With their beautiful colors, intelligence, and fun personalities, parrots are popular pet choices. They can also be a great deal of work! Part of that work is making sure they’re eating a well-balanced diet. Many parrots love fruit and nuts, but which ones are best for them to eat? Your bird will likely enjoy eating many of the same things that you eat. Parrots are omnivores and like eating many different foods.
While eating cherries, you may have wondered if your bird would like one too. People eat cherries because they’re a tasty and healthy snack, filled with beneficial vitamins and minerals. When parrots eat cherries, the same is true for them! Yes, parrots can safely eat cherries, but only if you exclude the pit! Let’s look at what cherries can do for your bird and why the pits are never safe for them to have.
What Does a Parrot’s Diet Look Like?
In the wild, parrots eat a variety of fruit, nuts, seeds, plants, and grains. They spend their days searching for different things to eat and do a good job of determining what they need and what’s safe for them to consume. As pets, parrots rely on their owners to give them the proper nutrition that will keep them healthy. Birds can get very ill if their dietary needs aren’t met, so it’s important to make sure they’re being properly fed.
Pet parrots should have a diet that mimics what they eat in the wild, but this can’t always be the case. To make sure your parrot gets all the proper nutrition they need, pellets should make up about 75–80% of their diet, with the rest being composed of fresh food like fruit, vegetables, and cooked whole grains; seeds should represent no more than 5% of their diet. The pellets should not contain sugars or dyes.
Health Benefits of Cherries
Cherries are wonderful for your parrot to enjoy because they’re sweet, tasty, and full of healthy things. Before they consume cherries, though, it’s important to wash the fruit thoroughly to remove any pesticides. Then, they will benefit from all the good things:
Are Cherries Ever Unsafe for Parrots?
Cherries are naturally high in sugar. Too many can lead to obesity in your parrot. Cherries are beneficial for your bird but should be offered in moderation, along with pellets and other fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
The pits of cherries are never safe for your parrot. Cherry pits contain amygdalin, a chemical that turns into cyanide in the bodies of humans and animals. It’s unsafe for people to swallow cherry pits. However, one or two may not be a cause for concern. This is not true for birds. Even part of a cherry pit poses a threat to your bird and can be deadly. Always make sure the cherries that you offer your parrot have no pits or parts of pits in them.
If you’re worried about pits, dried cherries are a good alternative to fresh ones. They have no pits and can be offered to your bird as is. However, make sure the dried fruit that you purchase for your parrot doesn’t contain sulfur dioxide. It can cause several health issues, like aggression, irregular molting, and breathing issues.
Parrots can safely enjoy cherries. The flesh and the skin can be tasty treats for your bird and offer many benefits to their health. To keep your parrot the healthiest that they can be, offer fresh or dried cherries as part of a well-balanced diet that includes pellets, vegetables, nuts, and other fruit. Stay away from sulfur dioxide as an ingredient in dried cherries.
Fresh cherries have pits that contain cyanogenic glucosides, which can be toxic to parrots. Therefore, cherry pits must be thoroughly removed before your bird can enjoy this beneficial snack. It is important to always wash the cherries before offering them to your parrot, to remove any pollutants or pesticides.
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