In the wild, Parakeets eat a wide range of foods. However, your pet Parakeet should eat a more disciplined diet. It should mainly be made up of pellets and seeds, but you can and should offer treats, in moderation. Fruits and vegetables are often recommended but what are the best options and are they even safe and healthy for these birds? Specifically, what about apples and is there anything an owner needs to know prior to serving, like removing the skin? With these questions in mind, I spent time researching the suitability of this common fruit in the diet.
So, can Parakeets eat apples? Parakeets can eat apples so long as you give it to them as an occasional treat once a week.They generally enjoy this fruit and it contains many nutritious vitamins, minerals and fiber. While you can offer the skin, you will need to make sure that you only offer the fruit and not the seeds. Apple seeds are toxic to birds; they contain a compound called amygdalin, that can convert into cyanide in the intestines and p[rove fatal in high doses. Cutting apple into smaller chunks makes them safer and easier to consume for parakeets.
You can undoubtedly provide fruit to your Parakeet once per week as long as your bird has access to fresh and clean drinking water each day.
Ways to serve apples to Parakeets include cutting it into small pieces so that they can be quickly and easily eaten. You can offer apple with or without the skin, as long as you leave out the seeds and the core.
Apples are a cheap and healthy source of natural bird food and they make a nice change from seeds, pellets, and nuts. Variety is important to these birds, so there are many benefits in doing so.
Many Parakeets like their fruits to have a crisp texture; however, it can be a bit of a challenge for younger and/or smaller birds.
For this reason, when introducing apples to your Parakeet for the first time, make sure that they are cut up into smaller pieces to make it easy for them to eat.
Let us now take a closer look at the suitability of the apple in the diet of a Parakeet. We will be considering the health benefits, dangers, risks and how to safely feed them to these wonderful birds!
- 1 Are Apples Healthy For Parakeets?
- 2 Is Apple Dangerous For Parakeets?
- 3 Can Parakeets Eat Apple Skin?
- 4 How Much Apple Should I Give My Parakeet?
- 5 How To Feed Apples To Parakeets?
- 6 Finally
Are Apples Healthy For Parakeets?
As treats for birds go, apples are one of the best for parakeets. If prepared correctly, they are very healthy when provided in moderation.
Parakeets require a nutritionally balanced diet and one that resembles the diet of their wild counterparts.
Pellets offer all the nutrition Parakeets need, but it’s beneficial for your pet bird to try a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. You can promote the health of your bird’s digestive system by choosing the freshest apple that you can find at the store.
Apples are safe without the seeds; they are also high in vitamin C, fiber and many different antioxidants.
Apples won’t make your Parakeet put on too much weight, they are low in calories and they are a low GI food (glycemic index), despite their sugar content and high carbs.
Let’s discuss the two primary nutrients in apples:
Vitamins and Minerals
Apples are a rich source of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid; it has numerous essential functions for the body. Vitamin C can strengthen a body’s natural defences. It boosts the immune system by protecting cells from free radicals, also known as harmful molecules.
Vitamin C also helps prevent iron deficiency; iron is essential for producing red blood cells and moving oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin C helps to improve the absorption of iron from your bird’s diet.
Potassium is the main mineral in apples which is good for the heart. Potassium helps to regulate fluid balance, keeping the right fluid balance is essential for optimum health as it leads to dehydration which can adversely affect the heart and kidneys.
Potassium is essential for a healthy nervous system; the nervous system sends messages between the brain and the body. These messages are delivered via nerve impulses that help to regulate muscle contractions, reflexes, heartbeat, and other bodily functions.
A lack of potassium in the diet can impact the body’s ability to generate nerve impulses. Potassium also helps lower water retention; it helps to increase urine production and lower sodium levels.
Below are the main vitamins and minerals found in just one small serving of apple:
|Vitamin C||0.322 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.154 µg|
Remember, while the amounts may seem small – your Parakeets requirements for such nutrients is much lower due to their size and respective metabolisms.
Apples are an excellent source of fiber; some of this fiber comes from pectin, which is a mix of insoluble and insoluble fibers.
Soluble fiber partly feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut. Soluble fiber is made of carbs, and it helps to control cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels in the body.
Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect; it’s made from plant cells that are indissoluble in water.
Fiber helps lower blood sugar levels and boosts digestive function. Fiber prevents constipation by adding bulk to stool.
Fibrous substances soften the stool making it easier to go out the intestinal tract. Constipation can result in many illnesses, so fiber is essential in preventing constipation.
Fiber also normalizes intestinal juices which help to moderate diarrhea. Fibrous soaks the excess fluid from the digestive tract – this makes the bowel firm and slows down the movement.
Is Apple Dangerous For Parakeets?
Apple is only dangerous for Parakeets if you offer it with the seeds. Otherwise, the fruit is perfectly safe for your bird’s consumption.
Apple seeds and pits must be avoided because they contain some cardio-toxic cyanide. Make sure that you core out the seeds and pits and let your bird enjoy the rest of the delicious fruit.
If your Parakeet ingests one or two seeds, they are likely to be okay. However, this should not be a regular occurrence and if they do so, you will need to monitor them throughout the day.
A bird would have to consume a lot of apple seed before any adverse effects occur; however, apple seeds are not the best food to offer a bird and can lead to other issues, such as constipation.
Consider how 10 to 20% of your budgie’s diet should consist of fresh vegetables, and 5% should consist of fruit. They need to try different fruit and veg every day.
Can Parakeets Eat Apple Skin?
Parakeets can eat apple skin; the skin isn’t toxic to them in any way. However, it is generally advised to source organic apples free from pesticides, herbicides and other chemical residues.
Its also advised to wash the apple, and the skin, ahead of any serving with clean fresh water.
How your parakeet chooses to eat their apple will depends on their habits, some like to eat it whole, including the skin. Others will sip the juice, while others will peck at the soft flesh.
Your parakeet may not like the skin, but it won’t make them sick if ingested.
Parakeets are small delicate birds, and many do not want to peck through the tough skin of an apple. If you find this to be the case, make sure that you cut the apple in half or quarters ahead of serving. This may may the difference as to whether they eat it or not.
Of course, cutting an apple begins to decomposing process. If you opt for this method you will need to feed and offer it soon after, before the color of the flesh begins to turn.
How Much Apple Should I Give My Parakeet?
Parakeets love fruit, and they have a real sweet tooth, if there is a particular fruit they like, the chances are that that is all they will crave.
Here is a documented list of some of the best fruits to feed your pet Parakeet.
Nevertheless, you must stand firm and not give your Parakeet only one type of fruit, as they need and do best with variety.
Parakeets need to try an assortment of crunchy and soft fruits. It is recommended that you offer apple once a week to your parakeet.
You can offer the apple in a dish next to your birds water dish, as they like to dip their fruit in water.
This is a convenient way of keeping the fruit and water side by side.
Fruits, in general, should not be fed to Parakeets daily as they are higher in sugar compared to vegetables.
Vegetables can be provided to a Parakeet every day in addition to their mainstay of pellets, but keep in mind that your bird’s dropping will become more watery when fed vegetables or fruit. This is not diarrhea.
How To Feed Apples To Parakeets?
As previously mentioned, different Parakeets have different eating habits; some may like the skin; others may not. It all depends on the bird.
For this reason, test the following and see what your bird likes and dislikes:
Cut Into Chunks
Try offering large chunks of apple to your bird; this allows them to chew pieces off. You can choose to leave the skin on if you wish.
Cut In Half
Make sure that you select the freshest and juiciest apple to cut in half, and take out the seeds. You can leave the skin on and allow your bird/birds to tackle the apple wedges.
Offering Apples On A Feeder, Branch, Or Spike
If you have a feeder for your bird, insert the apple whole or cut in half and see how they respond and get on.
Your Parakeet might only eat the soft flesh of the halved apples or peck right through the whole apples.
You can use a branch or a twig to stick the apple on in a diagonal or horizontal position.
Offering By Hand
This is one of the nicest way to feed fruits, or any food for that matter. However, you need your Parakeet to trust you and may not be suitable, or possible for all birds.
Hold out your hand with some small, cut up chunks of apple and place your hand gently into the cage. Be sure not to frighten your bird at any time and be careful they do not escape!
Your parakeets might just prefer to eat their apple cut up into small pieces, but it’s good to get a sense of their feeding habits.
Parakeets can most definitely eat apples; most simply love the fruit. The danger with apples concerns the seeds and the core. Otherwise, it’s perfectly safe.
However, you must make sure that you do not feed apples exclusively or they will miss out on the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy.
Parakeets live on average between 6 to 8 years; some live for longer. Diet goes a long way in ensuring that your pet bird lives to a good age.
The mainstay of your Parakeets diet must consist of nutritionally complete pellets; however having healthy treats, in addition to their core feed, provides some much-needed and exciting variety into their diet.
Consider that Parakeets in the wild have their pick of fruits and vegetables and are accustomed to different flavors and textures. you can replicate this in your home; and their diet does not need to be monotonous or boring!
Apples are a fine fruit, but these birds need to try fruits of all textures and tastes. So, be sure to get your Parakeet to try different fruits, prepared in different ways.
Vegetables can be offered more than fruits, as fruits are relatively high in sugar. While a small amount is fine, too much sugar can be harmful to your bird’s health.
So, while Apples are a tasty snack for any Parakeet, keep in mind that moderation is crucial.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.