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Can Parrots Eat Cranberries? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Parrots make great pets for people who are willing to put in a little extra effort. They are intelligent, affectionate, and love to interact with people. With the correct training, some parrots are capable of learning tricks. But like all pets, parrots rely on their owners to provide them a nutritious diet that allows them to thrive. And like all pets, parrots like an occasional treat, like fresh fruit. But what kind of fruits are best for your feathered friend?

One fruit that is nutritious for your parrot is cranberry. New bird owners often do not think that birds will even eat cranberries. However, this vibrant little fruit can be beneficial for your parrot’s health. Want to learn more about introducing cranberries into your parrot’s diet? This article will give you all the information you need about cranberries!divider-cat

What Are Cranberries?

Cranberries
Image Credit: Alexey_Hulsov, Pixabay

Most people are familiar with cranberries as a juice or a jam-like sauce only seen during Thanksgiving dinners. While those forms of cranberries might not be the healthiest choice because of the added sugars, the berry itself is nutrient-rich. Because of the high level of antioxidants in each berry, they are considered a superfood. In humans, cranberries can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and slow the growth of some cancer cells. It is a powerful berry!

Are Cranberries Beneficial for Parrots?

Yes, cranberries are beneficial for your parrot! They are full of vitamins and minerals that can help your parrot thrive. Giving your parrot a variety of bird-friendly foods such as pellets, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables will help maintain your parrot’s overall health. However, cranberries should not be the only food in your parrot’s diet. Like all other fruits and berries, cranberries contain sugar. Giving your bird or other pet a diet high in sugar should be avoided. About 10%–20% of your parrot’s diet should consist of fruit, nuts, and seeds. Cranberries can be given as treats during the week.

Fresh or Dried Cranberries?

whole cranberries
Image Credit: zdenet, Pixabay

Fresh cranberries are the better choice for your parrot because the berries are in their natural form. But have you ever had a fresh cranberry? They are quite sour! Since they are naturally tart, birds in the wild do not seek them out. But birds will eat cranberries if you introduce them into their daily diet.

It might seem like dried cranberries are the easiest to give to your parrot because they are sweeter. However, there are some things to consider when feeding them dried cranberries. Most store-bought dried cranberries contain sulfur dioxide, which is used during the drying process. If your parrot consumes sulfur dioxide, it could have a negative reaction. However, there are plenty of sulfite-free dried fruits that are safe for the parrots you can buy. In addition, watch out for any extra sugars or flavorings added to the dried cranberries. Dried cranberries that are free of sulfites and do not have added sugars are the safest option. If you have a food dehydrator at home, you can even make your own dried cranberries!

How to Feed Your Parrot Cranberries

Giving your parrot 1-2 natural and sulfite-free dried cranberries is easy. You can add them to their daily meal. However, fresh cranberries require some more creativity because they are a bit sour. Here are some fun ways to give your parrot fresh cranberries:

  • Put 1-2 cranberries in your parrot’s water dish. It will be like a bird-version of bobbing for apples! Parrots are intelligent animals and will enjoy this fun challenge during snack time.
  • Add cranberries on a string and make a garland. To make this garland, all you need is a large needle and a thick piece of thread. Add 1-2 cranberries to the thread along with a few pieces of salt-free, air-popped popcorn and hang it in your parrot’s cage. Now, you have a healthy and entertaining snack for your parrot!

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Cranberries and Parrots: Final Thoughts

Cranberries are a nutritious addition to your parrot’s diet. Like all living creatures, the key for your parrot to thrive and maintain good health is a well-balanced diet. And a well-balanced diet can vary from day to day. In addition to pellets and certain seeds, see what kind of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts your parrot enjoys the most. Not sure which food to try first? Start with a cranberry.


Featured Image Credit: Stanislav71, Shutterstock

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.