It’s well established that Parakeets love nothing more than gorging themselves on fruit, especially in captivity. In their natural habitat, Parakeets have exposure to all kinds of exotic fare, and they are in tune with their dietary needs and hitting their nutritional requirements from what they can get off the land. As a responsible owner, its different. It naturally follows that you will undoubtedly have endless questions regarding what they can eat. Different fruits are common ones, especially what ones are healthy, preferable and how much you should be offering. But what about strawberries? I spent some time researching their suitability in the diet and would like to share my findings with you here today.
So, can Parakeets eat strawberries? Parakeets can eat strawberries, and they are considered a safe fruit as long as you only feed them in moderation. Strawberries are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and provide many health benefits when offered appropriately. However, Parakeets should never be fed strawberries exclusively and must consume a staple diet of pellets. Only 5% of a pet Parakeets diet should comprise of fruits, and this should be made up of different types of fruit. Variety is essential from both a nutritional and behavioral perspective.
Some fruits have a higher acidic content than others and must be fed in small amounts if at all. This is not true of strawberries. They re much more appropriate for these birds.
As such, strawberries can be a great addition to your birds usual diet, and they will go a long way in keeping your Parakeet in top condition.
If your Parakeet eats fresh fruit, like strawberries, they will feel healthier, happier, and will have beautiful glossy feathers. Strawberries are one of those fruits where every bit is safe for the consumption of birds, this includes the green tops and the seeds as well as the flesh.
Strawberries are a rich source of Vitamin C, Folate (Vitamin B9), potassium, and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants as well as plant compounds, which have many benefits for blood sugar control and heart health.
This delicious berry has undeniable health benefits, which we will delve into in the following sections. We will also cover if they can be dangerous, how many you should look to offer and how to do so. So, be sure to keep on reading until the end!
Are Strawberries Healthy For Parakeets?
Strawberries are a healthy treat for Parakeets, so long as you offer them in appropriate servings sizes and in moderate amounts.
Let us now take a closer look at the full nutritional breakdown of this versatile berry:
Nutrition In Strawberries
|Of which sugars||(0.88 g)|
|Vitamin C||10.6 mg|
|Vitamin A||0.18 µg|
Here are some of the many benefits of these nutrients on your birds health:
- High in Vitamin C: this is a powerful antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system and healthy skin.
- Good Amounts of Folate: is essential for normal tissue development and cell function.
- High in Potassium: is involved in numerous critical bodily functions, but namely regulating blood pressure.
- Manganese: plays a significant role as a co-enzyme that aids metabolic function in the body.
- High in Fiber: which feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut – this improves digestive health, thus preventing numerous potential diseases for your bird.
Strawberries contain other minerals ( to a lesser extent ) such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and vitamins B6, E, and K.
Undoubtedly, this fruit contains many essential vitamins and minerals that are associated with a reduced risk of numerous chronic diseases.
Aside from that, strawberries mainly consist of water. The high water content in strawberries goes a long way in keeping birds hydrated as well as supporting their feathers and a number of functions in their body.
Taking it one step further, strawberries are low in calories and have a GI (glycemic index) score of 40, which is relatively low. The low GI score means that there won’t be high spikes in blood sugar levels and lead to more consistent energy throughout the day.
However, while there are numerous nutritional benefits to eating strawberries as discussed above, they are also relatively high in sugar, specifically fructose (fruit sugar), in relation to their size.
While the amount in 1-2 strawberries should not pose a risk, consider that if you are offering other fruits, this can easily add up. As such, fructose does not to be managed, controlled and somewhat limited in your birds diet. Too much of this carbohydrate can result in adverse health affects for birds.
This is one of the reasons in why, only 5% of a Parakeets diet should be made up of fruits.
Are Strawberries Dangerous For Parakeets?
Strawberries are in no way dangerous for Parakeets, so long as your bird can eat them without the risk of choking and they are thoroughly washed. Some Parakeets may not take to the berry, but that doesn’t mean that they are unsafe.
For the most part, most birds love all types of berries, including strawberries, and will eat them up soon after provided.
The only real downside to feeding strawberries to your Parakeet is that is can result in loose stools, and this may mean you need to clean up their mess!
As with any fruit, you should always wash strawberries properly to remove any dirt, debris, or pesticides.
Pesticides in particular are toxic to birds and can make your Parakeet sick if ingested. This is why it is generally advised to purchase organic strawberries if available or affordable.
As an owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your Parakeet has a varied diet. They should have access to, and should be prompted to try a lot of different fruits and vegetables.
With that said, Parakeets need more veggies in their diet than fruits – about 10% to 20% of the diet should consist of veggies and fruits should be around 5% of total dietary intake.
Over 90% of a strawberry consists of water, so it does have quite a high water content.
Watery fruits can cause urine changes and that is something to be aware of.
You might notice a difference in color in your Parakeets urine; but ultimately there is likely to be an increased amount of urine.
The high water content in strawberries is expected to result in softer feces that resembles diarrhea, but it isn’t. The watery feces is due to a harmless condition known as polyuria.
How Many Strawberries Should I Give My Parakeet?
It’s best to offer fresh strawberries occasionally as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
You can provide a small portion of strawberries once a week; when it comes to this sweet berry, moderation is the key. 1-2 large strawberries is a good serving size to start with.
Like any new fruit being introduced to the diet, you should begin with offering a small amount. Monitor your birds reaction to the food, and adjust accordingly.
If you want your Parakeet to get used to a variety of different fruits, you can chop the strawberries up into little pieces and mix them in with other fruits; this ensures that they get their variety and do not develop and preferences.
How To Feed Strawberries To Parakeets
Serving fresh, raw strawberries is the primary way to feed strawberries to Parakeets.
You can provide strawberries whole, and the seeds are safe to consume.
In fact, Parakeets love to pick off the cute and nibble the attractive seeds, as well as chowing down on the flesh of the fruit.
The seeds are a good source of fiber for your budgie, so it’s a good thing for your bird to be eating.
You can chop the strawberries up into small pieces; this might be a better way to feed them to young birds or those that are unfamiliar with the fruit – trying it for the first time.
Some owners choose to mash up the strawberries first, and spoon feed the mush.
Many people are unsure if strawberry leaves are safe for humans to eat, let alone birds, but rest assured they are perfectly safe so long as they have been washed thoroughly.
Some Parakeets like the leaves, while others don’t. Some prefer the fruit itself. It comes down to preference and something you will need to test.
You can also offer strawberry juice to your Parakeet, as long as you only provide a small amount. Strawberry juice must be freshly pressed as boxed juices can contain added sugars and other additives that are not healthy for your bird.
Just be sure that any fruit juice does not replace the regular water supply. Water should be offered first and foremost.
Dried strawberries can also make a tasty treat now and again. Be aware that dried strawberries contain sulfides such as sulfur dioxide, and they are used to preserve dried fruit.
Sulfides can be toxic and sometimes fatal for Parakeets. It’s essential to be cautious with dried fruits, avoid any containing sulfides, otherwise only offer it in small amounts.
Fresh fruit will always be healthier than dried fruits, not to mention that the latter are higher in sugar.
People often wonder if they can feed strawberries and cream to their Parakeet, and the answer is yes, you can.
Be aware that cream is a dairy product, so it is high in fat. Parakeets can be fed a tiny amount of cream with their strawberries as long as it’s only a rare treat on occasion. You must be careful with cream as Parakeets can develop a habit of only wanting to eat strawberries with cream and fat can be problematic in high quantities.
Strawberries are indeed safe to feed your Parakeet as long as it’s only offered in small quantities – no more than once a week.
It’s reassuring to know that every bit of the strawberry is safe to eat, and you can serve it to your bird in a variety of ways. Strawberries contain many vitamins and minerals that benefit the health of your bird, but be aware that they are high in sugar. For this reason, fruit, in general, should only make up a small part of your budgie’s diet.
Your Parakeet should enjoy a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, and pellets or seeds. In fact, the nutritional requirement for a Parakeet is not that different from humans.
Just like people, Parakeets need a balanced and colorful diet to ensure that they are getting the right blend of vitamins and minerals.
Because of the high content of sugar on strawberries, make sure that you don’t offer too much of the fruit at once, or too often.
When introducing strawberries for the first time, make sure that you only feed small pieces and gauge their reaction to rule out any possible preferences, allergies or negative reactions.
The bottom line is that strawberries are low in calories, healthy, and a delicious treat. They are an excellent source of numerous vitamins and minerals, as well as plant compounds. These have substantial health benefits.
Strawberries help reduce cholesterol, oxidative stress, inflammation, and blood pressure. These berries are an excellent addition to the diet. You can take part in your Parakeets enjoyment of the fruit, consider it a meal that you can share and relish the bonding aspect.