I think I might have Italian heritage simply due to how much pizza and pasta I consume on a weekly basis. Pasta is extremely versatile with there being several kinds that come in different shapes and sizes along with an array of different sauces you can mix in to change it up. I usually give my parrot share of my dinner but I noticed I’d never given him any before so I had to research.
Can parrots eat pasta? Yes parrots can eat pasta it’s completely safe for them and there are many vitamins and nutrients packed inside that make it an appealing food for many parrot owners to give to their pets. It’s high in carbohydrates which is needed for them to convert into energy especially if they are active however too many carbs can have negative effects so it’s best to feed pasta in moderation.
In this article we are going to further explain the benefits of pasta, which type is best and other things you should know so continue reading!
Pasta Benefits For Parrots
We know pasta is safe for our birds to eat, but just how good is it? Let’s take a closer look.
100 grams of cooked pasta contains :
High In Carbs
The most prominent nutrient in pasta is carbohydrates. With there being 33 grams in just 100 grams of cooked pasta. Carbohydrates are like a double edged sword they can be good and bad.
Carbs are needed for your parrots body to convert into energy. This will make the more alert and just more playful in general. The more active your bird is the more carbohydrates they will need.
However carbs can also be bad too if given too frequently. An excessive amount of carbs can lead to weight gain in your parrot.
Calcium is essential for a variety of functions in your parrot’s body, including the health of parrot eggs, which are made up of approximately 97 percent calcium.
It also helps with a variety of other tasks, such as:
- The skeletal structure’s ability to operate
- Supports muscle movement
- Blood clotting and fat metabolism
- Nerve impulses
- Hormone production
Seeds, lentils, almonds, spinach, and kale are also good sources of calcium for your parrot.
Copper is an important vitamin for your parrots because it aids in iron absorption, bone health, immune system support, and neuron health. It also works with iron to help them build red blood cells.
A lack of copper in your parrot’s diet can lead to cardiovascular problems as well as osteoporosis.
Iron is a crucial mineral in your parrot’s body since it helps to build haemoglobin levels. This is required for the delivery of oxygen into the bloodstream as well as the return of carbon dioxide to your parrot’s lungs, among other activities.
Iron can also help with:
- Fatigue reduction
- Increasing alertness and vigour
- Boosting the immune system of your parrot
- Assisting with digestive functions
However, there is such a thing as too much iron, which can create issues such as constipation, so keep an eye on how much they’re getting.
Your parrot’s immune system requires selenium, a trace mineral.
Selenium is also an antioxidant, a chemical that protects cells from free radical damage. These are unstable atoms that contribute to aging-related diseases such as cancer.
Selenium also boosts cognitive function and has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. Selenium is also found in spinach, lentils, cashew nuts, and bananas.
Which Pasta Is Best For Parrots?
Not all pasta provides the same nutrients there are healthier options for your feathered friends. If you want to feed your parrot the healthiest, nutrient dense pasta then it’s best to go with whole grain pasta.
Both types of pasta are made from flour however refined pasta has a milling process that strips the grain of it’s bran and germ, giving the pasta a finer texture but making the nutritional content less favorable. Whole grain pasta isn’t as processed as the bran and germ aren’t removed so the nutrients are higher in it.
For example a serving of whole grain pasta will contain 6 grams of fiber while regular pasta will only contain around 2.5g. This is due to dietary fiber mainly being inside the bran and germ, refined pasta contains less as the bran and germ are removed.
Whole grain pasta also has a lower calorie count than regular pasta making it more favorable if you want to try and control your parrots weight.
Raw Or Cooked Pasta?
Both types of pasta are going to be safe for your parrot to have while containing around the same nutritional so ultimately it’s up to your parrot and what method they prefer. They are more than likely going to prefer it cooked as it won’t be very appealing to them raw however your parrot might surprise you.
To cook pasta for your parrot simply boil it without salt until it’s soft enough for them to have.
Remember to let it cook before serving as you don’t want to burn your feathered friend.
Can Parrots Have Pasta Sauce?
You may want to add some sauce to your pasta like you would with your own to make it more appetizing, however when it comes to your parrot I would avoid adding sauce and just boil it for them.
This is due to many pasta sauces having many different ingredients in them some of which are harmful to parrots. For example the most common pasta sauce, red sauce.
Red sauce should be avoided as the main ingredient to make it is tomatoes. They are highly acidic and can cause upset in parrots like stomach ulcers along with the leaves and stem being toxic for them.
What about white pasta sauce? Unfortunately it should also be on the avoid list. This is due to white pasta sauce containing garlic, which parrots cannot have.
Garlic contains allicin which can destroy a parrots red blood cells leading to anemia.
Personally I wouldn’t risk adding pasta sauce to my parrots food just to make it slightly more appealing to them, try boiling it (without salt) and see if they enjoy it.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know pasta is safe for your parrot to eat and full of vitamins and nutrients 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!
Pasta For Parrots – Final Thoughts
Parrots can safely have some pasta added into their nutrition however it shouldn’t feature too heavily as there are other more nutritious foods than will benefit them more. It won’t do them any harm having some on occasion, with the best kind being whole grain pasta. You can feed it to them raw or cooked however they might not enjoy it raw, and I mean can you blame them?
I hope you have found this article useful and your parrot enjoys this new Italian snack!