Cockatiels are exceptional parrots loved by pet owners worldwide. They’re very easy to maintain and make great companions. If you’re a responsible cockatiel owner, you might be confused about its diet, especially if your pet loves snatching fruits like grapes from your hand when you’re snacking.
Cockatiels are way more sensitive than cats and dogs; therefore, they can be pretty fragile, so they can be easily affected by a wide range of infections or illnesses. Consequently, you must be cautious of its diet, which begs the question: can cockatiels eat grapes?
- Cockatiels can safely consume grapes but in moderation.
- Instead of just any grape, you should give your cockatiel organic grapes. And if you provide your bird with inorganic ones, make sure you wash them thoroughly.
- Too many grapes can increase your bird’s blood sugar level, and in the long run, it may end up with obesity.
- Red grapes have higher antioxidant levels than green ones.
Cockatiel parrots can safely consume grapes, including the skin and seeds. Grapes are delicious and highly nutritious fruits containing manganese, potassium, vitamin, and fiber. However, giving a cockatiel too many grapes can cause weight gain; therefore, you must feed your cockatiel grapes in moderation.
Grapes are highly nutritious fruits that can improve your pet’s health but can be dangerous in excess. So in this article, we’ll answer the question: can cockatiels eat grapes? We’ll also show you the nutritional content of grapes and how to prepare this fruit for your pet.
Can Cockatiel Eat Grapes?
Grapes are fruits, botanically berries, from the deciduous woody vines that humans and our birds love. According to Wikipedia, they’re climacteric fruits. They’re top-tier fruits you can feed your cockatiel in moderation without harming it. Tip: cockatiels can eat a grape with or without its seeds in moderation.
It would help to feed your cockatiel grapes in infrequent and small quantities. After all, an overabundance of this fruit can trigger digestive issues like runny stool. Too many grapes can cause obesity. Plus, their deliciousness makes it easy for your pet to get addicted to these fruits.
Can They Consume Different Types Of Grapes?
Yes, grapes come in a wide range of colors loved by our parrots, and we can feed them to cockatiels as they are safe to consume. These berries come in various colors, such as black, blue, red, and white. The white grapes range in color from light orange or amber to light green. The black grapes come in clusters of darkish purplish-black color.
The red varieties of grapes vary from deep red to pink, and their coloration can differ with some degrees of ripeness and the amount of time exposed to sunlight. All these variants contain a wide range of minerals and vitamins but vary slightly in nutritional value.
Whether seedless or seeded, you can give your cockatiel this unique delicacy in either form. But it’s highly recommended to feed your parrot seedless grapes as the seeds can become a choking hazard.
Are Grapes Toxic To Cockatiels?
No, grapes are safe for cockatiels; they’re very nutritious and can improve our bird’s health. Sure, they can be toxic to canine pals, but not parrots. They cause acute kidney failure in dogs but not cockatiels.
Therefore, you can use these grapes as treats or part of their diet. Unfortunately, too many grapes can be dangerous to our birds, so provide them in moderation.
Grapes have a high sugar content that can increase our pet’s sugar level. Remember, in captivity, these birds are not too active. So burning the extra calories can be challenging in captivity.
Therefore, we need to monitor their consumption of fruits, particularly grapes. Too many grapes can leave your pet with obesity which is not a good idea.
According to Pubmed Central, obesity in our feathery pals is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and fatty liver that can result in the sudden death of our pets. Another thing you must watch out for is the size of the seeds of the grapes.
These seeds can be a choking hazard for small cockatiels; therefore, feeding your cockatiel seedless grapes as much as possible is best. Another thing that can make grapes bad for our birds is the presence of pesticides; therefore, it’s always a good idea to go organic. But if that’s impossible, you can wash them properly with warm water.
The Health Benefits Of Grapes
Generally, parrot owners always hesitate to give their pets grapes thanks to the bad rap it gets from vets who advise that it’s toxic to dogs. But it’s known that these berries are quite delicious to our feathery pals, and they love consuming them. 100g of raw green grapes contains the following:
- Carbohydrates – 18.1 g
- Lipid fat – 0.16 g
- Protein – 0.72 g
- Energy – 69 Kcal
- Water – 80.5 g
- Sugar – 15.5 g
- Fiber – 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates – 18.1 g
- Potassium – 191 mg
- Phosphorus – 20 mg
- Magnesium – 7 mg
- Calcium – 10 mg
- Zinc – 0.07 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.086 mg
- Vitamin E – 0.19 mg
- Vitamin A – 66IU
- Vitamin C – 3.2 mg
Therefore, why should your cockatiel miss all the above benefits? Let’s elaborate more on these health benefits of grapes and why they are ideal for your birds:
As aforementioned, grapes are rich in a wide range of vitamins that can improve your cockatiel’s immunity and help with growth and development. Some of these vitamins include:
Vitamin A is a unique fat-soluble vitamin found in various foods, including grapes. This vitamin can help with growth and development, reproduction, improving the immune system, and, most importantly it can, improving your bird’s vision. Vitamin A can also help your pet’s lungs and other organs properly.
Another crucial vitamin in grapes is vitamin B6. Unlike vitamin A, Vitamin B6 is water-soluble and found in many foods. It’s known to improve your cockatiel’s immunity by promoting the production of interleukin-2 and lymphocytes. It also plays a significant role in developing the cockatiel’s brain.
Grapes have high vitamin C levels that can help with boosting your bird’s immunity and iron absorption. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that controls infection while promoting wound healing. It’s a popular antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals.
Vitamin C is responsible for making collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein found in connective tissues and weaved in many body organs, including blood, cartilage, bone, and the immune and nervous system. It is one of the crucial vitamins that can lower the risk of heart attacks in cockatiels.
The antioxidants in grapes help improve your cockatiel’s immune system. Generally, parrots consume lots of nuts and fruit as part of their usual diet. Therefore, avoiding the likelihood of toxicity is almost impossible. It can happen any time your cockatiel consumes a leftover fruit accidentally.
If your cockatiel consumes seeds covered by bacteria, it may have an infection. To prevent this from happening, you can feed your bird grapes. Grapes will help keep your bird’s toxic level low
Minerals Present In Grapes
Generally, you can give your cockatiel potassium as a supplement or in some fruits like grapes. It plays a significant role in helping maintain the fluid levels inside the tissues and normal cells. Potassium also keeps the bird’s blood pressure regular.
It’s a popular electrolyte that transports electric charge that activates several nerve and cell functions. Potassium helps your muscles contract while supporting your blood pressure. Potassium can help in the glucose metabolism in the body.
Phosphorus helps with the normal formation of bones while controlling how the bird’s body will use fats and carbohydrates. It’s also mandatory for the body to process protein for repairing and maintaining tissues and cells.
These berries also contain fiber that helps maintain the cockatiel’s gut health. The high fiber level will stimulate its intestines and stomachs. It will end up strengthening your bird’s gastrointestinal tract. Feeding them grapes can leave your pet feeling full.
On top of the fiber, it contains protein, increasing muscle strength. It’s also rich in antioxidants that lower the risk of chronic diseases.
How Should I Serve The Grapes To My Cockatiel?
Just because it was fresh from the farm doesn’t mean your cockatiel should consume it immediately. Remember, most farmers use pesticides to deal with the pest, which can leave some residue on the grape’s skin. Therefore, you should always go organic and avoid these other grapes.
Organic grapes are grown naturally without chemicals, making them the best option for our cockatiels. But even with organic grapes, you must thoroughly wash these berries to remove dirt and chemicals.
After washing them, you can chop the grapes into small pieces and serve them on a plate. But keep a bowl of water on the side for our feathered pals. Remember, they love soaking their foods in water before eating them. Plus, the water can help with the hydration process.
If you can’t go for the organic options, you should try the commercial ones. Remember, they may contain insecticides, herbicides, and many other chemicals. So you must wash the raw grapes with warm water to eliminate the chemicals.
If your cockatiel isn’t too small or young, you won’t have to remove the seeds as you would with an apple seed. After all, they contain antioxidants that can help improve your bird’s health. These seeds can be a choking hazard for chicks, so you should remove them before feeding your pet.
But most importantly, make sure you don’t leave the fruits in the enclosure overnight. You can just get rid of them after a few hours. Giving them grapes in the enclosure overnight can result in bacterial infection.
Can Cockatiels Eat Raisins?
Yes, raisin is part of the grapes; therefore, it’s safe and highly nutritious for our parrots. Raisins are rich in nutrients like iron, fiber, and vitamins. You can give your cockatiel raisins but in small quantities. After all, raisins are known to have higher sugar levels than fresh grapes, so you should provide them to your cockatiel in moderation.
In the wild, parrots love raisins thanks to their high sugar levels. But the wild birds get to fly around most of the day. Your cockatiel doesn’t get enough workouts to burn all the extra sugar that raisins will introduce into its body, resulting in obesity.
Therefore, giving your bird raw grapes is better than a raisin.
Should I Give My Parrot Grape Juice?
Generally, grape juice is relatively safe, and your bird will enjoy it, but you have to get natural juice with no added sugar or additives. The juice that is simply heated and pasteurized while being produced is safe.
Unfortunately, some brands introduce several additives and sugar to their juice. These juices are unsafe for our birds and can affect their health. Therefore we recommend that you stick to raw grapes and homemade grape juice. Before throwing the grapes in the blender, wash them.
Green vs. Red Grapes: Which One Is Better?
Generally, green and red grapes have several similarities that can help improve our bird’s health. On the other hand, they have many differences that can play a significant role in the parrot’s health. For instance, they both have low cholesterol levels, which makes them great, but their sugar levels vary greatly.
Therefore, before discussing which is better for our birds, we should discuss the differences between the two berries.
Generally, the red and green berries taste different. The red berries are usually sweeter than the green ones. But in terms of sourness, the green one wins. Therefore, given a chance between the two, our pets would always go for the sweeter option.
The color difference is the outcome of the absence/presence of anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is responsible for the discrepancy in colors between these two berries. Unfortunately, the gene responsible for making the green grapes anthocyanin is mutated.
Therefore it lacks this antioxidant. The lack of anthocyanin is why green grapes remain fresh longer.
The lack of anthocyanin in green grapes means it has a low level of antioxidants. Therefore, giving your cockatiel a red grape is always a good idea.
So which one is ideal for our cockatiels? The sugar level difference is relatively small, which shouldn’t make that much of a difference in the bird’s body. Therefore, if you’re looking for the perfect juice, you should mix green and red grapes for your bird.
But in terms of antioxidant levels, the red grapes win. The high antioxidants in red grapes can help remove the toxin in our cockatiel’s bodies. It means that red grapes will likely keep our birds healthy for a long time. Therefore, we recommend giving them more red grapes than green ones.
How Many Grapes Should You Give Cockatiels?
Since grapes can increase the sugar levels in our pet’s bodies, I recommend giving them one or two grapes weekly. But ensure you mix it with the other fresh fruits throughout the week. Remember, too many grapes are not ideal as they can increase their sugar levels resulting in obesity.
Plus, fruits and veggies should only be 30% of their daily intake. So you have to balance and mix it with other fruits.
Can You Feed Baby Cockatiels Grapes? If So, How?
The simple answer is yes, you can give them grapes all year round. But make sure they’re pesticide-free or organic. Their immunity hasn’t fully developed, so these chemicals can significantly affect their bodies.
Unlike adults, you should give baby cockatiels only one grape per week. But most importantly, try to chop it into tiny chunks so they can eat them without struggle.
It’s known that cockatiels love grapes; they can enjoy the different types of grapes in moderation. And that’s because of the high sugar levels in grapes. However, they are not that active in captivity, so they may end up with obesity if they consume too many grapes per day. But before feeding them, you should clean them and chop them into small pieces.
So, if too many grapes can cause obesity, how many should your bird consume? You should give them one to two grapes once or twice weekly. You can even provide them with grape juice but ensure it’s additive free. It means that you should blend the juice at home using organic grapes.
- Wikipedia contributors, grape, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grape/ Accessed March 30, 2023
- Introduction, http://www.hort.cornell.edu/reisch/grapegenetics/bulletin/table/tableindex2.html/ Accessed March 30, 2023
- Seyedeh Hosseinian et al., Impact of high dietary energy on obesity and oxidative stress in domestic pigeons, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8294395/ Accessed March 30, 2023
- National Institutes of Health staff, Vitamin A and Carotenoids, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-Consumer/ Accessed March 30, 2023
- National Institutes of Health staff, Vitamin B6, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/ Accessed March 30, 2023
- Harvard T.H. Chan, Vitamin C, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-c/ Accessed March 30, 2023
- Harvard T.H. Chan, potassium, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/ Accessed March 30, 2023