OK, so we've made the resolution to feed our feathered friends a well rounded, nutritional diet. What else do we have to worry about?
Toxins are Lurking!
- Fresh fruits and vegetables need to be washed to remove bacteria as well as pesticide and fungicide residues before feeding them to your parrot.
- All food must be checked for mold and fungal growth and discarded as necessary. Mold and fungi can be toxic to your bird!
- Food should be stored in appropriate containers at the appropriate temperature.
- Fresh foods should be removed from your bird's cage after no longer than 2 hours due to the potential for spoilage and bacterial growth.
- Use separate bowls for dry vs. wet foods.
- Keeping food and water dishes away from each other will assist in discouraging your parrot from dipping its food into the water dish.
- Dishes must be sanitized daily by scrubbing them out with hot, soapy water. This should be supplemented by a disinfecting soak in dilute bleach (1:32) or other bird safe disinfectant for several minutes at least 2-3 times a week.
- Fresh water must be available at all times. Birds require fresh water at least once a day and sometimes several times a day in a clean dish.
- If your bird loves to dunk and soak his food, consider using a water bottle to avoid bacterial contamination. (when converting to a water bottle make sure your bird is drinking from it). Note: Bacterial counts double every two hours!
- If you are serving hot foods, make sure that they are sufficiently cooled to avoid crop burn.
Just as there are foods we should avoid as humans, there are foods that are potentially toxic or dangerous to your birds.
- Carbonated beverages
- Caffeinated beverages
- Seeds and pits from fruits (apple seeds contain cyanide)
- mushrooms (many species are potentially toxic)
- onions (can destroy red blood cells)
- commercially grown strawberries (extremely high pesticide residues)
- tomato leaves
- uncooked beans
- uncooked eggs
In general, other foods that should be avoided include:
- salty foods
- refined sugars
- fatty foods
- dairy products (not easily digested)
Please note that the above is not a complete list of potentially toxic items. If in doubt, consult with your avian veterinarian.