Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Ali Shahid
Parrots are sociable creatures and enjoy dining alongside their human companions. Nevertheless, not all human foods are suitable for parrots to consume. Plums are a commonly found fruit in our homes, and this has raised questions for many pet owners: Can parrots eat plums?
According to Dr. Shachar Malka, an expert in caring for birds, especially parrots, it’s safe to include plums in a parrot’s diet. However, you should take out the hard plum pit before offering it to your feathered friend because it’s not edible and can harm them. Plums are a great source of vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, and calcium, which are all good for your parrot’s health.
It is a good practice to wash plums thoroughly to get rid of any chemicals and waxes on the skin. While parrots can technically eat the skin, it might be a bit tough for their digestion, so it’s better to peel it or cut the plums into small pieces.
Fresh plums are the way to go and avoid giving them dried plums (prunes) because they have too much sugar, which isn’t good for parrots. While plums themselves aren’t toxic to parrots, be sure to remove the pits since they contain cyanide, which can be deadly if consumed in large amounts. So, always offer your parrot plum slices without the pit.
Health Benefits of Plums for Parrots
Here are some of the nutritional benefits of plums for parrots:
- Vitamin C: Plums provide a solid dose of vitamin C, a crucial element for keeping your parrots’ immune system in good shape.
- Fiber: Plums are loaded with fiber, which plays a crucial role in keeping your parrots’ digestion on track and steering clear of constipation.
- Antioxidants: Plums come packed with antioxidants that act as protective shields for your parrots, guarding them against any harm caused by those pesky free radicals.
- Potassium: Plums serve as a reliable source of potassium, a key player in ensuring that your parrots’ hearts are functioning healthily.
- Minerals: Plums contain minerals like potassium, which is necessary for maintaining healthy bodily functions.
Risks of Feeding Plums to Parrots
Feeding plums to your parrot can be safe and nutritious, but there are some risks to consider:
1. Cyanide in the pits: Plum pits hold a substance called amygdalin, which can transform into hydrogen cyanide when consumed. While the cyanide in a single pit is usually not harmful, it’s wise to remove the pits to avoid potential toxicity concerns.
2. Choking hazard: Plum pits, especially if they are larger than usual, can pose a choking risk for parrots. Before offering plum slices or wedges to your feathered friend, ensure the pits are entirely removed.
3. Diarrhea and sugar content: Plums contain a generous amount of natural sugars, which could lead to diarrhea if overindulged. It’s advisable to treat your parrot with plums in moderation, as an occasional delight rather than a substantial part of their diet.
4. Special dietary considerations: If your parrot has specific dietary needs or health issues, it’s best to consult a veterinarian before introducing plums or any new food into their diet. Your parrot’s well-being is a top priority.
How to Prepare and Feed Plums to Parrots?
Before feeding plums with your beloved parrot, it’s crucial to prepare them correctly. Here, we’ve got some helpful advice for getting those plums parrot-ready:
- Get Rid of the Pit: First and foremost, make sure you remove the pit from the plum. The pit can pose a choking risk and might even contain a small amount of cyanide, which is harmful to parrots.
- Give ‘Em a Good Rinse: Before presenting the plum to your feathered friend, give it a thorough wash to eliminate any dirt or potentially harmful pesticides.
- In Moderation: While it’s okay for parrots to enjoy plums, it’s essential to offer them in moderation. Plums, like other fruits, contain a fair amount of sugar, so they shouldn’t make up a significant part of your parrot’s diet. Keep it balanced for their well-being.
- Slice into Parrot-Sized Pieces: To make it easier for your parrot to eat and digest, consider cutting the plum into small, bite-sized pieces. This not only prevents choking but also aids in their digestion process.
- Watch for Reactions: It’s essential to monitor your parrot for any unusual reactions, such as diarrhea or bloating, especially the first time you introduce them to plums. This cautious approach helps ensure their well-being and enjoyment of this occasional treat.
How many plums can I feed my parrot?
When it comes to feeding different sizes of parrots, like Budgerigars, Lovebirds, and Conures, you want to be mindful of their plum intake. In my experience with these small parrots, it’s best to provide them with a small slice of plum, or a few tiny pieces, just once a week or even less frequently. This will keep them happy and healthy.
Now, for medium-sized parrots such as African Greys and Amazons, you can be a bit more generous. I’ve found that offering them about a quarter of a plum or a handful of pieces every one to two weeks works well. This gives them a tasty treat without overindulging.
As for our larger feathered friends like Macaws and Cockatoos, they can handle a bit more plum goodness. Based on my personal experience, providing them with roughly half a plum or a small pile of pieces every one to two weeks should do the trick. It’s essential to strike the right balance to ensure their well-being and happiness.
Can parrots eat black plums?
Indeed, black plums are safe for parrots to consume, but it’s crucial to take out the plum stone before giving it to them. The pit is inedible and poses a danger to parrots
To sum it up, plums can be a safe and healthy treat for your feathered friends, the parrots. These fruits come with a bunch of good stuff for your parrot’s well-being and can be a delightful part of their meals.
Nevertheless, it Is crucial to handle these plums correctly and serve them in reasonable amounts to prevent any possible health issues. As a rule of thumb, it is wise to have a chat with your trusted vet before making any tweaks to your parrot’s menu. After all, the health of your cherished parrot is what matters most.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.