Fruit is healthy for parrots to eat in moderation. In fact, 15% of a parrot’s diet should consist of fruits and veggies. If you’re considering various treats, you may be curious if watermelon is safe for parrots.
Parrots can eat watermelon. No part of the fruit, including the seeds, is harmful. Watermelon will boost your parrot’s immune system, bone health, and organ health. It’s rich in essential nutrients and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, choline, potassium, and phosphorus.
The only part of a watermelon that you may wish to avoid feeding parrots is the rind. The rind itself is not toxic, but it may be coated in wax or pesticides. If you do, clean it thoroughly and shave off the outmost layer.
Is Watermelon Good For Parrots?
Parrots not only can eat watermelon, but they should as they’re full of health benefits:
Source of Water
Watermelons are composed of 92% water. Not only does this make this fruit juicy and delicious, but it also means your parrot can stay hydrated with a few slices of watermelon. Water is essential for all the bodily processes that keep your pet parrot healthy. By keeping properly hydrated, your parrot can maintain its:
Water is also necessary to ensure that toxins and waste is flushed out of the parrot’s system. This includes excess vitamins and minerals, which could otherwise be harmful.
Fiber ensures that your parrot has a healthy digestive system and flushes out toxins. It’s crucial in maintaining a healthy colony of good bacteria, which are naturally present in the gut. Day-to-day, you’ll note this as:
- Healthy bowel movements
- Lowered risk of constipation
Aside from helping your parrot’s digestive system, fiber has been linked to many other health benefits, too. This includes lowered rates of:
- Cardiovascular diseases
L-citrulline is an amino acid that is important for a healthy cardiovascular system. It’s been linked to strengthening the heart and all its blood vessels. Also, this amino acid has been shown to boost the immune system.
L-citrulline is converted to L-arginine in the kidneys. According to the Italian Journal of Animal Science, in birds, L-arginine is vital for weight gain, especially in a parrot’s early years. Here, arginine was determined to be a significant factor in the weight gain of chicks.
L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid. In other words, parrots do not naturally produce this amino acid, even if it has a lot of health benefits. That’s why it’s important to have this amino acid present in a parrot’s diet.
Watermelon also contains vitamins and minerals, including:
Choline helps keep the brain running efficiently, so your parrot remains sharp and attentive. It also aids in muscle development, as well as movement. This will keep your parrot be mentally quick 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 off diseases and illnesses, whether it’s 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, the bird may develop rashes, sores, or loose feathers.
When it comes to minerals, watermelons are full of them:
Potassium is important for ensuring that your parrot’s muscles stay healthy and strong. Of course, strong muscles also mean that your parrot can breathe better and gives it a healthier heart.
Phosphorus is essential in the body for ensuring that the bones and beak stay healthy. Once it has fortified the skeleton, it goes to work on:
- Healthy cell and tissue production
- Production of carbohydrates
- Metabolism of fats
This will improve your parrot’s energy levels, mood, and overall 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. Likewise, it’s been shown to reduce the risk of diseases like:
- Heart disease
Lycopene can help against the effects of radiation from sunlight. Additionally, it can also make your parrot’s heart, lungs, and eyes much healthier.
|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?
Watermelons are a great source of vitamins and nutrients essential to a parrot’s diet. However, the real question is whether or not parrots will actually like them. Most parrots love eating watermelon because the
- Stringy texture provides resistance for the parrot to chew through
- Juicy squish of a watermelon will entertain the bird
- Seeds will be fun to pick out and munch on, providing enrichment
- Sweet flavor will sate a parrot’s craving for natural sugar, serving as a great treat
Parrots will like watermelons as much as they enjoy any fruit.
How To Make Watermelons Appetizing To Parrots
Parrots are fussy eaters, so there’s still a chance that your parrot won’t like watermelons. However, if your bird turns its beak up at fruit, don’t give up yet. 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, try changing the location of the food. For example, you can:
- Place it higher in the cage, so your bird has to reach for it
- Place it on the cage floor, so the bird doesn’t have to struggle for it
- Feed the bird by hand so that you can bond
Bigger Chunks Are Better
Changing the serving size can also impact your parrot’s interest. Remember, when it comes to feeding parrots, the bigger the chunks, the better.
Parrots like dealing with large chunks of food because it’s more fun. The process of having to break it down into smaller chunks serves as enrichment. If your bird ignores little pieces, give it a slice equal to 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 it comes to eating watermelons, expect some mess after your parrot is done with 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. Not only will the fruit be unsafe to eat, but it can make the cage unsanitary.
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.
Birds will be adversely affected by pesticides used on farms. In fact, Waterbirds determined that pesticides don’t just affect a bird’s health but also its ability to reproduce.
Can Parrots Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Parrots can eat watermelon seeds. Watermelon seeds are full of nutrients, minerals, and proteins. Nothing bad will happen to your parrot, and undigested seeds can easily come out on the other end.
If your bird really likes watermelon seeds, it’s recommended to serve them separately from the fruit itself. Soak the seeds overnight to make them easier to peck and eat. White seeds will be softer, so feel free to leave them along with the meat or forgo soaking them.
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 fruits and vegetables a day.
- Smaller species will only need a ¾ cup of fruits and vegetables.
Watermelon is safe for your parrot to eat., but always ensure that your parrot eats regularly and has a balanced diet. No matter how healthy watermelon is, it’s still not enough if your parrot isn’t consuming other essential foods, such as vegetables, pellets, seeds, and nuts.