As a new bird owner, I didn’t know much about whether I should give my newly bought pet parrots bread or not. Actually, I was confused and since parrots usually like to munch on the foods we eat, I thought that giving them bread was okay.
But, after years of time-spending with my feathery friends, bringing home two more and researching, observing and enquiring about their diet and health, I now can tell for sure whether or not parrots can eat bread.
So, can parrots eat bread? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, parrots can eat bread, but only the low-salt whole wheat ones. And no, parrots should not be given bread frequently, since bread doesn’t offer them much of any nutrients. As an occasional treat, parrots can have bread but never as a part of a regular healthy diet.
Often parrot owners worry over whether it will be a good decision to give bread to their parrots or not. Though it’s true that, parrots often tend to like eating bread, bread crumbs, breadsticks, etc., however, it doesn’t mean that parrots should be given bread at random.
To understand whether you should give your parrots bread or not, keep on reading.
Everything You Need to Know About Parrots Eating Bread
To Give or Not to Give Your Parrots Bread
Parrots are undoubtedly one of the most social birds to any bird enthusiast. And therefore, often parrot owners love to include their parrots during their mealtime.
Since parrots also love to share the mealtime with their owners, and many food items that we humans eat are perfectly healthy for parrots, sharing mealtime with your parrots is not at all a bad idea.
Rather, eating together helps in boosting your parrot’s mental health. But, then there are certain foods items that are not only harmful to your parrot’s health but may prove to be deadly. Bread is one such food that if given too much may pose a threat to your parrot’s life.
Not only parrots, but all birds can also eat bread. But, what does this bread does to their health? Bread fails to offer the nutrients a parrot may require on a daily basis and instead, simply prevents them from eating the proper food by filling up their stomach.
While a small amount of bread that also occasionally can do no harm to your parrots, but why take the risk when the food item has no such nutrients to offer?
In case you decide to give your parrots bread as many parrots like eating bread, toast, breadsticks, opt for the healthy ones which mean bread made from whole wheat grains. Remember, bread is just like chocolate, which tastes good but offers no such nutrition.
Hence, it’s best to either completely avoid giving bread to your parrots or limit the amount and duration in which you give whole wheat bread to your bird.
Why Giving Bread to Your Parrots Isn’t a Good Idea
Parrots require certain nutrients to grow and develop into a healthy and happy bird. Since bread contains no nutrients as such worth mentioning, feeding your parrots bread can lead to developing health issues in your parrots.
When given in excessive amounts, eating bread may lead to obesity and malnutrition in your parrots.
In case you’re thinking how giving bread to your parrots may lead to these health issues, then know that every bird requires proteins to develop its feathers and muscles, fat to gain energy, and vitamins and fiber to stay healthy and strong.
But bread being primarily carbohydrate-based food, it neither offers the needed protein nor the minerals or vitamins and instead alleviates the stomach of the parrots.
Does bread have any Nutritional Value?
Though bread is not recommended to be given to your parrots on a regular basis it is the white bread that does more damage than whole-grain bread.
While white bread offers excessive calories, white-meal bread provides carbohydrates along with a little amount of fiber, minerals and vitamin B since they contain whole grains. Remember, bread should only be given to parrots as one of the components of a varied diet.
Bread, whether it’s whole grains ones or white bread, does not contain the necessary fat and protein that a parrot’s diet otherwise may demand. Bread acts more like empty fillers with relatively low nutritional value.
Which Bread Can Be Given to Parrots?
Believe it or not, the majority of sliced or sandwich bread that are available typically in the market, are a bad food choice for parrots. Usually, these packaged bread slices are highly processed and contain preservatives and chemicals that may be harmful to your parrots.
Even similar bread-like food items such as donuts, cereal, buns, pretzels, bagels also contain harmful chemicals and provide no nutritional benefit to parrots.
Therefore, in case you decide to give your parrots a little amount of bread occasionally.
Make sure to opt for healthier bread which means multi-grain whole wheat bread and especially those that are produced in an organic way; so that those bread pieces will have lesser chances of containing harmful preservatives.
Adding some healthy fillings such as apple or grape jelly, orange marmalade or cranberries, raisins, etc. to make a healthy bread sandwich for your parrot can also be a good occasional treat.
Remember, feeding your parrots bread is never the healthiest option; but making a sandwich with healthy seeds and healthy bread and giving them as an occasional treat can certainly be fun to make your bird’s boring diet a bit tasty.
Taking Your Parrots to an Avian Vet After Feeding Bread
Usually, when parrots are given bread in small amount occasionally, it doesn’t cause any health complications in them. The majority of the parrots usually can eat bread without any complications.
However, bread is never nutritionally sound enough to include as a large regular part of your parrot’s daily diet. After all, bread isn’t something that is meant to be given to parrots or keep them healthy.
Since parrots are social birds and enjoy sharing a meal with their owner, a little amount of bread is fine.
In case you observe your parrots suffer from any complication after eating bread even as an occasional treat, make sure to take the birds to a professional avian vet as soon as possible.
Other human foods parrots can eat?
Well, it depends on how you define human foods. For example, parrots should not eat cheese, we show you why in this article!
Other foods that we could call human foods are grapes, bananas, strawberries, or tomatoes. While you can feed those, it is not recommended to feed too much of it. We explain why and how to keep your parrots healthy while feeding these foods in the following articles:
- Why feeding parrots tomatoes can be bad!
- Why parrots should eat grapes only in moderation
- Can you feed a parrot banana?
- Why strawberries are pretty healthy for parrots
Can parrots eat chicken? Yes, parrots can eat chicken. Actually, sometimes, a little chicken protein is good for them. But make sure to give your parrots cooked chicken as raw meat can prove to be deadly for their health. Parrots like to eat cooked meat, chicken and the protein-packed bone marrow from inside the bones.
Can parrots eat cheese? Cheese is not considered to be poisonous or toxic for parrots, but it is surely unhealthy for them. Since feeding your parrots such foods that are high in fat content are not healthy or recommended, cheese and other dairy products should be avoided or given very rarely.
What are the foods that parrots should not eat? Parrots shouldn’t eat apple seeds, avocado, alcohol, caffeine, salt, chocolate, onion, mushroom, dried beans, etc. as they are unsafe and poisonous. Even the leaves, stems or the vines of common garden plants like potatoes or tomatoes shouldn’t be given to parrots as they are harmful to the bird.