Non-Safe Food for Birds

Things like avocado can be toxic to birds. Now, not all species of avocados are toxic to birds many are so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Avoiding all avocados and avocado products, things like guacamole, other items made of avocados for our pet birds is really a safe bet. Other things you want to avoid like chocolate, caffeinated products like colas or coffee teas. All caffeine and chemicals in those items can actually accelerate heart rate and cause cardiac problems in pet birds.

Also avoid foods that have garlic and onions in them. This food would be super spicy and could injure a bird. Birds do like hot peppers and there are many bird treats that have hot peppers in them. Hot peppers can be a source of vitamin A.

Birds lack the enzyme lactase, so they’re lactose intolerant like some humans are. While there are some birds that like to have milk or cheese or yogurt in their diet, many of those things do have lactose in them. Do not feed too much dairy product to a pet bird or parrot, because they can’t really digest it properly, which can lead to diarrhea. A little bit of cheese or yogurt have less lactose in them. Things like milk and ice cream or heavy cream are those types of dairy to have too much lactose in them and they’re not recommended for birds.

Other things that we want to avoid are salty or high fat items like a whole corn chip or a potato chip. That may seem like a small item for us, but feeding a whole corn chip to a small bird that has a lot of salt on it can interfere with their salt and water balance. It can also upset their kidney function. If you’re going to give a corn chip as a treat try a piece of a corn chip, ideally one that’s unsalted or a piece of unsalted pretzel.

The same can be true for fat. We know that seeds and nuts have lots of fat. There are plenty of fatty foods that we really shouldn’t be eating ourselves and that we don’t want to offer to our pet birds. They can get high cholesterol, high triglycerides and clogged arteries and be predisposed to stroke and heart attacks just as we can. You want to avoid those high fat foods and fatty meats.

Do not feed pet birds uncooked items like raw eggs, which can contain salmonella. They’re just as susceptible to getting a bacterial infection from uncooked egg products. The same is true of uncooked or poorly cooked meats. Those items can contain a lot of bacteria or parasites that birds are susceptible to just as we are. A little lean cooked meat is fine like chicken or turkey. Just make sure it is cooked thoroughly.

We don’t want to offer them things from outside like berries or anything from an unknown plant that we’re not sure is safe for them to eat. So unless you’re positive that it’s a safe berry or flower it’s best to avoid these items because there are some that are not. You don’t want to take in things like sticks from the wild and offer those things because those could have fungus or bacteria that is not safe for your bird to chew on.

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