Although dates are not popular fruits in the USA, it is actually witnessing a rising trend in demand. This stone fruit is actually native to the middle east. It grows in date palm trees that can tolerate high temperatures and drought. These trees can grow in the sand, clay, or even loam soil. However, the tree will consume more water when the time of flowering and fruiting comes.
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But, Can Parrots Eat Dates?
Yes, parrots can eat dates, and they will probably like it. Dates contain many beneficial nutrients that parrots will benefit from. The high sugar content can energize your bird to fly and play around, not to mention the other vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that will boost your parrot’s healthy.
And historically, the residents of the Arabian desert used to travel around with only a bag full of dates and water. With these, they survived in the desert, and they used dates to feed their horses and camels while wandering and traveling around. Dates contain high levels of nutrients, and some people name it the most complete food.
You can add this flavorful fruit to your parrot daily diet, or you can use it as a delicious treat for your bird to enjoy.
However, introduce this fruit to your bird, as some parrots will get afraid of it, thinking that it could hurt them, just like what happened with My African grey, when I tried to give him a date, he refused it and didn’t want to come near it.
Until I crushed it and let him taste from the top of my finger, and immediately loved it, and since then; he became obsessed with dates.
This fruit can make a wonderful treat to your bird, and you can use it to build a strong bond with him.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know before serving dates to your parrot, and what benefits your parrot will get from this fruit.
What Nutrients Your Parrot Will Get From Dates
Dates actually contain a lot of nutrients, and by knowing that no wonder why some people call it the most complete fruit, besides the high amount of sugar, which varies depending on the type and ripeness, dates also comprise a high amount of other beneficial nutrients Like:
Note: The amounts of these nutrients differ depending on the variety and the ripeness of the fruit. However, dates have about 200 varieties.
Dates contain at least 6 types of vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B varieties like thiamine, riboflavin, and nicotinic acid (niacin). Vitamin E and vitamin K also exist in dates.
These Vitamins are essential for your bird to stay healthy, and any lack of these nutrients can cause your parrot to suffer from serious health problems.
Dates contain several minerals, including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and scientists have studied them for their potential to prevent bone-related conditions like osteoporosis.
Fiber is a necessity for your pet parrot. It helps your bird to maintain its digestive system as healthy as possible. The lack of fiber in your parrot meals can cause him to suffer from chronic constipation. And luckily, you can feed your parrot plants that are high in fiber like cucumber or dates.
Especially the dried dates that contain higher amounts of fiber that could reach 7% to 8% of the total fruit weight.
Although they are not the best source of protein, dates contain at least 1.5% of the protein in each fruit and can go up to 2.5% depending on the type and ripeness.
Dates comprise high amounts of antioxidants that can help your bird to live longer and healthier. These antioxidants include p-coumaric, ferulic, and sinapic acids, flavonoids, and procyanidins.
How to Serve Dates to Your Parrots
If you decided on giving your parrot date as a delicious treat, I recommend you give your parrot small quantities of it, because dates can make your bird feel like he is not hungry, and make him reject his daily meal, resulting in insufficiency in the dietary requirements every parrot needs.
The quarter of the fruit for small breeds is good, and you can give it to your bird every 1-2 days. You can also use dates as an instant source of energy if you are about to train your parrot on how to fly for the first time.
For larger breeds like African greys, macaw, and cockatoos, it’s ok to give them half a fruit every day, but you should make sure they’ve finished their meals first.
You Can also add this fruit to the daily meals of your parrot, especially if the meals contain higher amounts of juicy fruits and vegetables rather than seeds. This could work for parrots like Eclectus, which requires a more juicy diet.
But, for other parrots like African greys, macaw, cockatoos, and many other breeds that thrive mostly on eating seeds, I recommend keeping the dates as delicious treats only.
If your parrots haven’t tried dates before, I suggest you put a small chuck on the top of your finger and let your parrots have a taste. The surgery flavor will make your parrot curious and demand more dates.
Can Parrots Eat Dates Seeds?
No, parrots can not eat the seeds. The seeds are extremely hard and not edible.
If your parrot tried to pick in the seed, this might cause his beak to crack or break, and if he accidentally swallows it he might die out of choking, so remember to avoid giving the seeds to your bird.
Can Parrots Eat Dates Bread?
Although parrots like to eat bread and many other table foods, it’s not healthy for them.
Bread is not organic food, and it is heavily processed so it could be bad even for us, and parrots, thus I suggest staying away from dates bread.
Are Dates Really Healthy For Parrots?
Knowing about the high amounts of sugar in dates, that could reach 80% in ripe and dried fruit. This question will pop up: How dates are healthy with this exorbitant amount of sugar?
And this is because of the poor reputation that white sugar has, the white sugar is actually a combination of 50% fructose and 50% of glucose.
This combination is actually what makes the sugar generally harmful, but if you took the fructose on its own, then you can get the least harmful sugar out there. Especially since fructose is the sugar, you can find in all kinds of fruits, including dates.
And if you asked what is the harmful dosage of fructose for human beings, let me tell you it is about 100 grams of fructose per day, the average American consumes about 55 grams of fructose per day.
Also, let me tell you that there is no fruit that contains that level of fructose, even dates. So, yes, dates are safe for parrots if they ate them in small quantities.
Even if they ate whole fruit in a day, it might harm them only if they used to do this in a long run. Whole fruit for large breeds every 2-3days is absolutely safe, and I am saying this out of the experience.
And yes, that’s about it, I hope you find this article helpful and informative…