Everyone wants their parakeet to be happy and healthy, especially when it comes to their diet or food plan. In the wild, parakeets fulfill their nutritional requirements from different seasonal seeds, fruits, and vegetables, as they have exposure to many kinds of exotic fruits and vegetables. However, when it is a pet bird, it has limited options available.
Generally, parakeets rely only on their staple (seed- or pellet-based) food to fulfill their nutritional and growth requirements. Similarly, they also require fruits and vegetables, making up 30% of their regular diet plan, as given in the chart below.
Considering the red color of strawberries, bird owners want to share some of them with their birds.
But a few questions may arise in their minds before doing so. Can parakeets eat strawberries? Are strawberries dangerous for parakeets? Are there any benefits of parakeets eating strawberries? These are the questions that we will address in the lines below.
Can Parakeets Eat Strawberries?
Yes, parakeets can eat strawberries. It is considered a healthy snack because they are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. But it is not just the health factor that makes them suitable for parakeets; it is also something that parakeets love to eat. However, it should be given in moderation. As the old maxim goes, “excess of everything is bad,” if parakeets are given more strawberries—or for that matter, any food—than the recommended, it may prove perilous for their health.
Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries for Parakeets
There are many health benefits of strawberries for parakeets. Strawberries are considered healthy fruits for the parakeets, as long they are served in a moderate amount. They are enriched with several nutrients (table shown below), which directly benefit parakeets’ health. As per the experts, 1-2 strawberries daily are enough for a healthy parakeet.
Some of the essential nutrients that help in the body functioning of the bird are given below, along with their benefits for parakeet’s health.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, helping improve the immune system of parakeets to combat illness or injuries. It also aids them in staying calm in stressful situations. In addition, vitamin C prevents heart and neurological diseases in parakeets.
Fiber improves the birds’ digestive system as it feeds the healthy bacteria in the guts, which in turn helps a parakeet with digestion. Strawberries include leaf stalk and seeds, giving extra cellulose that helps bowel movement and digestion of food, thus preventing parakeets from many potential diseases.
Manganese is a co-enzyme, which enhances the metabolic function of the parakeets. Since parakeets are active birds, manganese would do its job to keep the metabolism balanced.
Folate helps in cell functioning and tissue development, letting the parakeet grow fully and healthy. It is essential for producing white blood cells, red blood cells, and even in cell division.
Strawberries contain a small amount of potassium, enough for stable muscles contractions, fluid balance, and sending the right nerve signals. Potassium also plays a critical role in regulating the blood pressure of parakeets.
Nutritional Chart of Strawberries
Table 1: Nutritional value per 17 gram (1 Large Strawberry)
|Nutrition||Values per 17g (1 Large Strawberry)|
|Vitamin C||10.6 mg|
|Vitamin A||0.18 µg|
Health Benefits of Strawberries for Parakeets
As strawberries are rich in nutrition, they have many health benefits for parakeets. If a parakeet has issues with digestion and bowel movement, strawberries are the ready substitute for the medicine—though you would need to confirm this from a vet. The high water content in strawberries results in softer feces. This condition may be confused with diarrhea, but it is polyuria, a harmless condition. Similarly, there are many other health benefits of strawberries for parakeets. Some of them are mentioned below.
Improved Immune System
The immune system provides resistance against toxins and infections—in short, against diseases. The stronger the immune system, the more vigorous the defense will be. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, having antioxidants that improve the immune system of parakeets.
Improved Bowel Movement
Strawberries are rich in fibers. Fibers improve the digestive system of the bird. These fibers also help in the development of useful bacteria in the stomach of parakeets and ensure that no disease emerges because of poor digestion in them.
Optimal Tissue Development
Folate (Vitamin B9) aids in optimal tissue development. Strawberries contain a high amount of folate that helps in the early development (with the optimum growth rate) of the bird.
Controlled Blood Pressure
Uncontrolled heart rate is dangerous for parakeets; they can even die if it prolongs. Strawberries contain potassium, which helps in the regulation of blood pressure and maintaining a steady heart rate.
Are Strawberries Harmful to Parakeets?
No, strawberries are not harmful to parakeets. However, excess of everything is dangerous for both humans and birds, as we said.
You can feed them strawberries once or twice a week. If necessary, 1-2 strawberries per day are enough for parakeets.
Parakeets can also eat the strawberries’ seeds, and even a few enjoy picking them off with flesh of the fruit with it. In addition, strawberries seeds contain fibers, which has excellent benefits, as mentioned above.
Even the leaves of strawberries, if thoroughly washed, can be given to parakeets. Some parakeets love to eat them, though some prefer to eat the fruit portion only.
How to feed strawberries to parakeets?
Step 1: Wash the Strawberries
Strawberries a are very delicate fruit. Like other ground fruits, strawberries also contain pesticides, which are really harmful to parakeets. If the pesticide-infected strawberries are given to birds, it can cause serious damage to their digestive system. Therefore, it is required to remove all the dirt and pesticides accumulated on them.
Before serving them strawberries, wash them properly, put them in a saline solution (salt+ warm water) for 1-2 minutes. It will remove all the dirt even from inside of the fruit.
Step 2: Cut Into Small Chunks or Warm Them
It is challenging to change the food habit of a grown-up bird. At first, try to offer your parakeet a whole strawberry. But if it resists, cut them into bite-size chunks, it will ease the ingestion process.
Some parakeets love the aromatic and soft fruits. Microwave the fruit, it makes it soft and aromatic. It should not be so hot, though, as it can hurt the bird.
Add a small portion of the fruit with the pellet- or seed-based food of the parakeet. Look for the bird’s body language; it will help you understand the bird’s reaction to the new food.
Step 3: Serve Strawberries With Greens
Sometimes birds got scared by the red color; they are “born to fear red.”
Give them the strawberries with leaves or add some green vegetables to it. Make the red diminished in appear, howsoever you deem it fit.
Place the fruit near the water, parakeets love to drink water after taking a bite of food.
Step 4: Remove the Uneaten Fruit
Once your parakeet eats the food, remove the dish and water pot from the cage and immediately clean them.
When it starts eating the fruit, try to give it the whole fruit without cutting them into chunks. It will help you understand which part of the fruit it likes and which it avoids. Cut strawberries into chunks only if the bird doesn’t show any interest in the food.
One of the best practices to train parakeets for eating is feeding by hand. Try to hand feed them with strawberries. It will help them overcome the fear of red color; they won’t appear scared and distressed anymore.
Strawberries contain many vitamins like vitamin C, which can help to build up their immune systems. However, strawberries are high in sugar, which can affect a bird’s health. Therefore, it should make up only be a small portion of the bird food.
Can parakeets eat strawberries? Yes, they can. The benefits of parakeets eating strawberries dwarfs any hazards associated with them. You can minimize the hazards by feeding them with strawberries in moderation. But since much depends on the factors peculiar to every bird, we recommend taking an opinion from a vet before making strawberries a part of your parakeet’s food.