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Can Parrots Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon is probably my favorite fruit. I simply cannot get enough of how refreshing and delicious it is. Of course, anything I enjoy I want to share with my pet parrot. That’s why I looked into whether my favorite fruit is safe for my pet.

Parrots can consume watermelon with no incident as long as the fruit is properly prepared. Removing the seeds and the rind prior to giving a parrot watermelon would be ideal. The fruit also works best as an occasional nutritious treat as opposed to being a staple of a parrot’s diet.

Can You Give Watermelon to Your Parrot?

As soon as you start digging into a piece of watermelon, there’s a chance that your parrot will approach and ask for a bite.

What should you do in that scenario? Is it okay to give in and offer your parrot a bite?

Pet owners don’t need to worry because watermelon is indeed a safe treat for parrots. There are no substances in the flesh of the watermelon that is harmful to your pet. If anything, presenting your pet parrot with the occasional bite of watermelon can even be good for them.

How Can Your Parrot Benefit from Eating Watermelon?

Watermelon isn’t famous for being a healthy food, but it actually does contain a good amount of nutrients. More important for the purposes of this article, they are nutrients that can be beneficial to your pet parrot.

According to Healthline, watermelon is the “best known fresh source of lycopene.” It even surpasses tomatoes in that regard. The abundance of lycopene in watermelon is a pretty big deal because the aforementioned antioxidant excels at fighting off diseases.

Lycopene positively affects both humans and parrots.

Your parrot will also be able to obtain vitamins from watermelon. More specifically, watermelon contains good amounts of vitamins A, and C. Those vitamins are known to benefit the immune system.

I also make it a point to give my pet parrot some watermelon during the summer or whenever the weather becomes particularly warm. The hydration offered by the watermelon can provide some badly needed relief during the warmer days of the year. Your pet will likely appreciate the refreshing bite a lot.

Should You Give the Watermelon Rind to Your Parrot?

Although the flesh of the watermelon itself poses no threat to the health of your parrot, the other parts of the fruit are a bit different. For instance, you need to be more careful with the watermelon rind.

I know that in many cases, the outer layer of the fruit provides health benefits of its own, but you really want to steer clear of it in this case.

The problem with the watermelon rind is that it features a hard texture. Unlike the skin of an apple or pear, your parrot cannot chomp through the watermelon rind easily. If your parrot tries to bite through the tough rind, he/she might choke on a big piece and have trouble breathing.

It’s a risk you’d like to avoid as much as possible. You can do that by not giving any of the watermelon rinds to your parrot.

Removing the rind is also recommended because it may have been covered in pesticides before. Unless you’re aware of how the watermelon was grown, you cannot be certain that it wasn’t exposed to pesticides at some point.

The pesticide won’t affect the inside of the watermelon, but the rind could be tainted. Get rid of the rind before serving the watermelon to your parrot to avoid that potential problem.

Should You Give the Watermelon Seeds to Your Parrot?

You’ve likely heard that birds like to dine on seeds. There’s a good chance that you’ve ever witnessed that firsthand.

That means keeping the seeds in the watermelon shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, that’s not exactly the case.

Seeds present a choking hazard to parrots. If you don’t remove them from the flesh of the watermelon, your parrot may not even see them in there.

By the time your parrot finds the seeds, he/she may already be struggling with them. It’s better to just remove the seeds before giving the pieces of watermelon to your pet.

Veterinarians I’ve talked to in the past have also told me that giving seeds to parrots is not ideal.

The main reason why they suggest keeping seeds away from your pet birds as much as possible is that those don’t contain a lot of nutrients. Seeds are rich in fat and carbohydrates, but those are also substances found in other types of food.

In a way, you can kind of look at seeds as a kind of junk food for parrots. Just like people are advised to avoid consuming too much junk food, you should also keep them away from your parrot as much as possible.

How Should You Prepare the Watermelon for Your Parrot?

Proper preparation is important when giving watermelon to your parrot.

To prepare the fruit correctly, you need to start by giving it a thorough wash. Remove any dirt particles and other unwanted debris by rinsing the exterior of the fruit for a good amount of time.

When you’re done washing the watermelon, you can cut into it and take out a wedge. Cut the rind away from that wedge next. You can also pick out the seeds at that point.

Don’t give the whole wedge to your parrot, or else he/she might have a tough time eating it. Instead, slice the watermelon wedge and turn it into more manageable bites for your parrot. You can serve those smaller pieces to your parrot.

Alternatively, you can also turn the watermelon chunks into a juice. Pour the watermelon juice into your parrot’s water bowl, add some ice cubes, and give your pet a refreshing summer drink.

You should also consider serving that watermelon juice whenever your parrot is getting lazy about drinking his/her water. The added sweetness in the juice may be enough to entice your parrot to give it a try.

How Much Watermelon Should You Give to Your Parrot?

What’s the right amount of watermelon to give to a pet parrot? You may think that giving plenty of fruits to your parrots is perfectly fine because that’s the diet their wild cousins follow. According to the Best Friends Animal Society, though, that may not be true after all.

Researchers who have studied wild parrots said that those birds have a more varied diet than what many of us have long assumed. On top of that, a diet rich in fruits affects wild parrots and pet parrots differently.

Since wild parrots have to move around often in order to avoid predators and seek out food, eating fruits that have high sugar content is not that bad for them. In contrast, the effects of sugary fruits can be more significant on pet parrots because those animals lead a more relaxed life.

It’s the same reason why high-calorie diets are fine for some professional athletes but not so good for the average person.

Going back to the question from earlier, you have to think small when determining how much watermelon to share with your pet parrot. A serving of 4 grams should be enough to satisfy your beloved companion without inviting any adverse effects.

Aside from the serving size, you should also monitor how often you give your parrot watermelon. This is not the kind of food that you should be serving daily. Even if your parrot loves watermelon, you should limit how often they eat it to about once every week.

What Should You Feed Your Parrot?

We’ve established that watermelon is a harmless treat for parrots. Do note, though, that watermelon should be nothing more than a treat. You need to fill out the rest of your parrot’s diet with other items.

The bulk of your parrot’s diet should consist of pellets. Though they don’t look like it, the pellets you can find in pet stores are really good for parrots.

Manufacturers make it a point to carefully formulate those pellets so that they are fully capable of supplying the nutrients your pet parrot will need. The pellets should make up about 75 percent of your pet’s diet.

Fill out the remaining 25 percent with a combination of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Vegetables and grains are good to serve daily.

For the vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes are among your top options. You can serve the vegetables raw after washing and cutting them up or steam them to make them easier to eat for your parrot.

If you’re looking for grains to serve to your parrot, you cannot go wrong with quinoa. The protein-rich profile of quinoa makes it a good choice to include in your pet’s diet.  Cook the quinoa and put some vegetables in it to make it more nutritious and appetizing to your parrot.

Fruits should not be served daily. Think of them as dessert for your pet parrot. Serving fruit every now and then to your parrot is no issue, but doing so daily is a different matter.