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Can Conures Eat Grapes? What You Need to Know!
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of your captive conure’s diet, but not all are created equal. While some fruits and vegetables are nutritious and safe for your bird, others can be hazardous to its health.
Can conures eat grapes? Yes! Grapes are delicious, bite-sized fruits that grow in wild environments all over the world, so they’re often part of a bird’s natural diet. Like many foods, however, grapes should only be fed in moderation.
Grapes for Conures
Grapes are usually a favorite of birds, including the conure. They’re sweet and contain high levels of fructose, which provides a natural energy source. However, fructose is sugar and can cause health problems in high concentrations, so it’s best to feed grapes sparingly.
In addition, your conure may enjoy grapes so much that it ignores the rest of its food and picks them out. If this happens consistently, your bird may be deprived of vital nutrients.
Otherwise, grapes are completely safe for most conures. They can also have the seeds, which contain nutrients and antioxidants. That said, be sure to remove seeds if your bird is young, since seeds can be taxing on a young bird’s yet-undeveloped digestive system.
Conures can have grape skin as well, but a word of caution – grapes are among the most pesticide-contaminated fruits on the market. Avoiding pesticides is always a good practice, especially with a small animal like a conure. Always wash grapes and feed them sparingly, and wash grape vines thoroughly before including them in your pet’s dinner.
Health Benefits of Grapes
Grapes are a delicious and varied fruit that’s loved by people and birds alike. Revered in ancient cultures for winemaking, grapes come in green, black, red, yellow, and pink varieties, both seeded and seedless. Grapes grow all over the world, particularly in temperate climates in Africa, Australia, the Americas, and Southern Europe.
Here are some health benefits of grapes:
Vitamins and Nutrients
Grapes contain many vital nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, potassium, and vitamin B6. These vitamins are important for blood clotting, healthy bones, and healthy joints.
Antioxidants are compounds in plants that repair free-radical damage, or the type of damage that occurs when harmful molecules cause oxidative stress. This has been linked to chronic illnesses in humans, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Grapes have numerous antioxidant compounds, especially in the seeds and skin. Of all the varieties, red grapes are among the highest in antioxidants. Some of these include vitamin C, quercetin, lutein, ellagic acid, and lycopene.
If you want your bird to enjoy the antioxidant benefits of grapes, but you’re concerned about the pesticides, choose organic, pesticide-free grapes, thoroughly wash your grapes, or give them peeled grapes with seeds to get an antioxidant boost.
In humans, grapes have numerous benefits for heart health. The potassium content in grapes is necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, and low potassium levels increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Grapes may also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels by decreasing absorption. This is possibly due to resveratrol, a potent antioxidant. While this research has been conducted in humans, birds also need these nutrients and may benefit from the concentration in grapes.
Grapes are one of the many plants that contain chemical compounds that protect against eye diseases. In one study, mice that were given grapes showed fewer signs of damage to the retina and had better retinal function than the control group.
In a test-tube study, grapes were also found to protect retinal cells in the human eye from damaging ultraviolet light. This is believed to be due to the resveratrol concentration.
What Foods Should I Avoid Giving My Conure?
A conure’s natural diet consists of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables that occur naturally in their environment. In captivity, we do our best to replicate their wild diets, but you may want to give your bird a little more variety.
No matter what, you should never feed your conure – or any other bird – the following foods:
Grapes are a healthy, delicious, and natural treat to add to your conure’s diet. While perfectly safe on their own, grapes can harbor a lot of pesticides and do contain high levels of sugar, however, so be sure to take precautions and feed grapes sparingly.
Featured Image Credit: Treetstreet, 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.