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Can Parrots Eat Celery? What You Need to Know!
Celery is one of those foods that you love, hate, or simply tolerate. It’s relatively bland, has an odd texture, and is pretty much considered a health food. Regardless of your feelings on celery, though, it is a widely available food that is typically inexpensive. Its ease of accessibility and low cost may have made you wonder if it would be safe for your parrot to eat. Finding fresh fruits and veggies isn’t easy for everyone, so something as affordable and available as celery could make it a good option. So, is it safe?
Can Parrots Eat Celery?
Yes, parrots can eat celery stalks, celery seeds, and even celery juice. However, remove the leaves before offering celery to your parrot.
It’s a safe food option to offer to your parrot. It is not toxic to parrots, but it is important to wash it thoroughly before feeding it to your parrot. Commercially available celery has potentially come into contact with pesticides and bacteria, so feeding it raw and unwashed to your parrot can result in illnesses. Birds in particular can be sensitive to harsh chemicals, so while eating unwashed celery from time to time is unlikely to harm you, it could harm your parrot if something bad is on the surface.
Is Celery Good for Parrots?
Celery can be a healthy part of a varied diet for your parrot. It’s low in calories, coming in around 14 calories for a cup of chopped celery. It’s low in protein, fat, and sugar, sodium, and contains around 1.6 grams of fiber. It’s a good source of antioxidants, which help support immunity. It’s also a good source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium. On top of all that, celery is made up of around 95% water, making it a good source of hydration and satiety without adding a significant number of calories, but too much can lead to diarrhea.
What Should I Be Aware of Before Feeding Celery to My Parrot?
The stringy parts of celery can be a problem for parrots. It can lead to constipation or crop impaction, which basically means that food become stuck in the crop. The crop is an enlarged part of a bird’s esophagus that stores food on its way to the stomach for digestion. If crop impaction occurs, this means that food becomes stuck to the point that it can’t move in or out and no other food can pass through.
To reduce the risk of crop impaction for your parrot, make sure you chop celery up into small pieces. If you give your parrot celery sticks or large chunks of celery, the risk of crop impaction is higher. You can also de-string celery with a vegetable peeler and give whole stalks to your parrot, allowing them to hold the stalk while they eat.
How Much Celery Can I Feed My Parrot?
Like most things, celery should be offered to your parrot in moderation. It can be part of a rotation of fruits and veggies in your parrot’s daily diet. Since it’s low in calories, fat, and protein, it should not be fed exclusively. Other fruits and veggies that provide more calories, fat, and protein should be offered alongside celery. Feeding fibrous celery daily can also increase the risk of crop impaction. Some parrots will be indifferent to celery, choosing instead to eat tastier foods first or ignoring it altogether. Other parrots enjoy the crunchiness and texture that celery provides.
Are There Better Options to Give My Parrot?
There are lots of options you can try with your parrot that carry less of a risk of crop impaction. For example, citrus fruits and kiwi are excellent sources of vitamin C. Peas are a good source of fiber, and shelled peas lack the fibrous materials found in pea pods. Dark leafy greens, carrots, peppers, and sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin A. Leafy greens, like kale and collard greens, are high in vitamin K, and bananas are known for their potassium content. Okra, artichoke, and zucchini can all provide a similar crunch to celery.
Celery can be an interesting food option to add into the fresh food rotation for your parrot. Make sure you are properly preparing it before offering it to your parrot, though. Unwashed, unchopped, or unpeeled celery can be dangerous for your parrot, leading to digestive problems and even crop impaction, which can quickly become a medical emergency. There are better options to add into the food rotation for your parrot that provide fewer risks and more nutrients to your bird.
Featured Image Credit: ptanpm, Pixabay
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.