Poor nutrition is one of the major problems that pet birds face. Most pet bird owners feed an all-seed and nuts diet that is normally deficient in some nutrients. Giving your pet bird a balanced diet will result in a healthy pet. Below is a research I did on whether bananas are fit, plus which nutrients they provide to lovebirds.
Can lovebirds eat bananas?
Lovebirds can eat bananas. They make a great snack time fruit that will also provide lovebirds with vitamins, water, fiber, fat, and minerals. However, Lovebirds should have bananas moderately since the high sugar can cause health issues to lovebirds, such as diarrhea.
Veggies, greens, and fruits should on average make up about 20-25 % of your lovebird diet on a daily basis.
Nuts, seeds, berries, fruits and vegetation such as plants buds are lovebirds favorite in their natural environment.
Are bananas good for lovebirds?
Banans are good and great for loverbirds and all parrots.
Lovebirds plus all other pet birds should receive a diet that is well balanced, it should provide proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, minerals, and vitamins.
While most commercially made foods can provide these nutrients, readily available greens, fruits and vegetables can become a good treat for your lovebird to break the monotony.
These foods can also act as a good treat for your lovebird especially when you are training them or during bond time.
Let’s take a deeper look at how bananas benefit your lovebirds and how often you should feed them bananas.
Nutritional Value of Bananas
The table below shows the nutrients that 100 grams of banana serving will provide your lovebird pet. Source
|Total lipid (fat)||0.29 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||23 g|
|Fiber, total dietary||4.62 g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||12.23 g|
|Calcium, Ca||5 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||28 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||22 mg|
|Potassium, K||326 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.16 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.101 mg|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||12.3 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.209 mg|
|Folate, total||14 µg|
|Choline, total||9.8 µg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||1 µg|
|Carotene, beta||8 µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||22 µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.1 µg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||0.5 µg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.112 g|
Benefits of feeding bananas to lovebirds
Vitamins are very important in the health of lovebirds, deficiency of most of these vitamins that are required in considerably large quantities can easily lead to life-threatening conditions.
At the same time, if fed in excess, the same vitamins can also lead to adverse health conditions.
The following list shows some of the symptoms you lovebird or any other pet bird displays when they have a vitamin deficiency.
Wheezing breathing, lethargy, gagging sounds, slimy mouths, white spots on the beak, sneezing, crusty nostrils, diarrhea, dull feathers, loss of appetite, restlessness.
Below is a detailed discussion of vitamins found in bananas and their value to lovebirds.
Vitamins are generally divided into two water soluble and fat soluble.
Fat soluble vitamins
Vitamin is probably one of the vitamins that you should always make sure your lovebird gets in plenty.
Vitamin A tops the list as one of the most deficient vitamins in most pet birds’ diets.
Pet birds that are solely fed on seeds and nuts fall culprints of vitamin A deficiency.
Vitamin A is responsible for the production of hormones, growth, and development formation of muscular, epithelial, and mucous membranes, vision, and the response of the immune system.
If a lovebird is suffering from Vitamin A deficiency, it may experience disorders or failure in the three major systems in the body, digestive, respiratory, and reproduction.
However, as we mentioned earlier vitamin A is fat-soluble and if fed in excess it may be dangerous to your pet bird.
Fat soluble vitamins get stored in the body, and for vitamin A, it is stored in the liver.
Vitamin A is also responsible for the red and yellow pigmentation that most pet birds love. So if all of a sudden your lovebird’s colors become dull, try feeding them a vitamin A-loaded diet.
If your lovebird is suffering from vitamin A deficiency, you should offer it beta carotene in which the bird can convert into vitamin A and discard the excess.
Make sure to always consult your vet if you are experiencing health-related problems with your pet birds.
Other Fat soluble vitamins
The table below shows a number of other fat-soluble vitamins found in bananas and their benefits to lovebirds.
|Fat soluble vitamin||Uses|
|Vitamin E||Functioning of immune system, fighting oxidative stress|
[Deficiency can be caused by lack of green materia in the diet]
|Vitamin K||calcium/phosphorous metabolism|
Water soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble are defined as vitamins that easily dissolve in water, as a matter of fact, these vitamins can never be fed in excess as the excess will dissolve in water and get excreted.
The table below shows a number of water soluble vitamins that are found in bananas
|Water soluble vitamin||Use|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)||Functioning of the central nervous system|
|Niacin||promotes cellular metabolic processes.|
Choline is very important for lovebirds that are fed nuts and seeds as their main diet.
Seeds and nuts have high-fat content, high fats contents decrease the amount of choline in the birds’ bodies’.
Therefore, make sure to offer a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, and greens to ensure your pet bird receives all the nutrients they need.
Like vitamin minerals are also divided into two categories, macro minerals and micro minerals and bananas contain both.
Macro minerals are normally found in large amounts in all birds bodies’.
Calcium is one of the most crucial macromineral in the growth, development, and reproduction of your lovebird.
Some pet birds will need more calcium compared to others such as African Grey and Amazon parrots need more calcium compared to other parrots.
That said, any bird that is in its egg-laying egg stage will need more calcium as compared to the same bird in another stage.
Calcium is responsible for bone and egg formation, blood clotting, feather attachment, the function of muscles.
Surprisingly enough, calcium is also involved in some neurotransmitters meaning that calcium deficiency can affect your lovebird’s mood. source.
You should also make sure that your lovebird gets enough sunlight or UVB light to be able to synthesis vitamin D. Calcium absorption is directly related to vitamin D availability.
Putting the cage near the window will not give your lovebird enough sunlight to synthesize vitamin D.
The window panes will filter out sun rays that are important to vitamin D synthesis.
If you do not have enough time to take your lovebird for a sunbath, at least invest in a good UVB light to make it easier for your lovebird to synthesize vitamin D.
When supplementing calcium you should be aware of the fact that phosphorus affects the absorption of calcium.
When phosphorus levels are higher than calcium in the diet, it reacts with calcium to form calcium phosphates. It is therefore recommended that calcium should be higher than calcium to prevent that scenario.
However, this does not mean you should entirely stop feeding veggies, greens, and fruits that have higher phosphorus than calcium content.
You can still feed these foods but only moderately. Use them as treats and some like romaine lettuce should be avoided as they have higher water content and very nutritionally poor.
As mentioned above, phosphorus and calcium are closely related. Phosphorus is also used in bone formation and in energy storage.
The table below shows other micro nutrients present in bananas and their importance
|Magnesium||Transfer of phosphorus in the formation of ATP, cell membranes in soft tissues like the liver|
|Potassium||Controls acid–base reactions and osmotic pressure.|
Micronutrients are needed in small amounts, the table below shows a list of micro minerals found in bananas and their importance to lovebirds.
|Iron||Formation of haemoglobin|
|Copper||haemoglobin and collagen synthesis, maintenance of the nervous system.|
|Zinc||tissue formation and wound healing, forming part of a number of enzymes.|
How to feed bananas to lovebirds
- The first step is to get organically grown bananas
- Wash the banana thoroughly if you plan on feeding banana peels
- Cut it into small pieces easily palatable for your lovebird
- You can either hand feed or feed in a bowl
- Use a banana treat as a means of bonding or training
- Do not feed more than a few slices to each lovebird
Risks of overfeeding Bananas to lovebirds
You may find that your lovebirds enjoy eating bananas which may tempt you to feed them more.
Bananas have a high level of sugar, when overfed and due to the fact that most caged birds including lovebirds do not have a lot of exercise.
As a result, when these caged birds are overfed food high in sugar or fats, they will end up becoming obese.
Therefore, it is advisable that you feed bananas in moderation to any pet bird.
While bananas are good for lovebirds and could be tempting to overfeed especially if your lovebirds are enjoying it. Overfeeding can cause health conditions such as obesity.
As a rule of thumb, always make sure you feed your lovebird balanced diet to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
Most importantly, consult your vet whenever you are introducing your lovebird to a new type of food or when your lovebird is experiencing any health problems.