While parakeets and cockatiels are all great birds to keep as pets, once you keep a canary, you’ll never want to bring home a different bird. These birds are surprisingly tidy, can sing melodiously, are jolly almost all the time, and do not mind being alone due to their somewhat solitary nature.
Feeding these birds is quite easy as well. They’re primarily seed-eaters and can thrive on both a seed-based or pellet-based diet. Just like most granivorous birds, canaries also require a small number of fruits, veggies, and other fresh greens as a part of their balanced diet. But which fruits should you feed to these birdies? What about bananas?
Can canaries eat bananas? Yes, bananas can be fed to the canaries. They’re nutrient-dense fruits that you can easily feed to them in moderation. While the flesh of bananas is safe for their consumption, their peel is tough, unpalatable, and might contain pesticides. Therefore, you should never try to feed these peels to your pet birds.
In this article, I’ll talk about everything you need to know before including bananas in the diet of your pet canaries.
Will Canaries enjoy eating bananas?
Did you know that there are about 112 recognized canary species in the entire world? While some of these are purely wild, most can be kept as pets. Now, coming to the original question: will these birds enjoy eating bananas?
As you can imagine, answering this question is not that simple. Different species of canaries have different food preferences. Some love bananas, while others are only willing to eat worms.
Even if you want to learn about the preferences of a particular species, you’ll still not get a definite answer due to variations in their individual taste. There’s only one way to find out for sure: by offering a small slice of banana to your pet birdie.
If they eat it, you’re good to go, and if they don’t, they’re probably not into these fruits. On some occasions, you’ll also find that they eat only a small portion of it and leave the rest. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like these fruits, only that they might already be full.
Is Banana a healthy treat for Canaries?
You must’ve heard or read somewhere that bananas are the healthiest source of potassium. But did you also know that these fruits contain many other nutrients as well? Because they do.
Before discussing whether bananas are healthy for your feathered pets, let’s take a quick look at the table given below to brush up our memory about banana’s nutritional value:
|Vitamin A||64 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.031 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.073 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.665 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.334 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.367 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||20 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.10 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||5 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.26 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||27 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.078 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.27 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||22 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Potassium, K||358 mg|
|Selenium, Se||1 mcg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.15 mg|
|Dietary fibers||2.60 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
I hope I’ve brought you all up-to-date with everything bananas have to offer us. Now, let’s learn how these nutrients can help your little canary:
1. Bananas have Vitamin A, which boosts your pet’s vision as well as their overall health. Since their usual, seed-based diet doesn’t provide them enough of this vitamin, bananas can help their vitamin A deficiency.
2. Bananas also contain Niacin (Vitamin B3), which is a potent stimulant of appetite in all birds, including canaries.
3. Folates are another essential micronutrient present in bananas that your birdies absolutely need. The deficiency of this vitamin can lead to impaired cell division and an under-developed reproductive tract in their body. 100 grams of bananas contain about 20 mcg of folates, which is enough for your canary.
4. Bananas are also rich in Vitamin C, E, and K, all of which are essential for your feathered pets. Vitamin C boosts their immunity, Vitamin E acts as antioxidants, and Vitamin K helps stem their blood flow.
5. When it comes to minerals, bananas are quite rich, too. Apart from potassium, which I’ve already mentioned in the beginning, these fruits contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, all of which benefit your pet’s health.
6. Bananas also contain all macronutrients in abundance, including carbs, sugar, and protein.
7. While carbs and natural sugar work as an energy source for the canaries, protein strengthens their bones, muscles, and feathers.
8. The water content of these fruits is quite high as well, enough to keep your canary hydrated throughout the day.
All these pointers are a clear indication that bananas are perfectly healthy treats for your feathered pets. So, if you’ve been planning on feeding these to them, don’t hold yourself back anymore.
Why is overfeeding bananas to the Canaries a bad idea?
There’s one basic rule that I always recommend all pet parents to keep in mind, particularly those who have pet canaries. When it comes to their diet, overfeeding them anything is a bad idea. Bananas are no exception to this rule.
But the more important we have here is: why? Well, for beginners, bananas, being fruits, are rich in sugar. And while natural sugar can give your pet birds a healthy burst of energy, in large amounts, it can impact their health negatively as well.
You see, if your canary consumes too much sugar, they wouldn’t be able to burn it all at once. This means that the remaining sugar will get deposited in their body as fats, which can ultimately lead to health issues like diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. In other words, too much sugar can reduce your pet’s lifespan considerably.
Keep in mind that granivore birds like canaries should consume only 20% of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. So, you should ideally feed them only a couple of medium-sized banana slices twice a week. And when you do, try to throw in some leafy greens to balance it out.
Are the banana peels safe for the Canaries to eat?
While the soft fruit of banana is a great treat for your pet birds in moderation, feeding them its peel is not such a good idea for three reasons. First and foremost, these peels are not palatable for them, just as they aren’t palatable for us.
Now, even if a bird were starving and wouldn’t care about the taste of these peels, they would still have difficulty digesting them. It is because banana peels are essentially made of cellulose, and all birds, including canaries, lack the enzymes to digest it.
Lastly, there’s the threat of pesticides. All fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic have the possibility of containing pesticides. These pesticides are highly toxic for your birds, which is why it is advised to feed your pets only organic fruits and veggies.
Banana-based treats for Canaries
As most of you already know, there are a variety of treats available in the market that are made of bananas. If you’re wondering which ones could be fed to your pets, keep reading.
Can canaries eat dried bananas?
No, they shouldn’t. Dried bananas lose all their water content during the dehydration process. This process also concentrates the amount of sugar in them. And since too much sugar is unhealthy for canaries, feeding them dried bananas is a bad idea.
Can canaries eat frozen bananas?
Frozen bananas are popular treats, particularly when you dip them into caramel. But for your feathered pets, these treats aren’t ideal, even without the caramel, for two reasons.
First, they contain preservatives that might not be safe for the canaries. Secondly, they’re quite tough and could pose a choking threat to the birds.
Can canaries eat banana bread?
While banana bread isn’t ill-suited for your pets, it doesn’t offer them any nutritional value either. Therefore, if you really want to feed them this bread, or any other bread, do so in strict moderation (once a month).
Can canaries eat banana chips?
You should absolutely not feed banana chips to your pet canaries. These are fried foods containing sodium and various other spices and preservatives, all of which can be toxic to canaries.
What about plantains? Can canaries eat them?
It is very common for people to confuse between bananas and plantains. And while both these fruits belong to the same family and appear slightly similar, they have very different flavors and culinary uses.
Plantains are larger than bananas, have thicker skin and tougher flesh. Plantains also have a higher nutritional value than bananas, which is why they’re healthier for your feathered pets. However, you must always feed them raw plantains.
Conclusion: Can Canaries eat bananas?
With this, we come to the end of this article. Today, we have learned that canaries can safely eat bananas in moderation. Bananas are both sweet and nutritious fruits, making them an ideal treat for the canaries. However, you shouldn’t try feeding banana peels to them because it poses several risks to their health.