Many people are fascinated with jackfruit because of its strange and unique outer shell.
This exotic fruit is often captivating for those who see it.
Many people even take photos with the fruit, as it can grow to be bigger than a human head!
Jackfruit has also been called a super food recently, the title given to many exotic foods that are believed to have a variety of health benefits.
With all of this in mind, you may want to try jackfruit yourself, or even experiment with feeding the unique spiky ball of fruit to your pet parrot.
But can parrots safely eat and enjoy jackfruit?
The answer to this question is mostly yes. Jackfruit is very bird friendly, and many birds beyond parrots can love enjoying eating some of the ripened sweet fresh jackfruit. However, it is important to be a little cautious and not let your parrot overeat or eat raw jackfruit.
Jackfruit is high in nutrients and antioxidants which makes it a healthy addition and yummy treat to any parrot’s diet.
Many birds in the wild love to eat jackfruit.
In fact, some villagers in India know that the jackfruit is ripe when birds like parrot’s flock to them and begin trying to open up the fruit.
Will parrots enjoy the taste of Jackfruit?
Jackfruits are a bit strange looking, as they are bright green, large, oblong fruits.
The fruits can get even bigger than a basketball and weigh as much as 44 pounds!
In fact, jackfruit is the largest fruit-growing tree in the world.
They have a very bumpy, horny and fleshy exterior, essentially giant spiky balls.
The inside is made up of pale-yellow plump bulbs.
Many parrots enjoy cracking into the hard-outer shell and using their beaks to tear into the bulbs within.
The inside of jackfruit is actually called meat, and your parrot will enjoy the slightly odd taste.
Though a fruit, the meaty bulb of jackfruit is often described as having a texture that is very similar to pulled pork, which your parrot will enjoy shredding as they eat.
Unlike many other fruits, the jackfruit is not juicy like watermelon, but rather it is sweet and moist.
The flavor is something that has sparked many debates.
Some claim that along with a pork-like texture, jackfruit also tastes like chicken, or an apple, pineapple, mango, and banana comb.
The flavor is complex, to say the least, but your parrot will certainly love the taste!
Can parrots eat raw/unripe jackfruit?
It is important that your parrot only eats fresh and very ripe jackfruit.
Raw unripe jackfruit is astringent, indigestible, and harsh on the stomach of birds and people alike.
If your parrot eats unripe jackfruit it may cause some digestive issues and an upset stomach.
As well, even the ripe jackfruit can be an issue, because it is a slightly laxative fruit and if your parrot eats too much it will cause diarrhea.
As with many other fruits, such as apples, pears, cherries, peaches and plums, raw jackfruit seeds are indigestible.
Birds should never be allowed to eat the seeds or pits because they contain small amounts of toxins.
With jackfruit, parrots should not be allowed to eat the seeds because they contain a powerful trypsin inhibitor.
Trypsin is an enzyme that helps to digest protein, a trypsin inhibitor can affect a parrot by halting the normal process of breaking down proteins.
By boiling or baking the seeds they no longer become an issue and cannot harm your bird.
However, the fruit itself does not need to be cooked or prepared to be safe for a parrot to eat.
As long as the jackfruit is ripe, and the seeds have been removed, it is safe for your parrot to consume.
What are the nutritional benefits of jackfruit for your parrot?
Besides being a fun and interesting new fruit for your bird to try and enjoy, jackfruit has many other benefits.
In fact, jackfruit is very good for parrots to occasionally eat.
Full of nutrients and antioxidants, fresh and ripe jackfruit has many nutritional benefits.
These include, but are not limited to:
This exotic fruit is very high in antioxidants.
Because of the antioxidants, jackfruit has been claimed to be able to improve blood sugar, strengthen the immune system, and can keep your parrots gums healthy.
Vitamin C and Vitamin B
The best benefit of including jackfruit in your parrot’s diet is the fact that jackfruit is actually high in some vitamins and minerals than apples, bananas and apricots.
It contains high vitamin C and also vitamin B, which is rare for many fruits.
Vitamin C specifically helps to prevent birds from engaging in self-destructive behaviors such as excessive chewing, tearing and preening.
Because of the thick texture (pork-like shredded meat consistency) of jackfruit it is quite high in protein.
Many people turn to meat and legumes for a bird’s protein source, but you can include jackfruit as another option to meet their protein needs.
The dietary fiber in jackfruit is a great addition for a parrot that is a little overweight and may even help them lose weight as it will help boost digestion.
Both protein and fiber are very important qualities in a happy, healthy bird’s diet.
It is also high in potassium and magnesium which can be deficient in many parrot’s diet.
Potassium helps your bird to regulate muscle contractions, and fluid balance.
As well jackfruit contains iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin A.
It is important to keep in mind that jackfruit is filled with large amounts of natural sugar so again moderation is key.
For a parrot, they eat large quantities of fruit in the wild and so though it is always good to monitor how much sugar they are consuming to keep them as healthy as possible, the natural sugars found in fruits like jackfruit are likely fine for them to eat.
How should I serve jackfruit to my parrot?
Once you crack through the horny tough outer layer, you can break apart the jackfruit or use a sharp chef’s knife.
It is best to slice it, or quarter it.
There are two edible pieces of the jackfruit, which are the arils (fleshy pods or bulbs), and the finger-like projections.
For your parrot, it is likely easiest to serve them the arils, which are the large bulbs of fruit, or the finger-like projections (these are the pieces that are most described as like pulled pork).
Be sure to discard the inner stem that runs down the middle of the jackfruit.
The large seeds that must be avoided are within each aril and should be removed before it is ever served to your parrot.
Though technically edible, they would need to be cooked or boiled, and it is much safer to not even risk any harm coming to your feathery friend and so it is not recommended to feed your parrot jackfruit seeds at all.
Because jackfruit can cause diarrhea, it is best to serve your parrot small amounts of jackfruit at a time.
If you have a smaller bird, remember to be conscious of how much jackfruit they are consuming because they can get sick sooner than larger birds.
Though jackfruit is quite good for parrots and they often enjoy eating it, they should not be overserved.
If you do not feel like going through the somewhat tedious and laborious preparation of jackfruit, you can always purchase the fruit already cut up from many stores, or even buy canned jackfruit.
If you do want to go the canned route, the jackfruit can come in a thick sugary syrup which should be rinsed away before it is served to your parrot.
Even though the fruit itself has natural sugars which are good for a healthy parrot, the sugary syrup in canned fruit is often made of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup which are refined sugars.
Refined sugar has been processed in a certain way to create them so that they actually contain no nutrients at all and should be avoided in your parrots’ diet.
Jackfruit is a great treat for your parrot to try, and they will likely enjoy eating the exotic fruit.
The fruit is filled with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. It has magnesium, potassium, iron, and vitamin A. Jackfruit is actually very high vitamin C and vitamin B, more so than many other fruits.
Parrots cannot eat unripen jackfruit, as may cause some digestive issues and really upset their stomachs.
You can give your parrot a whole piece of the jackfruit aril to enjoy but be sure to remove the large seeds as they could be toxic.
No matter which way you choose to give your parrot jackfruit, they will likely enjoy the yummy textured fruit.