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Can Cockatoos Eat Strawberries? What You Need to Know!

Ed Malaker

Cockatoos are extremely popular birds in the United States due to their amazing ability to mimic human speech. However, many of us are still unsure how to provide our birds with the best possible diet.

One of the questions we get frequently is whether cockatoos can eat strawberries. The short answer is yes, they can, but there are some limitations and risks you should know about before making it a regular part of your pet’s diet. Keep reading while we look at the nutritional benefits as well as the dangers associated with feeding strawberries to your cockatoo.

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Are Strawberries Bad for My Cockatoo?

washing strawberries_Malikova Nina_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Malikova Nina, Shutterstock

Sugar

The biggest problem associated with feeding your cockatoo strawberries or any other fruit is that they contain too much sugar. Sugar can lead to weight gain and a long list of other health problems. Most experts recommend limiting all fruit, including strawberries, to no more than 10% of your pet’s diet.

Pesticides

Another problem with strawberries is that they can contain pesticides, and unlike many other fruits, there is no skin to peel off so you will need to ensure they are washed extremely well before feeding them to your pet. These birds’ small body size makes it more likely that they will suffer more from any health problems that come from ingesting dangerous chemicals on fruit and vegetables. We recommend soaking your strawberries for at least 20 minutes in 4 cups of water with 4 tablespoons of baking soda mixed in to help remove the pesticides.

Water

Strawberries have plenty of water, which can help your bird feel better if it’s dehydrated, but the extra moisture can upset your bird’s delicate digestive system causing discomfort.

Related Read: Can Cockatoos Eat Chocolate? What You Need to Know!

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Are Strawberries Good for My Pet?

Yes! Strawberries provide your pet with several vitamins and minerals to help them stay strong and fight off disease. Some of the vitamins and minerals in strawberries include vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. Strawberries are also high in protein which is the building block of strong muscle, and carbs which provide the energy your bird needs to stay active.

sulphur crested cockatoo
Image Credit: sandid, Pixabay

How Should I Feed Strawberries to My Pet?

  • Choose fresh ripe strawberries for your c Your bird will prefer the same ones you would choose for yourself.
  • Make sure there are no blemishes on the fruit because strawberries deteriorate and grow mold in a matter of hours.
  • Wash the strawberries well and allow them to soak in a solution of water and baking soda for at least 20 minutes to remove the pesticides.
  • Rinse the strawberry well under cold water to remove the soaking solution and slice it into tiny pieces.
  • Your pet should only eat 1-2 grams of strawberry per serving. The average small strawberry weighs about 18 grams, so the portion is small.
  • As we mentioned earlier, strawberries can grow mold quickly and contaminate your cage, so you will need to remove any leftover fruit no more than 3 hours after dicing it into small pieces.
  • Watch your bird for several hours after feeding to see if it has a bad reaction.
  • If your cockatoo doesn’t have a bad reaction and appears to enjoy strawberries, you can continue to serve these small amounts once or twice per week. You could serve it more often, but cockatoos prefer a varied diet, so it’s better to find other fruits that can complement this one.

Alternatives

There are several other fruits you can feed your cockatoo to provide the variety they crave. Some of the fruits you can substitute include apples, bananas, pears, grapes, oranges, mangos, blueberries, pineapple, and melon. Each of these alternatives will also contain plenty of sugar, so they will be subject to the same rules and limits as the strawberry, but they allow you to give your pet something different each day which will help keep them happy and looking forward to their next meal.

What Else Do Cockatoos Eat?

The majority of your cockatoo’s diet will be a commercial pellet food that will ensure your pet gets all of the nutrients it needs. Most owners say these pellets should make up about 80% of your pets’ diet. Another 10% should be fresh vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and carrots. The remaining 10% would be sweet treats like strawberries and other fruits.

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Summary

Your cockatoo can eat strawberries, and they are not only healthy for your pet, but they will also be one of your pet’s favorite foods. They are safe and nutritious in small amounts but can cause some problems in large amounts as they contain a lot of moisture and sugar. The largest danger comes from pesticides that can hide in the many nooks and crannies found on a strawberry but using our cleaning solution will help you get the majority of the chemicals off the food.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide and found the answers you needed. If we have helped you add more variety to your pet’s diet, please share our look into the safety of feeding your cockatoo strawberries on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: michael sheehan, Shutterstock

Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.