Canaries are charming little birds that make great pets for prospective bird owners that prefer to be more hands-off with their pets. Caring for canaries is pretty easy, especially when compared to the high demands of larger bird species, like parrots. All you need to do is ensure your little feathered friend is getting all its nutritional needs met through a high-quality pellet diet.
Apart from these prepared pellets, you should also feed your canary various fruits and vegetables. Strawberries are one of the healthiest berries you can offer your pet, but it’s not something you should be providing every day. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of strawberries for canaries and the risks you should know about.
What Are the Benefits of Strawberries for Canaries?
Strawberries are one of the best fruits you can offer your canary. They’re full of vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate.
Though birds generally don’t need vitamin C in their diets as it can be produced from the glucose in their livers, it is not harmful to your canary to get more of it. This vitamin is necessary for proper immune and cardiovascular system function.
Vitamin K aids in appropriate blood clotting, which is essential if your bird ever incurs a physical injury or cut.
Potassium is a great mineral for muscle contraction, fluid balance and nerve function.
Folate is a fantastic mineral for bone health, aiding in injury recovery and converting carbohydrates into energy so your canary can stay playful and chatty. It’s also an essential nutrient for young birds to ensure healthy cell growth.
How Often and How Many Strawberries Should I Offer?
Though strawberries have plenty of health benefits, they’re still high in sugar, so it’s best to feed them in moderation. One or two bits of strawberries per week should suffice.
The most important thing to remember when offering your bird any fruit or vegetable is to wash it well beforehand. The chemicals used in growing fruit and veggies can be harmful, so you must remove them before serving.
Cut the strawberry into quarters and put a quarter in your canary’s bowl. Wait a day or two to see how your pet reacts to the new fruit before offering it to them again. Your canary can eat every part of the strawberry, including the seeds and leaves, so long as you wash it thoroughly first.
Are There Any Risks in Offering Strawberries?
Strawberries contain a natural fruit sugar known as fructose. Unfortunately, birds cannot produce the enzyme necessary to break down fructose quickly enough, which may cause stomach upset. This may only happen the first time or two you offer strawberries while your bird adjusts to the sugar content. This is why you should introduce new foods slowly to see how their body reacts.
Though diabetes mellitus is rarely diagnosed in birds, it is most often seen in small species like parakeets and canaries. Though it’s not entirely clear what causes this disease in birds, many experts believe it relates to weight, diets high in sugar and carbohydrates, and hormones. Feeding your canary too many strawberries or too much fruit could lead to obesity and diabetes.
What Else Should Canaries Eat?
Fruit should play a small part in your canary’s diet. Though your companion birds’ wild counterparts eat diets high in seeds, they do supplement with fruits, berries, occasional insects and other vegetation, your pet’s nutritional needs differ.
You should be feeding a well-balanced and varied diet. Pet canaries that eat too many seeds may be at risk of obesity and nutritional deficiencies. Instead, a commercially formulated pellet diet is the best option for a companion bird. Pellets should account for 80% of your bird’s diet, and fruits and vegetables the final 20%. Then, of course, you can offer seeds as an occasional treat.
Strawberries are a tasty and healthy fruit you can offer your canary a few times per week. However, keep portions small to ensure your pet bird doesn’t eat too much sugar in one sitting to prevent any gastrointestinal upset. Remember, your canary should be getting a high-quality pellet as its main food source and fruits and veggies as a nutritional bonus.
Featured Image Credit: FilipFilipovic, Pixabay