What’s the first bird that comes to mind when thinking of sandy beaches, fresh fruit, and tropical weather? Parrots definitely have a sweet tooth, and you’d think that pineapple sounds like a perfectly healthy treat for your pets, right? Although pineapple is safe for parrots to eat, don’t ever assume that all fruits are healthy for tropical birds.
No parts of a pineapple are toxic or harmful for your pet parrot. This fruit is full of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. In moderation, your birds will benefit from the occasional pineapple treat. Just make sure that they’re eating a well-rounded diet instead of strictly fruit.
Can Parrots Eat Pineapples?
Pineapple is a non-toxic fruit to parrots, and most wild parrots usually rely on them as a stable food source full of water, fiber, and vitamins. If you want to show your parrots some love, then a few bites of pineapple is the way to do it.
Is the Pineapple Core Safe for Parrots?
The cores of some fruits are not safe for parrots, but this doesn’t apply to pineapples. In fact, the core has even more nutrition than the flesh itself. Pineapple cores contain bromelain to help boost the immune system and vitamin C, which works as an antioxidant. The core is less juicy and more bitter than the flesh, so your bird might prefer the outer meat instead of the core. Try to cut the center into smaller chunks and mix them into their food bowl. If bored, the parrot might view chewing on these tougher pieces as a form of mental and physical enrichment.
Is Pineapple Skin Safe for Parrots?
Pineapples have a thick, sharper outer layer that can often leave bird owners confused about the safety of feeding them to their pets. Parrots have no problems eating pineapple skin. It actually has some of the highest levels of nutrients and improves eye health, bone health, and the immune system. It won’t be as flavorful as the meat, but there are still some perks to serving it on occasion.
Can Parrots Eat Pineapple Leaves?
We all know that a crown of spikey leaves sits on top of a pineapple fruit. They are usually ignored and thrown in the trash because we humans can’t eat them, but parrots don’t mind tearing through these tough leaves. They don’t have a lot of flavor, and picky birds might refuse to eat them, but it doesn’t hurt to try and eliminate some food waste whenever possible. Always separate the leaves from the fruit of the pineapple before serving it to your pet parrot.
The 4 Benefits of Feeding Pineapple to Parrots
The International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences states that there are a lot of nutritional benefits that parrots get from eating pineapple. It is not only a crucial part of a parrot’s diet but serves humans in a similar way.
Antioxidants are a crucial part of a parrot’s diet. These compounds fight free radicals in the body and keeps the oxidation process in order. Without the right amount of antioxidants, your parrots feel more stress and increase the likelihood of cancers.
Pineapples have so much vitamin C and bromelain that they are one of the best ways to boost immunity in animals. These compounds help with cell regeneration, absorbing iron, formulating collagen, combatting viruses and bacteria, and repairing wounds. Eating pineapple will help your parrot fend off all sorts of different illnesses.
Parrots have somewhat fragile digestive systems. With all the different minerals and enzymes found in this fruit, eating it on occasion can help strengthen their stomach lining, promote smooth digestion, and balance out the levels of gut bacteria. The fiber inside also cleans out the intestinal tract and prevents upset stomachs.
4. Bone Strength
Parrots, especially the bigger species, have several hollow bones that help keep them light when they fly. This also means they are at risk for breaking them easily. Pineapple has lots of calcium that boosts bone fiber and connective tissue that keeps their bodies strong.
Disadvantages of Pineapple
The one major downside to giving parrots too much pineapple at a time is that there is usually increases sugar levels followed by an overall drop. Try to refrain from feeding your birds pineapple with added sugar or artificial coloring and preservatives.
Related Read: Can Parrots Eat Bananas? What You Need To Know!
What Types of Pineapple are Safe for Parrots?
Fresh pineapple is clearly the best source of fruit for your pet bird. Unfortunately, this can get expensive and isn’t ideal for those of us on a strict budget. So, what types of pineapple are safe for our parrots?
1. Canned Pineapple
While fresh is best, canned pineapple isn’t usually too bad to feed your parrots. Try to refrain from buying brands with lots of added sugars if possible. You can remove most of the sugar from canned pineapple yourself by putting the fruit in a strainer and rinsing it under cold, running water. Look for cans that are labeled with ‘100% juice’ since heavy syrups lead to weight gain.
2. Dried Pineapple
Dried pineapple lasts for much longer than fresh and is easy to store. It is also free from a lot of the unhealthy additives that you get from canned products. The downside to this is that you lose some of the nutrients in the drying process.
3. Pineapple Juice
Avoid commercial pineapple juice at all costs. Most of these products contain dangerous ingredients like xylitol which is toxic to parrots. Only give freshly squeezed juice from organic pineapple chunks.
Keep in mind that just because pineapple is safe for parrots to eat, that doesn’t mean that all parrots are going to enjoy eating it. Parrots require a balanced diet full of foods other than fruits. Give them food pellets, nuts, seeds, and veggies whenever you can. The more well-rounded their food is, the better health your parrot is going to have.
Featured Image Credit by Miroslav Halama, Shutterstock
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.