can parrots eat jujube

Can Parrots Eat Jujube?

With the benefits of rich taste and nutrition, jujubes are among the many fruits that complete a parrot’s healthy diet. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that parrots can eat jujube.

In countries where jujube is commonly grown, you will learn that it is not unusual to find sneaky parrots on branches, getting bites of the ripe brown jujubes. This local mischief has even led several jujube orchard owners to take extra measures in keeping the feathered perpetrators at bay.

If you happen to visit Australia, you will understand what I mean when you discover vast nets spanning over the whole orchard- all this trouble, just to prevent parrots from relishing their favorite drupe (and destroying the farmers’ labor).

So, the answer is clear. Parrots can eat jujubes without getting ‘sick of’ and ‘sick from’ them.

Is Jujube Safe For Parrots?

Good thing you asked this question because not everything delicious is healthy. So, does this idea apply to the jujube fruit as well?

To put it simply, the taste of the fruit is not the only reason why the birds break into the orchards.The other significant reason is that jujubes nourish parrots for the day. Plus, the nutrients from the fruit keep their mobility in perfect condition. Hence, it is affirmative that jujubes are safe and healthy for parrots.

Jujube (or Chinese date) is an energy-rich fruit packed with vitamin C, D, B, minerals, manganese, amino acids, and fiber. It has been used as a medicinal fruit in China for hundreds of years. Hence, they are considered safe for both human and animal (bird) consumption.

Here’s a detailed look into the health benefits of jujubes for parrots –

  • The minerals present in the fruit control the sugar level of the bird.
  • The calcium content of the fruit strengthens the bones and improves the flight mechanism of parrots. Most domestic parrots are not habituated to fly long distances. Hence, they don’t use their wings often. This lack of aviation can cause their bones to degrade quicker than the wild parrots (and birds in general). Hence, enriching them with doses of vitamin D through their diet becomes mandatory.
  • They are an additional source of vitamins and minerals.
  • They keep the parrot active and energized for the whole day.
  • The rich fiber of jujube helps in sustaining a stable metabolism.

The benefits listed above are the many reasons why parrots need jujube in their diet.

What Part Of The Fruit Is Toxic For Parrots?

The jujube’s pit is considered toxic for parrots because of its hard outer cover and dangerous cyanide-producing compounds.

The outer shell of the seed can be challenging for the parrots to bite. While this may be the apparent reason to avoid giving your bird the jujube pit, there are many more explanations for why it can be dangerous for parrots.

When broken, the pit pieces can choke the bird or even cause internal disturbance in the crop. And apart from it, the harmful amygdalin substance in the pit can convert into cyanide when consumed. Hence, it can lead to several health complications for the bird.

What Is the Best Way Parrots Can Enjoy Jujubes?

The jujube should be ripe or close to ripening for parrots to relish it. Raw jujubes tend to be less sweet and less appetizing for the bird.

You can identify ripe jujubes by their yellow and brown skin. Similar to apples, the fruit will feel soft and sturdy at the same time.

Related : Can Parrots Eat Turnips?

Wash the fruit in clean water and cut it into slices or cubes before setting them as food. You can also mix the diced jujube with other vibrant fruits and seeds. Maintaining a balanced diet of fruits, grains, pulses, and vegetables is ideal for parrots.

Healthy jujubes are available only during their harvest season. Hence, you can opt for the dried fruit to sustain your bird throughout the year. The dried jujubes are safe for parrots and are nothing short of their fresh counterparts. They are excellent nutrient supplements that can last for long periods.

While jujubes are beneficial fruits for parrots, one should still be mindful of the feeding quantity. Note that jujubes are rich in vitamin C; hence feeding them in limited quantities should be practiced.

FAQs

Q. Can parrots eat all types of fruits?

Parrots can eat almost every variety of fruits. The list would include bananas, apple, mango, kiwi, berries, grapes, papaya, jujube, etc. However, bear in mind that there are specific rules every caretaker should note when feeding fruits to their parrots.

For instance: Citrus fruits should be occasionally provided in limited amounts; one should discard seeds and peel of the apple before feeding as they are toxic for birds, etc.

Parrots should altogether avoid fruits like avocado and rhubarb.

Q. Will all parrot breeds enjoy jujube?

Not every parrot breed, such as the Cockatiel, African grey, and Budgies, are aware of tropical fruits like jujube. It is the rose-ringed parakeet and Australian cockatoos that are familiar with the jujube. So, it is understandable why you would be worried about your parrot’s opinion on the foreign fruit.

However, there is nothing to be worried about. Almost every parrot breed will take a liking for ripe jujubes. Furthermore, jujube is safe for all parrot breeds to consume.

Q. Why are seeds toxic for parrots?

The seeds of apples and drupe fruits contain cyanide. This compound can be fatal for the parrot’s health. Hence, it would be best if one did not feed these seeds to the bird.

When we consider the seeds of apricot, peach, and jujube, they can be challenging for the parrot’s beak. The hard pits of the fruit might even choke the bird. Therefore, to avoid such complications, take it out before giving your parrot the fruit.

Instead of fruit seeds, you can feed parrots with flax, safflower, pumpkin, buckwheat, millets, canary seeds, etc.

In Summary

The jujube fruit is healthy for parrots as it can positively impact the health and well-being of the bird. Plus, it can be available in all seasons when dried.

However, as a caretaker, you should also note the dos and don’ts of feeding the fruit to your feathered companion. Some of them include removing the fruit’s pit, mixing the fruit slices with other fruits and seeds, avoiding raw jujubes as food, etc.

So, whether you have a Cockatiel or African grey parrot at home, you can now expand their palate with the addition of fresh pulpy jujubes.

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