Parrot and other bird owners all love to give their feathered friends treats from time to time. However, like a Parrot owner, it is essential to be aware of what we are giving your beloved pets as some foods may be harmful or even fatal. The food we are looking at today is Watermelon and if it is good for Parrots and other birds.
Parrots and other birds can safely consume watermelons. This fruit is delicious, but it is also high in nutrients. Even the watermelon rind and seeds are safe for birds as long as you wash them properly to get rid of pesticides if there are any.
Watermelon And Birds: Do They Mix?
If you own a bird, you probably know that one of the best ways to get its trust is to feed it with good food. Fruits and vegetables are a part of birds’ diet, so it is pretty easy to keep up with your pet’s appetite.
However, another common knowledge is that some fruits are toxic for birds. One of these controversial fruits is watermelon.
That said, is watermelon okay for birds?
Watermelon For Birds: Is It Safe?
Birds love to eat fruits, especially watermelon. This fruit is rich in fiber that improves your bird’s digestion. It can also relieve muscle soreness if your bird has a minor injury.
Watermelon is 90 percent water, making it an excellent fruit to keep your feathered companion hydrated. It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, boost’s a bird’s immune system, and increases its energy.
Birds can also eat watermelon rind. But if you will feed your pet watermelon rind, you need to make sure that the fruit is not from a commercial farm. Commercially grown watermelons have pesticides, which can cause adverse effects on your birds.
If you will feed your bird with watermelon rind, ensure you wash it with water mixed with 2 percent salt. This way, you can remove the pesticides from the watermelon rind if there are any. (source)
Watermelon Nutritional Facts
Knowing the contents of what you feed your bird is crucial to keeping them healthy. While fruits are generally high in nutrients, some contain too much sugar, which is not suitable for your pet’s health.
Moreover, watermelons are high in nutritional value, making them a great source of vitamins and minerals for your bird.
Here are the nutrients in watermelon that birds can benefit from (source):
Potassium – is a mineral that helps improve heart health for both humans and birds.
L-Citrulline – an amino acid that helps muscle recover from soreness.
Vitamin A – helps birds to grow their feathers and make them shiny.
Vitamin C – boosts your bird’s skin health and improves immunity.
Additionally, watermelon contains small quantities of:
- Phosphorus (source)
Are Watermelon Seeds Safe For Birds?
Some fruit seeds, such as apples, apricots, and plums, are toxic for birds. Apple seeds, in particular, contain a small amount of amygdalin – a sugar and cyanide compound.
Fortunately, watermelon seeds are safe for birds. The seeds are also nutritious as they contain copper, potassium, zinc, and folate.
If you are going to feed parrots or any other bird watermelon seeds, it is best to soak them in water overnight to soften them. This way, it will be easier for your pet to peck on them.
Watermelon seeds are hard. While birds can easily swallow them, it is better to soften the seeds to prevent indigestion. It can also prevent them from choking. (source)
How Much Watermelon Can I Feed My Bird?
Birds ideally eat twice a day when in captivity. Birds, particularly parrots, can eat half a cup of watermelon. Meanwhile, you can adjust the portion depending on the size of your bird. The bigger your pet is, the bigger their appetite is.
Moreover, it is ideal to chop the watermelon into tiny pieces. This way, you can prevent your bird from making a mess when they pick the fruit up.
It is also not ideal to feed your bird with an entire serving of watermelon at a time. The reason is that leaving watermelon slices out of the fridge may expose them to bacteria, which can cause adverse reactions in birds.
That said, only serve an amount of watermelon that your pet will be able to consume in less than two hours. (source)
What Fruit Is Poisonous To Birds?
You can feed your bird many types of fruits. Birds will naturally hunt for fruits as their primary food source in the wild.
However, some fruits are not edible for their winged pets.
What Is The Most Toxic Fruit For Birds?
Avocado is the worst fruit that you can feed your bird. All parts of this plant are toxic, even the leaves. (source)
This fruit contains persin, a fungicidal toxin that can affect your bird’s cardiac health and kill them. If your bird ingests a small amount of avocado, it can adversely affect your pet’s respiration and cause weakness.
Moreover, the lethal amount of avocado can be as little as 3.5 grams for budgies. For other parrots like canaries, 20 to 30 grams of avocado flesh will kill them. The effects will show 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion.
A bird that ate a piece of avocado will show weakness, lethargy, and fluffed plumage as the first signs of toxicity. Then, it will have difficulty breathing and eventually die.
If you accidentally fed your bird avocado, you need to bring it to a veterinary clinic right away. The veterinarian will give your bird activated charcoal to counter the toxic effects of persin.
However, if your pet is already showing signs of poisoning, saving it is already impossible.
Tomato fruit is not necessarily toxic. It is the plant itself that can poison your bird.
All the green parts of the tomato plant contain alkaloids and tomatine, which are poisonous to birds.
But while birds can safely consume a tomato fruit, veterinarians do not recommend bird owners feed their pets with it. The reason is that this fruit is acidic, so it can cause birds to develop ulcers. (source)
Bird owners, especially beginners, often ask, “is watermelon okay for birds?” Fortunately, watermelon, including its rind and seeds, is a safe and healthy snack for birds.
This fruit contains 90 percent water, so it is an ideal snack to keep your pet hydrated. Watermelons are also a natural immune booster, aid muscle recovery, and are anti-inflammatory. They contain vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and L-citrulline. Birds need all these vitamins and minerals to keep themselves healthy.
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- Arthur Cleveland Bent. Life Histories Of North American [Birds].: Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Buntings, Towhees, Finches, Sparrows, And Allies. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=KXUeAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA307&dq=Is+Watermelon+Ok+For+Birds?&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiPs7yy1_L2AhXhbt4KHY13D1oQ6AF6BAgEEAI#v=onepage&q=Is%20Watermelon%20Ok%20For%20Birds%3F&f=false.
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