A List of Toxic Foods for Birds

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by Chikees123, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Chikees123

    Chikees123 In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2012
    Western Australia
    Here is a list of toxic foods that needs to be for birds that I made for my Galahs Q&A website that is currently in the works.[​IMG]
    So get a coffee, get comfortable, sit back and enjoy! [​IMG]

    Alcohol, Alcoholic foods, Olives, Onions, Chocolate, Avocado, Caffeine, Caffeine Drinks, Smoke from cigarettes, Cigarettes, Tobacco, Various fruit seeds, Garlic, Peanuts, Highly processed or salted foods, Salt, Soft drinks (Coke, Sprite, etc.), Uncooked Rice, Tea, Mushrooms, Wine, Foods high in Oxalic (Rhubarb, spinach, etc.), Dry beans, Dairy Products (Exception for yogurt.), Foods high in sugar, Salad Dressings, Meat, Corn that is stored in a highly humid area, Parsley, Energy Drinks (Monster, Red Bull, etc.), Sports Drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc., Vitamin Water (Only give your galah the water that you drink. Tap water.), Anything that is very high in fat (Use sunflower seeds as treats for clicker training.) , Parsley, Lollies, Lettuce (Lettuce contains nothing healthy for Galahs.), Grapefruit, Cabbage, Sprouted Lima, Tomatoes (Stem, vines, seeds, etc.), Nutmeg, Artificial flavours and colours, Mistletoe berries, Dye, Honey, Alfalfa Sprouts, Alliums (Chives, Leeks, Onions, Garlic, Shallots, etc. If your Galah eats a tiny bit of these Alliums, you don’t need to worry.), Aloe Vera, Cactus, Bamboo Shoots (Fresh or Uncooked.), Basil, Zucchini, Starfruit, Sorrel, Spirulina, Solanaceous Plants, Rapeseed, Sassafras, Saint John’s Wort, All fruits from the Prunus species (Flesh is okay but everything else on the fruit or tree is toxic.), Potato, Persimmon, Cooking Oils, Papaya, Groundnuts, Pawpaw, Mangoes, Lupine Seed, Kava-kava, Licorice Roots, Horseradish, Kumara, Lactobacillus, Insect Larvae and Insects/Bugs (Only purchase them from the pet shop, if you feed your Galah larvae/insects/bugs that you do not know, do not under any circumstances feed them to your bird!), Durian, Spices (Avoid spices, some could be toxic.), Ginkgo, Ginger, Figs, Coffee beans, Comfrey, Elderberry, Ethoxyquin, Comfrey, Birthwort, Chamomile, Celery, Bitter Almonds, Borage, Cassava, Brassicas, Buckwheat Greens, BHA and BHT, Basil and any pet food for pets besides birds.

    This list strained my eyes for a little but it doesn't matter! :)

    Hope you like this list!
  2. Moonkit

    Moonkit Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    This list is full of a things that I know are NOT toxic to birds..

    Honey? What about all those seed sticks they sell in the stores? They're held together with dried honey and to add a sweeter flavor. I certainly wouldn't recommend feeding it as the sole source of food for the bird, but as a treat or part of a treat, its fine. My conures and cockatiels will nibble from a spoonful of honey without ill effects. They even make funny expressions trying to get it off their beaks.

    Tea? My conures will actively steal any hibiscus tea I'm drinking (as well as anything else I drink) and they've taken sips of others with no ill effect.

    Tomatoes? Papaya? Mangos? Grapefruit!? What do you think the wild birds in Latin america eat? Fruits are a main part of their diet and a method the trees use to spread their seeds! One of my fondest memories of my cockatiel (who is still alive after almost 20 years) was watching him attempt to feed papaya to his reflection.

    Zucchini? Cactus? While probably not part of the birds normal diet, the edible varieties have nothing harmful in them to the bird. There's no harm in offering these as treats if the bird is interested.

    Avocados.. well, certainly the pit is toxic to most animals (even people, I think), but the green flesh part can be safely eaten.

    Bamboo Shoots? How would these be toxic? I could see an argument being made for them having no nutritional value, but I think they'd be a good way to alieve boredom and give the bird something to destroy.

    Aloe Vera? That's not toxic.. its actually considered a natural remedy to alleviate feather picking... you squeeze the gel stuff directly from the leaf into their water.

    Celery? Like the bamboo shoots, at most this is just empty calories since celery is mostly water anyway. My birds enjoy tearing celery sticks to shreds and making a mess from them.

    Lettuce/Cabbage and Spinach? This is a recommended veggie to use if trying to get a bird to transition from a purely seed diet to eating some fresh greens. My birds like using the spinach bunches as a rope swing.

    Meat? What's wrong with meat? Its just protein. They eat insects and small lizards in the wild if they can catch them. Small amounts of meat aren't going to hurt them. Mine have all eaten everything from pork, beef, chicken, turkey (I did call them cannibals), and fish.. although they weren't fans of the fish. Mind, they only ate small amounts, like a tiny strip that they pulled off with their beaks.

    Insects? Insect larva? I'd certainly hesitate feeding them just any old bug I found, but there's no harm in feeding them insects from reputable sources. And that's saying the bird will even take them.. we offered the cockatiels a feeder cricket once, but they showed absolutely no interest in it. However, my sun conures go NUTS for dried or live mealworms.

    Your list pretty much eliminates anything as a food for your bird. I really think you need to scrap it and start over from scratch. When/If you do, keep this in mind.. Anything in excess can be harmful for a bird (and the same thing goes for what you eat yourself). Most people (exempting those who have the time and know how to prepare fresh food for their bird every day) should feed their bird a quality commerical diet.. be it of seeds or pellets (I would personally recommend a mixed diet of seeds and pellets). This balanced diet should make up the majority of what they eat.

    Anything else should only be offered in small amounts as treats or snacks. Keep in mind.. birds WANT variety. They don't want to look at the same thing day after day with no changes. Boredom will often lead to feather picking and screaming. Different fruits, both fresh and dried, keep life interesting. What you want to avoid are things like preservatives, dyes, and overly processed foods. If you slathered that chicken with barbucue sauce and who knows what else.. its no longer a wholesome treat for your bird. If you just baked the chicken with a few herbs, a tiny bite or two isn't going to harm your bird and might even be appreciated.

    The only problem I can see with the foods I've pulled from your list are that you may not be sure of the place you're purchasing them from. Are you worried the grocer might have drowned those green leafy vegetables and fruits in pesticides?
    3 people like this.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word!

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    X2. I have been feeding many of these foods to my Cockatiels and Lovebirds for 20 years and have never had any troubles. What really clued me into being suspicious of this list was the Lactobacillus, which is a probiotic that is put in many of the pelleted food diets made just for parrots. Alfalfa sprouts as well are good for birds.

    However this list may pertain to Galah's, and please forgive me for I know nothing about Galah's, but as far as Cockatiels and Lovebirds there are many of foods on this list that are quiet good for their health. :)
  4. Wow!.. if this list is for parrots in general them my African Grey and Conure should have been dead YEARS ago... Since a Galah is nothing more than a cockatoo.. I would think their diets would be pretty close to the other parrots with possibly a few minor differences.

    Of your forbidden foods he LOVES (and has eaten a lot of):

    Olives (on his pizza thank you)
    Onions (in soup mainly)
    Peanuts.. (they are even in the commercial packaged parrot food seed mix here)
    "highly processed or salted food".. (he loves chips as well as crackers, macaroni and his beloved pizza crust)
    Dairy products ..he LOVES his stuffed crust pizza crust .. which is stuffed with Mozarella cheese plus begs for macaroni and cheese (cheddar cheese) and any pasta sauce he can get his beak into
    Meat?.. sorry.. he indulges in hot wing bones as well as the meat on his pizza.. next thing you will suggest is that his sunday morning omelets with plenty of eggs and sausage will kill him
    Grapefruit.. just had that twice so far this week since I bought a big bag at the store
    Cabbage... routinely in soup that he begs for
    Tomato seeds... sorry.. I have never de-seeded a tomato for him... he loves whole cherry and grape tomatoes as well as tomato chunks in his daily "salad"
    Honey.. we try not to have sugar in the house.. so yup.. any non fruit sweet treats he gets has honey somewhere in it
    Onions and garlic.. in all his favorite tomato based cooked dishes
    Zucchini... we had stuffed zucchini last night for dinner!
    Potato.. should be dead by now.. he is a french fry thief and loves baked or mashed potatoes
    Papaya.. also in his prepackaged parrot food seed mix and he also gets it fresh in his daily 'salad"
    Mangoes.. he begs my husband for some every time we buy one... plus we put it in his salad when it's in season
    Spices... uhm.. cajun seasoning and italian seasonings are used at every meal here...
    Figs.. we have our own fig bush.. if it's toxic to birds why do the wild birds strip them off of the tree before I get the chance to pick them?
    Celery.. again a standard around here...
    Basil.. one of the main ingredients in our italian foods

    it sounds like our parrots eat a lot of 'junk".. but they have their dish of parrot seed.. plus pelleted food.. and their fresh "salad" of veggies and fruit every day. I do indulge them with our dinner because I know they love it.. we use it as a food reward.. have had 0 issues with feather plucking and it makes them and us happy. Naturally they have all day to eat their other food.. so our dinner is only a teeny portion of their regular meal.. however if the items on your list were that toxic the cumulative effects should have knocked them off their perches quite some time ago.
  5. Chikees123

    Chikees123 In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2012
    Western Australia
    Honey.Honey can be dangerous for children whom are under a year of age, (Danger of botulism.) and it should not
    be fed daily. Human foods that can be dangerous for infants, children and adults may be risky for birds. See
    this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002360/

    Tea. Tea can have a high amount of caffeine that makes their heart rate high.

    Tomatoes. Leaves, stems and vines are toxic, but I forgot to mention that the fruit is fine for birds.

    Papaya. Mentioned as toxic for humans. It could be dangerous, but I will take it off of the list.

    Mangoes. The stringy part can get caught in their crop, which is extremely dangerous for the bird.

    Grapefruit. The seeds are dangerous to your birds.

    Zucchini. Zucchini is part of the Curcubit family. Well, they can produce a toxin called Cucurbitacin. This is very rare though, always
    smell a Zucchini before you eat it. If it smells bitter, put it in the scraps or bin. I should take it off there, anyway.

    Cactus. I wouldn't recommend, but I shall take it off the list.

    Avocados. Many things I should have given a description for, like Avocado (The seed.). Yes, the flesh can be eaten.

    Bamboo Shoots. Bamboo shoots have Cyanogenic Glucosides. For human consumption, you need to cook them. But I think you are right. I gave
    Gagah some bamboo, and he's destroying it to pieces. And there were pieces everywhere on the ground! [​IMG] (That cage was hard to clean!)

    Aloe Vera. Well, I have heard that there is this yellow liquid sap that is between the leaf and the Aloe Vera liquid gel. But anyway, I think it should be
    fine to feed.

    Going to bed for now, will finish tom. [​IMG]
  6. woofess

    woofess Hatching

    Jun 14, 2013
    Western Australia
    Actually, I was looking up horseradish toxicity in birds and came across this post. I had to join because it looks like a great site :)
    Also I saw the comment on avocado. According to "Australia's Poisonous Plants, Cyanobacteria and Fungi" by Ross McKenzie - published by CSIRO, all parts except the seed of avocadoes are toxic to pet birds and horses. and slightly toxic to ruminants and dogs. The toxin in them is persin. Thank goodness avocado is not toxic to humans:)
  7. mr.mc.

    mr.mc. Songster

    Apr 25, 2011
    I'm sorry, but there is something here that is just not true.
    According to recent studies -when used as a supplement- honey, and bee pollen are VERY good for parrots (particularly Lories, and Lorikeets)!
  8. tillyita

    tillyita Chirping

    Nov 12, 2012
    Parrots in the wild will readily eat meat if it is available - in all forms - whether from a dead animal or from grubs that they dig out of logs and from the soil. I've seen this where a group of parots were eating road kill (a kangaroo) and when parrots come in and eat the mince that we throw out for the magpies.

    You shouldn't feed parrots (Australian at least) lettuce or celery - not because it will kill them - because it wont, but because it tends to give them diarrhea as in their "normal" environment they don't usually eat stuff that has such a high moisture content.

    They love tubers/root crops and will happily dig them up themselves in the garden (carrots and potatos included!).

    Honey and nectar are good for any of the nectar eating varieties - but should be limited with those that don't eat nectar normally (I feed honey occasionally as a treat - but usually in the colder months when the birds need a boost - or when they are feeding young).

    My galah - loves cooked spagetti (I think he thinks its worms!) and gets this as a treat occasionally.

    They also love cooked egg and if you have a bird that is ill or young it is one of the best things you can feed them.

    oh and Bomber (my galah) goes completely ape for melted icecream....strictly a treat but well worth it for entertainment value. He will be 21 at the end of the year and is still going strong!
  9. aloecalico

    aloecalico Hatching

    Feb 28, 2014
    Was thinking of putting some cassava plants in my yard. Will the chickens eat them, or do they know to leave them alone?
  10. imuscle

    imuscle Hatching

    May 3, 2014
    Hmmm...I don't think so. Many of the foods you have listed are naturally occurring and are readily available to birds in their natural habitat. Perhaps you are referring to processed foods. However, your list is very misleading to someone who believes everything they read.

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