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If you own a parrot, it is a learning process from the get go. For starters, they are unlike any other animal that you can own, because you can teach them to say phrases, such as the all-known, “Polly want a cracker?” which originated in 1876 for a slogan on the brand new saltine cracker at the time. However, most of us wonder exactly what foods we can feed our parrots, especially chocolate because of how tasty it is.
Although your parrot may look at you like they want a piece of chocolate, you may want to weigh your options in giving it to them. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which is derived from the cacao seeds. Not only this, but chocolate can cause hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhea in birds which can easily be avoidable.
This information might have been sadly mistaken because a few years ago, Minecraft, with 126 million active users who play per month, used to have it where you would tame a parrot with a cookie. However, due to a massive uproar on everyone saying how dangerous this was, they took it away and now they can be tamed with seeds and other foods, like a real parrot. That being said, what is good and not good for your parrot to eat? We will be reviewing their diet in this post.
Can Chocolate Kill Parrots?
Even in very small amounts, chocolate is very toxic to birds. It can cause more symptoms than what was mentioned above, which are increased heart rate, induced tremors and seizures. Dark and baking chocolate contain 9-10 times more theobromine than milk chocolate, which means it does not take a lot to give your parrot until they go to birdy heaven (less than an ounce). It may seem harsh, but keeping chocolate far away from them is the best option in order to ensure their safety as well as not getting them tempted.
Can Parrots Eat White Chocolate?
Since white chocolate is different from brown chocolate it must be safe, right? Wrong. Regardless of how you are getting your chocolate from, whether it is a dollar’s worth of M&M’s to a $200-300 To’ak chocolate, it does not matter. Chocolate will always remain the same no matter what. If you suspect something has chocolate in it and are not quite sure, then do not give it to your parrot.
What Is Poisonous To Parrots?
Now that we are speaking on the subject of chocolate being toxic for your bird, there are quite a few other foods that are not good for your animal. Making sure you do your research before giving something to your feathered friend should always be a priority. Since there are so many toxic foods, here is a list of some foods, but not limited to:
- Alcohol: although this is a given for all animals, it has been known that some parrots have gone up to an unattended alcoholic beverage sitting outdoors and drank some, which in return, makes their organ system a lot smaller
- Dairy products: Just like chocolate, it can cause diarrhea if ingested
- Onions and garlic: Although both are good for humans, onions have sulfur, which can lead to anemia (or not enough blood cells) if chewed on as well as irritate their mouths and cause ulcers whereas garlic has allicin, that may turn into anemia in birds
- Chocolate or cocoa: as we have already went over
- Avocado: although it is extremely healthy for humans, it does not quite mean they will be for your parrot. They contain a fatty acid called persin, which causes respiratory distress, heart failure and in some cases, death
- Caffeine: never should we give any animals caffeine because all they would need is water to ensure good health. In giving your bird this, they may have hyperactivity, cardiac arrest, increase of heart rate or arrhythmias.
- Peanuts: being raw, they contain a liver toxin called aflatoxin
- Heavy metals: this may seem silly to some, but heavy metals are everywhere, including in the bells or other objects in your parrots cages. Over time, they may chip away and your bird might accidentally ingest some. If you think they might have ate some, call your veterinarian ASAP
- Fruit seeds and pits: although seeds are good for birds, they should not be allowed to eat some containing cardio-toxic cyanide. Fruit that hold them are apples, pears, cherries, peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines.
What Can My Parrot Eat?
It is important to feed your bird a healthy diet. According to the AAV, a parrots meal should be 75% pellets and 25% of carefully picked out healthy, low-fat table food. Make sure their food has no sugars or dyes due to the negative long-term effects on their body. Over time, your bird’s body will not be up to par to what it needs to be. In giving them good nutrition, you are ensuring them a long life.
Here are some top brand pellet foods as well as what fruits and vegetables you can give to your feathered friend:
- Roudybush, Hagen, Totally Organic Pellets, Harrison’s and Caitec Oven Fresh Bites
- Raw and soaked sprouted seeds and nuts
- Soaked and cooked sprouted legumes
- Steamed or raw vegetables
- Cooked whole and pseudo-grains — brown, wild or forbidden rice, barley, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth and teff
- Limited raw fruits
When Should I Feed My Parrot?
Just how we eat multiple times a day, your parrot might be needing the same in order to ensure they are not obese by eating all day long. It is best to have your parrot eat two main meals a day, with pellets for them to snack on for longer periods of time. The amount of his food entirely depends on what age, species and health are. If you are unsure, talk to your veterinarian for more specific information.
How Long Can Parrots Live?
Surprisingly, parrots can live very long lives! As a matter of fact, large parrots are the longest living bird species out there. But why can they live so long? It is due to the fact that they have very few predators and stick in large groups, so they can find food a lot quicker than an animal who is mostly alone. It also helps that out in the wild, they live in trees, so if something large were trying to get at them, such as a jaguar, they can easily fly up to safety. In some cases, they will even fight a predator back with their beaks.
With that being said, even in captivity, macaws and cockatoos can live to be anywhere from 50-100 years old. For a bird, that is a very long lifespan! If you have had one since you were a child, you have a lifelong companion that will be there for you no matter what.
What Are the Signs Of a Bird Dying?
Just as we do not show symptoms of being sick at first, birds may not show they are not feeling well right away, either. Many parrots who are feeling well will look very alert and their feathers are right where they are supposed to be. However, there are some traits that can be easily recognizable which will distinguish between being sick and remaining healthy:
- Tangled or dull feathers
- May be missing feathers
- Feathers might be muddled or disarranged
- Eyes will be unfocused or uninterested
- Their eyes or veil may be swollen
- Eyes or mouth may be wet
- Nose discharge
- Recognizable injury or wound
Is it safe for your parrot to eat chocolate? Absolutely not. But since they are unable to enjoy it does not mean you can’t. Although parrots need very strict diets and should avoid a lot of human food, sticking to what they are accustomed with will ensure their existence will go way beyond measure as well as keeping a lifelong companion who will not let you down.