Caring for a parrot is incredibly rewarding but also quite challenging particularly when it comes to their diet and what to feed them. They are small and fragile similar to children so it’s important to you take caution when it comes to their nutrition. A parrots diet should mainly consist of pelleted foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts and the occasional treat given now and again. Can honey be classed as a safe treat to give to parrots? Let’s find out.
Can parrots eat honey? No parrots shouldn’t eat honey this is due to it containing Clostridium botulinim, the bacterium responsible for a fatal illness that effects the nervous system called botulism. This bacteria is only found in honey that isn’t pasteurized however even pasteurized honey isn’t safe for your parrot to have due to the very high sugar content. It’s better to leave honey out of your parrots diet as there are many other things they can enjoy without the negative effect on their health.
In this article we are going to outline further why honey is so bad for parrots, some alternatives to honey and some other things we think you should be aware of so read on!
Why Is Honey Bad For Parrots?
Botulism is a rare illness however extremely deadly which is why honey should be avoided. It’s caused by toxins found in Clostridium botulinum bacteria which can lead to the nervous system being attacked, paralysis and eventually death if it’s not treated. The symptoms of botulism include :
- Difficulty swallowing
- Muscle Weakness
- Problems with vision
- Stomach upset
As botulism is a poison the treatment needed is an antitoxin which stops the toxin from causing any more harm, however it can’t reverse any damage already caused.
If your parrot has ingested honey whether they have got access to it or you have mistakenly fed them it then contact your avian vet immediately and they will advise you on what to do.
High Sugar Content
Not only does honey contain one of the most powerful toxins known to science but it’s also very high in natural sugar. Just one teaspoon of honey contains a ridiculous 17 grams of sugar!
Sugar itself doesn’t actually contain any harmful substances that are going to be life threatening to your bird however just like for us humans it should be given in moderation. Regular sugar in your parrots diet is going to cause problems like weight gain, high blood pressure, negative effects on the cardiovascular system and an increased risk of developing certain cancers.
Sugar is okay for your parrot now and again as a little treat but it should be given in very small amounts and in moderation.
Can Parrots Eat Honey Roasted Peanuts?
We know parrots can eat peanuts but what about honey roasted peanuts? The answer is no you shouldn’t feed them this type of peanut. Honey roasted peanuts will typically contain a high amount of salt, sugar and fats along with additional preservatives that aren’t going to benefit your feathered friend in the long run.
If you are want to give your parrot peanuts then you are best sticking to organic peanuts that can actually provide your bird with some nutrition like protein, vitamin B7, vitamin E, manganese and copper. These types of peanuts are also much lower in salt, sugar and fats.
Can Parrots Eat Honey Nut Cereal?
Unfortunately it’s more bad news for your parrot. Honey nut cereal is made for humans to enjoy therefore it’s filled with added sugar and artificial flavorings to make it more appealing for us as humans to enjoy.
Some healthier alternative cereals include bran flakes, muesli and oatmeal all contain much better nutritional values while reducing the amount of sugar and additives in them.
What Other Foods Your Parrot Can Have
You know honey isn’t suitable 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, spinach, 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!
Honey For Parrots – Final Thoughts
By now it should be apparent that honey isn’t safe to give to your feathered friend due to the risk of poison for them. If you want to treat your parrots sweet tooth then it’s better to go with certain fruits as they can give your parrot the sweetness they are after along with giving some well needed nutrition.
As a parrot owner it’s good that you take the time to research about what to feed your parrot as some owners may blindly give honey to their parrot thinking it was fine.