Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Birds > Can Parakeets Eat Apples? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts You Need to Know

Can Parakeets Eat Apples? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts You Need to Know

PetKeen_Can Parakeet Eat_apples

Vet approved

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Parakeets love various fruits and veggies added to their diet and are usually eager to try something new. Parakeets in the wild choose their own foods and opt for grass seeds, fruits, and other vegetation. It’s easy to offer your bird something that you think they’ll love, especially fruit or other healthy produce. While your parakeet might enjoy apples, are apples safe for parakeets to eat? The answer is yes, parakeets can and love to eat apples! Read on for more detailed information about parakeets and apples.


What Is A Parakeet?

A parakeet isn’t a specific type of parrot, but rather a term given to several small to medium-sized species of parrots with long tail feathers. The term parakeet isn’t a taxonomical reference to any genus or family of parrots; the parrots sometimes referred to as parakeets span multiple genera. Examples of parrots generally termed as parakeets include budgies, cockatiels, ring-necked parrots, and nose-ringed parrots.

Three Mitred Parakeets
Image by: Christian Musat, Shutterstock

Are Apples Healthy for My Parakeet?

While a pellet diet is the best source of daily nutrition for your parakeet, providing fresh fruits, nuts, grains, seeds, and vegetables in addition to this is not only fun for your bird but also a necessity, as no pellet diet can provide parakeets with all the nutrition they need. Many parakeets love the taste and texture of apples. They are firm enough for the parrots to bite and chew and don’t turn into mush or get too messy. Apples contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. These are all things that can be beneficial to your parakeet.

Parrot eating an apple in park_Sunspot_Shutterstock
Image by: Sunspot, Shutterstock

Apple Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1 slice (one fourth of an apple)
Water: 21.4 grams
Carbohydrates 3.5 grams
Fiber 0.6 grams
Vitamin C
1.15 mg


Parakeet Diet and How Much Apples to Feed

A formulated diet (such as pellets) should form the majority of your companion bird’s diet (about 75%). The rest of the diet should be smaller fractions of vegetables, nuts and other protein sources, and a small serving of fruits. True berries are preferred over other fruits. That being said, most other fruits (including apples) are also good for your parakeet.

Such a composition is appropriate for most pet birds, with the exception of some nectarivores (such as lorikeets and lories) and some species with a very exclusive diet (such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo). Always consult with your exotic or avian veterinarian if you have any doubts about your bird’s diet.

Since apples are part of your parrot’s “fruit” quota, they should only comprise 5-10% of their intake for a day. It’s a good idea to rotate several fruits in your parrot’s weekly schedule instead of offering them just apples everyday. That being said, there’s no harm in offering them thoroughly washed, appropriately portioned apples on a daily basis if you have no other fruits available.

Image by: pasja1000, Pixabay

Are Apple Seeds Dangerous for Parrots?

A common fear about parrot diets is that the seeds of an apple are toxic for them because they contain amygdalin. Amygdalin is a natural defense system for seeds. Intact seeds are harmless, however cracked seeds release this compound and it degrades into hydrogen cyanide.

Amygdalin poisoning has been reported in some mammalian species if they ingest too many apple seeds in a short span of time. However, there have no reports of this occurring in parrots, and many parrots naturally prefer to eat the seeds of apples too. Through coevolution, parrots have gained resistance to this compound. In studies of wild parrots, they were observed eating many plants, fruits, and seeds that are toxic to certain mammals with no adverse effects whatsoever.

Furthermore, another common misconception about amygdalin is that like mercury, it can persist in a bird’s body and accumulate over time. This isn’t true either, as it’s easily excreted by birds. This has been experimentally tested and confirmed in some bird species. That being said, some parrots may develop an affinity for just the apple seeds rather than the fruit itself. Therefore, the prevailing advice is to avoid giving your parrot apple seeds, if possible.


How to Serve Apples to Your Parakeet

You should wash the apple skin before you serve the apple to your bird in thin slices. You can also cut the apple in half or quarters and give your bird the whole piece (for larger parakeets) to chew.

If you peel the apple, you can cut it into small chunks. This way, you can mix it in with other pieces of fruits and vegetables to give your bird a fun variety.

woman cutting apples
Image by: Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz, Shutterstock

Dangerous Seeds and Pits

The seeds and pits of some fruits also contain the same cardiac-toxic cyanide compound and should be avoided. Just cut around the pits or scrape out the seeds before offering your bird the flesh of the fruit. Other fruit seeds and pits to steer clear of include:

  • Western Yew
  • Sweet Pea
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Foxglove

Seeds from these fruits are safe for your bird:

Anything Else to Avoid?

When it comes to parakeets, it’s always best to avoid any food that you are unsure is safe for your bird to consume. Always ask your veterinarian first about any new food that you’d like to introduce into your parakeet’s diet. However, some foods should always be avoided:

  • Onions and garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado (all parts, not just the pit or skin)
  • Foods high in sugar or salt
  • Dairy products


Wrapping Up

Parakeets love to eat apples and can do so safely! Always wash the apple skin thoroughly first if you plan to leave it intact for your bird to eat. Serve this fruit in slices or chunks for your bird to enjoy. When apples are left out for a while, they start to dry and shrivel up. Remember to check for any uneaten food left in your bird’s cage, and remove and discard it. Old, drying food can start to grow bacteria. By following these suggestions, you can make sure your bird enjoys apples happily and safely while receiving all the benefits that this fruit can provide!

Also see:

Featured Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets