Are you curious to find out if parrots can eat oranges? Generally, parrots eat vegetables, seeds, nuts, flowers, corn, and fruits. Therefore, oranges can ultimately be included in the diet with a few precautions.
Parrots can eat oranges safely. In addition, oranges are a good source of vitamins A, B, C, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B1. However, oranges should be given to your parrot in moderate quantities because they contain sugar, lead to weight gain, and are acidic fruits.
This article goes over all the benefits of parrots eating oranges and any contraindication.
What Are Oranges’ Benefits And Nutritional Values?
Oranges are outstanding fruits to give to parrots due to their high content of vitamin C, A, B, and other nutrients such as minerals and proteins. An orange can contain the following elements:
- Very few fats
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
Oranges contain almost no fats and no sodium, while vitamin C can help your bird strengthen the immune system, and the presence of all the rest of the nutrients can help your parrot stay healthy.
Oranges contain carbs, fibers, water, and proteins and are low in calories. In addition, they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant elements such as flavonoids and carotenoids.
Although oranges are healthy fruits, you should not give them to your parrots every day, but a few times a week to help them boost their immune system and get the valuable nutrients contained in them without suffering from the adverse effects of the sugar.
Are Oranges Poisonous To Birds?
Oranges, in general, are safe for birds and are not poisonous. However, too many oranges can create some problems for your parrots in terms of weight gain and acidity. A medium-sized orange contains, on average, 12 grams of sugar.
Although you might have heard that fructose is less dangerous than processed sugar, it is still sugar that contributes to weight gain when it is too much. Fructose is a type of sugar that tends to go in the liver and thus not in the blood.
While it might seem reasonable, it forces the liver to deal with it. In addition, all that fructose converts into fat with the resulting increase in body weight.
A recent study conducted on animals and pets showed that fructose could cause liver damage even if there isn’t an increase in weight.
The study showed that animals fed with a lot of fructose in their diet suffered two times the liver damage than other animals treated with a low fructose diet.
The acidity of oranges can also upset the parrot’s stomach. So while oranges have a lot of great nutritional benefits and are not poisonous to parrots, they still need to be given in moderation to safeguard your parrot’s liver but still take advantage of the good nutrients.
Can Parrots Have Orange Juice?
Parrots can have orange juice safely, in the same way as they can have oranges. Although if you want to give your parrot orange juice as a treat, you should prepare it yourself, squeeze fresh oranges, or buy only organic, freshly prepared juice.
Low-quality commercial juices are often made from concentrate and produced using pasteurization. This process heats the orange juice to make sure to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens that might be in the liquid so that it sells without problems.
However, pasteurization is not killing only bacteria and germs; it eliminates almost all nutrients such as vitamins and fibers, leaving only the sugar. Therefore, such a type of orange juice no longer provides health benefits.
Commercial juice is created that way to last for a long time, and while it can taste good, it is not suitable for your parrot. An excellent orange juice to give to your parrot should have the following requisites:
- 100% squeeze juice (not from concentrate)
- It doesn’t contain added sugar
- It doesn’t contain colorants or additives
- Homemade orange juice from or organic oranges
The best alternative to homemade freshly squeezed orange juice is to buy 100% certified orange juice with no additives and organic. If you think that the orange juice is too acidic for your parrot, you can get high-quality orange juice and dilute it with water.
What Types Of Oranges Should I Give To My Parrot?
In general, all types of oranges are safe for parrots. You can take any orange and give it to your parrot, although some oranges taste bitter. It is because oranges belong to the Citrus species, and since there are a lot of varieties, each type can have a different degree of bitterness.
There are two main types of oranges:
- Bitter oranges (Citrus sinensis)
- Sweet oranges (Citrus aurantium)
Within those two types of oranges, there are a lot of varieties to choose from. Although oranges originated from Southern China and have been known since 314 BC, now this is one of the most cultivated fruit in the world.
Your parrot may prefer sweet orange varieties and might refuse a bitter orange because of its acidic taste. You could try providing different types and see which one your parrot likes before making a final decision.
Sweet oranges include several groups of fruits, such as:
- Common oranges
- Navel oranges
- Blood oranges
- Acidless oranges
You can find Valencia and the Hamlin among the common oranges, but there are a dozen common orange types. Blood oranges can be light and dark blood orange, and you might know them as Scarlet Navel, Tarocco, and Maltese.
Navel oranges are the most common to find in a grocery store. The Caracara, California navel, Bahia, and Dream navel are the most known. Acidless oranges are sweet, so they are also called “sweet oranges.”
On the other side, bitter oranges include several groups of fruits, such as:
- Seville oranges
- Bergamot oranges
- Trifoliate oranges
Seville oranges are made crossing mandarin with pomelo oranges and are best suited to marmalade. Bergamot oranges come from Italy, and their color resembles a lemon. Finally, trifoliate oranges look like lime and are known to be “bitter oranges.”
Due to their bitterness, it is challenging to consume them fresh, but they are often used to prepare marmalades or as a condiment.
How To Serve Oranges To Parrots?
You can serve oranges to your parrots in several ways. You should try different methods and see which one is better for your bird; each parrot might have different tastes and preferences.
Here are some of the things you could try when feeding oranges to your parrot:
- Mix a slice of orange with other food
If you are not sure about the acidic level of the orange, you could taste it before feeding it to your parrot. In addition, your parrot might enjoy a slice of orange with the rest of the food so that the taste of other treats can cover the acidity.
2. Give your parrot a slice of orange when you are eating it
Another fun way to attract your parrot to eat oranges is to eat one in front of him. If you eat slices of oranges near your parrot, you can spark his interest in the new food source. Your parrot may get on your hand or shoulder and attempt to get a bite.
3. Serve a slice of orange every couple of days
You could routinely serve a slice of orange every couple of days as a treat or supplement to the rest of the food. Once you find the orange that your parrot likes, it is just a matter of serving it routinely.
You could also cut a slice of orange into small pieces and feed it to your bird throughout the day.
- Squeeze the orange
Another way to serve an orange to a parrot is to squeeze it and give it to your parrot to drink. You could also dilute it with water and serve it. In this way, you can take away any bitterness from it and make it more palatable.
- Serve it with peel
You could also serve a slice of orange with peel if your parrot seems to like it. You can make sure your parrot eats the pulp first and get to the peel at last. In this way, if he dislikes it, you know it, and the next time you can serve orange slices without the peel.
Or you can discover that your parrot likes the peel and continues serving the orange slice with the peel.
If your parrot is going to eat an orange for the first time, you should get a sweet orange first and try a bitter type later since there are more chances that your bird will like sweet over bitter.
Can Parrots Have Orange Peels?
In general, parrots can have orange peels. They are edible and contain many good nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fibers. But, there are other things to keep in mind.
For example, if the orange you are getting is not organic, the chances are that the peel has harmful chemicals on it.
For example, the farmers can use pesticide residues and other chemicals to protect the fruit from insects and mold. If you want to feed your parrot oranges with peel, get the 100% organic.
In addition, the peel is way more bitter than the orange, and it could be harder to digest. Your parrot will taste it and decide if it is worth eating it or not.
Can Parrots Eat Orange Seeds?
Parrots can eat orange seeds without problems; they are safe and have excellent nutritional value. So, in general, you can expect your parrot to eat the pulp and flesh of the orange and leave the seeds. But, in some other cases, they can also decide to eat it.
If that happens, you have to know that orange seeds do not contain any harmful or toxic elements as it can happen with other seeds in some other fruits. Instead, seeds contain many antioxidants and vitamin C, which support the immune system and overall health.
But, a parrot should eat orange seeds, preferably with the orange and not given separately because of their nutritional value. It is best to remove large seeds for small parrots to avoid choking incidents.
If you do not want to spend your time removing seeds and want to be sure there are no incidents when your parrot eats oranges, then you can buy them seedless.
Can Parrots Eat Dried Oranges?
Parrots can eat dry oranges with no harm and get a lot of nutritional elements from them. It is a healthy, convenient, and pleasant change in the menu so that it doesn’t become boring. However, it is not good to replace the entire diet of fresh fruits and oranges with only a dried diet.
Parrots would eat fruits, seeds, nuts, berries, and other fresh things in the wild. They are used to a diversified diet to get all their nutrients, and feeding them only dried food can create problems in their health and behavior.
When choosing dried oranges for your parrot, it is essential to select those with no preservatives or colorants (especially sulfur dioxide).
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