My wife brought home a new fruit for us to try.
It was a big, spikey-looking thing, and I had no idea what it was.
It was stinking out the house before we had even cut it open.
This is to the extent that I was looking for the air freshener and threatened to throw it out the window.
She pleaded with me to try it, and as I pinched my nose reluctantly, I gave it a go.
To my utter surprise, it wasn’t all that bad.
I learned this fruit is called a durian, and with the sheer amount we have leftover, I thought, can I feed this to my parrot?
Let’s answer the question. Can parrots eat durian?
Yes, parrots can eat durian. It is a less well-known fruit, but it is on the non-toxic, safe list of foods for your parrot. Beware of the smell of the fruit. It can be pretty shocking; however, your parrot will enjoy the taste.
Durian fruit has a very shocking smell.
Known as the world’s smelliest fruit with a chicken breast-like texture and joked that the fruit can be used as a weapon, it doesn’t make it sound all that attractive.
This article will discuss if durian fruit is safe for parrots, what durian fruit is, how to prepare durian fruit for your parrot, and much more.
Without further ado, let’s dive into all the questions and answers we can find about durian fruit and our parrots.
What is a durian?
If you haven’t been to Southeast Asia, you may have never met a fresh durian fruit; the notorious and healthy but troublesome Southeast Asian fruit is popular.
Once you have tasted the nasty smelling fruit, it is an experience you are not likely to forget.
Durian fruit usually is slightly oval, about a foot wide, and covered in fearsome-looking spikes.
The fruit can be a mighty weight of two to seven pounds.
It is heavy enough that when holding it in your hands by the fruit’s body, instead of the stem, it could pierce the skin.
However, its uncanny appearance is overshadowed by another one of its traits: the smell.
Durians have a strong, overpowering smell that infuses the outer shell and lingers long after the fruit has been present.
Due to its overwhelming smell, durian has been banned on public transport across Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong.
In Singapore, the fruit is prohibited across all types of public transportation, and even taxis have signs to tell you they refuse to carry passengers transporting the smelly fruit.
Is durian safe for my parrots?
The fruit’s flesh is entirely safe for your parrots to eat.
The challenge for us parrot owners is to get past the smell of the fruit’s spikey skin.
Many compare the fruit to looking like a scary pineapple.
Depending on your parrot’s preference, some birds may not eat the durian due to its stench; others will be completely unphased by the smell and tuck on in.
Trial and error if your bird will like the fruit, but many do.
There are comical videos online of parrots completely refusing the fruit because of the smell and making retching noises to show their disgust.
Can my parrots eat the skin of a durian?
No, the skin is inedible.
Not only would you need to get over the pungent aroma of the fruit’s skin, but the formidable spikes are too unpleasant to eat.
The points can damage the skin, and when preparing the fruit, wearing thick gardening gloves is recommended.
Wild parrots will peck at the skin to attempt to get the fruit, but many will often not even try it or give up due to the smell and thick texture of the spikey skin.
Can my parrot eat durian seeds?
Durian seeds are not safe for parrots.
They are particularly tough and, for that reason, are inedible.
The seeds are also toxic as there are traces of cyanide and cyclopropene fatty acids and should not be ingested.
Remove all seeds before offering durian to your parrots.
The skin and seeds are inedible.
It is only the fruit’s flesh that can be provided to our feathered friends.
How to prepare a durian for my parrot?
Preparing a durian fruit can be daunting due to the stench, spikes, and it’s tough to cut through the skin.
If you are feeling brave and want to give it a go, here is how to do it.
You will need to wear thick gardening gloves while doing this, as the spikes can cut through the skin.
Shake the fruit first.
If you can hear something moving inside, the fruit has dried out and is no good.
After all the effort needed to get into this thing, you will want to know that you will have fresh fruit by the end of it.
You’re going to have to smell it to know if it’s ripe.
The fruit ripens from the stem.
Take a whiff from the stem and smell down to the fruit’s base.
If it smells strongly throughout the fruit, its intense aroma, it is then ripe.
To open the durian, you will want to cover your work surface.
A newspaper will do.
If you look at the fruit, you will see stems or seams in the skin.
That marks a segment of the fruit.
Use a sharp knife or a screwdriver or hammer (that’s not a joke, I’m afraid) and dig deep into the fruit’s stems.
Once you have broken into the skin, use your hand and pull the section apart.
Repeat the cutting process until you have all the fruit’s fresh visible.
You can then scoop the flesh out with a spoon.
Its texture will be thick and almost like an ice-cream come meat texture.
What are the benefits of durian fruit for my parrot?
The durian fruit is full of fat, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.
Let’s look into how this benefits our parrot’s diet.
Sodium is required for proper growth and development. Present in many foods, parrots typically get the recommended levels without too much worry.
Fats are a vital energy source and utilize the storage of fat-soluble vitamins. The recommended levels for our parrots are between 2%-4% of their total dietary intake. Larger parrots like macaws or the African greys prefer high-fat nuts containing up to 20% fats.
Carbohydrates are another energy source. The amount needed varies depending on your pet’s physical activity, environmental conditions, and fat levels.
Fiber helps with their digestion. Fiber stimulates the movement through the gut and helps absorb other much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Proteins are necessary and essential for the body and are required for muscles and all other body tissues. This also included the parrot’s feathers
Where can I buy durian fruit for my parrot?
Depending on where you are in the world, it may be hard to come by.
This is because, in some countries, durian is illegal to take on public transport, this is due to its stench.
You may need to arrange a delivery service or a click-and-collect arrangement as many suppliers don’t like to stock it in their shops.
Look out for Asian or Chinese grocery shops as they are likely to stock it over anywhere else.
If you live in Australia, you are likely to find it much easier.
Australia’s largest durian farm is expected to produce 20 tonnes in one season of the smelly stuff.
There you have all the information about the durian fruit and our parrots. Are you feeling brave enough to give it a go?
The durian fruit has excellent benefits for our parrots and gives them a new opportunity to explore something new.
It is a safe, non-toxic food if you and your parrot can get past the spikey skin and its smell.
If you are ever concerned about offering your parrot a new food, always seek the advice of a professional vet who can discuss what is best for your parrot’s well-being.