Fruits should be part of a conures daily balanced diet. They are a great source of vitamins for conures and will contribute to its overall health when combined with a high-quality pellet diet. Today we take a deeper look into which berries are safe for conures.
So, can conures eat berries? Conures can eat all types of berries this includes strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries mixed with other fruits as part of a balanced diet. Berries are a good source of energy, vitamins especially vitamin A and beta carotene, and some minerals. Conures should eat berries sparingly as their high sugar content can cause health issues to conures.
Fruits and vegetables should make about 20-25% of your conures daily diet while commercially made conure pellets should make about 75-80%.
The right pellets for your conure should provide all the vitamins, minerals, fats, and energy that they need. The Lafeber’s Tropical Fruit Nutri-Berries for Conures [link directs to amazon] has been formulated with all the conure nutritional needs in mind.
Are berries safe for conures?
All berries that include blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries are safe and healthy for conures to eat.
Mix berries with other fruits and vegetables to provide your conure with 20-25% of their daily diet fruits and vegetable requirements.
The table below shows the nutrient profile of strawberries which we shall use to represent all the other berries. Source
|Total lipid (fat)
|Carbohydrate, by difference
Benefits of feeding Berries to Conures
Conures like all other parrots should have access to clean, fresh, and chlorine-free water every day to maintain their metabolism.
Water helps with the function of their kidneys in the elimination of waste and toxic substances and regulating other body processes.
While a bowl of water is always necessary for your conures cage. Fruits and vegetables are also another good sources of keeping your conure hydrated.
Fruits and vegetables such as oranges, watermelon, bananas, pineapples, grapes, and much more, while a good source of vitamins and minerals they are also loaded with water, which takes up the highest percentage.
However, do not substitute a bowl of water for fruits and vegetables.
Vitamins form a very important part of the nutrients that conures need in their diet on daily basis.
Unfortunately, most first-time bird owners feed an unbalanced diet that results in vitamin deficiencies.
With vitamin A being one of the vitamins that caged birds suffer deficiencies.
Parrots that are prone to vitamin and mineral deficiencies are ones that are either fed an all-seed or nut diet, nuts and seeds are loaded with fats such as omega 3 and 6 acids, but lack vitamins.
This is why you should always ensure that your conure gets high-quality commercially made pellets that have all the nutrients that they need like the one I have recommended above.
Berries are a good source of vitamin A and its precursor beta carotene.
Vitamin A is essential in the management of the conures and all bird’s eyes especially the light-sensitive retina of the eye.
Vitamin A also facilitates keratinization, and its deficiencies can lead to an infestation of mites.
Lack of vitamin A in the diet of conures will lead to thickening of the mucus membrane that leads to drying of the respiratory secretions as secretory glands become blocked.
As a result, most conures will suffer from respiratory infections such as aspergillosis a fungal infection of the respiratory system. Digestion system infections are also another sign of vitamin A deficiencies.
Other functions of vitamin A include boosting the immune system, bone growth. Beta carotene is also one of the factors that can help influence the plumage or the color of your conure.
Beta carotene will help make the red and yellow colors of parrots more vibrant.
Berries are also rich in vitamin C and vitamin K.
Vitamin K is normally produced by bacteria that are found in the gut after they digest food in the gut. There its deficiencies are very rare unless the fat intake of the bird reduces since this vitamin is Fat-soluble.
Vitamin K is involved in calcium and phosphorus absorption.
Very few birds have a direct need for vitamin C in the diet. However, there are few parrots that require vitamin C in their diet such as the sun conure.
Lack of vitamin C will lead to poor wound healing, poor blood clotting, and lack of enough iron.
So if you have a sun conure make sure they have vitamin C in their diet otherwise its deficiency can be fatal especially for conures that are healing or wounds themselves frequently.
Minerals are also a crucial part of the conures diet and their deficiencies can easily lead to life-threatening diseases.
Some minerals are required in large amounts than others.
Some of the most important minerals are calcium and phosphorus. However, this does not mean that conures should not eat foods with other minerals.
The deficiency of any single mineral can have life-threatening repercussions.
Calcium and phosphorus are need for the growth and development of the skeletal structure of all birds.
Injured, laying, sick and stressed birds need a high concentration of these minerals. Given that the two minerals affect each other proportionately.
In the fact that high phosphorus levels will reduce the absorption of calcium negatively and vice versa.
Experts recommend that the calcium and phosphorus ratio for laying injured sick or young birds should be 2:1 respectively and 1.5:1 for adult healthy birds.
Again parrots that are fed an all-seed or nut diet are prone to suffering from the deficiencies of these minerals.
How to feed berries to Conures
The best form of berries to feed to conures are ones that have been grown organically to avoid intoxicating your bird.
It can become hard to tell if berries were grown organically especially when buying them from local grocery stores. Therefore always make sure that you wash your berries thoroughly before giving them to conures.
- Wash berries thoroughly to remove chemicals
- Mix your berries with other fruits to provide a variety
- remember to remove the uneaten food at the end of the day
How many berries should a conure eat?
While fruits such as berries are very important for the health of the conures. Overfeeding can also cause health issues to conures.
Fruits have a high sugar content which when not controlled can lead to health issues such as obesity and loose stool in most parrots.
Therefore, always make sure you do not overfeed berries by sticking to the 20-25% rule.
Berries should be part of the fruits that form a balanced diet for your conure. However, there are other fruits that should also be part of the diet together with vegetable nuts, and seeds. Rotate these fruits with berries and high quality commercially made pellets like the Zupreem to achieve the nutrients requirements of the conures