Fish usually isn’t considered to be a part of a birds diet however this doesn’t mean they can’t have any now and again. Seafood is typically high in protein, low in saturated fats and full of quality nutrients densely packed inside. Although does this mean all types of seafood is safe for our parrots to consume? Let’s find out.
Can parrots eat shrimp? Yes parrots can eat shrimp, it’s completely safe for them as it contains no toxins that will immediately harm them. In fact shrimp is actually full of vitamins and nutrients that can provide health benefits to them, for example it’s high in protein, low in fat and is a good source of iron, antioxidants and vitamin b9.
In this article I’m going to answer if they can eat it raw, the various health benefits and other things I think you should be aware of.
Shrimp Benefits For Parrots
We know shrimp is good for our parrots, but just how good is it? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content.
85 grams of shrimp contains the following nutrients :
High In Protein
Shrimp, like most fish contain a high amount of protein with there being 15 grams in just 85 grams of shrimp.
Parrots need protein in their diet to build and repair muscle tissue, this keeps them strong. Protein is also responsible for maintaining healthy bones, feathers, skin and organs.
There are also chemical benefits to having protein in your birds diet that aren’t as apparent as the benefits listed above.
Protein is important for :
- Wound healing
- Protecting the immune system
- Creating energy
- Aids in metabolism
Without enough protein in your parrots diet they are more prone to sickness due to a weakened immune system, mobility issues and an overall ill looking appearance.
To prevent this feed your parrot foods that are high in protein like fish, lentils, eggs, meat and tofu.
Omega-3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Shrimp contains omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are healthy fats that the body needs.
Omega 3 benefits : Improved heart health, supports the liver, reduces inflammation.
Omega 6 benefits : Helps with chronic disease, lowers cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of cancer.
The damage to your parrot’s cells increases as they grow older. Free radicals, which are unstable atoms, cause this damage, while antioxidants function to prevent or slow down the damage they produce.
The immune system of your parrot requires selenium, a trace mineral.
Selenium is also an antioxidant, a substance that shields cells from harm caused by free radicals. These are unstable atoms that play a role in diseases associated with ageing, such as cancer.
Selenium also improves cognitive function and is good for the heart and circulatory system. Spinach, lentils, cashew nuts, and bananas all contain selenium.
Shrimp also includes iron, which your parrot requires for the production of haemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen throughout the body.
Your parrot requires iron to assist regulate their body temperature, as well as:
- Increased attention and energy
- Immune system booster
- Aids in the digestion of food.
Not enough iron in your parrots body will lead them to be quite lethargic and not have the energy to play with you.
Folate is a water-soluble form of vitamin B9 that can be found in a variety of meals. One of the eight B vitamins is vitamin B9, often known as folate or folic acid. All B vitamins aid in the conversion of food (carbohydrates) to fuel (glucose), which is used to generate energy in the body. These B vitamins, commonly known as B-complex vitamins, aid the body’s utilisation of fats and proteins.
They make your parrot’s liver, eyes, and skin healthier, among other things. Folic acid also aids in the healthy functioning of the nervous system.
Can Parrots Eat Raw Shrimp?
Raw shrimp poses a food poisoning threat therefore you shouldn’t feed it to your parrot unless you plan on cooking it. Shrimp is eaten raw in many parts of the world particularly in Asia, however the consequences of parrots eating raw shrimp is a lot greater than for us humans.
While raw shrimp contains a bacterium called Vibrio. In a study from 299 shrimp around 55% of them contained this bacterium which can cause things like infections, cholera and gastritis.
There is also parasites and viruses present in raw shrimp that can make your parrot very ill if ingested,
Instead, cook shrimp until they are opaque or pink in colour, or until an internal temperature of 1450F (63°C) has been attained. During the cooking process, the majority of dangerous bacteria and viruses are destroyed.
How To Serve Shrimp To Your Parrot
As we covered above feeding raw shrimp to your bird isn’t an option so you’ll need to cook it to remove any unwanted bacteria that could make your parrot sick.
The healthiest way to cook shrimp for your parrot is to boil it without the addition of any seasonings, salt or oil.
Boil for around 5-8 minutes until they are a bright pink colour, drain the water and you have a nutritious food for your parrot to enjoy.
Another option is to mix it in with other fish that they enjoy.
Are There Any Risks To Feeding Your Parrot Shrimp?
All kinds of seafood tend to have mercury contained inside them. Mercury is a heavy metal that can lead to poisoning if it’s consumed in high amounts. Thankfully among all types of seafood shrimp is considered to have a low mercury content, whereas tuna contains quite a bit more.
However even though it it low and the chances your parrot gets mercury poisoning it’s best to feed shrimp in moderation to limit any negative effects.
What Other Foods Can Your Parrot Eat?
You know shrimp 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!
Shrimp For Parrots – Final Thoughts
After reading this it should be apparent that shrimp is a safe food for your feathered friend to enjoy now and again. Fish shouldn’t feature too heavily in your parrots diet but they can enjoy the benefits from eating it on occasion. Remember their diet should mainly consist of pelleted foods, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.
I hope you’ve found this article useful and your parrot enjoys a new snack.