Foods Safe for Parrots

Not sure if something is safe for your birds? Want to add something to your fresh chop? While this is not an all-inclusive list, it does include some of the most common and some less common food offerings that are parrot safe.

While some people may think that in the wild all a bird eats is fruit and nuts, we need to remember that this is only a small portion of their diet. In the wild. a parrot burns more sugar and fat with high activity and long flights; however for a pet this is too much and can become harmful if not given a proper balanced diet. We highly recommend a primary pelleted diet in addition to a daily snack of vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, seeds and proteins. These items can be offered as treats or a daily mixed chop to enhance their regular diet. if in doubt, give more veggies than fruits and nuts.

Please also remember than what your bird eats can color their poop! So don’t panic if it changes some strange color if they recently ate something colorful!

Fruits

  • Apples (no seeds)
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Peaches (no pits)
  • Melons
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Figs
  • Apricots
  • Nectarines
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Plums (no pits)
  • Passion Fruit
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Guava
  • Currants
  • Coconut
  • Goji Berries
  • Paw Paw
  • Persimmons
  • Star Fruit
  • Mulberry
  • Boysenberry
  • Blackberry
  • Blood Oranges
  • Gooseberries
  • Kumquat
  • Cranberry
  • Lychee (no seeds)

Grains & Nuts

  • Pasta, cooked
  • Rice, cooked
  • Quinoa, cooked
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Flax Seed
  • Chia Seed
  • Hemp Seed
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Non-Salty Crackers
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds

Vegetables

  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Spinach
  • Mustard Greens
  • Turnips (including greens)
  • Collard Greens
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes, cooked
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkin (including seeds)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Red Peppers
  • Snow Peas
  • Snap Peas
  • Sweet Peas
  • Corn
  • Carrots (including tops)
  • Green Beans
  • Fennel
  • Chard
  • Jalapeños
  • Artichoke
  • Beetroot
  • Cilantro
  • Ginger Root
  • Okra
  • Oregano
  • Cauliflower (including leaves)
  • Endive
  • Dill
  • Taro
  • Silver Beet
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Parsnips
  • Marjoram
  • Cucumber

Protein & Misc

  • Beans, cooked
  • Eggs, cooked
  • Egg shells, crushed
  • Poultry Meat, cooked
  • Fish, cooked
  • Poultry Bone Marrow
  • Tofu
  • Meal Worms, Insects
  • Bee Pollen Granules
  • Honey
  • Non-Fat, Lactose Free Dairy
  • Non-Fat Yogurt

Exceptions of the above mentioned foods:

Toxic Seeds and Fruit Pits

While the foods below are generally safe, some portions of them are not! Fruit pits and apple seeds are toxic to birds (some contain cyanide!), including cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums. Once the pits or seeds are removed then the fruits become safe for birds to eat. However seeds from grapes, citrus fruits, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, melons, mango, pomegranate, and berries are all safe for birds to eat.

Moderation is Key

While some foods may be safe if your bird gets a few bites of it, some things can become unhealthy if not eaten in moderation. Just like human, if you eat too much fat, you end up with fatty liver disease. If you have too much caffeine, it can alter your heart rate dramatically and lead to a heart attack. If you eat too much lactose, you can have digestive gastric problems.

Don’t Panic, but Use Caution

This list is items that may not cause harm if they get a bite from your plate, but can cause potential issues depending on size, breed and how much is eaten. The smaller the bird, the greater the risks and if in doubt, just leave it out!

  • Dairy, cheese and yogurt (lactose is not digestible by parrots and can cause digestive issues, while fat causes fatty liver disease long term)
  • Peanut butter (salt and fat are harmful long term)
  • Mushrooms (food-safe mushrooms for humans are generally safe varieties)
  • Peanuts (fat content can lead to long term fatty liver disease, also there is a potential for moldy peanuts that is a toxic fungus)
  • Salty Foods (too much salt can cause kidney issues, dehydration and death)
  • Caffeine (while one sip may not be harmful, caffeine may cause a heart attack)
  • Iceberg Lettuce and Cucumbers (high water content, may lead to diarrhea)
  • Cabbage (high in water content and NO nutritional value.. just avoid!)

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