I often like to look at parrots as little children.
When it comes to food, it’s no different.
Just as there are some foods that I would feed my children and other foods that I wouldn’t, the same is true for parrots.
With that being said, while most foods wouldn’t harm a child in small doses (unless they were allergic), there are foods out there that can be extremely toxic for parrots.
Prickly pear is not toxic for parrots and is a food that you can include into their diets. In fact, Prickly pear if full of nutrients like Vitamin A and Calcium that can be very beneficial to include within your parrots diet.
Today we will delve deeper into the nutritional value of Prickly pears for your parrot, and will also discuss several other topics like:
Can my parrot eat Prickly Pear seeds?
How often can I feed my parrot prickly pear?
Can my parrot eat regular pears?
And much more, so let’s not waste another minute!
Table of Contents
Nutritional benefits of prickly pears
We’ve already established that your parrot can eat prickly pears, but what nutritional benefits do they hold?
Calcium is a nutrient that is essential for parrots.
Without it, parrots can suffer from a variety of nutritional deficits, and can even die.
Calcium can be found in prickly pears, and helps to provide the structure of your parrots beak and bones.
It also helps to form the structure for their feathers, as well as for their connective tissues.
Vitamin A is another nutrient that can be found in prickly pears and is essential in the upkeep and maintenance of your parrots feathers.
In fact, Vitamin A is one of the main reasons that some parrots have such bright blue, orange, red, or yellow pigmentations.
Having said that, it’s important that you naturally provide your parrot with Vitamin A through a healthy diet, as synthetic Vitamin A can actually be toxic to your parrot.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that helps to prevent birds from engaging in self destructive behaviors.
When parrots lack vitamin C, they may start to engage in excessive chewing, tearing, or preening behaviors.
Prickly pear is one way to provide them with this essential nutrient.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that is necessary for blood coagulation.
This nutrient is often found in green plants, but can also be found in prickly pear.
Birds tend to produce Vitamin K naturally by the bacteria in their bowel, but it can also be supplemented into their diet with Vitamin K rich foods.
How often can I feed my parrot prickly pear?
Now that we’ve established that we can feed our parrots prickly pear, how often can we feed it to them?
Technically, you could feed your parrot prickly pear every day.
With that being said, we always recommend mixing things up a little.
The more variety you can give your parrot, the more nutritional benefits they will receive.
In order to maintain health, parrots require a healthy balance of food throughout the day.
Their diet should consist of a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and store-bought pellets.
In terms of fruit, such as the prickly pear, parrots should be limited to three small servings each day, and each of these servings should be a different fruit.
Again, the more variety you can provide your parrot, the healthier and happier they will be.
Can Parrots eat Prickly Pear seeds and skin?
Yes. Unlike some fruit seeds which can be toxic to parrots (ie. Apple seeds), prickly pear seeds pose no harm to your bird.
Seeds from prickly pears are small and hard.
For humans, they are hard to bite through, but parrots should have no trouble.
If you are worried about the seeds as a choking hazard, you can always use a juicer or strainer to remove them.
In terms of skin, no, I would not recommend feeing your parrot the skin of prickly pears.
This is a recommendation for a few reasons.
Firstly, the skin of prickly pear is covered in little spots that look like thorns.
Called glochids, these spots are not actually thorns, but little splinters that can stick into your skin.
As such, prickly pear needs to be handled with care, or you can definitely hurt yourself.
By the time these pears reach the stores, producers have usually already removed the glochids, but in some cases, one or two could be missed.
If even one glochid is left on the pear and fed to your parrot, it could really hurt their mouth.
Secondly, depending on where the prickly pear is obtained from, it may have been grown with pesticides.
Pesticides are chemicals that are sprayed onto fruits and vegetables by producers to keep pests like insects away.
Unfortunately, these pesticides are toxic.
Not only are they not good for humans (which is why we should always wash our fruit), but they can be deadly to birds.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, and just remove the skin.
Can I feed my parrot regular pears?
Though prickly pear and regular pears are two completely different types of fruit, many people often confuse them with one another purely based on their name.
As such, we now turn to the question, “can parrots eat pears?” And the answer to this question is simple.
Yes, parrots can eat pears.
With that being said, they are also often grown with pesticides so the skin should be removed.
In addition, pears should only be served as a nutritious treat, and never a full meal.
How many portions of fruit can my parrot have in a day?
You should feed your parrot a mixture of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals which are all essential for a balanced diet.
With that being said, there needs to limits.
As a general recommendation, you should aim for fruits and vegetables to make up 15-30 percent of your parrots diet.
The rest of their diet should be made up of nuts, seeds, and pellets.
Can Parrots eat Jicama?
Jicama, also referred to as the Mexican yam bean, the Mexican turnip, or the Pachyrhizus Erosus, is a type of plant that is native to Mexico.
When speaking about the Jicama, most people are referring to the tuber part, or the root vegetable.
In such a case, yes, Jicama is safe for parrots to eat. Having said that, though Jicama does hold some nutritional value, it is also very starchy and high in carbohyrdates.
As such, consumption should be limited to once-in-a-while snacks.
The other thing that people could be referring to when talking about the Jicama is the plant.
In this case, no, you should never feed the vine, leaves, seeds, or flowers of Jicama to your parrot.
Each part of the Jicama plant is toxic to parrots and could cause severe illness.
In conclusion, yes, your parrot can eat prickly pear. Just be sure that when feeding, you remove the skin first.
Prickly pear can be fed to your parrot regularly, but should be combined with a variety of other healthy and nutritious foods to ensure a balanced diet conducive to good health.
Prickly pear should never be used as a definitive source of nutrition.