Up to 15% of a parrot’s diet should consist of fruits and vegetables. If you want to add some mealtime variety, you’ll want to know if watermelon is good for parrots.
No part of the watermelon, including the black seeds, is harmful.
Watermelon boosts a parrot’s immune system, hydration, and organ health. It’s a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, choline, potassium, and phosphorus.
The only part of a watermelon you may wish to avoid feeding parrots is the rind. The rind isn’t toxic, but it may be coated in pesticides.
Is Watermelon Good For Parrots?
Parrots that eat watermelon will benefit as follows:
Source of Water
Watermelons are composed of 92% water. Not only does this make this fruit juicy and delicious, but it also means that your parrot can stay hydrated with a few slices.
Water is essential for all bodily processes, including flushing toxins and waste from the parrot’s system. This includes excess vitamins and minerals, which would otherwise be detrimental.
Fiber ensures that your parrot has a healthy digestive system. It’s crucial for maintaining a healthy colony of good bacteria naturally present in the gut. This will achieve the following:
- Healthy bowel movements
- Lower risk of constipation
L-citrulline is an essential amino acid for healthy cardiovascular and immune systems.
L-citrulline is converted to L-arginine in the kidneys. According to the Italian Journal of Animal Science, L-arginine is vital for weight gain in birds, especially in the early years.
Watermelon contains the following vitamins and minerals:
Choline keeps the brain running efficiently so your parrot remains sharp and attentive. It aids in muscle development and movement, which keeps the parrot mentally sharp and physically dexterous.
Vitamin A is responsible for the production of keratin. For parrots, this is what makes up their feathers. Vitamin A allows your bird’s iconic red, blue, yellow, or grey feathers to be smooth, full, and healthy.
Vitamin C is crucial in fortifying your parrot’s immune system. It helps birds fight diseases and illnesses, whether from bacteria or mites.
Vitamin C also ensures that your parrot’s skin stays healthy. Sure, you’ll be quick to notice the state of the bird’s feathers, and the skin might be ignored.
However, the underlying skin is crucial for the bird’s comfort, health, and the state of its feathers. Without enough vitamin C, your parrot may develop rashes, sores, or loose feathers.
When it comes to minerals, watermelon contains:
Potassium ensures that your parrot’s muscles stay healthy and strong.
Phosphorus is essential for keeping the bones and beak healthy. Once it has fortified the skeleton, it ensures:
- Healthy cell and tissue production
- Production of carbohydrates
- Metabolism of fats
This will improve your parrot’s energy levels, mood, and well-being.
Lycopene is what gives the watermelon its reddish hue. It is present in many plants, such as the iconic tomato.
However, watermelons have higher levels of lycopene than tomatoes. As an antioxidant, it has been linked to the fight against signs of aging.
Lycopene can help against the effects of radiation from sunlight. Also, it can make your parrot’s heart, lungs, and eyes much healthier.
Here’s a summary of the health benefits of watermelon consumption:
|L-citrulline:||Cardiovascular health, weight gain|
|Choline:||Memory, intelligence, and movement|
|Vitamin A:||Healthy feathers|
|Vitamin C:||Immune system, skin health|
|Potassium:||Healthy muscles, better respiration, and heart health|
|Lycopene:||Reduces effects of radiation, boosts health for heart, lungs, and eyes|
Do Parrots Like Watermelon?
Most parrots love eating watermelon due to the
- Stringy texture, which provides resistance for the parrot to chew through
- Juicy squish of a watermelon
- Seeds, which are fun to pick out and munch on
- Sweet flavor, which will sate a parrot’s craving for natural sugar
How To Make Watermelons Appetizing To Parrots
Parrots are fussy eaters. Here are things you can do to make watermelons more appealing:
Where you put food can play a role in your parrot’s appetite. If your parrot is ignoring its meals, including watermelon, change the location of the food. You can:
- Place it higher in the cage so that the bird has to reach for it
- Place it on the cage floor so that the bird doesn’t have to struggle so much
- Feed the bird by hand as a bonding exercise
Bigger Chunks Are Better
Changing the serving size can impact your parrot’s interest. Remember, when it comes to feeding parrots, the bigger the chunks, the better.
Parrots like large chunks of food because breaking it down into smaller chunks serves as enrichment. If your parrot ignores little pieces, give it a slice equal in the palm of your hand.
Make Eating Stress-Free
Consider your parrot’s disposition. Like other prey animals, they will only eat food if they know they’re in a safe environment. If your parrot does not have a good appetite, check if its environment stresses it out.
- Considering moving your parrot to a less busy area of the house
- Feed it during quieter times of the day
- Play with your bird first to relax it, and then hand feed it
Keep It Clean
When eating watermelons, expect some mess after your parrot finishes its meal. Be sure to clean up any mess to keep bacteria and odors at bay.
If your parrot hasn’t eaten the watermelon after two hours, throw the rest away. Leaving fruit out in the open for more than a few hours will attract bacteria.
Can Parrots Eat Watermelon Rind?
Rinds are often coated with wax, which is necessary to preserve the fruit. Aside from this waxy coating, commercial watermelons are often sprayed with pesticides.
It’s still possible to feed the rind to your parrot if you:
- Rinse it thoroughly with water to ensure that all traces of wax or pesticides are removed
- Scrape off a couple of layers and feed the rest to your bird
Alternatively, you could get watermelons from an organic farm.
Can Parrots Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Parrots can eat watermelon seeds. Watermelon seeds are full of nutrients, minerals, and protein. If your parrot likes watermelon seeds, serve them separately. Soak the seeds overnight to make them easier to eat.
How Much Watermelon Can I Feed My Parrot?
Parrots should be fed at least twice a day. The amount of food that your parrot needs will depend on its species:
- Bigger species will need 1 ½ cups of fruit and vegetables a day
- Smaller species will only need a ¾ cup of fruit and vegetables
Watermelon is safe for parrots to eat., but only as part of a balanced diet. No matter how healthy watermelon is, it’s still not enough if your parrot isn’t consuming other essential foods.