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Can Conures Eat Bananas? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

The natural diet of a conure includes grains, seeds, fruits, vegetation, and some insects and carrion. When caring for these birds domestically, we often feed them seeds and pellets that are easily obtained from the pet store. Since they also need fruits and vegetables in their diet, bananas seem like an easy choice. So, are bananas safe for conures?  Yes, conures can eat bananas, but only without the peel.

Your bird’s diet should include a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and bananas are considered a healthy fruit for conures. The peels, on the other hand, are not the best thing to feed them. Banana peels contain an excess amount of cellulose, which can’t be digested by birds.

divider-birdsTips for feeding bananas to your conure

  • Go raw: The best way to safely feed your conure bananas is to feed them raw. Raw bananas are jam-packed with nutrition that provide a welcome addition to a conure’s diet. Coupled with at least two other fruits per day, your conure will receive a number of benefits.
  • Go organic: While most pesticides are removed from a banana once it’s peeled, it’s better to play it safe. If you’re feeding organic bananas, it ensures your conure doesn’t come into contact with any harmful pesticides.
  • Go green: While we humans prefer our bananas ripe and yellow, your conure will appreciate the greenest, rawest bananas you can find. Green bananas are lower in starch than yellow ones, and this is important for the health of your conure’s digestive system. Conures don’t have digestive enzymes to help them break down starch as humans do, so it doesn’t start breaking down until it reaches their pancreas. A buildup of starch can lead to clogged arteries, diabetes, and several other undesired consequences.

Can conures eat banana bread?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to feed your conure banana bread, but only as an occasional treat. Banana bread provides no nutritional value for your conure, so it shouldn’t be part of their regular diet.

Be cautious when feeding any type of banana bread or banana chips that aren’t homemade, as they can contain additives like salt, sugar, and oil that can damage your conure’s health.

banana-bread_Pixabay
Image Credit: Pixabay

Can conures eat plantains?

As a rawer and greener version of a banana, plantains are also safe to feed your conure. Because they are so raw and green, they may actually be a healthier, more beneficial option. They contain all the same essential nutrients found in bananas but without the added starch.

It’s still important to feed plantains raw, and organic versions will ensure they’re pesticide-free.

The exception to raw feeding

While we recommend always feeding raw bananas and plantains, there is one exception. As a rule, cooking these fruits removes the nutritional value for your conure, which is why they should be fed raw. However, if your conure is feeling ill or suffering from digestive upset, cooked bananas and plantains are easier to digest and can aid in settling their stomach. Once they are feeling better, you can return to feeding them raw fruit.

conure eating apple
Image Credit: MeshellC, Shutterstock

What fruits are safe for conures?

There are many fruits that are not only safe for conures but are encouraged as part of their daily diet. There’s a ton of nutritional benefits to feeding fresh fruit, but you have to make sure that you feed the right ones. Safe fruits for conures include:

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Cranberry
  • Mango
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple

What fruits are not safe for conures?

There are a few fruits that are highly toxic to conures and must be avoided. Avocadoes top the list of unsafe fruits. The pit, skin, and flesh are all toxic. When consumed by bird’s avocado, persin becomes poison to their digestive system. While there are a few conures who’ve eaten avocado without incident, it’s deadly for most. Rhubarb is another off-limits fruit for conures as it contains oxalic acid, which is poisonous for birds.

Seeds and pits from otherwise safe fruits should not be fed along with the flesh as they often release cyanide-like substances. These include seeds or pits from apples, cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums.

Conure eating sunflower seed
Image Credit: Chutima c, Shutterstock

What vegetables are not safe for conures?

While conures love to chow down on fresh veggies, there’s a couple that is best avoided. Onions contain compounds that lead to anemia in birds, while garlic, cabbage, kale, and mushrooms lead to digestive upset. Mushrooms, in particular, contain a substance called amatoxin that can lead to liver failure.

Celery isn’t toxic to birds, but the strings can cause bowel obstructions if they’re not removed. Tomatoes contain high levels of acid that can lead to stomach ulcers when fed in large quantities.

A healthy diet for conures

It’s clear that conures benefit from a wide range of foods in their diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, with a few exceptions. Pellets, commercial birdseed, and occasional treats can also help keep your conure healthy. There are a few things to keep in mind when feeding your conure:

  • A conure’s diet should consist of 80-85% pellets. Their food bowl should be at least ¾ full at all times and cleaned and refilled daily.
  • Dark, leafy greens, squash, berries, melons, and other bright-colored fruits and vegetables are vital to meeting their nutritional requirements.
  • Birdseed should only be offered as an occasional treat.
  • Giving your conure access to a cuttlebone will help maintain the health of their beak.
  • Conures should have access to clean, fresh water at all times.

divider-birdsFinal thoughts

Bananas and many other fruits and vegetables can be a healthy addition to your conure’s diet. To maintain their nutritional value, they should be fed raw. Use caution when choosing other fruits and vegetables for your pet, as some of them can be toxic.


Featured Image Credit: Fonthachakul, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

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.