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Can Parrots Eat Watermelon? What You Need to Know!
Watermelons are juicy, delicious, and low-calorie snacks packed with health benefits. It probably is one of your favorite fruits. But as a parrot owner, you must be lingering over this question.
Can parrots eat watermelon? They sure can. A slice of watermelon is safe for your bird. It will boost the parrot’s immune system, organ health, and bone health. Besides, the fruit is rich in minerals and vitamins.
Here is everything you need to know about parrots eating watermelons.
Benefits of Feeding Watermelon for Parrots
Watermelon is as nutritious to parrots as it is to humans. Here are the nutrients it contains and their benefits.
- Fiber. Watermelon is rich in fiber. Fiber aids in the functioning of the digestive tract and flushes out toxins. It also maintains a colony of good bacteria present in the gut. Fiber lowers the chances of your bird suffering from diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.
- Amino Acid L-citrulline. In addition, the fruit contains amino acid l-citrulline, which boosts muscle development and a healthy cardiovascular system. It has been associated with strengthening a parrot’s heart and blood vessels. The amino acid also prevents muscle soreness and aches while boosting the immune system.
- Choline. This water-soluble vitamin keeps your parrot physically dexterous because it helps with muscle coordination, muscle movement and reduces inflammation. In addition, it helps the bird stay sharp and attentive by ensuring the brain runs efficiently.
- Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps with the production of keratin which makes the parrot’s feathers. The mineral helps your parrot’s colored feathers appear smooth, full, and healthy.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the parrot’s immunity by fighting off illnesses caused by bacteria or mice. The vitamin also fortifies the health of the parrot’s skin.
- Potassium. Potassium ensures the parrot’s muscles are healthy and robust. It also controls blood pressure and improves heart health.
- Magnesium. Magnesium helps with heart and muscle functioning. It also aids in the development of bones, healthy feathers, and brain neurons.
- Lycopene. Watermelons have high levels of lycopene, which acts as an anti-oxidant. It reduces signs of aging and the effects of radiation. Lycopene also lowers the likelihood of cancer, stroke, or heart disease for your pet.
- Phosphorus. Phosphorous is essential in keeping the beak and bones healthy. In addition, it helps with the production of healthy cells and tissue, metabolism of fats, and production of carbohydrates. This, in turn, boosts your bird’s mood, energy levels, and overall wellbeing.
- Iron. Parrots need iron for the production of hemoglobin. Iron helps transport oxygen through the blood.
- Water. Did you know that 92% of watermelons is water? Well, a few slices of the fruit will keep your bird hydrated. Your parrot’s liver, kidneys, and heart need water to function correctly. Besides, water flushes out toxins and waste from your parrot’s body. This helps keep the bird healthy. Without a doubt, watermelons are beneficial for parrots. But how much watermelon does your parrot need?
Watermelon Serving to Feed Your Parrot
Parrots love eating watermelon since it has a stringy texture and a juicy squish that the bird finds entertaining. In addition, it provides enrichment when the bird picks out seeds from the watermelon. Its sweet flavor, too, works significantly as a treat.
However, watermelon should only constitute 15% of the parrot’s diet. Therefore, if you have a macaw, the recommended daily serving is one and a half cups of fruit. The smaller parrots, like the parakeet, only require a ¾ cup.
Feeding Watermelon to Your Parrot
Clean your watermelon and remove the rind. Then, chop the pink pulp into smaller sizes. Doing so minimizes the surface area and makes it easier for the bird to eat. It also reduces the mess your bird would create when eating.
Is it Safe for the Parrot to Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Yes. It turns out that parrots go for the seeds first when offered watermelon. They will sprinkle the pink pulp around as they pick out the seeds. This provides enrichment.
Besides, the bird has a firm jaw that cracks open nutshells. For this reason, do not worry about watermelon seeds causing harm to your feathery pet.
Furthermore, the seeds are nutritious. They contain copper, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and folate and are suitable for feather growth, bone growth, heart health, and metabolism.
Parrots can also have watermelon juice. Simply blend the watermelon and sieve the seeds out.
Serving Watermelon Rind to Your Parrot
All parts of the watermelon are considered safe for a parrot to consume. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you avoid the watermelon rind. The reason behind this is, it is difficult to differentiate which rinds contain pesticides or substances sprayed on the fruit to repel pests.
The rind retains pesticides even after it is thoroughly washed. Should your parrot ingest a small fraction of this, it can be toxic.
The only time your parrot should consume a watermelon rind is when it is organically grown. It is rich in citrulline, ideal for heart health, increases energy levels, and reduces blood pressure.
The rind is also a source of fiber, which helps your bird maintain a healthy weight and is suitable for bowel movements.
How to Make Watermelons Appealing to Your Parrot
If you’ve tried feeding watermelon to your parrot, but they do not like it, do no give up just yet. Try these three tricks.
1. Serve Bigger Chunks
Spark the bird’s interest by serving bigger chunks of watermelon. The parrot will have fun breaking the melon into small chunks and unknowingly eat melon.
2. Change Location of Food
Alternatively, change the location where the parrot gets its meals. If you usually place food on the cage floor, try placing it higher so your bird can fly to reach it and vice versa.
You can also try hand feeding.
3. Create a Stress-Free Environment
It could be that you’ve placed the parrot’s cage in a stressful environment, which could be affecting their appetite. To solve this, try feeding the bird when it is quiet or move it to a less busy location in the house.
Yes, parrots can eat watermelon. It is a tasty snack packed with vitamins and minerals and has low calories. The pink pulp and seeds are safe, but it is best to avoid the grind.
Remember, even though the watermelon is nutritious, it should only constitute 15% of the parrot’s daily diet. Therefore, ensure that your parrot consumes pellets, seeds, nuts, and vegetables to maintain a balanced diet.
Featured Image Credit: Valdas Vrubliauskas, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Benefits of Feeding Watermelon for Parrots
- Watermelon Serving to Feed Your Parrot
- Feeding Watermelon to Your Parrot
- Serving Watermelon Rind to Your Parrot
- How to Make Watermelons Appealing to Your Parrot