For humans, raisins are an everyday item. You may not like them, but you’ll see them in all kinds of desserts anyway. They can be consumed both on their own and as an additive to various sweet dishes. Moreover, some salty foods contain them as well! As a human, you naturally choose whether to like them or not. But what about parrots? Do they like raisins? Is it safe for them to enjoy an occasional raisin? I’ll tell you in detail all the necessary information about raisins.
For a quick answer, yes! Your parrot can safely eat raisins as long as you give them in moderation. About two/three times a week is an acceptable frequency. Raisins are a great treat that brings numerous elements necessary for a healthy parrot. As they are high in natural sugars, your bird will have the energy for a full day of fun if fed in the morning.
But let’s also discuss in detail what kind of essential nutrients raisins bring and what possible drawbacks may follow. Or are there no cons at all?
What Exactly Are Raisins?
If you are not a fan of dried fruit or are too young, not a big cook, and for whatever reason don’t know about how raisins are made, I’ll tell you a big secret – raisins are dried grapes. Just as grapes differ in color, shape, and taste, you’ll find that raisins are essentially the same.
As they dry, grapes will darken. The fairest grape makes golden raisins. The darkest turn into dark-blue or almost black raisins.
Typically, grapes are dried for around three weeks to turn into decent raisins. They generally have a soft texture, a bit chewy, but very far from actual grapes. They are also sweeter! The sort of grapes used to make raisins largely depends on the country of manufacture. In the U.S., the commonly used sort is the Thompson Seedless. You may also have a variety of all imaginable grapes imported from other countries.
What Are Nutritional Benefits of Raisins for Parrots?
Here are some nutrients contained in raisins. The set of nutrients brings your parrot several health benefits.
Vitamin B Complex
Raisins, just like grapes, have several vitamins of the B group. However, the complex is not as widespread as the C vitamins, for example. Thus don’t neglect foods that contain several B vitamins.
In general, this group is effective for everything cell-concerning, such as their general health, growth, and repair.
This element is crucial for birds. It generally affects parrots’ blood pressure and lowers their mortality rates. This element is also a beneficial component in reducing the probability of a stroke.
As with everything, you should be adding functional elements throughout the parrot’s life, but elderly birds need special care and lots of potassium to be your companions for as long as possible.
Now, this component is a tricky one. Sugars can be useful and harmful at the same time. Too much sugar is bad for any animal. Processed sugar is a big NO for parrots any. If it’s natural, like in grapes and raisins, small amounts of it will provide enough energy for your bird without risking its health.
The main rule is to give raisins as a treat, a couple of times a week only. Plus, don’t pair them with other sugar-rich foods.
What Is the Best Way to Give Your Parrot Raisins?
In general, raisins are an easy treat to include in your pet’s diet. They are cheap and easy to find. In addition, they are usually natural and have no processed sugar added.
However, you should consider the following rules when feeding raisins to your parrot.
- Introduce raisins for variety. This should be a rare treat that comes in addition to the usual mix of seeds and nuts. As I’ve mentioned before, a couple of times a week would be enough.
- Do not mix them with sugary fruits such as grapes, bananas, mango, cherries, watermelon, etc. Divide them into different meals.
- Mix and surprise. A feeding routine is perfect for many animals, but parrots are among the birds that require variety and changes. The birds quickly get bored with the food. Thus, when you see that your parrot is eating poorly, try changing its meals. This is the time to add raisins. Remember that parrots require different tastes, colors, and textures.
- You can increase the frequency of allowing raisins up to three times a week if your bird has problems with blood cells or its heart. The nutrients contained in the product will help stabilize both to some extent.
Are There Negative Effects of Feeding Parrots Raisins?
If you eat any product obsessively and in huge quantities, there are drawbacks to anything. Parrots can eat raisins in small amounts to minimize the adverse effects. Yet, you should know what danger can await your parrot without proper regulation.
Consumption of huge amounts of sugar may lead to obesity. If you give your bird as much sugar as it can burn for daily energy, it’s okay. An active parrot burns all that sugar fast.
Though, be mindful if your pet is passive during the day or already has weight problems. Notice whether your pet is prone to gaining weight or not and regulate the amount of offered raisins accordingly.
Though diabetes in birds is common, it can happen. In that case, raisins that elevate sugar levels are forbidden.
Overall, your neglect as an owner can bring the biggest harm! You cannot hope as you give your parrot a bunch of raisins; it’ll know how much it needs and will just stop. Parrots like sugar just as much as people do and can become addicted to it. Thus, it’s your responsibility as an owner to control quantities.
Can Your Parrot Choke on Raisins?
Just like with people, it’s hard to answer the question. In theory, you can choke on anything. It just takes a bit of ill luck. The same can be said about parrots.
I highly suggest cutting raisins into smaller pieces to eliminate the possibility overall, especially if you have a tiny parrot.
Overall, the risk is minimal, especially with raisins cut in pieces.
Can You Feed Parrot Raisin Toasts?
Raisins are harmless. Bread is not. Thus, the logical answer is NO!
Though, I suspect many parrot owners will argue with me on the matter of a toast and mention that they feed it and everything is okay. But I’m not a fan of bread for birds! It is all negative and nothing useful. Especially the modern bread made of pastry or all-purpose flour that is stripped of all the useful nutrients. I’m not a fan of such bread for me, my parrots more so. Thus, this is the worst possible combination.
What Is a Good Raisins for Parrots Recipe?
Some time ago, I found an easy-to-make recipe of quinoa oatmeal with raisins here. I’ve tweaked it a bit to suit my parrot feeding rules. The original recipe also includes bananas. As I’ve written before, parrots can eat bananas but that would be too much combines with raisins. Thus, this is the recipe I use:
- 1 cup quinoa
- around half a palm of raisins
- 2-3 cups water
- half a palm of your parrot’s favorite seeds
The preparation phase is easy.
- You’ll have to cook quinoa first of all. Boil water, add quinoa, and cook it for ten minutes stirring once in a while.
- Add raisins and cook for another 4 minutes.
- Let it cool, and add seeds before serving.
P.S. You can also chop in some fruit and veggies for variety!
Overall, raisins are safe to feed your parrot when in moderation. A few raisins a week improve the lifespan of your bird and give it energy for active playtime. If you want to diversify the regular menu of your parrot, feel free to add raisins once in a while. Though, I recommend not pairing them with other sugary fruit!