Parakeets are the little, long-tailed birds that belong to the parrot family and have a striking pattern on their tail. In American English, parakeets are referred to as budgerigars. Parakeets make an incredible house pet: they are social, friendly, and get along with humans very well. If trained properly, parakeets can learn to talk and sing as well. However, when it comes to food, do you know what you can or can’t give them? What about apples? Let’s find out whether or not parakeets can eat apples.
So, can parakeets eat apples? Yes, parakeets can eat apples safely as long as you are feeding them these treats in moderation. As far as fruits go, apple is one of the best treats for them from both health and taste perspective. Parakeets love eating these sweet, crunchy fruits. Even the skin of an apple is safe for parakeets. Only apple seeds are unsafe for parakeets and should be carefully removed before feeding them.
What are the health benefits of apples for parakeets? Are apples safe to feed baby parakeets? If these questions are bothering you, sit tight. You will find all your answers in this article.
Do parakeets eat apples?
A majority of the parakeet’s diet include green, leafy vegetables. Therefore, parakeets seize any opportunity of having a sweet treat they can find. Most parakeets are, thus, apple-lovers.
However, this is not the case with every parakeet. Parakeets are also picky eaters. If you serve them apples, but they don’t touch them, it means your pet bird is not interested in this particular fruit.
If your parakeet doesn’t like apples, you can try feeding them other fruits such as bananas, melons, etc., to find out what they like.
Health benefits of apples for parakeets
To determine the health benefits of apples for parakeets, let’s take a look at their nutritional chart.
|Vitamin A||54 IU|
|Vitamin C||4.6 g|
|Vitamin E||0.17 g|
|Dietary fibers||2.40 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now, let’s take a look at which of these nutrients are healthy for your parakeets.
If you want to keep your parakeet’s respiratory system healthy, vitamin A is essential. If your parakeet eats an average-sized apple (not in one go), they can gain about 36 mg of vitamin A, which is sufficient for them.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is vital to strengthen your parakeet’s defenses and boost their immune system. Vitamin C also plays a key role in preventing iron deficiency in birds that can hamper the red blood cells formation.
Potassium improves the health of the nervous system of parakeets and maintains the fluid balance in their body. It is also essential in water retention.
Apples are rich in fibers, which boost the parakeet’s digestive functions and helps their blood sugar levels. Fibers also add bulk in their stool, preventing the risk of constipation. Moreover, they are essential in normalizing the parakeet’s intestinal juices to moderate diarrhea.
Did you know that parakeets derive energy from protein? An apple contains enough protein to provide a parakeet with all the energy it needs for a day.
Apple is rich in antioxidants, which are responsible for the cell health of parakeets. In addition to these, apple also contains carbohydrates, a series of B-vitamins, calcium, etc., that makes it a healthy snack for parakeets.
Can parakeets eat apples with their skin?
As far as safety is concerned, apple skin doesn’t pose any threat to your feathered pet’s health. However, pesticides, chemicals, and herbicides, which are often added to fruits, either to make them look fresh or to protect them from insects, are the real problem. These additives can be toxic to your fragile pets.
The best way to get rid of them is to thoroughly wash the fruits when you bring them home. If you have a tree in your backyard or somewhere around, that’s even better for your pet.
However, just because apple skin is not unhealthy for parakeets doesn’t mean they like eating it. As we mentioned earlier, parakeets are picky eaters and might not like to eat the skin. If that’s the case with your bird, you better give them peeled apples.
As soon as the apple is peeled, it starts decomposing. Thus, it’s best if you feed them peeled apples right away.
Is it safe for parakeets to eat apple seeds?
While the skin of the apple is absolutely safe for parakeets, their seeds are dangerous for them for two reasons.
One of them is common to all animals, including humans as well. Inside the apple seed is a compound called amygdalin. If consumed and excreted as they are, apple seeds pose no threat to us. However, if we somehow chew on them or manage to break them, the amygdalin degrades into cyanide.
Cyanide kills us by preventing the cells of our body from using the oxygen we breathe in. While it takes more than a bunch of these seeds to fatally harm us, for a bird’s fragile body, a single apple seed is deadly enough.
Another equally important reason is the seeds becoming a choking hazard. Birds like parakeets have a small body and can easily choke on an average-sized apple seed. Therefore, it would help if you carefully remove all the seeds before serving apples to your pet.
Can baby parakeets eat apples?
Apples do not pose any fatal threat to baby parakeets as long as you take care of feeding them these treats in moderation. A baby parakeet’s health is much more fragile than the adult ones, and a large amount of sugar can be detrimental to it. Also, go for softer apples while feeding baby parakeets, so that they can easily bite into these.
Apples for parakeets: serving ideas
The first step of serving apples to parakeets is washing them thoroughly to remove all traces of dirt or chemicals from their skin. To wash apples properly, first, let them soak in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 10 minutes. Afterward, wash them again with clean water. Your apples are now clean and ready to be served.
You can cut up apples into four large chunks and let your parakeet bite into them. In this process, you don’t need to remove the skin; your pet bird can leave the skin alone if it wants to. Another way would be to cut the apple into small, bite-sized pieces so that they can gobble them whole without the risk of choking on them.
If you feel more creative and have a few fruits at your disposal, you can make a fruit salad for your parakeet. Parakeets love variety in their meals or snacks and would eat it more excitedly.
Parakeets often love to dip their fruits into the water while eating them. Thus, you can place the fruit bowl next to their water dish to make it convenient for them. Don’t forget to remove the fruits from their cage at night if they leave anything behind.
Also, don’t forget to remove the seeds from the apple before feeding it to your pet.
Frequently asked questions
Can parakeets eat dry fruits? No, you shouldn’t feed parakeets dry fruits. Dry fruits contain sulfur dioxide to make them last longer. Sulfur is harmful to parakeets and can hamper their health. When it comes to feeding parakeets, it is best to stick to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Is avocado okay for parakeets? No. Due to the presence of persin, avocados are lethal to all animals and birds, including parakeets. Persin is a compound that can cause cardiac arrhythmia in birds, leading to their death.
Do parakeets eat the leaves of apples as well? No, parakeets do not eat leaves. However, they do have a habit of nibbling on leaves and branches of a tree. To an onlooker, it might seem like they’re eating them when they aren’t.
So, can parakeets eat apples? They certainly can. Apples are nutritious fruits, both for you and your feathered pet. Fruits can make a small portion of the parakeet’s regular diet. However, it is better to keep shuffling between several fruits instead of sticking to just one because parakeets love the variety and tend to get bored with the same treats after a while.