As a responsible owner, being sure you feed your Parakeet not only tasty but safe foods is a top priority. You will undoubtedly have many questions as to whether a particular type of food might be healthy, or even harmful. But what about fruits and more specifically oranges? Can you offer these as a treat or are they best avoided? I spent some time researching as to whether this fruit can have a place in a Parakeets diet. You’ll find all you need to know here today.
So, can Parakeets eat oranges? Parakeets can eat oranges, and it’s perfectly safe and healthy for them to do so. Oranges are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals, all of which support the health of your bird. However, Parakeets require a varied diet and oranges should never be fed exclusively; instead they should only be offered as a treat and in moderation. The high sugar content can cause issues if not kept in check.
Parakeets need a staple diet of well-formulated pellets – this provides them with the complete nutrition they require to live a healthy and full life. Around 75% of the diet should come from this type of food.
Aside from eating a nutritionally complete diet, Parakeets do best with variety and this can be an excellent way to supplement the diet. Specifically, these birds do well with and should consume more vegetables in their diet than fruits. In percentages, they need around 10-20% of total energy intake coming from vegetables, and the remaining 5% coming from safe fruits.
Parakeets have sweet tastes and will eat all kinds of fruit if offered and available. They are, after all, a tropical bird. Trying to replicate their natural diet and foods of their native location comes with a range of benefits. In the wild, these colorful birds enjoy the taste of fruits; most of us have never even heard of!
Of course, replicating this diet exactly is unrealistic and somewhat impossible. That being said, you should get your Parakeet to try as many different fruits and vegetables as possible.
Most birds love to eat fruit, and they are social eaters. Many Parakeets like sharing meals with their humans, and fruit is undoubtedly one of those types of foods you can eat together.
There are numerous benefits to feeding your Parakeet orange, as the citrus fruit is rich in Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin A, and B, and potassium. However, they are also quite high in sugar, so it’s for the best to limit this citrus fruit in your bird’s diet.
The benefits of eating orange are unmistakable; the range of vitamins and minerals can benefit the health of your Parakeet in the following ways: it strengthens the immune system, supports eyes health, prevents constipation and supports a healthy brain. Oranges also have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant benefits too!
Let us now discuss the benefits of feeding orange to your Parakeet in more detail. We will also cover the potential dangers, whether or not you can provide the peels, how much orange is safe to offer and how is best to feed it to your bird. So be sure to keep on reading to ensure you get all the information about feeding this fruit that you need!
Are Oranges Healthy For Parakeets?
Oranges are certainly an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B. The fruit is also high in potassium and dietary fiber. As long as you feed oranges in moderate amounts, it’s perfectly safe and healthy for your Parakeet.
Let us now take a closer look at the full nutritional breakdown of this amazing fruit:
Nutrition In Oranges
|Of which sugars||(1.59 g)|
|Vitamin C||9.04 mg|
|Vitamin A||1.87 µg|
Here are some of the many benefits of these nutrients on your birds health:
- Vitamin C stimulates the development of white cells in the body, which strengthens the immune system.
- Vitamin A in oranges enhances the immune system keeping it in top shape, along with folate, copper, and other nutrients found in oranges. Vitamin A also supports eye health. It protects the eyes from age-related issues and allows the cornea to function correctly.
- The high fiber content of oranges supports healthy digestion and helps prevent constipation.
- The folate in oranges supports the proper functioning of the brain’s neurotransmitter.
- Polyphenols in oranges support memory function.
But more is not necessarily better. While oranges are high in vitamins and minerals that contain health-promoting anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial benefits, oranges are also rich in sugar.
So it’s essential to restrict your bird’s intake of the fruit, as too much sugar is harmful to a bird’s health. Weight gain, energy regulation and food dependencies are all potential negatives that can arise from offering this fruit too often or too much.
Are Oranges Dangerous For Parakeets?
Oranges are not dangerous for Parakeets; every bit of the orange is safe for consumption by these birds. This includes the peel, but it is not recommended (as we will soon explain why below)
It’s understandable to worry about feeding fruit to your Parakeet, as some fruits contain toxic elements that can cause harm.
With all being said, feeding oranges exclusively to Parakeets might be dangerous as Parakeets need to eat a varied diet. Your Parakeet need to try as many fruits and vegetables as possible in addition to their mainstay of pellets.
If your Parakeet eats only one type of food, they will soon lack the necessary vitamins and minerals that keep them in good health.
The average lifespan of a Parakeet is between 6 to 8 years, and they can even live longer if kept well and are taken care of. Keeping your bird’s lifespan in mind, you must do all that you can to ensure your bird has a nutritionally complete diet.
One thing to consider is that over 80% of an orange is water, so it is among those fruits with the highest water content.
Eating watery fruits can result in urine changes for your Parakeet.
You may notice an increased amount of urine or a change in urine color; you may also see softer feces when your Parakeet eats oranges.
Rest assured, a change in your Parakeet’s urine and feces is perfectly normal after eating fruit like orange, and the soft feces isn’t diarrhea. This condition is known as polyuria, and it’s a healthy part of your bird’s waste system.
Lastly, its always a good idea to cut an orange into small and manageable pieces. Danger can come in the form of choking, so making the fruit more manageable for them and easier to digest comes recommended.
Can Parakeets Eat Orange Peels?
It’s not recommended to feed orange peel to Parakeets. Some Parakeets may well eat it, but oranges you buy in a supermarket tend to have been sprayed with pesticides, and other harmful chemicals.
If your bird eats orange peel, they may well ingest pesticides, which can be toxic for your bird.
Therefore, it is best to buy organic oranges, as there is no guarantee that washing the outside of the fruit is enough to remove chemicals.
Generally, when it comes to citrus fruit, it’s always best to remove the peel and serve the fruit inside.
Pesticides and Parakeets don’t mix – this is true of most birds. The large amount of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides often used in big agriculture is interfering with the well-being of many birds.
When birds consume foods laden with pesticides, studies have shown that they can become anorexic, which leads to dramatic weight loss and can eventually be fatal.
How Much Orange Should I Give My Parakeet?
Oranges should not be included in your Parakeet’s diet every day; it’s fine as a treat now and again.
Even a small segment contains a lot of sugar for such a little bird.
Parakeets must try many different kinds of fruit and vegetables each day, and they must eat more vegetables than fruit.
The most vital thing is that your Parakeet has his staple of pellets – this gives them the complete nutrition required for long and healthy life.
When it comes to feeding snacks to your Parakeet, consider that your bird’s diet must consist of 10 to 20% vegetables, and about 5 % should consist of fruit; feeding oranges exclusively to a Parakeet is not advised.
You can, by all means, serve oranges along with other fresh fruit and veggies as a salad.
How To Feed Oranges To Parakeets
When introducing oranges to your Parakeet for the first time, do it slowly and gradually.
Peel the orange and cut up the segments into small pieces. You can offer this by hand or even place it in the cage with them.
Be aware that your Parakeet might be a bit wary of the new fruit at first, be patient, and consider hand feeding.
Oranges are quite high in ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C). An excess of this acid can cause problems. Offering orange in moderate amounts is the key, and you can include it in your pet’s diet as an occasional treat.
You can give your Parakeet orange juice, as long as you first dilute the juice with water. Make sure that any orange juice you offer your Parakeet is hand pressed by you and not from a packet; it must be fresh. It should also never totally replace their water.
Preservatives in packed orange juices may also be problematic, so you do need to seek out a higher quality brand.
You can offer dried oranges to your Parakeet as long as they are free from sulfides and sulfates.
Equally, you can dry oranges yourself at home. You can place thinly sliced pieces of orange on a baking tray over parchment paper and bake them in the oven for a couple of hours.
Never offer any moldy or spoiled parts of an orange and if you offer the peel, be sure to buy organic orange and wash it thoroughly to remove traces of dirt.
Orange is undoubtedly one of the safest and healthiest fruits to offer your Parakeet. It contains so many minerals and vitamins that offer many health benefits to your bird.
You can certainly chop up a segment of orange into small pieces and offer it as part of a medley of other fruit and vegetables. Young Parakeets or Parakeets trying orange for the first time should be fed the fruit gradually in small pieces, consider hand-feeding where possible.
Organic oranges are best for your Parakeet as they don’t contain any of the harmful pesticides and other chemicals generally sprayed on fruit. It’s always best to serve the inside of oranges to your Parakeet.
It is vital that you do not overfeed oranges to your Parakeet. Oranges are high in ascorbic acid and fructose (a fruit sugar ), so as a treat and in moderation is best. Additionally, they require variety and fruits should never make up no more than 5% of total dietary intake.
Always try to remember that these birds are tropical. Their natural diet that they consume in the wild is a reflection of this. It would help if you tried to emulate their natural diet as closely as possible – even if it is a challenge and not entirely possible.
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.