Recently I have been obsessed with the diet of conures specifically fruits. Today I decided to do some research on how bananas benefit them. Below are the findings of my hours of research.
Can conures eat bananas? Conures can eat bananas and the peels like all parrots. Bananas will provide conures with vitamins, fats, water, and minerals that are essential for conures growth and development. However, bananas are high in sugars and fats that can cause obesity to lovebirds. Banana peels should only be fed to conures if they were grown organically.
Experts recommend that conures should eat between 20-25% of their daily as fruits, vegetables, and greens while 70-80% should be made of commercially made pellets such as Zupreem Conure Pellets or Lafebers conure Nutri-berries.
Are bananas good for Conures?
When sparingly bananas are excellent for conures, always remember to mix bananas with other fruits so as to offer variety and increase the nutritional overload.
The table below will show the nutritional value of bananas. 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 conures
Oxidative stress can lessen the life span of a bird and interefere with quality of their offsprings. Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of antioxidants.
Bananas contain vitamin C, E and selenium which are some of the notable antioxidants from fruits.
These vitamins and mineral selenium helps with reversing nd protecting birds from the effects of oxidative stress that involves cellulr damage.
Vitamins plays a very crucial part in the health of all birds. Therefore, they should always be a part of the conures daily diet.
Vitamin A ranks at the top of the list of vitamins that conures needs on daily basis. Vitamin A promotes healthy reproduction, the health of the feathers, prevents respiratory and digestion system infections, growth of bones, and the health of the eyes.
Vitamin A is also essential for facilitating the secretory glands. Vitamin A deficiencies will affect the function of all the above-mentioned systems.
For instance a conure that does not receive eneough vitamin A will have dull feathers and may end suffering fromungal respiratory disease aspergillosis.
Sterile pustules and cornified plaques inside the mouth are also commonly seen, with enlargement of the sublingual salivary glands.
Conures that are most prone to this diseases are ones that are fed an all seed diet. This is because seeds are loaded with fats but have a very poor vitamin profile.
Bananas are also a good source of vitamin E, apart from acting as an antioxidants like mentioned earlier. Vitamin E also plays a very important part in the immune system.
Conures that are fed a diet comprising of fruits vegetables and greens will never suffer from vitamin E deficiency since these serve as a good source of this vitamin.
Vitamin B6 although rarely seen is also present in bananas. Its deficiency will result in retarded growth, hyperexcitability, convulsions, twisted neck, and polyneuritis.
Like vitamins minerals too form a very important part of the daily diet of conures. Most importantly for conures that are either injured, sick, laying or young.
The two most important minerals are calcium and phosphorus, while fruits are not a good source of minerals, they offer a small percentage of these two minerals.
Calcium and phosphorus facilitate the formation of the skeletal structure of birds, feathers, and the reproduction system.
However, calcium and phosphorus affect each other negatively. High levels of calcium will affect the absorption of phosphorus and vice versa.
Therefore, experts recommend that the ratio of calcium to phosphorus offered to birds that are injured, laying, or young should be 2:1 respectively and 1.5:1 for adult birds that are healthy.
However, this does not mean that for fruits and vegetables that do not have this ratio should not be offered to birds.
You can offer these foods sparingly and you will not experience any health issues especially if you give your conure a pellet diet.
Other minerals found in bananas that are important to conures include; Magnesium that is essential in the transfer of energy.
Potassium, potassium is one of the most abundant minerals found in bananas. Birds including conures will rarely suffer from its deficiency unless they have had stress.
Makin sure conures have an access to clean, fresh and chlorine free water is very important for their health.
However, providing fresh fruits can also help to keep your conures hydrated. You should however not replace fruits with a bowl of clean, fresh, and chlorine-free water.
How to feed bananas to conures
The best form of bananas to feed to conures are ones that have been grown organically free from chemicals and toxins that can potentially harm conures.
Another very important fact to remember is that the greener the banana is the more nutrients it has. Additionally, greener bananas have low starch which is later converted to sugar that is normally hard for conures to digest.
High sugars in the diet of conures will lead to health issues such as diabetes and obesity among others.
You can also feed plantain as long as it has been grown organically. Remember to offer it raw and not cooked.
Follow the following steps when feeding bananas to conures
- The first step is to wash the banana thoroughly especially if you want to feed the banana peels
- Cut the banana into small pieces that are easy for your conure to pick and eat
- Mix the banana with other fruits such as grapes, strawberries, oranges to offer a variety and increase the nutrient load.
- Remember to remove any uneaten fruits at the end of the day to avoid contamination
Can conures eat banana peels
Conures can have peels as well, but only for bananas that have been grown organically. However, since it can be hard to tell whether bananas were grown organically or not. I would recommend not feeding banana peels to conures.
Now that we have already established that conures can actually eat bananas. You should include bananas into your conures diet when mixed with other fruits to avoid the adverse health effects that follow up when you overfeed bananas due to high sugar content. Do not feed bananas every day, instead offer it sparingly after all there are other fruits that conures enjoy.
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