Last Updated on January 28, 2024 by Carrie Stephens
Parrots like grapes’ sweet taste, juicy texture, and interesting colors.
Grapes provide fiber for improved digestion. They also contain vitamins B, C, and K, manganese, iron, zinc, and potassium, which benefit the immune system, skeleton (bones), nerves, and brain.
Grapes are a good source of antioxidants and polyphenols like resveratrol. This can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, blood pressure, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Why Grapes Are Good for Parrots
Parrots can eat grapes (Vitis vinifera) and other nutritious fruits as part of a balanced diet.
Dark-colored grapes are recommended because they contain more flavonoids, polyphenols, and phytonutrients. Red, blue, purple, and black grapes are best, followed by green grapes.
There are health benefits to introducing grapes to a parrot’s diet, including:
Parrots need fiber to maintain a healthy and active digestive tract. The fiber in grapes enables parrots to produce regular, healthy stools and benefit from a feeling of sated hunger.
Fiber, combined with the water content of grapes, can help prevent constipation.
Grapes contain polyphenols, resveratrol, catechins, quercetin, and anthocyanins. Although grapes must be washed to remove pesticides, they shouldn’t be peeled as most antioxidants are in the skin.
Antioxidants reduce inflammation, protecting the body from free radicals by reducing oxidative stress. This contributes to degenerative diseases like heart disease and strokes.
The darker the grapes, the more antioxidants they contain. This means red, purple, black, and blue (Concord) grapes are particularly healthy.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is another natural antioxidant found in grapes. However, parrots’ livers can produce vitamin C from glucose, so it needn’t be derived from a dietary source.
Even large parrots are unlikely to survive longer than 72 hours if their bodies don’t get enough water. Grapes comprise 82% water, and juicy grapes are a means of hydration when birds refuse to drink.
Potassium is an electrolyte that can reduce blood pressure levels and stroke risk by relaxing the walls of blood vessels and helping the body remove excess sodium (salt).
Higher fiber consumption also reduces LDL cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Parrots have hollow (pneumatized) bones to assist with improved oxygen flow during flight. Potassium is essential for a healthy skeleton because it increases bone mineral density.
Manganese is essential for a healthy skeleton (bones, cartilage, and collagen). Along with other important minerals, manganese can reduce the incidence of osteoporosis.
Brain And Nerve Health
The potassium in grapes results in superior nerve and brain health, improving cell communication. Potassium is widely believed to aid learning, metabolism, and hormone release.
Resveratrol reduces the adverse effects on retina cells from exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) light. It may also protect against eye conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
If a parrot’s energy levels are low, it may need more manganese. Enzymes need the coenzyme manganese to convert carbs, fats, and cholesterol into energy for flight.
Grape skins contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Grapes are higher in glucose and sucrose than other sweet-tasting fruits like strawberries.
A parrot eating too many grapes could develop digestive problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. In the longer term, a parrot may gain weight, straining its heart and joints.
According to the Journal of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, parrots can develop diabetes.
Grapes’ moderate glycemic index (53) helps control insulin production and blood sugar levels. The fiber content can also promote feelings of fullness, leading to reduced food consumption.
Red grapes contain ellagic acid, which has fat-burning properties.
Raisins are dried grapes, but they have 4 times more sugar and fewer nutrients as they’re dehydrated. So, it’s better to feed parrots a few grapes than a few raisins as a treat or training reward.
Best Grapes for Parrots
Grape seeds don’t contain cyanide, so they’re non-toxic to parrots.
You can choose between various colors of grapes, including:
|Black, blue, and purple grapes:
|Dark-skinned grapes are high in antioxidants. They contain resveratrol, which Biomedicines describes as an antitumor ingredient and bacterial deterrent.
|Red grapes contain anthocyanins, which give them their distinct color. As explained by Frontiers in Pharmacology, anthocyanins are natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, slowing aspects of the aging process in parrots.
|Green grapes don’t contain as many antioxidants but are nutritious and hydrating.
Organic grapes (blue, red, purple, and black) are recommended. Wash them to remove pesticides.
How To Feed Grapes To Parrots
Consider cutting grapes in half before feeding them to parrots. This increases the scent released by the grapes and prolongs the feeding experience.
If a parrot doesn’t eat its grapes, don’t leave the fruits in the cage. Grapes have a short shelf life. If grapes start to decay, they’ll produce mold spores and bacterial microbes.
Number of Grapes Parrots Can Eat
If a parrot enjoys grapes, it may refuse more nutritious foods. According to the Dutch Journal of Veterinary Medicine, hypovitaminosis can lead to hypocalcemia, goiters, and respiratory infections.
Limit parrots to 2-4 grapes per serving, and avoid offering them more than twice per week.
A parrot will likely want more grapes because they’re sweet, juicy, and flavorful. Consequently, cutting up grapes into halves or quarters is advisable to create the illusion of more food.
Grapes are a bite-sized treat for good behavior or training rewards. If your parrot isn’t drinking enough water or refuses to drink, grapes can assist with hydration until the issue is resolved.
Consider combining grapes with other nutritious fruits (like blueberries, watermelon, kiwi, and mango) to create a delicious, visually appealing fruit medley.