Some parrot owners love, including their pets, at mealtime. This is something natural since parrots are social. It is good for their emotional health, spending mealtime with their owners. While it is true that many foods that humans eat are good for them, there are certain ones that can be considered as toxic as well.
Toxic Bird Foods
Check out which human foods are considered as unsafe for your beloved parrots.
- Apple Seeds
Several fruit seeds contain some levels of cyanide. This is not only applicable to apples, but also with other similar varieties, including apricots, cherries, peaches, and pears. Even though the fruit pulp is safe for your pet bird, feeding the seeds is a no-no. Aside from the poisonous seeds, fruit peels may have also been sprayed with harmful pesticides. In order to remove them, wash and core all fruits thoroughly, especially those that you plan to share with your parrot in order to prevent them from getting exposed to harmful toxins.
Caffeine has a long time been acknowledged to be harmful and toxic to parrots. As such, make sure that your parrot does not accidentally or intentionally consume caffeinated beverages, including coffee, soda, and tea. Owners with birds that sneak some sip of coffee observe their pets acting like a maniac. Caffeine causes cardiac malfunction among birds and is often linked with arrhythmia, increased heartbeat, cardiac arrest, and hyperactivity. If caffeine boosts our energy as humans, it can be potentially deadly to your pet parrots.
As an alternative, you can share a healthy drink made out of pure vegetable or fruit juice, or even a fresh smoothie with your pet. This will not only prove to be satisfying to the taste buds of your bird but also its nutritional requirements.
The debate continues as to how toxic avocados are for birds. Generally, it is advised to be safe rather than being sorry. Avoid allowing your parrot from consuming avocado, guacamole, or related products. The pits and skin of avocado are suspected of causing cardiac arrest, and eventual heart failure among pet birds, including parrots.
Generally, all parts of the avocado fruit contain persin, which is a fungicidal toxin which has been classified to be a cardiac toxin among birds. Smaller birds such as budgies and canaries are often more susceptible, though some clinical signs have also been observed among other bird species. These clinical signs often include respiratory distress that typically develops within 12 hours after ingestion, while death may occur within just one to two days.
- Dried Beans
Cooked beans are considered as a healthy supplement to your pet’s daily food. However, dry and raw bean mixes are considered poisonous for them. Uncooked beans, in particular, contain a substance called hemagglutinin, which can be really toxic to birds. In order to prevent poisoning, make sure to cook any beans thoroughly before feeding it to your bird.
Even though chocolates are a favorite among humans, it can be poisonous and toxic for parrots, as well as with some other animals. The very first symptom of chocolate poisoning is vomiting and diarrhea. For birds, chocolate affects the central nervous system, which may result in deadly seizures among birds. Make sure that all chocolates in your house are kept away from your bird.
Caffeine and theobromine, which are classified as methylxanthines, can result in hyperactivity, tremors, increased heart rate, and possibly seizures. When ingested at a toxic dose, it can even result in potential death. Generally, the darker, the more bitter the chocolate is, the more potentially harmful it is to your pet.
Small quantities of onions may be safe for your birds, but too much of it may result in severe digestive problems, including diarrhea and vomiting. As such, they are regarded as toxic foods for parrots. Birds that are fed with too much onion for an extended period of time may even develop a serious blood condition that is called hemolytic anemia. It may also cause your birds to develop breathing problems, which could also prove to be fatal later on.
Mushrooms are a form of fungus which may not only result in a bird’s upset stomach, but it may further induce liver failure when fed with stems and caps of certain mushroom varieties. Avoid feeding your pet bird, whether intentionally or accidentally, with raw or cooked mushrooms.
Even though humans and animals need moderate amounts of sodium in our body in order to stay healthy, too much of salt may lead to several health problems. This may include dehydration, excessive thirst, kidney dysfunction, and other serious concerns. Salty foods may also contain a lot of fats. Pet birds may be curious and would like to try some crackers and chips, but these food items are not healthy for them.
- Vegetable Leaves
Vegetables may sound healthy to humans, but not to our avian friends. The leaves, stems, and vines of common plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, and other vegetables can be poisonous to them. Make sure that you feed your parrot with the actual fruit or any part of the vegetable or garden plants, but never the vines, leaves, or stems.
Tomatoes, for example, should be properly cleaned and sliced, removing the green parts so that your bird will not be fed with toxins. Because of its high acidic content, a tomato is not the best option for feeding. Choose from the other vegetable options that you can freely feed your bird.
Alcohol is not technically considered as a food, but it is considered as poisonous for parrots. Wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages can depress the organs and systems of your bird, just like it affects ours. While humans can tolerate alcohol intake, it could be fatal to birds. Make sure that your parrot stays safe by not giving it alcohol. Some innocent owners give their birds a little sip to quiet them down, but this is very dangerous.
The List Continues
Making a list of food items that are considered as either toxic or dangerous to pet birds may be challenging for several reasons. In the same way that people do not have the same reactions, a certain food that makes one bird species ill does not necessarily also cause illness in another bird species.
Another factor to consider is that many incidents of pet birds having an adverse reaction to food are based on their own accounts of owners, which may not necessarily be verified. For instance, if a pet dies right after eating, the owner might immediately jump into the conclusion that it is because of a certain food item that the pet died.
Identifying exactly how toxic a specific food is can also turn out to be tricky. Food may be eaten in smaller amounts or in moderation without causing problems, yet this very same item of food can also cause illness, or prove to be fatal among birds when consumed in excessive amounts. Avian veterinarians depend on a wide range of toxicology information. Still, it is generally considered best to be safe when it comes to feeding your parrot friends.