Parakeets are happy, friendly birds that brighten our days. Feeding our beloved feathery friends the right food is one way to show how much we love and appreciate their company. You may ask yourself what you can feed your parakeet and if bananas are good for it.
Parakeets can eat bananas with or without the skin. Bananas contain beneficial vitamins and minerals that help keep a parakeet healthy. Bananas can be fed raw, or you can dry them in your oven. Avoid feeding store-bought dried banana chips as these contain additives that are unhealthy.
You might be wondering what factors make bananas beneficial for parakeets or how you should serve the bananas. If so, read on as we fill in the details for you.
Are Bananas Good For Parakeets?
Bananas are filled with minerals and vitamins that help to keep your parakeet healthy. In addition, they contain antioxidants and fiber that assist the parakeet’s metabolism.
Bananas are a soft food. Providing different textured foods enhances your parakeet’s eating experience. Eating foods with different textures is part of ensuring your bird has enough stimulation and interest in its life.
Are Vitamins And Minerals In Bananas Helpful To Parakeets?
Bananas contain the following vitamins and minerals that parakeets need to remain healthy:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Why Does My Parakeet Need Vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 is sometimes known as pyridoxine. It is a critical vitamin as it helps metabolize amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
If your parakeet has insufficient levels of vitamin B6, it cannot access the protein in its food and will die.
Parakeets with low levels of vitamin B6 will have stiff, jerky movements and convulsions. Feeding your parakeet bananas will prevent vitamin b6 insufficiency.
Do Parakeets Suffer From Iodine Insufficiency?
Parakeets are prone to suffering from iodine insufficiency. Therefore, it is vital to ensure they have enough iodine in their diets. Bananas are rich in iodine and will help prevent a dietary imbalance.
A parakeet without enough iodine will be prone to developing a goiter which is an enlarged thyroid gland. Goiters, also known as thyroid hyperplasia, are commonly seen in parakeets fed a seed-only diet.
Goiters affect the parakeet’s breathing, creating a clicking noise or wheezing when the bird inhales and exhales.
As the goiter becomes bigger, the parakeet will have difficulty breathing. The bird is forced to hold its head up as high as possible to enable breathing. The parakeet will be distressed and eventually die.
Why Does My Parakeet Need Trace Minerals?
Trace minerals such as manganese, magnesium, copper, and potassium are essential for functioning the parakeet’s body. Potassium and magnesium are vital for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, particularly the heart muscles.
Parakeets need copper to manufacture hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the molecule in blood that gives the red color and allows it to carry oxygen. A bird with a copper shortage will be lethargic, anemic, and listless due to too little oxygen.
Manganese plays a critical role in bone and eggshell formation. If your parakeet has insufficient manganese, it will not grow, and its bones will be weak.
As you can see, trace minerals may not be needed in large quantities, but they are crucial for your bird’s health. Bananas contain these trace minerals and so are an excellent addition to your parakeet’s diet.
Should I Feed My Parakeet Banana With Or Without Peel?
You can feed your parakeet banana with or without the peel.
Some birds like the peel, and some will not eat it. Banana peel contains pectin, which is helpful to stabilize your bird’s blood sugar levels.
Do I Need To Wash Banana Before Feeding It To My Parakeet?
If you feed your parakeet banana with the peel still on, it is best to wash it well under running water. Banana skin can have residues of insecticides or dirt and bacteria on it. This could be harmful to your parakeet.
If you peel the banana before feeding it to your parakeet, there is no need to wash it as the peel protects the flesh.
How Much Banana Can I Feed My Parakeet?
You can feed your parakeet banana every day if that suits you, and your parakeet enjoys it. Try to assess the quantity of bananas that your parakeet will eat and do not feed too much.
Your parakeet will stop eating the banana when it has had enough. The leftover banana in the cage will attract fruit flies and other insects, which might sting or irritate your bird.
Can Baby Parakeets Eat Banana?
Baby parakeets can eat some banana as it is a good source of the vitamins and minerals they will need to grow. It is soft food and provides an easy introduction to fruit for the baby parakeet.
You must use caution when feeding bananas or any soft food to a baby parakeet. Soft foods, such as bananas may become stuck on the underside of the top beak. There may be a build-up of this food which causes deformities in the beak as it grows.
The build-up of food can also allow bacteria to grow in the mouth, which may be life-threatening. Gently clean the underside of the top beak with a cotton bud, match, or soft plastic stick after each feed.
If you are skeptical about feeding strawberries to your parakeet, check out our post “Can Parakeets Eat Strawberries?“
Can I Feed My Parakeet Dry Banana Chips?
Banana chips that are sold in stores often have additives that may be harmful to parakeets. It is best to dry bananas at home if you wish to feed dry banana chips to your parakeet.
Cut the banana into pieces that are 0,5cm thick. Place these in an oven on low heat or in a dehydrator and leave them there until they are crisp. You can store these banana chips in a container for quick use when preparing your parakeet’s food.
Some organic shops may sell dried banana chips with no additives. These chips would be safe for your parakeet.
Do Parakeets Eat Bananas In The Wild?
Bananas are cultivated in various areas in Australia. If parakeets have access to the bananas, they will eat them.
Parakeets tend to live in the drier regions of Australia, and bananas are grown in tropical or sub-tropical areas. Fortunately for banana farmers, parakeets do not usually occur in areas where bananas are grown.
Parakeets can eat fresh and dried bananas. Bananas contain vitamins and minerals crucial to your parakeet’s good health.
Take care to clean the banana peel if you feed bananas with the peel.
Parakeets usually enjoy bananas, although there may be individuals who do not like bananas. It is safe to provide bananas daily.
Hoppes, S. M. 2015. Nutritional Diseases of Pet Birds. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/exotic-and-laboratory-animals/pet-birds/nutritional-diseases-of-pet-birds
Sakas, P.S. Iodine Deficiency/ Goiter. https://nilesanimalhospital.com/files/2012/05/Iodine-Deficiency-Goiter-in-Birds.pdf
Veteran Key. Avian Nutrition. https://veteriankey.com/avian-nutrition/