One of the most common challenges faced by pet birds is poor nutrition. Below is a guide on feeding strawberries to African Grey plus its benefits to the bird.
Can African greys eat strawberries?
African greys can eat strawberries mixed with other fruits like papaya, mango, apple, banana, berries, and pineapples. Strawberries are a good source of vitamins for African greys. However, African greys should have strawberries moderately due to a high level of sugar that can cause diarrhea if fed excessively.
As a rule of thumb, you should always make sure that fruits, greens, and vegetables only make up about 20-25% of your African gray diet.
A diet of commercially made pellets should be able to provide the most important nutrients that your African gray needs.
Benefits Strawberries in the diet of African Gray Parrots
A balanced diet is very important in maintaining a healthy and happy pet bird. Fruits and vegetables plus greens are good treats for your pet bird.
They can also serve as a training or bonding time when offered as treats. Offering strawberries to your African gray will keep them healthy by providing the following nutrients.
The table below shows the nutritional value of about 100 grams of strawberries.
|Total lipid (fat)||0.3||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||7.68||g|
Fresh and clean water contaminants free must be available within your birds reach at all time to promote its health.
Another way to promote hydration in your bird is to ensure you feed them vegetables, fruits and greens that have a high water content without compromising the nutrients.
What i mean is when choosing the fruits, greens and vegetables to feed to your African Grey, water should not be a factor but the nutrient content.
That said, strawberries will provide nutrients plus water to your African grey parrot.
Proteins should form a very important part of any birds diet. While commercially made pellets have well balanced nutrients. Feeding sources of protein such as seeds and fruits does no harm.
Birds that need more protein concentrations include birds that are very active, laying birds or injured birds. While protein content of strawberries is not high when combined with other fruits such as cantaloupe, figs they can help provide the proteins value needed by your African gray.
Carbohydrates serve as the building blocks for proteins and fats. However, there are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are not good for the birds health since they are absorbed quickly, therefore they may harm the health of your African Gray if fed in excess.
Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are the building blocks of proteins and fats, they also act as the source of energy for you pet bird.
However, fruits have a high sugar content and should be fed moderately to avoid negative health complications.
Minerals should always form a high percentage of your caged bird diet. Deficiency of some of these minerals will lead to adverse health complications that will eventually lead to death when not corrected.
Below is a list of minerals found in strawberries, their importance and effects if they are deficient.
Calcium is one of the most important mineral that should always be in the diet of an African gray in sufficient amounts. Among all caged birds, African grey parrots and blue fronted amazon parrots have been reported as the pet birds that suffer from calcium deficinencies.
Therefore , it is very crucial to ensure that your African grey gets a diet that has enough calcium.
You should also watch out for the phosphorous content of the feeds you are giving your African gray. This is due to fact that phosphorous directly affects the absorption of calcium into the bird’s body.
Infact the recommended calcium to phosphorus ratio is 2:1 for growing and injured birds. 1.5 :1 for adults. While for breeding birds a ratio of 10:1 is recommended, due to the amount of calcium used in making egg shells.
Lack of calcium in the diet of an African grey will lead to weak bone structure, poor breeding, affect blood clotting, function of the feather, calcium also affects the mood of the bird.
For calcium to be absorbed properly by all birds it needs sufficient amount of Vitamin D. One of the ways to ensure that your African grey gets enough is through supplementation.
Another simpler one is making sure they get enough sunlight, placing their cage near a window will not help since the window pane will filter out the important sun rays that are important for processing Vitamin D.
Like calcium phosphorus is also very important for maintaining the health of the African Grey.
Combined with calcium, phosphorus helps in the making of the bones. Phosphorus is also used in the storage of energy as adnosine triphosphate.
You should however be weiry of the calcium to phosphorus ratio of the foods your are feeding an African Grey parrot, since high phosphorus content will inhibit the absorption of calcium.
For fruits such as strawberries or other fruits whose phosphorus content is high than calcium. They should be fed moderately, high phosphorus content in the birds body will lead to dimeneralisation of the bones and kidney diseases.
Just like phosphorus magnesium also helps in the formation of energy. It is rare to find a bird that is suffering from magnesium deficiency.
Vitamins are very essential in the body of any bird, they control various functions in the body as we will learn shortly.
They are divided into two categories namely: fat and water soluble.
Fat soluble vitamins
These are composed of vitamins A, D, E and K.
Most pet birds receive vitamin A from its precursor beta carotene which is contained in most vegetables, fruits and greens.
Strawberries boost some of the highest concentration of both vitamin A and Beta carotene.
Vitamin A is very important in the maintanance of the African Grey light sensitive pigment in the retina of the eye. Boosts a bird s immune system, Promotes healthy and vibrant feathers.
So if you want to make your African gey color more profound feed them enough vitamin A.
Its deficiency leads to poor immune system, Oral and respiration infections, Digestive track infections.
One disadvantage of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A is that when fed in excess, the body does not get rid of the excess vitamin.
When in excess in the body Vitamin A can cause hypervitaminiosis that can be detrimental to the health of the African grey parrot.
Feeding fruits, vegetables, and greens that have a high concentration of Beta carotene will help prevent this condition since the body of the bird will convert beta carotene to vitamin A.
Vitamin B6 is classfied among the water soluble B vitamins. When in excess the body of the African grey parrot will get rid of the excess via urine.
Deficiency of vitamin B6 will result into retarded growth, hyperexcitability, convulsions, twisted neck and polyneuritis. However, its deficiency is very rare.
How to feed Strawberries to African Grey parrots
- Wash strawberries thoroughly to get rid of any harmful chemicals
- Cut it into small pieces and mix it with other fruits
- Put it in a feeding tray and offer it to your African grey
Alternatively, you can opt to feed it as a treat when bonding or training your pet bird.
However, make sure your African gray does not become used to just strawberries by mixing it with other fruits. If they just want strawberries to try removing them from the diet and offer other fruits instead such as apple, pear, melon, mango, papaya, pomegranate, guava, apricot, peach, nectarine, oranges, and bananas.
What fruits can African Greys eat? African greys can eat the following fruits when offered as part of their balanced diet and only making up about 25% of their daily diet, These fruits include, cantaloupe, papaya, coconut, plums, cherries, strawberries, passion fruit, bananas, mangos, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries, apples, oranges, pears, apricots and peaches (stone removed), pineapple, melon.
Can African Grey eat banana? African grey like most other birds can eat bananas moderately when fed with other fruits as part of a balanced diet.
African Grays are highly prone to Calcium deficiency when compared to other pet birds. Therefore, it is very important to make sure they are getting enough calcium. You can offer calcium and vitamin D supplements to meet these needs.
While strawberries are a good treat for your African Gray, they do not have good calcium to phosphorus ratio just like most other fruits. Therefore, make sure you do not feed strawberries to your birds exclusively. Mix with other fruits and make sure you do not exceed the 25% fruits, greens, and vegetable recommendation of your pet bird’s daily diet.