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Can Parrots Eat Carrots? What You Need to Know!
It’s likely that as a parrot owner, you’ve opened your refrigerator and wondered to yourself if you should feed a carrot to your pet parrot. After all, carrots are full of vitamins, they’re colorful, and easy to deal with. The good news is that yes, you can feed your pet parrot some carrots because they’re just as good for your bird as they are for yourself!
The simple and colorful carrot is a great source of fiber and it’s packed with beta carotene. When your parrot gets lots of soluble fiber like what’s in carrots, it can keep your bird’s cholesterol levels in check and promote regular bowel movements. Carrots also contain important vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and calcium, all of which are important for good bone health.
Don’t Forget the Green Leafy Green Tops!
In addition to feeding your parrot the orange fleshy part of carrots, you can also feed your bird the long leafy green carrot tops as they’re loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. You can simply cut the tops off, chop them up a bit, and put them in your parrot’s food dish for his enjoyment. This leafy part of the carrot is high in potassium which can help your bird maintain good nervous system function and keep his blood pressure in check.
Feed Carrots to Your Parrot in Moderation
It’s important to mention that while it’s safe and healthy to feed carrots to your parrot, carrots should not make up the main part of your bird’s diet. Carrots also shouldn’t be the only produce your bird eats as no veggie has everything a parrot needs to be healthy.
It’s best to offer your bird a variety of veggies and fruits to ensure he’s getting all the vitamins and nutrients he needs, on top of his regular parrot food. And if you’re wondering if you should feed your parrot fresh or frozen carrots, it doesn’t matter one bit. Some of the fruits and vegetables that are good for parrots include:
Never under any circumstance should you feed your parrot avocado as it’s a food that’s poisonous to parrots. The leaves, skin, and pit of the avocado plant contain a fatty acid-like substance called persin that kills fungus in the plant. Persin has been tied to causing heart damage, respiratory difficulty, weakness, and even death in parrots of all types so steer clear of guacamole or anything containing avocado!
What to Feed Your Parrot
In the wild, parrots enjoy a varied diet and eat things like fruit, seeds, nuts, flowers, and sometimes corn. When kept in captivity, a parrot should be fed a varied diet that includes high-quality pellet food along with a variety of fruits and vegetables including those listed above.
In addition to seeds, fruits, and vegetables, parrots also enjoy eating nuts. If you want to feed some nuts to your bird, give him one or two nuts a day to ensure you’re not giving him too much fat. Parrots like nuts such as these:
What About Birdseed?
While birdseed mixes look and smell more appetizing than brown pellets, these seed mixes don’t meet all a parrot’s dietary requirements. In other words, an all-seed diet lacks variety & falls short nutritionally.
Another problem with an all-seed diet is that many of the birdseed mixes contain artificial coloring and other unhealthy ingredients. Just like with people, parrots should steer clear of unnatural additives put in food because they’re simply not healthy.
You may be surprised to learn that malnutrition in parrots is often linked to an all-seed diet and is a top cause of bird mortality. While birdseed can be a part of your parrot’s diet, it shouldn’t be the only thing your bird eats!
When you fill your parrot’s food dish, put mostly natural pellets in the dish along with a little seed mix, if you want to give your bird seeds. When you want to give your parrot a special treat, offer him a few chopped vegetables, fruit, or a nut or two. Just don’t go overboard with anything you feed your parrot and use your common sense!
Foods That Can Kill a Parrot
In addition to avocados, there are some other foods that can kill parrots. These foods included eggplant, fruit pits, and chocolate. Eggplant contains solanine that can cause serious gastrointestinal and neurological problems in parrots that can lead to death.
The pits of many fruits contain cyanide that can kill parrots and the bigger the pit, the more cyanide it contains. Chocolate contains something called theobromine that makes this sweet treat toxic to parrots, even in small amounts. No matter what you do, never give your bird eggplant, fruit pits, or chocolate!
Carrots are perfectly safe vegetables to feed to a parrot, including the green leafy tops! It doesn’t matter if you give your bird fresh carrots, cooked carrots, or frozen carrots, as all the forms are perfectly acceptable!
Remember that your pet parrot depends on you to feed him a nutritional diet. Be sensible and feed your bird a high-quality pellet diet, a few seeds, and some healthy and wholesome snacks.
Featured image Credit: Roung Chanthasiri, Shutterstock
Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.