gut.
  • Promote superior digestion.
  • Assist with healthy bowel movements.

The stringy nature of the meat, the thick outer shell, and the leaves provide roughage.

Bone Health

Parrots have hollow bones, which reduces their weight and enhances their ability to fly. Birds must get the right balance of vitamins and minerals to keep their bones strong.

Pineapple is rich in manganese, which has been linked to strengthening:

  • Bones.
  • Bone fiber.
  • Connective tissue.

The average pineapple contains 118 mg. of calcium, which is highly beneficial. After preening, parrots must be exposed to the sun to synthesize vitamin D3 and absorb calcium into their skeletons.

Canned Pineapple

The canning process doesn’t remove the nutrients, but always check the list of ingredients for unwanted additions. Canned pineapples usually retain their original flavor and texture.

While the canning process doesn’t change the pineapple, the water content may vary. Some canned pineapples are also sweetened with added sugars to:

  • Preserve the original texture.
  • Maintain shape and consistency.
  • Keep the color vibrant.
  • Add more flavor.

This makes canned pineapples more marketable, but it’s unsuitable for parrots. They shouldn’t consume artificial sweeteners, processed sugar, or too much natural sugar to prevent weight gain.

can parrots eat dried pineapple?

Preparing Canned Pineapple

You can remove most of the sugar from canned pineapples by:

  • Putting it in a strainer.
  • Rinsing it under cold, running water.

This should wash away most of the syrup, but some will remain. Opt for fresh or tinned, unsweetened pineapple chunks to keep it as sugar-free as possible.

Look for cans that have little or no added sugar. These are often labeled ‘light syrup’ or ‘100% juice.’ Those branded with ‘heavy syrup’ are used for desserts or candied dishes and must be avoided.

Dried Pineapple

While some nutrients will be lost in the drying process, others remain. Store-bought varieties add preservatives and sugar to improve the taste and lifespan of pineapple.

Preparing Dried Pineapple

Drying the fruit at home is the safest, healthiest option. To make dried pineapple:

  1. Chop the pineapple into small chunks.
  2. Place the pieces on a baking tray.
  3. Heat the oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Let the pineapple chunks cook slowly.

Pineapple Juice

If freshly squeezed from organic chunks you’ve diced at home, the juice will be parrot-safe. It’ll contain the original vitamins and minerals, keeping the parrot healthy and hydrated.  

Avoid commercially processed fruit juice because it’s high in sugar, preservatives, and artificial colors. You can also avoid sugar-free brands containing sugar substitutes like xylitol.

Amount of Pineapple Parrots Can Eat

Fruit and veg should comprise around 15-20% of a parrot’s diet.

You can give parrots a few pineapple chunks 2-3 times weekly. Dietary diversity is essential, so provide them with various fruits for nutrients, flavor, and texture.

Too much pineapple (or any fruit) can unsettle a parrot’s digestive system.