If you just got your first parakeet or are researching in preparation for buying one, diet is one of the care aspects you’ll need to focus on.
A proper diet is extremely important to a domestic parrot’s health and well-being. Luckily more and more parakeet owners are catching on to the fact that their birds need more than just seed. So what else makes a good option? Can parakeets eat fruit?
Keep reading to find out all about whether you should be including fruits in your parakeet’s diet and a list of fruits that are safe to feed.
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Can parakeets eat fruit?
They sure can. Although not all parakeet species naturally eat a lot of fruit, they can be offered most types of fruit in captivity.
Your focus should be on vegetables because fruit has a high sugar content, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer some slices and berries on a regular basis. After all, fruit is packed with vitamins and important nutrients! Bird-safe food holders like metal skewers are perfect to place some fruit in and hang in a bird’s cage.
Below, we’ll go into the fruits that parakeet owners most commonly ask about, as well as some of the fruits that are a no-go (only a few, luckily).
Tip: Your parakeet might not be used to eating anything but seeds and turn up its nose at fresh fruit. Don’t let this demotivate you! Just keep offering fresh options. Eventually most birds will cave and go for a nibble.
What kind of fruit can parakeets eat?
If your parakeet is used to a varied diet it’ll likely go bonkers over many fruits, so it’s just a matter of finding out which.
Luckily there are many parakeet-safe fruits and barely any that you should really avoid. Heck, your bird(s) can even assist in getting rid of kitchen scraps. Where we turn our noses up at strawberry crowns, a parakeet might see it as a rare delicacy!
Can parakeets eat bananas?
Yes! Bananas are one of the more nutritious fruits and they contain plenty of compounds that are good for your parakeet.
As mentioned before, not all parakeets will take easily to fruit if they were brought up on pellets. Banana is a good starter option if you’re trying to switch your bird to a more varied diet, as you can just mash it and maybe even mix some seeds in there.
This way, the bird has to go through the banana to get to the seeds, hopefully giving it a taste and taking a liking to it in the process.
Can parakeets eat grapes?
Yup! Grapes of any kind are a fine addition to your parakeet’s diet, so if you buy some for yourself be sure not to forget to give your bird one as well. Do cut them up if your parakeet is a smaller species like a budgie, as it might otherwise struggle to get to the juicy flesh.
And remember that ONE grape is really enough: this fruit is quite sugary and too much of it can cause obesity in your budgies.
Raisins are made of dried grapes. A parakeet can eat raisins as long as they have no added sugar, sulfites or any ingredients that aren’t natural fruits. Again, though, one or two raisins is plenty as dried fruits are very high in natural sugars.
Can parakeets eat watermelon?
Yes! Feel free to offer your parakeet some watermelon if you happen to be munching on a slice yourself. Because the water content in this fruit is so high, it’s actually a great way to help your parakeet stay hydrated during the hot summer months.
If you’d like to feed watermelon to your parakeet, omit the rind just to be on the safe side. Since the rind is not fit for human consumption it might contain pesticides on the outside that can be harmful to creatures as small as a parakeet.
Can parakeets eat strawberries?
Yes to strawberries! Like many fruits they are quite sugary and shouldn’t be fed daily, but if you happen to have some lying around then your parakeet might greatly appreciate a piece. As mentioned before, there’s no need to remove the crown, as parakeets often appreciate any tender leafy snacks.
Disclaimer: your parakeet might look like it just massacred something after eating a strawberry. The juices can stain a bit.
Can parakeets eat blueberries?
Yes to blueberries as well! You might have heard blueberries being mentioned as a so-called ‘superfood’ and it’s true that they are packed with vitamin C as well as antioxidants. Not just great for us, but also for our birds.
You can also feed dried cranberries as long as they’re 100% fruit. Just no more than one or two because, again, sugar content!
Can parakeets eat pineapple?
Yup! Pineapple is high in vitamin C and other nutrients. If your parakeet is a fruit fanatic it’ll probably enjoy trying some pineapple as well.
Do keep in mind that pineapples contain a rather aggressive compound (ever felt your tongue burn after eating too much of it?). Although I couldn’t find any specific information on this matter, I suspect that feeding it in moderation is the way to go, especially since it’s also high in sugar.
Can parakeets eat cherries?
Yes, a fresh cherry or two makes a great snack for your parakeet.
Like apricots, peaches, plums and other stone fruits, though, cherries should be offered without the pit as it contains a highly toxic substance on the inside. Most parakeets won’t be able to chew through the seed of any of these fruits, but it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry!
Can parakeets eat apples?
Yes, and in fact, many parakeets seem to particularly enjoy the crunchy texture of apples. If your parakeet was raised on seeds and hasn’t seemed to enjoy eating fruit so far, a bit of apple is probably a good starter option to entice the bird with.
As with the stone fruits mentioned previously, apple pits can be toxic to budgies. Giving your bird apple cores is a nice way to reduce food waste, but you should make sure you remove the seeds before offering them.
Can parakeets eat mango?
Yes! I like to give my budgies mango pits and eat the rest myself. The pit is not toxic and it’s difficult to get all the flesh off it to have yourself.
Your bird will likely enjoy scraping every last edible bit from the seed, keeping it entertained for quite a while. You can of course also offer normal mango flesh, though.
Can parakeets eat pomegranate?
As we’ve discussed, some fruit seeds can be harmful to parakeets. Pomegranate seeds are not among those, so your parakeet can eat them! In fact, many will go wild for this particularly juicy fruit.
As with some other fruits, pomegranates will stain your budgie’s feathers. This is not harmful. You can place a parrot bath in the cage after feeding time so it can wash away the juices.
Can parakeets eat blackberries?
Like blueberries, which we discussed earlier, blackberries are safe for parakeets to eat. Do keep in mind that they stain even worse, maybe the worst of all the fruits on this list, so don’t be alarmed if your bird ends up looking like a serial killer.
Blackberries are very healthy, brimming with vitamins and other essential nutrients.
Can parakeets eat oranges?
Yup, peeled and deseeded oranges work.
Do remember that citrus fruits, even the sweet ones like oranges and clementines, are relatively acidic. Offer them in moderation to make sure your bird doesn’t get a tummy ache (or obesity due to the sugar content). Excess citrus appears to cause diarrhea due to irritation of the digestive system.
If I juice fresh oranges I tend to give my budgies a bit of the leftover pulp. Less waste!
Can parakeets eat raspberries?
Raspberries are very closely related to blackberries, so you probably won’t be surprised to find out that they’re safe for parakeets to eat as well. They don’t stain your bird’s feathers quite as badly, so they can actually make for a good alternative to blackberries.
Raspberries, too, are packed with essential nutrients that help keep your parakeet healthy and feeling its best. They’re not hugely high in sugar either, though it’s still best to limit things to one raspberry per budgie at a time.
Can parakeets eat cantaloupe?
Yes. In fact, all types of melon are safe for parakeets. We’ve already discussed watermelon, but you can also offer cantaloupe, honeydew, Galia, and others.
When feeding melon to your parakeet, unless you’re sure it’s fully organic, you should remove the rind. You can leave the seeds, though, as those are 100% safe and your bird may like them.
Can parakeets eat peaches?
Yes, all types of peaches (yellow, white, flat) are safe for parakeets. They’re juicy and hydrating, plus relatively low in sugar as far as fruits go. If you bought organic peaches, you can leave the skin on.
As with all stone fruits, you should remove the pit before offering some peach to your parakeet.
Can parakeets eat kiwi?
Sure, your parakeet can have some kiwi if you’re having one. If they’re organic kiwis, you don’t even have to remove the skin! It’s high in fiber and most birds don’t mind eating it. They’ll also like picking out the seeds.
You can feed both green and gold kiwis, though gold ones do have a bit more sugar. Kiwiberries, a type of mini kiwi, are also fine.
Can parakeets eat nectarines?
As you’re probably aware, aside from their smooth skin, nectarines are almost identical to peaches. It won’t come as a surprise then that nectarines are also fine for your parakeet to eat, and will make a nutritious addition to its diet.
Can parakeets eat pears?
Yep, all types of pears (including exotic ones like Asian pears, sand pears and papples) are safe for parakeets. If you’ve bought organic, you can leave the skin on.
As with apples and stone fruits, you should remove any seeds from the pieces of pear you’re planning on giving your bird. They contain trace amounts of amygdalin, which is converted to a cyanide-like compound in the body.
Can parakeets eat coconut?
Sure, fresh coconut is a great option that’s not as high in sugar as many of the other fruits on this list. Dried coconut flakes or slivers are alright too, although it’s important to make sure they don’t contain any added sweeteners.
Coconut cream should be avoided; coconut milk and coconut water are fine as long as you don’t overdo it. Save the coconut shell to make your own parrot toys!
Can parakeets eat cranberries?
Like pretty much all types of berries commonly consumed by us humans, cranberries are safe for parakeets. Most love the tart flavor and bright color, and the berries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C.
As with raisins, parakeets can eat dried cranberries as well, but it’s probably best to find a brand that’s sulfite-free.
Can parakeets eat dragonfruit?
Yes, and even picky eaters will probably be tempted to at least try and pick out the attractive black seeds. Dragonfruit (white and pink) is relatively low in sugar and high in (trace) nutrients, so it makes a great option for your bird.
Can parakeets eat dates?
Many parrot species eat dates and other palm fruits in the wild, so it’s not surprising that fresh dates are safe for your parakeet to eat. It’s not very common to find dates for sale in their fresh form, though – they’re usually dried.
Dried dates are also safe to feed, but since their sugars are highly concentrated, they should definitely be considered more of a treat than a staple food. You can offer small pieces as rewards during training, for example.
Can parakeets eat figs?
Yes, all parts of a fig (green or purple) are fine to feed to your parakeet. It’ll love the crunchy seeds! The skin is very soft, so there’s no need to remove it.
You can also feed dried figs as long as they don’t have added sugar, but it’s important to do so in moderation. Fresh is more nutritious, more hydrating, and less sweet.
Can parakeets eat guava?
Wild parrots will eat guava if they can find it, and your domestic parakeet can have some as well. This fruit can be consumed whole, including skin and seeds, although our pampered pet birds may not be interested in having the skin as it’s quite tough.
Both pink and white types of guava are absolutely fine for your parakeet to have.
Can parakeets eat papaya?
Yes, papaya makes a good choice if you’re looking to add some variety to your parakeet’s diet. The flesh and seeds are both very palatable to our birds.
Papaya skin contains latex and some parrot owners prefer to remove it just in case, though it’s unlikely to cause issues in small amounts.
Other fruits for parakeets
The list above includes the fruits that are most commonly asked about in regard to parakeet feeding. However, of course, it doesn’t end here.
Your parakeet can actually eat most fruits that you’ll be able to find for sale, though most should be offered in moderation. So if you’re having a piece of fruit, don’t forget about your feathered friend!
Some fruits not mentioned above that are still fine include:
- Cactus fruit
And more! Persimmons are the subject of some debate, though the consensus appears to be that they are fine when fully ripe.
Fruits to avoid
Although most fruits are fine to feed to your parakeet, there are some you might want to avoid. In most cases this has to do with acidity: as mentioned before, excess (citric) acid can cause your bird a major case of upset stomach.
The following should be avoided as snacks for your parakeet.
- Lemon and lime (too acidic)
- Pomelo, grapefruit, kumquat (too acidic)
- Avocado (toxic to parrots)
- Sources disagree: passion fruit (quite acidic, though this depends on the type)
As mentioned earlier, some fruit seeds and pits can also pose problems. These include apple, pear and stone fruits like cherries and apricots.
What can parakeets eat (apart from fruit)?
As explained in this article, fruit makes a good addition to your parakeet’s diet. Other components that should be included to keep the bird healthy are fresh vegetables like leafy greens, sprouted seeds and seeds and/or pellets. Variety is what you should be going for here.
You can also supplement with a range of different options, like herbs, some weeds and grasses from your garden (clovers are a favorite here), cooked rice/pasta, cooked egg and even some herbal tea mixes!
If you have any more questions about fruits for parakeets or general parakeet diet, or if you want to share your own experiences with feeding a varied diet, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!