|Baby parrots in a pet shop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
One fruit that you would not suspect of being harmful is the avocado. But it can be deadly to pet parrots and other birds. The skin and pit of the popular fruit is known to cause cardiac distress and heart failure in pet birds. There is some debate about the degree of toxicity of avocados, but it is much better to be safe than sorry. I would definitely keep avocados, guacamole and anything else made with this fruit away from my pet birds. I read about someone's pet cockatiel that died the next day after eating guacamole with their family.
The next poison food on the list is chocolate which is deadly. Chocolate poisoning affects your pet parrots digestive system causing vomiting and diarrhea. As the poison moves its way through the birds' system it attacks the central nervous system causing seizures and eventually death.
Apple seeds along with other members of the rose family including cherries, peaches apricots, and pears have trace amounts of cyanide (a deadly poison) within their seeds. The fruit of the apple is fine to share with your bird, but make sure to core and wash the apple skin thoroughly because it may contain toxic pesticides.
Onions is another poison food for our parrot friends. A limited amount of onions and garlic as flavorings are acceptable. But in large amounts onions cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Prolonged exposure to onions can lead to a blood condition called hemolytic anemia which is followed by respiratory failure and eventually death.
Alcohol is a very bad poison and nothing to mess around with concerning your pet parrot. Most pet bird owners are responsible and would never offer their parrot any alcoholic drinks. But there have been some instances where wild birds have gotten into unattended cocktails. Alcohol depresses the organ system of birds and can be fatal. Make sure to secure your pet bird into his cage and preferably away from the party in another room to keep him safe from toxic brews.
Mushrooms are a type of fungus and have been known to cause digestive upset in our precious companion birds. Some varieties of mushroom caps and mushroom stems cause liver failure.
Tomato leaves are another poison food to keep away from our pet parrots. Tomatoes are of the nightshade family like potatoes. They have a tasty fruit which is fine for your bird, but the stems, vines, and leaves are highly toxic to your precious friends. Make sure that the tomato is cleaned properly, sliced with all of the green parts removed to keep your pet bird safe from any poison.
Salt is a health risk for pet parrots as it is for people. Even though a small amount of sodium is OK for all living creatures, too much salt for birds can cause excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and death. Be very careful not to give your pet parrot friend an excessive amount of foods containing salt. It is better to stay away from salt altogether.
Caffeine is a toxic brew for your little-feathered friend. These would include caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea. Allowing your bird to indulge in these types of beverages is asking for a very sick pet bird. Caffeine causes the cardiac malfunction in birds and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest... Share a drink of pure vegetable juice, fruit juice or filtered water (filtered with a simple water filter like Brita that can be bought in a store near you) with your bird. Keep caffeinated beverages away from your pet parrot.
Dried Beans which are uncooked contain a poison called hemaglutin that is very toxic to birds. If you are going to share beans with your pet parrot make sure to thoroughly cook them. Cooked beans are a favorite treat for many birds. My pet cockatiels love cooked soybeans.
Teflon is very deadly to your pet birds. Get rid of your Teflon and any plastic coated cookware that you have in your home. It's not worth the risk of losing your parrot friend. Overheated Teflon omits an odorless gas that you cannot see or smell. Your bird can die within minutes upon inhalation of the deadly fumes. Absolutely no Teflon should be in the home of a bird owner.
Be Safe. Use cast iron cookware and glass cookware.
There are many more things that can harm our pet birds who have very fragile and tiny lungs. Smoke and burnt food are other poisons to watch out for. Use common sense when thinking about what could be harmful to your precious parrot. Do some research on that questionable item. Call your avian veterinarian if you are not sure.
It's better to be safe than sorry concerning your precious feathered friend.