There are numerous varieties of mulberry trees, some of which produce berries as large as your own thumb. Some mulberry trees produce reddish color berries while others produce dark purple berries. Other types also produce off-white berries.
Fruits and vegetables are important elements of the parrot’s diet. According to experts, fruits and vegetables should account for up to 25% of your parrot’s daily diet in order to prevent the problem of imbalanced or incomplete diet. An incomplete or imbalanced diet can cause illness to your bird. There are lots of varieties of fruits you can feed you parrot and varieties of others you are not supposed to give your bird.
So, what about mulberries, can parrots eat them? Yes, parrots can eat mulberries. It is one of the most readily available fruits that parrots like, especially the black, white, and red berries. However, mulberries are great as snacks, meaning it should not account as the main meal for your parrot. Though they don’t appear delicious, the white berries are more nutritious and sweet than red and blackberries.
Now that you know parrots can eat mulberries, what exactly does your bird gets from these fruits? What is the nutrition value of mulberries and how does it benefit your parrot? If you want to know the answers to these are other questions about mulberries are parrots, continue reading till the end.
What is the nutritional value of mulberries for my parrot?
Mulberries have the immense nutritional value that can benefit your parrot, including iron, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, riboflavin, and phosphorous. They are also known to contain other essential dietary fiber as well as a range of organic compounds such as zeaxanthin, phytonutrients, resveratrol, lutein, anthocyanins, and some polyphenolic compounds.
How do the nutrients found in mulberries benefit my parrot?
As you can see, mulberries are loaded with lots of nutrients that can help your parrot. These fruits make an excellent snack for your bird, and the nutrients in them can help your parrot in a number of ways.
Mulberries are known to have a decent amount of dietary fiber, about 1.7% of their weight. These fibers are in two forms; 25% pectin, which is soluble and 75% lignin, which is insoluble. These fibers help keep the digestive system of your parrot healthy, as well as reducing the levels of cholesterol, and skin disease risks.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that helps with skin health as well as other bodily functions. It is important that your parrot has a daily intake of food rich in vitamin C to maintain a healthy immune system. This vitamin is also vital in preventing your bird from such as behaviors as biting and pulling out their feathers.
Your parrot needs iron to help with various bodily functions including transporting oxygen in various parts of the body.
Potassium provides numerous benefits as both an electrolyte and a mineral. One of the major benefits of potassium is reducing the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin K1 is also called phylloquinone and is important for bone health as well as preventing blood clotting.
Parrots also have unstable molecules or free radicals that can damage their body cells. This can lead to a number of diseases as well as numerous degenerative illnesses by causing permanent damages to the body cells. To prevent this, you need to serve your bird with foods that are rich in antioxidants such as mulberries.
How do I feed mulberries to my parrot?
Mulberries fruits grow from mulberry trees and if you want to feed them to your parrot, the first thing you want to do is picking them from the tree or buying them from the fruit store.
In the woods, birds eat mulberries right from the tree, but for you caged parrot, there are several ways in which you can feed them mulberries.
You can hang the mulberries from the cage and allow the parrot to eating just like it would from the tree.
Can my parrot eat dried mulberries?
Yes, in fact, there are varieties of processed mulberries for parrots in grocery stores. Dry mulberries are also small and convenient to feed your parrot.
However, unlike fresh ones, dried mulberries have very little water content. As a result, they significantly shrink in size. When mulberries shrink into small sizes, the water content disappears, but the sugar remains, but now compacted in a single bite-size bit. Since they are small, more can be consumed, meaning your parrot will be getting more than double the sugar and calories than it would when eating fresh mulberries.
There is also an issue with nutritional loss or degradation in dried mulberries. The heat that dries the fruits also kills certain essential vitamins and minerals.
If you buy dried mulberries from the stores, look for the words “sulfites”, “Sulphur” or “Sulphur dioxide” on the label of the product. These words mean the fruit was dried using the sulphuring process. Sulfur is one of the toxic compounds that can harm your parrot, so it is advisable to avoid dried mulberries that used sulphuring as a method of dehydration.
Last but not least, it has been found that dried mulberries are actually higher in antioxidants than their fresh counterparts.
Dried mulberries should be severed only as a snack, in small amounts. But they shouldn’t substitute fresh fruits in your parrot’s diet.
Can I make mulberry juice for my parrot?
Yes, you can squeeze mulberries into fresh juice and give it to your parrot provided you don’t add sugar or any other substance.
Once you have blended the juice, you can give to your parrot as a drink or you can combine it with other food to add some flavor.
What about the mulberry tree, can my parrot chew on the wood?
Mulberry wood is safe for your parrot to chew. It is actually important for your bird to be chewing on woods, branches, leaves, and husks now and then to keep their beak in good shape.
If you have a mulberry tree in your backyard, you can pluck the branches and let the parrot chew on them. Having said that, some woods are unsafe for your parrot to chew on, such as almond, apple, aspen, bamboo, cherry, amongst others.
How often should I feed mulberries to my parrot?
While mulberries have loads of essential nutrients beneficial to your parrot, it is advisable to serve it in moderation.
To ensure your bird receives a well-balanced diet, mulberries should be mixed with other types of vegetables and fruits.
The golden rule is once per day and three times a week.
Do mulberries have any side effects?
When you do anything without moderation, it is bound to have side effects. That is true with mulberries and your parrot. Though your bird needs these fruits to survive, you need to control how you feed it to them.
One of the major issues of mulberries with a parrot is when it is dried. This is because dried mulberries are small, about 4 times smaller than fresh version, thus your parrot may eat more dried mulberries that fresh ones. Dried mulberries still have sugar, and too much sugar is not healthy for your parrot.
Also, mulberries have loads of antioxidants, which can cause too much radical damage if consumed in excess. This, in turn, may lead to a weak immune system.
Do I have to worry about pesticide traces in mulberries?
It depends on how the mulberry tree is grown.
Most mulberry trees grow organically in the backyards or the woods as a result of seed dispersion by birds.
These are likely to contain no traces of pesticides and other chemicals.
If they are grown in a polluted environment, they may contain small amounts of harmful chemicals.
You should worry if the mulberries are commercially grown, as farmers usually use pesticides to prevent pests and diseases from their crops.
The best way to be sure is to always wash the fruit thoroughly before giving it to your parrot.
Even so, mulberries are quite small and it can be challenging to wash off all the harmful chemicals.
While it is hard to completely evade these chemicals, offering mulberries in a small amount can be the best way to control or reduce the effects of pesticides.
Should I cut mulberries before feeding them to my parrots?
No need for this as mulberries are already small and your bird can easily eat them without any problems.
If your parrot is still small and you are concerned about them being a choking hazard, then you can slice them into small pieces to give you extra peace of mind.
How do I clean the mess after feeding mulberries to my parrot?
Mulberries and parrots is not a great combination in terms of mess. This is something, however, that you can deal with easily.
First, consider cutting the fruits into smaller pieces and serve them one by one into the beak of your parrot.
Alternatively, you can serve your bird mulberries from the cage and far away from your furniture and floor.