All of you must have a hundred reasons to wait for summers eagerly, and at least one of them would be cherries. These sweet little treats are just as healthy as they’re delicious. But has it ever occurred to you whether your feathered pets would like a bite of the cherry, too?
Can parakeets eat cherries? Yes, they certainly can. Fruits like cherries are a part of their natural diet and offer them tons of useful nutrients. The only thing you need to be careful about is their pits. Since cherry pits contain amygdalin, you must never feed pitted cherries to your parakeets. Also, if you want your pet to eat healthily, try to feed them only organic cherries.
Are you wondering how amygdalin is lethal to your feathered friends? Or have the red-colored droppings of your parakeets got you worried? This article holds the answers to all your cherry-related queries.
Do parakeets enjoy eating cherries?
Cherries are such sweet, soft fruits that it is almost impossible for anyone not to like them. But you can’t say the same about your feathered pets confidently, can you? While members of the parrot family are quite adaptable in the wild, in captivity, they tend to become quite picky.
To learn whether cherries would make a fun treat for your parakeets, you must learn a little bit about their diet first. The diet of these little parrots consists of four major food items: grains, seeds, nuts, and fruits/veggies.
While grains and seeds make up the majority of their diet, fruits, veggies, and other greens should consist of about 20-25% of it daily. When it comes to fruits, these little birdies are quite flexible and can eat a large number of them.
However, among their favorites are apples, bananas, grapes, and cherries. This means that no matter how picky your pet parakeet might be, the chances of them enjoying cherries are quite high.
But in case they seem to ignore the cherries you put in their dish more than a couple of times, you should pick another fruit to feed them.
Do cherries offer nutritional value to your parakeets?
Did you determine whether or not do your feathered pets like cherries to be included in their diet? If you’re still reading, I’ll assume that they’ve taken to it, in which case we can move on to other important questions.
One such question is: can eating cherries benefit your little birdie’s health? While fruits are sweet and juicy, they’re also nutrient-dense foods, which is why most of us eat them regardless of our preferences.
But do these fruits have something to offer to our feathered friends as well? I’ll get to that soon, but first, I’d like to show you this table that contains the nutritional breakdown of cherries. Take a look:
|Vitamin A||88.3 IU|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||8.4 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.3 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||5.5 mcg|
|Vitamin C||9.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.9 mcg|
|Potassium, K||306 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||17.9 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||15.2 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.5 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||29 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.1 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.1 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.1 mg|
|Dietary fibers||2.1 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now that you have an idea of what nutrients cherries contain, we can proceed to discuss how these nutrients can help these birdies.
If you’ve any knowledge about birds, you must know how crucial Vitamin A is for their health. It is responsible for the maintenance of their sharp eye-sight, feather, and dermis health. With plenty of Vitamin A in their diet, your parakeet’s plumage will appear bright and colorful.
Furthermore, this vitamin can also protect them against kidney and eye infections, as well as Parrot Fever or Psittacosis. While the Vitamin A content in seeds and nuts (their staple diet) is generally low, it is quite high in cherries, as is evident from their bright red coloration.
Whether you talk about birds, animals, or humans, the immune health of all living creatures is central to their overall well-being. And since Vitamin C is the vitamin that builds and maintains immunity, your pet bird must consume plenty of it in its diet.
Cherries contain 9.7 milligrams of Vitamin C for every 100 grams, which is more than enough for the parakeets.
Along with Vitamin C, cherries also contain polyphenols, a group of antioxidants responsible for preventing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, and metabolic syndromes.
Additionally, these fruits are also rich in another antioxidant: anthocyanins. While the main job of this antioxidant is to give them their bright color, it also builds their immunity against obesity and cancer.
Iron has the job of producing hemoglobin in your bird’s body, which then transports oxygen throughout its body. For this reason, this mineral should be an indispensable part of their diet.
Iron deficiency could lead to Anemia, and you wouldn’t want that happening to your parakeet, would you?
If you want to strengthen your pet’s bones and bills, you must look for ways to add more calcium to their diet, such as feeding them cherries. It contains about 18 milligrams of Calcium per 100 grams.
Additionally, Calcium is also vital for regulating their heart rate and nervous health.
While magnesium itself might not seem like an important mineral, it optimizes the calcium absorption in their bodies, ultimately leading to their stronger and healthier bones as well as bills.
Phosphorus is a mineral that is present in the body fluids, tissues, and bones of your feathered pets. It improves their bone formation, helps them in filtering waste, strengthens their eggshells, and repairs their cells and tissues.
Moreover, phosphorus also has a role to play in the metabolism of the carbs and fats they consume. The phosphorus content of cherries might seem insignificant to you, but it is enough to fulfill the requirements of your feathered friends.
If you want your birdies to have strong gut health, adding more fibers into their diet is the way to do it. These macronutrients do not only assist them with their digestive processes but also keep them feeling full for a longer period.
After going through all these health benefits, what have you learned? Is cherry a healthy addition to their diet? I’ll let you answer that for yourself.
Risks involved with feeding cherries to parakeets
It is natural for all pet parents to feel impressed by the nutritional richness of cherries. However, this doesn’t mean that you can keep feeding them cherries without a care in the world.
Remember, the excess of anything, even cherries, does more damage to your pet’s health than it does good. If you want to know and when cherries could be fatal for the parakeets, keep reading.
Cherries could contain pesticides
You must be familiar with the farmers’ practice of adding pesticides and other chemical fertilizers to fruits and veggies. This is done to optimize their growth and prevent them from the attack of pests.
While these pesticides pose no major threat to our health in small amounts, the same cannot be said about your feathered friends. Birds have a sensitive digestive system that can easily be overwhelmed if they eat fruits and veggies containing pesticides.
Therefore, when you’re purchasing fruits for your pets, always go for the organic ones. They might cost you more but will ensure your pet’s safety.
Moderation is key
Organic cherries are perfectly safe and healthy for your parakeets. So, can you feed them a bunch of cherries every day? Absolutely not. Remember how I told you that the diet of parakeets must contain only 20-25% of fruits and veggies? It had a good reason.
Parakeets, and all other birds, can only digest a small amount of sugar safely, be it natural or refined. If they ingest more sugar than that, it will get deposited in their body as fats, making them obese in the long run.
And as you might already know, obesity has a negative impact on a bird’s lifespan. Therefore, make sure that you’re feeding them cherries only twice a week. Each time, the quantity shouldn’t exceed one medium-sized cherry.
Are cherry pits safe for parakeets? Why or why not?
Cherries are tiny fruits with even tinier pits inside. It must be difficult for you to imagine how it would pose a choking threat to your pets. And indeed, the parakeets have no threat of choking on cherry pits.
But then, why are cherry pits considered unsafe for their health? It is for a completely different reason that I’m going to talk about now.
The truth is, the pits of cherries contain amygdalin, a crystalline compound also found in the pits of apples and peaches. While amygdalin is generally nothing more than a bitter-tasting compound, it degrades into hydrogen cyanide when you break the seeds or pits inside your body.
Hydrogen cyanide is a highly volatile compound that can interrupt your birdie’s oxygen intake and can ultimately kill them.
Even a few cherry pits at a time can be deadly to your parakeet. Therefore, you have to be very careful about getting rid of these pits before feeding cherries to your pets.
Red droppings of parakeets: a result of cherries?
The color and consistency of your pet’s dropping can say a lot about their health. However, if you notice redness in their droppings after eating cherries, there is no need to feel alarmed.
It is not uncommon for the cherry’s color to find its way into parakeet’s droppings. There’s nothing that you can or should do about it.
Hand-feeding parakeets cherries: yay or nay?
For all their cuteness, parakeets can be extremely messy eaters. When presented with food, they will eat less and scatter around more. And if you give them juicy treats like cherries, you must be ready to clean up after them.
If you’re looking for a way to feed parakeets cherries without dirtying your living area, you should try hand-feeding. If the birdies are eating right out of your hands, you exercise full control over their surroundings and ensure that they don’t get messy.
Additionally, feeding by hands is also known to strengthen the bond between you and your pets, so it’s a win-win.
Conclusion: Can parakeets eat cherries?
With this, we come to the end of our article. We’ve learned that nutrient-dense fruits like cherries are great snacks to treat your little pets with, as long as you stick to moderation. Cherries are loaded with nutrients and have a sweet, juicy taste that appeals to sweet-beaked birds like parakeets.