Strawberries are a fantastic source of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium and are known for their immune-boosting and cancer-fighting abilities. Since these powerful red berries are so healthy for humans, they must also be a great fruit to offer our pet birds, right? The answer is yes! Birds can eat strawberries.
There’s a reason your backyard birds eat up all the strawberries in your garden. Not only are they extra tasty, but they’re full of nutrients that many varieties of birds can benefit from. If you’re considering offering strawberries to your pet bird, you should first educate yourself on how to do so safely. Keep reading to learn about these nutrient-packed berries’ benefits and potential dangers.
What Are the Benefits of Strawberries?
Bird owners know that their feathered friends need a diet of high-quality and nutritionally complete pellets to thrive. But, some newbies might not realize that their pet birds also need a variety of fresh fruits and veggies daily.
Fresh produce is a fantastic source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, but it should not make up more than 15–30% of your bird’s diet.
Strawberries are a great fruit option as they are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. They’re also high in fiber, which can keep your bird’s digestive system in check.
How Many Strawberries Should I Give My Bird?
Though strawberries are great for your pet bird, you shouldn’t offer them unlimited amounts. These berries are high in natural sugars, so you must watch your portion sizing when offering them to your bird. Too much sugar can cause health problems like diabetes, and if too much sugar is ingested in one sitting, your pet may get hyperactive and excessively vocal.
Don’t offer strawberries daily as, with anything, your bird will eventually tire of them. It’s important to cycle in different fruits and vegetables to keep your pet interested in its meal time. Offer one or two strawberries weekly to keep its diet varied and exciting.
Are There Any Concerns With Strawberry Consumption?
The biggest issue with offering strawberries to your bird is that commercially grown berries often contain pesticides. Unlike other types of fruit, you can’t simply remove the skin of the strawberry to rid it of the pesticides, and the tiny seed divots in these berries are notorious for holding in the chemicals. Pesticides can injure and even kill birds, so you must wash all fruits and veggies extremely well to remove that risk. Better yet, grow your own berries so you can control what does and doesn’t touch your fruit.
How Can I Serve Strawberries to My Bird?
There are two main ways you can offer strawberries to your feathered pet, fresh or dried.
Fresh berries are soft, juicy, and sweet. Unfortunately, they make quite a mess, so we recommend strategically timing your feeding before your bird’s cage cleaning. You can give your bird the berry whole, diced, or halved.
Dried strawberries are significantly less messy and are much more convenient than their fresh counterparts. However, since dried fruits have no water content, the sugar is much more concentrated so you must be careful with portion sizes. Some companies use sulfides in the drying of their berries to preserve them. This can be toxic for birds, so tread with caution unless you dry your own fruit at home. If you decide to go the store-bought route, read the packaging carefully to ensure it doesn’t contain ingredients that will harm your pet.
Can Birds Eat the Entire Strawberry?
Every part of the strawberry is safe for consumption, so you don’t need to worry about picking out the seeds (can you imagine?) or cutting off the leaves. The leaves actually contain antioxidants and vitamin C and will boost the fiber in your bird’s diet.
What Other Fruits Can I Offer My Bird?
Strawberries aren’t the only fruit you should offer your bird.
If you offer fruits like apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries, or apples to your bird, it is essential that you remove the seeds and/or pits first. This is because the seeds and pits of these fruits contain small amounts of a cardio-toxic cyanide compound that can be toxic.
Strawberries are a vitamin-rich fruit that your pet bird is likely to love. You can offer it a berry once or twice a week, but keep portion sizes in check to ensure your bird doesn’t take in too much sugar. Remember to wash all produce thoroughly to prevent potential chemicals from harming your pet. If you’re still paranoid about leftover pesticides lingering in your bird’s fruit, grow them yourself at home for peace of mind.
Keep browsing our site for more helpful nutrition articles so you can offer your bird the best and most nutritionally sound diet to help it thrive.
Featured Image Credit: FilipFilipovic, Pixabay