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Foods Not Fit for Parrots

In general parrots are pretty omnivorous. However, there are certain things that you should NOT feed them. These are the commonest of the toxic snacks:

  • Chocolate and cocoa powder
  • Avocado
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Added sugar or sugar substitutes (in candy, cookies and cakes)
  • High-salt foods

Parrots are a bit like dogs, in that they don't always know what's bad for them. Yes, your cockatoo will nibble that chocolate bar if you let her; and yes, she will become ill as a result.


Lord Derby’s parakeet
If your parrot is going to eat treats, make sure they’re not on the toxic list! This Derbyan Parakeet and his Cockatiel buddy prefer the millet!

The items in the list above are the real baddies; but the following are best avoided too:

  • Apple, pear, apricot and peach seeds/stones (they contain arsenic)
  • The green parts of eggplant
  • Beans – many raw beans are mildly toxic for parrots, so it’s best to avoid them all
  • Bread - unless it’s low-salt organic wholemeal
  • Cereals produced for humans (cornflakes, etc - these are over-packed with vitamins and minerals, not to mention sugar)
  • Cheese and other dairy (they may upset the stomach)
  • Citrus (with the exception of oranges)
  • Crackers and biscuits/snacks produced for humans animals – salt and sugar are hazards here
  • Dates – these are too sugary
  • Fish and seafood (unless your species of parrot is known to digest these easily)
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Meat and poultry (raw - cooked is fine for many parrot species)
  • Milk or milk products - budgies find lactose hard to digest (some seed mixes contain a digestible dried milk protein, but it’s not something you need to replicate)
  • Mushrooms and other fungi
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion
  • Passion fruit
  • Shelled peanuts (raw ‘monkey nuts’ are fine)
  • Potatoes (raw)
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomatoes: red are fine, green are toxic

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