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Can Parrots Eat Popcorn? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

When you settle down for a movie night, you see those beady eyes staring you down as you munch on your popcorn, and it’s only natural to want to share. The good news is that as long as your popcorn doesn’t have any salt, butter, or sweeteners on it, your parrot can absolutely have some.

Of course, if your popcorn does have that stuff, you can make your parrot a small bowl of their own without the added toppings.

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Can Parrots Eat Popped Popcorn?

Absolutely! While you can’t flavor their popcorn like many people do, there’s no reason that your parrot can’t eat plain popcorn.

This means it can’t have any sweeteners, butter, salt, and other sprinkled-on flavors. So, if you’re planning a movie night, it might be a good idea to have a separate bowl for your parrot that doesn’t have any of these flavor enhancers.

Can Parrots Eat Popcorn Kernels?

Some people say that you can feed popcorn kernels to parrots, while others say that you can’t. The truth is that completely raw and hard popcorn kernels are extremely dangerous for your parrot to eat.

Just as these kernels can pose choking hazards to small children, they can be extremely dangerous for your parrot to eat.

However, if you take the time to boil the kernels to soften them up, there’s no dietary reason that your parrot can’t eat them. Just be sure they’re plenty soft before feeding them to your bird, so they don’t present a choking hazard.

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Can Parrots Eat Microwave Popcorn?

popcorn
Image Credit: sentraldigital, Pixabay

If you’re thinking of heading out to the store and purchasing a bag of popcorn off the store shelf, the chances are that your parrot can’t eat it.

But it has nothing to do with the fact that the popcorn came out of the microwave and everything to do with what the food manufacturer puts on the popcorn. Your parrot can eat the popcorn itself, they just can’t eat all the other stuff on top.

To be sure the popcorn only has what your parrot can eat, it’s best to buy the kernels and pop them yourself.

Benefits of Popcorn

While you might look at popcorn as simply a great movie snack, the truth is that there are a few perks for your parrots as they gobble up unsalted, unflavored, air-popped popcorn.

Popcorn has tons of antioxidants, fiber, iron, calcium, and carbohydrates. These things all help your parrot stay healthy and give them the energy that they need each day. Another perk is that popcorn is low-calorie and low-fat.

It’s an extremely healthy snack for your feathered friend, so there’s no reason to feel guilty about giving them popcorn.

Other Movie Time Snacks for Your Parrot

Bird eating grains from a lady's hand
Image Credit: Andreas Lischka, Pixabay

Just because you don’t have any unsalted and unsweetened popcorn around doesn’t mean your parrot can’t get their own movie time treat. Here, we highlighted three alternatives that you can give your parrot.

Fruit

Just because it’s a regular part of their diet doesn’t mean that your parrot won’t enjoy an extra helping of their favorite fruit for the movie. Common favorites include mango, cantaloupe, or apples. Take the time to learn your birds’ preferences, and give them their favorites.

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Pasta

You might not think of pasta as a movie-time snack, but your parrot will love it. What’s even better is that you don’t have to cook the pasta if you don’t want to, although it can make everything a bit quieter for the show.

Nuts

While they’re healthy in moderation, nuts also have a ton of fat. But as long as you don’t overdo it, there’s no reason that your parrot can’t have a few nuts as a treat every now and again.

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What Foods Are Toxic to Parrots?

Whether you’re planning a movie night, game night, or just a night to indulge in snacks, chances are that you’ll have more than just popcorn around. But what else out of the snack bowl can you feed your parrot? More importantly, what foods can harm your parrot?

We highlighted a few foods that you need to keep away from your parrot. This list is not all-inclusive, though, so always research a particular food before you give it to your pet.

Avocados

While parrots love different fruits and vegetables, one that they absolutely cannot handle is the avocado. Just about every part of the avocado is extremely dangerous for your bird, so don’t pass them the guacamole.

Chocolate

While your bird is likely to pine for chocolate, the last thing that you should do is give it to them. Two different ingredients in chocolate can wreak havoc on your bird’s body.

Your bird is far more sensitive to the theobromine and caffeine content in chocolate, which can quickly lead to overdose and death.

Even if the chocolate doesn’t kill your bird, it will increase their heart rate, cause vomiting or diarrhea, and can induce tremors and seizures. The sweet tooth isn’t worth it.

Salt

Salt isn’t great for humans either, but our large bodies can handle a certain amount. A bird has a much smaller body, and even a little salt can be devastating for them. Keep this in mind when you’re thinking of feeding them leftovers from meals, chips, popcorn, or other treats.

Caffeine

If a food has caffeine in it, you need to keep it away from your bird. Even a small amount of caffeine can lead to seizures, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, and other potentially life-threatening conditions. Your parrot doesn’t need an early morning pick-me-up, so keep the caffeine away.

Apple Seeds

While your parrot can eat seeds from various fruits and veggies, apple seeds actually contain arsenic. While it’s not enough to harm you, your bird is much smaller, and it can kill your bird. While the fruit of apples is perfectly safe for your parrot, keep the seeds away.

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Final Thoughts

The next time that you’re sitting down for an afternoon snack or a movie, go ahead and pass some of the popcorn or make your parrot their own bowl. While they can’t have any of the extra toppings, they’ll appreciate feeling like a part of the family.

Just be sure not to overdo it, and keep the popcorn as a treat because it doesn’t meet any of their nutritional requirements.


Featured Image Credit: ergey Saulyak, Shuttterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.