Are Grapes Bad For My Bird?

Are Grapes Bad For My Bird?

From Facebook 7:15 pm CST 3/30/14

Bruce de Grosbois
Your recent email suggests it is safe to feed a parrot grapes. In actuality grapes are sprayed with enough pesticides to quickly kill a bird. Even organic grapes are dangerous to feed to your bird due to the lack of regulation on the use of the word “Organic”. 


Grapes should never be fed to a parrot, and your email suggesting it is a safe food is going to result in someones beloved bird ending up dead. It is irresponsible of your company to have done this. How hard is it to do some research before sending out an email.

Hi Bruce
  
First clarification: you state ” due to the lack of regulation on the use of the word “Organic”. 
 
The organic seal on food produced in the United States is highly regulated. USDA Organic Regulations 7 CFR Section 205 includes all USDA organic standards, including prohibited practices, requirements, This page from the USDA Organic Certification and Accreditation explains the government regulation policies on organic food.

Grapes have no more or less pesticides sprayed on them than any other vegetable crop in the US. This is why we advise everyone to thoroughly wash any food they give their bird (and themselves) to get rid of these pesticides.
 
Further, contrary to what many believe – “organic” anything can contain up to 2200+ different USDA organic certified pesticides as long as the pesticides themselves are made with compounds commonly produced in nature. You  can verify this on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s site on this page entitled Pesticide Registration Clarification of PR Notice 2003-1
 
As for “Grapes should never be fed to a parrot,”
 
How does this translate to the overall welfare of the bird? Don’t take my word for it. Here’s a list of suggested foods for Parrots, posted on the VCA Animal Hospitals website. VCA is largest chain of animal hospitals in the country and I suspect if grapes were bad for birds they would not be on the list below.

 
Caveat – comment from Denise’s blog post – 3/30/14 – Can my bird safely eat people food 
 
from Carmen: Why are onions bad for them, my Senegal adores raw onions?
 
In short Carmen, it’s because of the sulfur content.
 
Some suggested food items for parrots include: 

apple cherries (not the pit) pear
apricots Chinese vegetables (bok choy) peas
asparagus coconut peppers (red/green & hot)
banana corn pineapple
beans (cooked) such as: cucumber plum
chick peas dandelion leaves pomegranate
kidney dates potato
lentils endive pumpkin
lima fig rapini
mung grapes raspberry
navy grapefruit rice (brown)
soy kale romaine lettuce
beet kiwi spinach
blueberry melons sprouted seeds
broccoli mango squash
brussel sprouts nectarines strawberry
cabbage orange sweet potato
cantaloupe papaya tomato
carrot parsnip zucchini
carrot tops peaches

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. My parrot (yellow nape Amazon) is 37 years old this year, and he’s been eating red grapes his entire life…at least once a week, sometimes more when they are on sale. (He won’t eat green grapes, go figure.) I do not buy organic, it’s far too expensive! I do wash grapes AND ALL PRODUCE (except for things you peel, like bananas) thoroughly in running cold water, sometimes twice. Then drain and refrigerate. If there was a problem, I think it would have shown up by now.

  2. Hi, all – I feed grapes too, 25+ years, just as one of the fruits. For whatever reason, I slice them in half and they eat out the center. I see bell peppers on the list… I stopped those several years back when I read you should avoid the nightshade family? (so, tomatoes and eggplant, too) I wouldn’t pick them out of a mix, I just don’t buy and serve them anymore. Great to see this list, thanks!

    1. Thank you for the additional information Lisa

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