We know as humans that more green vegetables in our diet is never a bad thing. The health benefits they bring have been well studied like cancer prevention, weight loss, better cardiovascular health the list is close to endless. These health advantages apply to humans but if you’ve landed on this page I’m going to guess your concern is towards your parrot.
Celery is a vegetable in the Apiaceae family with vegetables like carrots, parsnips and parsley. We’ve discovered carrots are safe for parrots but what about celery? Even though they belong in the same family it’s important to still research and know for sure. Let’s find out.
Can parrots eat celery? Yes parrots can eat celery it comes with an array of health benefits and nutrients that your parrot can benefit from. They love the crunch to them similar to carrots and are able to pick them up with their claws and bite into them which provides them with mental stimulation. Celery isn’t perfect however and it should be fed in moderation, this is due to celery being very stringy which can cause digestive problems in your parrot if it’s not cut properly.
Celery Benefits For Parrots
We know celery is good for our parrots, but just how good is it? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
A cup of chopped celery contains:
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your parrot’s immune system. If they don’t get enough of it, they’ll be more susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases.
The following are some additional health advantages:
- Improved skin health
- Improved vision and overall health
- The function of the mucus membrane
- Stronger bones
Broccoli, kale, spinach, and lettuce are all healthy alternatives to carrots that you can feed your bird to avoid vitamin A deficiency.
Celery is also high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects your parrot’s cells from damage and helps to prevent disease.
Vitamin C also has the following advantages:
- Blood pressure-lowering ability
- It removes heavy metals from the body and improves cardiovascular health by removing plaque from blood vessels.
- Excellent for boosting the immune system’s ability to fight sickness and infections.
- It protects the eyes by preventing cataracts.
If you want to feed them anything other than carrots, try peppers, kale, broccoli, spinach, mango, pineapple, and brussels sprouts.
Vitamin K aids in blood clotting and helps to avoid excessive bleeding. If your parrot suffers a cut and doesn’t get enough vitamin K in his or her diet, the injury will bleed more than it should.
It’s also known to help with bone strength, without enough vitamin K your parrot may be more prone to breaks or fractures.
Celery also contains potassium, which is an essential mineral for lowering blood pressure and reducing water retention. It’s well recognized for assisting your parrot with muscle contractions, fluid balance, and the transmission and reception of information via their nerves.
Potassium has also been linked to a healthier heart.
Foods high in potassium include :
Celery also has some calcium inside it. This mineral is needed for multiple functions that go on inside your parrots body. It’s essential in the health of your parrots eggs, as they are made up of 97% calcium.
It’s also important for :
- Blood clotting
- Nerve transmissions
- Supports the muscles
- Hormone secretion
- Maintenance and building of the skeletal structure
Calcium deficiency is quite common in parrots and is called hypocalcaemia. Signs of low calcium levels are feather plucking, reduced cognitive function, negative impacts on the heart, high cholesterol and trembling.
African Grey parrots are more prone to a calcium deficiency due to them having a larger bone density therefore them needing more calcium.
To prevent your parrot from getting hypocalcaemia give them a calcium supplement or feed them foods like nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables like figs, oranges, apricots and spinach.
It Contains Antioxidants
There are things in the body called free radicals, which are unstable atoms that eventually affect the body by creating age-related diseases like cancer. Antioxidants, on the other hand, are found in celery and function in opposition to free radicals, slowing or even preventing the harm they cause.
Including beta carotene, vitamin C and flavonoids celery contains 15 antioxidants in total, in one single stalk.
Along with this celery is full of phytonutrients, which have been studied to reduce inflammation in the organs, cells, blood vessels and the digestive system.
How You Should Feed Celery To Your Parrot
As we covered in the introduction you need to be aware of the stringy part of the celery stalk because it can cause something called crop impaction in your parrot.
Crop impactions happen when the stringy part of celery interferes with the normal functioning of the crop and can stop food from passing through their digestive system. This is a very serious problem and needs to be looked at by an avian vet immediately.
The symptoms of crop impaction are the following :
- Regurgitating or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Your bird may be agitated
- Overall poorly appearance
Now you know the importance of crop impaction it’s vital you remove the stringy part of celery that can cause it.
Cut the strings out with a sharp paring knife or (the safer choice!) softly peel them off with a vegetable peeler. Position the peeler at the base of the stalk, where the strings begin, and pull the peeler up the length of the celery, removing a thin strip of celery. With the knife method, you waste less celery, but be careful.
Your parrot now has a completely safe snack they can enjoy!
If you have a larger parrot you can let them have the whole stalk as they like to hold it by the base and chew off the rest.
However if you have a smaller parrot I’d advise chopping the celery up into smaller bite-sized pieces to prevent any choking.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know celery is safe for your parrot to eat but if you’re like me then your always looking for new foods to improve your parrots diet to create some variety and and include vital things that aren’t already in your birds diet.
So what other foods can your parrot eat?
- Fruit & Vegetables
Foods like asparagus, broccoli, carrots, peppers, bananas, blueberries and pineapples are all fine and encouraged for your parrot to eat.
Things like almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts can be fed to your parrot. Just be wary of the fat content in some of them so they may need to be treated as a snack for your parrot. We don’t want them getting fat!
Celery For Parrots – Final Thoughts
If prepared correctly celery can be an excellent addition to your parrots diet due to the various health benefits it can bring to them. Remember to remove the stringy parts as it can cause crop impaction and lead to serious problems. Celery shouldn’t be a staple in your birds diet however as moderation is important, parrots need a well balanced diet with a mixture of pelleted foods, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables.