Every cold and flu season you hear a lot about the health benefits of elderberries.
They are known to help boost your immune system and also have anti-inflammatory properties.
A lot of people take elderberry syrup to help protect them from getting sick.
I was thinking about this today and it made me wonder, can parrots eat elderberries?
I found that, yes, it is safe for parrots to eat black elderberries as long as they are ripe. The bark, stems, and leaves of the black elderberry plant are toxic to parrots. The flowers have a lesser toxicity but it is okay for your parrot to eat them as long as you only give them small quantities.
In this article we’ll look at the health benefits of feeding your parrots elderberries, whether parrots tend to like elderberries, what your parrot can and can’t eat when it comes to elderberry plants, and how you should prepare elderberries for your parrot.
Let’s dig in!
What are the health benefits of elderberries?
Elderberry is commonly used for a variety of reasons and many people swear by its medicinal properties and health benefits.
However, it’s important to remember that there haven’t been many scientific studies on the actual benefits of taking elderberry so more research is needed to determine if the perceived benefits are real.
Elderberries are high in nutrients
Elderberries are high in many essential nutrients.
They are packed with vitamin C, which is known to help the immune system and promote healing and iron absorption.
This is especially important considering that parrots cannot produce vitamin C and therefore need to get it from their diet.
Low levels of vitamin C can cause skin problems, which can lead to excessive preening, picking, and tearing at their feathers.
Elderberries contain a number of different antioxidants, and they’re also high in fiber.
Eases cold and flu symptoms and boosts the immune system
During cold and flu season you’ll find it pretty hard to find any products on the shelves containing elderberries because it is thought to not only ease cold and flu symptoms but also to boost the immune system.
Elderberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which are known to have a significant impact on immune response.
The same antioxidants that help to increase immune response also help to decrease inflammation by protecting cells from free radicals.
Free radicals have been known to cause chronic health problems and antioxidants can help to prevent them from forming, or promote their decomposition.
Elderberries are thought to have a calming effect which can help with stress and anxiety, and improve depression.
The same calming effect can also help with sleep issues.
Good for vision
Another vitamin that can be found in elderberries is vitamin A.
Vitamin A is very important to maintaining healthy eyesight.
A difficiency in vitamin A could cause trouble seeing at night, or night blindness, retinal damage, clouding of vision, corneal ulcers, and vision loss.
It is important to make sure that your parrot receives the proper recommended daily amount of vitamin A in their diet to ensure that they maintain good eye health.
Vitamin A also helps with the immune system, ensures good cell growth, and helps internal organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys to function correctly.
Good for the heart
Eating elderberries could help lower cholesterol and fats in the blood.
They are also high in flavonoids, which are known to promote good heart health.
Helps prevent overeating
Since elderberries are high in fiber eating a few of them can help your parrot feel full and keep them from eating too many snacks.
Elderberries are also low in calories which will help keep your bird from becoming overweight.
Obesity is a common problem in parrots because owners feed their birds too many snacks, or they don’t understand the dietary requirements of a parrot.
When a parrot becomes obese they are at risk for serious health conditions including heart conditions and cancers.
It is very important to make sure your parrot is eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise so it can be healthy and happy.
Do parrots like elderberries?
Like many other plants, the elderberry depends on birds to help it propagate.
When birds eat berries the seeds pass through their GI tract undigested.
The seeds are then spread through the bird’s droppings, allowing the plant to spread throughout the surrounding area.
In order to get birds to eat it elderberries have grown to be as enticing as they can be.
Ripe elderberries are black, one of the colors that birds see the best, and juicy.
Birds also seem to know what’s good for them and they’ll eat foods that they know are high in nutrients, like the elderberry.
What parts of the elderberry plant are safe for parrots to eat?
The only part of the elderberry plant you should let your parrot eat are the berries, and those should only be eaten when they’re ripe.
All other parts of the elderberry plant contain toxins that make it poisonous.
The flowers only contain small amounts of these toxins so they are considered safe in small amounts but if you let your parrot eat them be sure to only give them a small quantity of the flowers.
How can I tell if an elderberry is ripe, and therefore safe to give my parrot?
Ripe elderberries are a deep purple, almost black, and the juice will be dark as well.
Be sure to squeeze a berry to find out what color the juice is before giving it to your parrot.
If the juice is clear or pale in color the berries are not ripe yet.
If you’re looking to forage for elderberries keep an eye out for wild birds.
The birds know when the berries are ripe so if you see birds eating from the elderberry plants it’s a good sign that the berries are ready.
How do I prepare elderberries for my parrot?
Once you’ve determined that the berries are ripe you’ll want to make sure to wash them well, especially if you’ve picked them locally.
Elderberries growing in the wild may have been sprayed with pesticides and you’ll want to make sure you’ve washed them away prior to feeding the berries to your parrot because pesticides can be very toxic to animals.
Once you’ve washed the berries you can feed them to your parrot whole.
Why should I feed my parrot elderberries?
Feeding your parrot elderberries could be beneficial based on the nutrients within the berries.
Not only are the antioxidants and vitamins good for your parrot’s health, they’re also high in fiber.
Fiber is good for your parrot’s digestive tract and keeps everything moving along as it should and help with the absorption of nutrients.
It is also important to ensure that your parrot is eating a varied diet.
Parrots eat a wide variety of food in the wild and captive parrots should do so as well.
It is important to try to feed your parrot foods that are as close to those that they would eat if they were living in their natural habitat as possible in order to ensure they are receiving all the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy.
Elderberries are found in the natural habitats of many species of parrots so it is highly likely that a wild parrot would eat them.
Maintaining a healthy, varied diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables is an important part of keeping your parrot healthy.
Judging by the nutritional benefits found in elderberries, they’d make a great addition to your parrots dietary regimen.
Just make sure they’re ripe, and thoroughly washed before offering them to your feathered friend!