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Can Parakeets Eat Oranges? What You Need To Know!
Owning a parakeet is a fun adventure. These outgoing little birds, also known as budgies, love to spend their day singing, talking, and simply enjoying life. One of the most popular species of parrot out there, the parakeet is smaller than its counterparts and also less expensive to own.
Like other birds in the parrot family, parakeets have special dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy. With the different foods you can offer your parakeet, you may be wondering if it’s safe for them to eat oranges. The short answer is yes, parakeets can eat oranges. But you may still wonder, are they actually good for them?
Read on below to learn more about parakeets and whether oranges are the right sweet treats for your little darling.
A Bit About Oranges
Oranges are easily one of the most popular fruits in the world today. These citrus fruits grow in the warmest climates and offer a lot of health benefits to people and animals who consume them. Filled with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and thiamine these yummy fruits can be a great addition to most diets.
While the origin of oranges is a bit vague, they are easily found in most parts of the world today. Oranges grow on orange trees, which need warmth and sunlight to produce properly. One of the best-known areas to offer fresh, delicious oranges is the state of Florida, where orange groves are abundant.
What Health Benefits Do Parakeets Receive from Oranges?
Oranges provide budgies with a lot of health benefits you may not expect. Like humans, oranges can boost the immune system of parakeets. This citrus fruit is also great at helping budgies relieve stress. If you want to learn more about the health benefits your parakeet will receive from fresh oranges, take a look below.
Oranges are best known for their high vitamin C content and ability to boost the immune system. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are needed to decrease damages that can be done by free radicals in your bird’s body. In simpler terms, oranges help prevent aging and DNA damage.
Potassium is a healthy nutrient that promotes heart health in parakeets. Potassium in oranges also helps the nervous system in budgies function correctly.
Vitamin B1 and B9 are found in high amounts in oranges. This is great for a parakeet. The B vitamins are essential for keeping your bird’s metabolism in proper working order by helping turn food into needed energy.
What Should I Feed My Parakeet?
Offering your parakeet a healthy diet is the best way to keep them healthy and provide them a great life. Unlike many other birds, parakeets are simple eaters. These little cuties are willing to try most things their owners offer them. This is why you should know what foods are safe to offer your feathered friend. Many of those things, you may have around your home.
Seeds are a major part of a parakeet’s diet. While most seed blends are similar to others you’ll find at your local pet store, most are lacking important vitamins and minerals your bird needs. This is why a parakeet shouldn’t live on seeds alone. It’s also important to remember that your parakeet needs seeds designed for small and medium birds. This is not the same as the birdseed you buy for outdoor feeders. Here’s a look at the seeds considered safe for a parakeet.
- Canary Seeds
- Millet Spray
- Striped Sunflower
Pellets are higher in nutrients than seeds. Often, parakeet owners introduce pellets to their birds to ensure all their dietary needs are met. Unfortunately, budgies don’t always accept this change. If you want to offer your bird a variety, it takes some training. Take your time and introduce pellets mixed with their favorite seeds. This will help avoid issues with your parakeet avoiding their food bowl altogether.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Like most parrots, parakeets love the addition of fruits and veggies to their diet. This is why they enjoy oranges so much. Other fruits such as strawberries and blueberries are also high in antioxidants and great for your parakeet. Keep in mind, though, fruits are also high in natural sugars. This is why you should only offer them to your bird two to three times a week to avoid overdoing it.
Vegetables are great for parakeets and other types of birds. Introducing fresh veggies and leafy greens such as lettuce into a parakeet’s diet is an ideal way of providing them with the vitamins and minerals their seed and pellets don’t provide. Veggies can be offered every day if your parakeet enjoys them. Unlike fruits, they do not contain high levels of sugar.
Although high in fat, nuts are another food parakeets enjoy when added to their diet. Weight issues can occur if you give your budgie nuts every day. Like with oranges and other fruits, only give nuts sparingly. Here’s a look at a list of nuts considered safe for your budgie.
- Pistachios (shelled or washed and inspected)
Always remember to avoid unwanted dyes or chemicals when offering your parakeet fruits, nuts, and vegetables from your home. When possible, choose organics for your pet to keep them healthier longer.
Foods Your Parakeet Should Avoid
Most of us know the foods our cats and dogs should avoid eating, but what about a parakeet? As with any pet, there are certain things these small birds shouldn’t be allowed. Many can pose a serious threat if ingested. Take a look at this list of foods you should avoid giving your parakeet to keep them happy and healthy for many years.
- Rhubarb and potato plants
- Caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate)
- Tomato leaves
Can Oranges Be Dangerous for a Parakeet?
Like with any food you offer your pets, moderation is important. While oranges offer your parakeet several health benefits, they can also cause issues if you feed too many to your budgie. The biggest problem you may see with overfeeding your budgie is weight problems. The high levels of sugar and inability to work that energy off can leave your bird gaining more weight than it should. Only give your parakeet oranges a couple of times a week to keep a healthy balance.
A Happy Life for Your Parakeet
As a pet owner, the most important thing is to keep your pet happy and healthy. By ensuring your parakeet is eating a well-rounded diet of seeds, veggies, and fruits you can enjoy a long life together. The addition of oranges to this diet will provide your parakeet with the right mix of nutrients for a healthy life.
Featured Image Credit: Kolotygin Igor, 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.