What Fruits and Vegetables Can Parakeets Eat?

When people think of the best food for parakeets, seeds usually come to mind, but parakeets also enjoy having fruits and veggies in their diet. So, what fruits and vegetables can parakeets eat?

Budgies and other parakeets do not get their nutrients only from seeds, but also from fruits, vegetables, and in fact insects!

Fruits and vegetables are some of the best foods for parakeets, though some are not suitable and can make pet birds sick.

Ok, so what kind of fruits and vegetables can a parakeet eat exactly?

What Fruits Can Parakeets Eat?

So, what fresh fruits can budgies eat?

The golden rule is to keep the sweet stuff to a minimum! About twice a week, offer two or three of each fruit in small amounts.

Some of these edible fruits are listed below.

  • Apple (without pips)
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • cucumbers
  • Oranges and similar (clementines, mandarins, satsumas, tangerines)
  • Blackberry (bramble)
  • Strawberry
  • Guava
  • Grapes
  • Lychee
  • Apricot
  • Cranberry
  • Grenadine
  • Cherries (de-stoned)
  • Bilberry
  • Cranberry
  • Gooseberry
  • Dogwood (bitter, but palatable to some parakeets)
  • Common whitebeam berries
  • Elderberry (ripe, and not the leaves or stems, which are toxic)
  • Pears (segments, without pips)
  • Raspberry
  • Peach (de-stoned)
  • Persimmon (ripe ones only)
  • Nectarine (de-stoned)
  • Melon (all types) 
  • Kiwi
  • Currants (red, black, and white The fruiting shrub, not the small dried grape)
  • Passion fruit
  • Rosehips (sliced in half)
  • Mulberry (fruit and leaves alike)
  • Sharon fruit
  • Papaya
  • Sloe (Blackthorn) (first freeze the fruits to remove some of the bitterness)
  • Loquat
  • Nectarine(de-stoned)
  • Plum
  • Quince

What fruits can parakeets not eat?

Generally, parakeets are fruits lovers which makes it important for you to understand what fruit is fit for them and what fruits are not.

Many of the fruits on this list are appealing to parakeets, so don’t rely on your bird’s judgment when deciding on what not to feed them.

Here are some of the fruits you should avoid feeding your budgies as they can be toxic to their health.

Fruit pits and apple seeds

While most fruit is safe for birds to eat in little amounts, certain fruits with seeds and pits should not be provided to birds unless the seeds and pits have been removed.

Cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots are examples of fruits with pits, while apples and pears are examples of fruits with seeds.

Small amounts of a cardiac-toxic cyanide compound are present in these seeds and pits.

However, mango, berries, grapes, citrus fruits, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, melons, and pomegranate all have seeds that are safe for birds to eat.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like limes and lemons are high in citric acid, which can cause stomach irritation even though they are not poisonous.

However, some citrus fruits are harmful to parakeets and can kill them. These are;

  • Cherry
  • Apricot
  • peach stones

Just like apple and pear pips, they contain cyanide.

Peach and apricot pits split easily, allowing hazardous substances to enter the bird’s system.

And unless they come pre-cracked, parakeets’ beaks aren’t strong enough to crack cherry stones.

Avocados

Avocados are high in persin, a fungicidal toxin.

This toxin is found in abundance in both the skin and the flesh.

All birds, especially tiny birds like parakeets, are poisoned by persin.

Even if consumed in little amounts, it can cause health problems such as weakness, heart damage, breathing problems, and even death.

Dried and Packaged Fruits

Dried and packaged fruits are heavy in sugar and often contain preservatives that are harmful to your parrot.

Preserved fruits

If consumed in small amounts, preserved fruits may be okay for your parakeet.

They are generally hydrating and easy to eat for a parakeet.

However, because of the high sugar level, you must be cautious of any possibly dangerous additives.

Related post: What Fruits Can Parakeets Eat?

What Vegetables Can Parakeets Eat?

Parakeets can eat most kinds of vegetables as many of the veggies are naturally healthy and provide high nutrition to parrots and birds in general.

Understand that parakeets tend to prefer some foods over others, and some may never acquire a taste for all of the following.

Now, below are some safe, healthy vegetables for parakeets to enjoy.

  • Carrots (and carrot greens)
  • Pumpkin
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ripe Tomato (ripe ones only)
  • Yam
  • Corn
  • Peas (podded)
  • Lettuce
  • Cooked beans
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Parsnip
  • Sprouted seeds
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Peppers of all kinds (even spicy ones)
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Salsify
  • Savoy cabbage (blue budgie eating greens)
  • Spring greens
  • Squash
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Turnip tops (the green sprouts)
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery (stalks only)
  • Chard
  • Chicory
  • Chinese leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Courgette (Zucchini)
  • Cress
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard greens
  • Pak choi
  • Parsley
  • Aubergine (fruiting bodies only, without the stalk ‘hat’)
  • Beetroot
  • Brussels sprouts (chopped up)
  • Zucchini

Most of these veggies contain the necessary vitamins and minerals to enhance your parakeets’ overall growth.

Some of these vegetables are filled with vitamins, calcium, iron, and fiber.

For example, parakeets benefit from fresh vegetables, like broccoli, that provide vitamins A, B, C, and calcium.

The vitamins A, E, and K found in spinach and alfalfa sprouts are also particularly potent.

What vegetables can parakeets not eat?

Now that you know what veggies are great for parakeets, it is also important to know what veggies to avoid.

Garlic

Garlic is one vegetable that should not be fed to parakeets since it contains two chemicals that are harmful to them.

These are; alliin and alliinase.

A cell wall in garlic keeps these chemicals separated.

When the cells are sliced, however, the cell walls are broken, and the two chemicals mix.

They produce allicin when combined. Garlic’s intense odor is due to allicin.

Allicin isn’t hazardous to parrots right away, but it can be damaging over time. 

Garlic (allicin) can upset your parrot’s stomach and influence its temperament even in little, non-toxic doses.

Allicin can also cause red blood cells to explode in extreme situations, resulting in hemolytic anemia.

Onions

There has been no study that shows onions are hazardous to parrots.

However, they contain a toxic compound called sulfoxides, and even when cooked, sulfoxides do not disappear.

Also, there is reason to suspect sulfoxides are poisonous to parakeets despite the absence of scientific evidence.

This is because many animals, including cats, dogs, cats, monkeys, and guinea pigs find these compounds toxic.

Whether in raw, cooked, dried, or powdered form, onions in any form are toxic to these animals.

Other plants in the Allium family are prohibited as well. Shallots, a common cooking ingredient is one of them.

As a result, avian specialists advise against feeding onions to parrots.

study of two flocks of geese with a high death rate was conducted and published in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigations to back this up.

It was shown that the green onions provided to the birds were found to be the cause of their death.

Onions may also induce anemia and liver difficulties in parakeets, according to researchers.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are acidic to parakeets, even though they aren’t necessarily poisonous. 

It becomes even more dangerous to feed them to your parrot if the tomato is unripe.

Do not feed your parakeet unripe tomatoes.

It is therefore important to feed them tomatoes in moderation because too much intake can induce ulcers in your pet. 

The stems and leaves can also be hazardous if eaten raw.

Mushrooms

According to FruitsandVeggies, mushrooms are classified as vegetables for nutritional purposes, but technically they are not plants but belong to a family called “fungi”.

Nonetheless, for this article, we shall see them as vegetables.

Wild mushrooms are poisonous in many varieties.

Agaritine, hydrazine, and formaldehyde can all be contained even in edible mushrooms.

These poisonous substances are deadly for parakeets even though they are safe for humans to consume in little amounts.

However, button, cremini, portobello, and porcini mushrooms are all edible to parrots.

Before eating, these types of mushrooms must be cooked to remove any hazardous poisons.

Raw or wild mushrooms should never be fed to a parrot.

Raw Rhubarb

Many plants contain oxalic acid, a compound found in rhubarb. Oxalic acid forms a compound called oxalates when bound to minerals.

Scientists refer to oxalates as an antinutrient because they interfere with the body’s absorption of nutrients, specifically minerals.

This compound is present in many leafy greens or seeds that are safe for parrots.

Raw rhubarb contains a high amount, making it dangerous for your parrot.

You can however reduce its amount by cooking it.

Oxalic acid has several negative effects on parakeets’ bodies, including its inability to absorb nutrients efficiently.

Oxalic acid, for example, has also been linked with kidney stone formation.

Kidney stones can develop when the body produces high levels of oxalates while its urine volume is low, according to The New England Journal of Medicine.

Related post: What Vegetables Can Parakeets Eat?

How much fruit and veg should a budgie eat?

Fruits and vegetables should contain 10-15% of your budgies’ diet. This usually amounts to one or two thumbnail-sized pieces daily per budgie. You should put more focus on vegetables, which contain a lot of good nutrition. Fruits are sweeter and have more sugar but can be used as a treat.

How to feed parakeets fruits and vegetables

Fruit and veg should always be offered raw, never cooked, or processed in any way. And these new foods should be served in a familiar bowl to tempt your budgie.

Normally, budgies love fresh food, and if you’ve left them on a diet of nothing but seeds for too long, they’ll have a problem accepting it.

When this happens, they become fussy eaters, and you may need to remove the seed trays for a few hours until they have nibbled at the fresh stuff.

The worst-case scenario is that budgies will be scared of the fruits and veggies when it is introduced. This usually occurs in smaller cages.

Even though the sight of fresh fruit makes them nervous at first, they’ll love it once they’ve tasted it.

However, remember that budgies are different, and some may be pickier than others!

At the end of the day, whether a food item has been eaten or left untouched, remove it from the cage.

Compared to fruits grown for humans to eat (which are sweeter and more sugary) berries and wild fruits provide the best nutritional value to birds.

The best way for your parakeet to get the most nutrients from fruits and vegetables is to serve them raw.

Even though cooked produce is not as healthy for birds, frozen or canned produce in 100 percent juice is also a good option.

Since sugar is abundant in many fresh foods, particularly fruits, it will soon begin to grow bacteria as easily as a petri dish.

This type of bacterial bloom can be fatal to budgies.

Conclusion

Fruits and veggies are an essential part of your parakeet’s diet.

And while it is important to offer it to them, ensure to feed them only the right amount.

Remember, just like any meal, excessive intake can become harmful to your bird.

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