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Can Parakeets Eat Strawberries? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

One of the best parts of owning a parakeet is watching them gobble down various snacks. But while it’s fun to give them treats, you need to be sure that they’re safe for your bird to eat.

So, where does a strawberry fit into all this? Strawberries are a perfectly safe treat for your parakeet, and they’re a part of a healthy diet! But just because you can feed your bird strawberries, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take certain precautions.

We break down everything that you need to know here.

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Feeding Your Parakeet Strawberries

Before you start feeding your parakeet strawberries, you need to do two things. First, take off the stems. Second, wash the strawberries thoroughly. Farmers spray pesticides on the fruit to keep bugs and other wildlife away during the growing process.

Washing the fruit does a great job at removing these pesticides, but they can soak into the leaves a bit more and make it near impossible to clean them completely. While small amounts of pesticides are harmless to us, since your parakeet is much smaller than you, they can have serious side effects.

washing strawberries
Image Credit: washing strawberries_Malikova Nina, Shutterstock

Also, since strawberries are naturally so soft, there’s no need for you to cut them up like you need to with other fruits and veggies. While your parakeet might appreciate bite-sized chunks, they can certainly tear it apart themselves if you feed them a larger strawberry.

Finally, keep in mind that while fruits are healthy snacks for your parakeet, they shouldn’t be a dietary staple. If you’re feeding your parakeet strawberries every day, you’re probably overdoing it, although you can give them a strawberry or two every other day.

Other Snacks for Your Parakeet

While strawberries make great treats, they’re not the only option that you have. Here, we highlighted four more snacks that you can use to mix up your parakeet’s diet.

parakeets eating
Image Credit: Piqsels

Unsalted Popcorn

Popcorn doesn’t just make a great movie-time snack for you, it’s an extremely healthy option for your parakeet too! Just be sure that you’re giving them unsalted popcorn, with no butter or other sweeteners/flavorings. While popcorn itself is an extremely healthy treat for parakeets, the flavorings, butter, and salt can all be toxic.

Other Berries

Fruit is nature’s treat, and some of the best treats out there are berries. Whether strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or some other berry, they’re excellent for your parakeet. Just be sure to wash them before feeding them to your parakeet.

parrot eating strawberry
Image Credit: Piqsels

Peanut Butter and Crackers

There are few treats that your parakeet will love more than delectable peanut butter. It’s creamy, rich, and delicious. But while your parakeet is bound to love peanut butter, you need something to feed it to them on.

Crackers make a great medium, but you need to be sure that you’re giving them unsalted crackers. Even the relatively small amount of salt on crackers can be toxic to birds, so always double-check that you’re giving them unsalted crackers.

Bananas

While strawberries are delicious for your parakeet to chow down on, another excellent fruit choice for them is bananas (which are technically berries!). Just like strawberries, you need to be careful how much you give them. But you also don’t need to be as careful about breaking them down into smaller chunks.

peeled and sliced banana
Image Credit: t_watanabe, Pixabay

Ideal Parakeet Diet

Like many pet birds, parakeets thrive off a pellet-based diet. However, parakeets rarely accept pellet-based diets without giving you a bit of a headache. If that’s the case, you’ll need to wean them to a traditional pellet diet.

About 80% of their diet should consist of high-quality pellets to ensure that they get all the nutrients that they need. From there, you can feed them a mix of seeds and vegetables. Finally, feel free to add in various bird-friendly snacks and fruits as treats every other day.

It’s best to keep snacks to every other day because if you give them too many snacks, they can end up not eating the rest of their food or overeating in general.

parakeet in cage
Image Credit: Piqsels

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Parakeet

Just like there are foods that you want to keep feeding your parakeet, there are also a few that you need to avoid. We highlighted five of those foods here.

  • Apple Seed/Pits: While fruits are great for your parakeet, you need to remove the pits of the fruit and any apple seeds before feeding them to your bird. These products contain cyanide, and even though it’s in extremely small quantities, it can be enough to make your bird extremely sick or even kill them. Always thoroughly remove seeds and pits before giving your bird an apple snack.
  • Avocado: While you might think that avocado is a safe choice for your bird because it’s a fruit, the truth is that every part of an avocado is extremely toxic for your bird. Anything with avocado in it is not safe for a parakeet.
  • Chocolate: While chocolate isn’t good for any animal, the caffeine content and theobromine make your parakeet extremely sick. Chocolate can induce vomiting and diarrhea even in small quantities, and if they eat too much, it can lead to convulsions, seizures, and death.
  • Salt: Even small amounts of salt can have detrimental effects on your parakeet. A single potato chip contains enough salt to potentially kill your bird, so keep anything with salt on it far away from your bird.
  • Dairy: Birds aren’t mammals, so they don’t have the necessary enzymes to break down lactose. Just like lactose can have uncomfortable effects on humans, it can create the same situation for birds. Not only will it make your bird extremely uncomfortable, but it’ll also make cleanup much more difficult.
parakeet on tree
Image Credit: suju-foto, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

Birds enjoy varied diets, and with a wide array of foods that you can give to them, there’s no reason that you can’t spoil your feathered friend. When you’re looking for a special treat, fruits like strawberries are almost always a good choice.

So, keep giving them new foods, but always take a few extra seconds to ensure that it’s safe for them before you do!


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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.