The diet of parrots needs to be balanced and varied. Seed and greens will inevitably become boring over time, so you may want to feed your parrot strawberries as an alternative.
All parts of a strawberry are healthy for parrots to eat, including the leaves, seeds, flesh, and juice. This fruit is rich in fiber and minerals, so it can boost your parrot’s immune system and improve its digestive health. Vitamin B9, vitamin K, and vitamin C are among the health benefits this delicious red fruit offers.
Don’t overfeed strawberries to parrots. Your pet should only consume a few strawberries over the course of the week, alongside other foods. Fruit and vegetables should never exceed 15% of your parrot’s diet. Any strawberries should be washed thoroughly and cut into slices to remove any pesticides and limit the mess your parrot makes.
Are Strawberries Good For Parrots?
Fruit is a vital part of any parrot’s diet. Strawberries contain essential vitamins and nutrients, including:
|Vitamin C:||Boosts immune system|
|Folate:||Healthy tissue and cell growth|
|Anthocyanin:||Improve cardiovascular system|
Strawberries are high in fiber, which is important for your parrot’s digestion. Fiber ensures that the good bacteria present in the gut stays balanced, so parrots can:
- Process foods efficiently
- Avoid stomach upset
- Prevent constipation
- Regular bowel movements
Fiber can also help your parrot avoid diseases. According to Nutrients, fiber lowers the chance of:
- Cardiovascular diseases
There are many vitamins in strawberries. While most are just trace amounts, you’ll find that these three vitamins are in ample supply:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system. Vitamin C can strengthen your parrot’s ability to fight off illnesses, disease, and the effects of aging.
Depending on their species, parrots live long lives. That makes it important to keep your parrot’s vitamin C levels topped up to reduce the risk of developing:
- Neurological diseases
- Heart disease
Strawberries are also high in folate, otherwise known as vitamin B9. Folate has been linked to healthy tissue growth and cell function. It is essential when producing:
- White blood cells
- Red blood cells
- And it even helps with cell division
Folate plays a crucial role in most aspects of your parrot’s health.
This vitamin is essential for blood clotting, so it helps wounds to heal properly. That will be beneficial for parrots with overgrown beaks or that frequently get cuts and grazes. It has also been linked to a healthy bone structure. That’s important for large breeds of active parrots.
Anthocyanin is a compound that gives the strawberries their bright red color. Besides that, anthocyanin can also be found in plants with a red, purple, or blue hue. This includes fruits like:
For vegetables, you can find anthocyanins in red cabbages and kidney beans, among others. Why are anthocyanins so important? They’ve been linked to many health benefits, including a lowered risk of heart disease. Researchers have noted that anthocyanin can:
- Improve blood sugar regulation
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Preventing high blood pressure
This compound also has antioxidant properties linked to lowering the chances of developing heart disease.
Do Parrots Like Strawberries?
Parrots have a reputation for being picky eaters. Parrots are fond of fruits and berries in the wild and will forage them in the trees. This makes strawberries a good substitute as parrots like:
- Sweet foods. The natural sugars in strawberries will satisfy that craving.
- Playing with their food. Just like cracking nuts serve as a form of enrichment, parrots like to toy with strawberries. The seed-heavy texture, the crunch of the fruit, and the juiciness have appeal.
- A varied diet. This brightly-colored fruit adds variety.
Can Parrots Eat Strawberry Leaves?
Sometimes, different parts of the fruit are edible, while other parts are dangerous to consume. If the meat of a strawberry is safe, are the leaves poisonous for parrots?
Strawberry leaves are safe to feed to your parrot if you wash them thoroughly. You may also find that your parrot doesn’t like the leaves. A picky bird might only accept the fruit itself. If that’s the case, you can pull off the leaves.
Can Parrots Eat Strawberry Seeds?
Strawberries are covered in little seeds all along their exterior, which can safely be consumed. In fact, parrots are likely to pick at the seeds instead of eating the fruit itself.
Can Parrots Eat Strawberries with Cream?
A popular way to eat strawberries is to chop them up and add cream. Parrots can eat strawberries without any harmful effects. However, the cream is not safe for parrots to eat.
Cream is a dairy product, which means that it is high in fat. Fatty foods should only ever be given in small amounts to your parrot. Otherwise, it may experience digestive and health issues, such as fatty liver disease. Also, commercially bought cream is often high in processed sugar.
Can Parrots Drink Strawberry Juice?
If you want to give your parrot strawberry juice, then go right ahead. Pure strawberry juice will contain all the vitamins and nutrients as whole strawberries.
The parrot may turn away from this treat, however. Parrots enjoy playing with their food and will miss the texture of chewing through a strawberry. They will also miss out on the fiber content and won’t gain roughage in their diet.
Watch Out For Sugars
Keep in mind that store-bought juice often has added sugars or processed corn syrup mixed in. While it won’t grow sick immediately, it can upset a parrot’s stomach. If the parrot continues to drink it, this may eventually result in diabetes, obesity, and heart problems, to name a few.
Can Parrots Eat Dried Strawberries?
When strawberries are dried, they contain more fiber and antioxidants. This gives your parrot a boost to its immune system and aids in digestion.
Dried strawberries also have a longer shelf life. You can stock up on this treat to save money and keep rewards for the parrot on hand. However, the dried strawberries you find in most stores aren’t the healthiest treat.
These strawberries often contain preservatives. While the amount of preservatives in each package is small, too much of it can be toxic. In high doses, it may even be fatal for parrots.
Commercially-dried fruits often contain high amounts of sugar and should only be offered in small amounts.
Drying Strawberries For Your Parrot
You can get the advantages of dried strawberries without the disadvantages by drying your own. Here’s how:
- Hull the berries
- Slice them into thin pieces
- Lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake them for 1-2 hours until dry, in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven.
Then, you’re ready to feed them to your parrot.
How Many Strawberries Can A Parrot Eat?
According to the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, captive parrots are often fed imbalanced diets. Since parrots have long lifespans, a poor diet can affect their quality of life. Here’s the right balance:
15% of A Parrot’s Diet
Fruits and vegetables should only make up a small amount of a parrot’s diet. Berries should only account for 15% of what your parrot eats in a day.
3-4 Times A Week
You can’t depend on your parrot to self-ration the number of strawberries it eats. Only offer your parrot strawberries 3-4 times a week. A large bird with a good appetite may eat 2-3 strawberries per day, along with other foods. A smaller parrot with a more modest diet may only need 1 strawberry per day.
Round Out The Diet
Strawberries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. However, these benefits only count when they’re paired with nutrients gained from other foods. Round out your parrot’s diet with other foods, including:
- Micro greens
- Bird pellets
How To Give Strawberries To Your Parrot
Before you put a strawberry into your parrot’s cage, be sure to prepare the fruit correctly.
Like most commercially grown fruits, strawberries are sprayed with pesticides. This keeps them free of bugs or bacteria that would damage the fruit. However, these pesticides can be a problem when ingested by parrots.
This can be avoided. If you get organic strawberries that have not been treated with pesticides, this is the healthiest option. Aside from that, you can also thoroughly wash the strawberries. Here’s how:
- Separate them from the box
- Run them under cool water
- Apply a small amount of gentle soap
- Scrub by hand or with a sponge
- Wash the soap off thoroughly before drying and feeding to your parrot
Handle The Leaves
Some parrots eat strawberry leaves, while others don’t. If your bird is the kind to munch on leaves, then you can:
- Leave the hull intact and feed the strawberry as-is to your parrot.
- Separate the leaves and save them as a lesser treat, perhaps for reinforcement training
If your parrot turns up its beak at the leaves, then remove them altogether.
Chop Into Big Pieces
Parrots have impressive bite strength. A strawberry won’t be difficult for them to chew through. There’s little danger of choking. However, it’s still recommended that you chop the strawberry into smaller pieces, or your parrot may:
- Smear the strawberry along its cage floor or your table
- Squirt juice as it bites and gnaws on the berry, staining furniture
- Leave messy chunks around its cage
As a plus, when you chop up the strawberry into pieces, you have more control over the portions. You can:
- Hand-feed the parrot to strengthen your bonding process
- Measure out rewards for certain behavior
- Make your parrot hunt out the pieces, one by one
For small berries, you may not need to slice them. Just make sure to wash and then serve.
Parrots are messy eaters, especially when eating juicy fruit like strawberries. With a high water content, this fruit might smear all over your bird’s feathers, feet, beak, and surrounding area.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down the bird and the area. The mess won’t be too bad if you fed the bird slices. You should also remove any leftover strawberries after 2 hours. Otherwise, bacteria may start to develop on the fruit.
Strawberries are a safe, healthy, and tasty treat for your parrot. Just be sure to feed your parrot fruit in moderation.