Spices are a fantastic addition to your Parrot’s diet, not only for their abundance of health benefits, but also in the variety they provide as part of a balanced diet. They can be presented in a chop or offered as foot toys, and curious birds will enjoy tasting these healthy treats.
Chop containing ceylon cinnamon
You can often find spices in the supermarket, and they are usually very affordable, however you need to ensure that the ones you choose are Parrot safe.
Some of the most popular spices with Parrots include:
Cayenne Pepper: This spice is not only beneficial as a supplement, but also an essential in your Parrot’s first aid kit. It is though to be an anti-inflammatory and a mild pain killer, though it is not a substitute for seeking veterinary treatment if your bird has hurt itself.
Parrots are able to enjoy cayenne pepper as they lack the taste receptors for capsaicin which is the chemical that makes peppers feel spicy and hot.
Ceylon (True) Cinnamon: This is the only safe type of cinnamon for birds and it can be offered in powder form or as a stick to chew on. Ceylon cinnamon is high in Vitamin K, Vitamin E and potassium. It is also believed to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants.
Cassia/Chinese cinnamon is NOT safe for birds as it contains high levels of coumarin, a blood thinner which is toxic and can cause liver damage or failure. Ensure that you only offer Ceylon (True) cinnamon to your Parrots.
Olive enjoying star anise
Cloves: This spice is packed full of vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6 and B12. Cloves are also said to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and a great boost for your bird’s immune system.
Ginger: This is a great spice to offer your birds as you can grate it into their chop, offer then chunks to hold, or wedge pieces through the cage bars for them to chew. Ginger is excellent for aiding nausea and travel sickness.
Offer your Parrot some ginger 30 minutes before they are due to travel in a car to prevent some of the nausea associated with motion sickness. Ginger is also beneficial for aiding with digestive upsets and it can help to calm your bird.
Star Anise: This spice makes a great foot toy for birds as the entire pod and seeds are safe. Star anise is high in Vitamin C, iron and calcium. It is also commonly thought to be antibacterial, antifungal and is high in antioxidants which are important for improving your bird’s immune system.
As with all foods, variety is key, so it’s important not to just feed only one type of spice to your Parrot. Switch it up each week and see which ones your birds enjoy!
Watch this video for more information:
Find lots of delicious food for your Parrot here.
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