You should talk to your avian veterinarian for those who have questions regarding what nutrients are most important for your bird’s species. There are, however, some generalities that apply to all parrots. What follows is really a listing of table foods that shouldn’t be provided to any parrot species. This will give you a great place to start when making table food selections for your avian companion.

Foods which should not be offered to parrots include chocolate; caffeinated and alcohol based drinks; avocado; shellfish; and any meat, fish, poultry or eggs that is undercooked or continues to be cooked, refrigerated after which reheated.

Many bird owners have heard the warning about chocolate, but it’s worth repeating. “Chocolate includes a compound called theobromine, that is anyone feel for the reason that it is a stimulant,” explained Natalie Antinoff DVM, an exotics-only veterinarian in Houston, Texas. In sufficient quantities, chocolate may cause birds to suffer heart disease, depression, regurgitation, seizures, liver damage, and even death.

“Because the consistency of chocolate is so thick, it is not easily disguarded if a bird does eat it,” Dr. Antinoff said. Chocolate candy is also bad due to the sugar inside it, which is not great for pet birds.

Even a small bite of a chocolate could be bad for your bird. “A bird’s body weight far less than ours therefore it takes a lot smaller volumes to result in equal signs of illness,” noted Brian Speer, DVM, an avian veterinarian in Oakley, California, and co-author of Birds for Dummies. “In case your 400-gram Amazon eats one small square of chocolate, that might be something like a individual eating a 10-pound chocolate bar. If you eat 10-pounds of chocolate you've got the same clinical signs as your Amazon parrot that ate one small square of chocolate.”

Caffeinated beverages for example coffee, tea and cola can cause a rise in heart rate in pet birds and make them hyperactive. If enough of a caffeinated beverage is consumed, a bird could have seizures and die.

Alcohol, too, can cause seizures and death. Julie Burge, DVM, a veterinarian and aviculturist in Missouri, recalled a case of one of her clients who awoke one morning after having thrown a party the night time before and found his parrot dead in the family room. “The bird was permitted to fly loose, coupled with consumed enough alcohol in the glasses left by guests to die from alcohol poisoning,” she related.

Avocado is a no-no because of the pit, containing an oil that leaches toxin into the fruit. The toxin is persin, a fatty acid-like compound which has cardio-toxic effects. Avocado toxicity can establish lethargy, anorexia, breathing difficulty and sudden death.

In Larry Nemetz, DVM, an exotics-only veterinarian in Los angeles experience, avocado seems to be especially harmful to smaller birds like lovebirds, budgies and cockatiels (which frequently will end up very sick and die within a day or two of eating avocado), but larger parrots are also susceptible. He once treated a cockatoo that were fed avocado for 6 months before getting sick from it.

The fish and meat warnings are extremely similar for birds because they are for individuals. Nemetz does not recommend shellfish because “it can be toxic, which humans might be able to get away with eating, but birds are much more sensitive, so it’s best to require a chance.”

Uncooked, undercooked or reheated protein should not be provided to pet birds because it is in a greater risk of infection than meats which are freshly and fully cooked, according to Nemetz. So if you’re eating a reheated or rarely cooked steak sandwich for supper or drinking a shake with raw eggs inside it, don’t offer any tastes for your bird. If there’s any pathoenic agents within the food, you may not become ill from it however your bird might.

Want to find out more on how to feed your parrot? Check out these articles:

  • 5 Basic Bird Training Tips for Beginners
  • 14 Parrot Hand-Feeding Tips
  • What Do Parrots Eat?