Feeding a parrot can be a fascinating task if you know what you are doing.
We all love seeing our pets eat.
There is a wide range of foods you can feed your parrot, and equally, there are also many foods that are dangerous for your bird.
Knowing which food to feed and which not to; is key to ensuring the health of your pet bird.
Parrots can eat most of fruits and vegetables, but there are common ones such as avocado that could harm your bird.
Another thing the worries most parrot owners is the issue of pesticides.
Unfortunately, today even the term ‘organic’ is not properly regulated, allowing unscrupulous traders to plop their pesticide-rich products in the market that can kill your parrot instantly.
So basically, the safety of pet foodstuff depends on how it is grown.
Parrots enjoy wide varieties of fruits including grapes.
The answer is yes, Parrots can eat grapes. They are safe for your parrot, however, you need to feed them in moderation due to the high concentration of fructose in grapes. This means you should only feed grapes to your parrot as a treat every now and again and not as part of a regular diet.
Grapes are a hit with parrots.
They are very sweet and have high fructose content, which means these fruits can boost your bird’s energy.
Regulating the amount of fructose is not the only reason why you should feed grapes sparingly to your parrot.
Parrots know grapes are sweet fruits and they like them, and so when you offer grapes with other food, your bird will only pick grapes out of the mix while discarding more nutritious foods.
This can lead to serious vitamin deficiencies if you are not careful.
Are grapes harmful to parrots?
No, grapes are completely safe for parrots, generally speaking.
The reasons why you should sparingly feed grapes to your bird have got nothing to with the fruits being harmful or toxic.
As we have already mentioned in the paragraphs above, grapes are sweet and contain high levels of fructose (fruit sugar), which can make your parrot overweight if overfed.
The only toxin in grapes you should worry about is pesticides, which will discuss later.
Are grape seeds safe for a parrot?
Yes, they are.
You can feed grape seeds to your parrot without it causing any problems.
The seeds of these fruits are loaded with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
So when cutting grapes for your bird, make sure you also include the seeds in the bowl.
If your parrot is still small, make sure you cut the grapes into small pieces before serving.
Also, be sure to remove the seed before feeding it to young parrots because their digestive systems may not be well-developed to breakdown the grape seeds.
Your parrot will also enjoy tackling the seeds of the grapes.
Can I also feed grape peels to parrot?
Normally, grape peels are not harmful to parrots.
However, I should mention that grapes are classified as one of the most contaminated fruits in the market.
According to a recent study, 99 percent of grapes contained pesticides, and a third of these were at critical levels of pesticide pollution beyond what is deemed fit for a bird or human consumption.
While the study was in Europe, it is safe to assume that the finding could be more or less the same for the rest of the countries in the world.
Can I feed grape leaves and vines to parrot?
Grape leaves and vines are also safe for parrots.
If you have grapevines in your garden, there are more than just fruits of the plant you can feed your parrot.
Get a few vine clippings and offer them to your parrot to chew.
However, the vines must be free of toxins, harmful dirt or rot.
Avoid giving vines to your parrot if they have ever been sprayed with pesticides.
Wash the vines in hot water with a small amount of dishwashing liquid.
Scrape off anything from the surface including bird droppings and insects.
Let the vines dry in the sun before feeding to your parrot.
Grapevines are a great source of essential nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and iron, which form an excellent source of dietary fiber.
For this reason, even though the peels are harmless, it is a good idea to remove them from the grapes before giving it to your parrot to combat the chances of pesticide poisoning.
Washing is the grape is another way to reduce exposure to harmful pesticides.
However, grapes usually contain a natural waxy coating on its surface, which protects the fruit from fungi and harmful bacteria while in the garden.
So, when the grapes are sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals, these substances attach to the waxy surface.
Therefore, washing may not remove the pesticides completely.
To be on the safe side, just remove the peels before feeding grapes to your parrot.
What can grapes do to parrots?
Grapes are packed with numerous nutrients and vitamins and are perhaps among the healthiest additions you can include to your parrot diet.
Grapes are also known to possess anti-cancer properties as well.
Below are several ways in which grapes can benefit your parrot:
The resveratrol in red grapefruits can work with vitamin D to enhance the activity of a gene responsible for better immune function.
Regulates blood pressure
Grapes are packed with high levels of potassium, which functions by lowering the blood pressure by controlling the negative effects of salt.
Grapes are also loaded with a wide range of antioxidants such as polyphenols and carotenoids, which help in combating certain types of cancer while enhancing the health of the heart.
Resveratrol, also found in grapes, is known for inhibiting the production of free radicals.
The seeds and skin of grapes have the highest content of antioxidants, so make sure you feed everything to your parrot.
Boost the health of eyes
Grapes lead to the formation of high levels of protective proteins and lower amounts of inflammatory proteins in the retinas – the area of the eyes that with the cells photoreceptors, which respond to light.
Enhance the health of the heart
Resveratrol in grapes helps protect the heart.
The high levels of antioxidants in grapes help inhibit atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).
Also, polyphenols enhance the health of the heart by boosting HDL levels while reducing inflammation in the body of your bird.
The potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels, allowing smooth flow of blood thus preventing the risk of heart diseases.
Maintain good water balance in the body
The high potassium content in grapes, alongside the low levels of sodium, helps maintain the good balance of electrolyte in the body and eliminate excess water and other toxins.
The high levels of anthocyanins, stilbenes, flavonoids, and other kinds of antioxidants, particularly in dark-skinned grapes help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
However, most cancers and tumors in parrots can be easily treated.
Are dried grapes good for parrots?
Dried grapes are safe for your parrot.
However, the most important thing to keep in mind while feeding your parrot dried grapes is that they are likely to have higher levels of sugar and calorie than fresh grapes.
So be sure to offer dried grapes to your parrot in moderation.
Can I feed baby parrot grapes?
Yes, grapes have lots of beneficial nutrients that can help your baby parrot.
However, you need to be extremely careful when feeding grapes to young parrots due to the high contents of fructose.
To feed grapes to young parrots, be sure to chop the fruits into small pieces and separate the seeds.
Feed the baby parrots small pieces of the grapes once in a while to allow their digestive tract to be accustomed to the fruits.
Can grapes be fatal for parrots?
Though grapes are generally safe for parrots, the concern arises from how the fruits were grown and produced.
Many farmers spray their grapes with enough pesticides and chemicals to instantly kill your parrot.
Today, even organic grapes could be dangerous to feed to your parrot due to inadequate regulation on the use of the word ‘organic’ on the labels of products.
But then again, this is a problem that affects all other fruit and vegetables.
Almost all fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides, and that is why before feeding grapes to your parrot, we advise you thoroughly wash them to remove any traces of pesticides from the skin of the fruits.
But this doesn’t mean you should not trust the word ‘organic’ on the grapes label.
‘Organic’ anything can mean the product contains more than 2200 different USDA organic certified pesticides provided the said pesticides are made with compounds produced in nature.
How do I wash grapes to ensure all the pesticides are off?
As mentioned elsewhere in this article, the surface of the grapefruit has a wax-like coating onto which the pesticides attach.
To ensure that this contaminated coating completely comes off, wash the grapes with a fruit wash solution.
Rub them against each other or scrub them.
If you don’t have a fruit wash solution, you can make one using vinegar or baking soda with 3 parts of water.