Can Parrots Eat Chocolate?

In a far-off tropical land, a species of birds exist with its colorful, vibrant feathers, strong beaks, and unique pair of feet known as the zygodactyl (but we’ll call them yoke-toed feet). Imagine waking up in a place where birds whistles, gurgles, and squawks as the first rays of the sun hit the planet Earth, replacing the silence with its sweet melody and playing on various frequencies. The dawn is this bird’s time to shine when every other animal and human is fast asleep. I’ve been fascinated by parrots since some of the species can mimic human language and speak!

Psittacidae is one of the families of the class Aves that is home to the beautiful birds of the tropics and subtropics. These birds can live up to 90 years (yes, talking about Kapko). The weight of parrots can range from as small as 12 grams to as large as 4kg. Now, I would like to delineate some awesome parrot species I’ve come across. But for the simplicity of this article, I’ll briefly describe the cool characteristics where possible as they are unique to some species.   

What foods do Parrots eat?

Parrots will eat fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, flowers, and pellets. Pellets are a special type of food made for birds. The purpose of giving pellets to birds is to ensure adequate nutrient and mineral intake. Pellets are a mixture of fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds. It will provide the body of the bird with a substantial amount of fats, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. But strictly speaking, this does not mean parrots are only herbivores. Some parrots are omnivores as they eat insects and the like.

Parrots love to eat seeds, and they have no problem in cracking open the seeds thanks to their strong jaws. Seeds are embryos with a covering that protects it from the harsh outside environment. Seeds are a rich source of Magnesium. Along with that, seeds contain adequate amounts of fat and potassium. The bird’s beaks are not for crushing the seeds but handling and climbing the objects.    

Do Parrots find chocolate delicious?

Before diving into the answer of whether the parrots like chocolate, let us know a little about chocolate itself.

Chocolate is one of the most famous confectionery items in the world. Various recipes enjoy their fame because of the presence of chocolate in them. Chocolate is derived from ground cacao seed – roasted to the finest.  

Dark chocolate has proved to be beneficial for health. The amount of Magnesium, Iron, and copper dark chocolate contains is adequate. Antioxidants are those bad boys that kill the free radicals that produce stress inside the body. Organic compounds that kill these antioxidants are found in dark chocolate. It raises good cholesterol and improves blood flow, with the bonus of regulating the blood pressure to a healthy range. Since dark chocolate improves the blood flow, it may enhance the functioning of the brain.

From a bird’s eye view, chocolate has been beneficial for bringing about the sensation of pleasure and uplifting the mood. 

Some nutritional facts about Chocolate!

Chocolates contain carbohydrates, fats, proteins, potassium, and sodium, just like many other food products. Alongside that, it also contains vitamins and minerals in different proportions. Chocolate contains around 47% of fats, of which saturated fat forms the most part. Let us explore the main components of chocolate and how they can be beneficial. 

Saturated Fats: Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen make up fats. Now, it might be that whenever you hear the word “fats” you would think “bad for health for sure!” but things are not that simple. Fats are essential for sustaining life, for those firing neurons, those membranes that keep the cells from bursting. In 100 grams of chocolate, there is 19g of saturated fats.  

Dietary Fibers: Certain substances cannot be digested by our body because we lack the enzymes needed to break down that substance in question. Dietary fibers belong to the family of carbohydrates that cannot be digested. 7g of dietary fibers are present in one hundred grams of chocolate.    

Iron: An element that finds its place in the periodic table at the 26th spot is none other than the Iron element. Iron is an element that literally runs in our body through the blood vessels. Red blood cells carry them throughout the body. About 8g of iron is present in the chocolate, making it an essential source of iron. 

Magnesium: This mineral is essential for carrying out a lot of reactions. Magnesium is beneficial for the feathers, beaks, and bones of parrots. One hundred grams of chocolate will contain around 146 milligrams of magnesium. 

Is Chocolate good for Parrots?

Chocolates may be friendly to humans, but not much of a benefit to the birds. As it turns out when it comes to chocolate, it is not good food for the health of the birds. Chocolate has been known to induce vomiting and loose stools in birds. Worst still, due to the presence of compounds such as theobromine and caffeine, chocolate causes seizures and tremors in birds.

Caffeine is a stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system. In the process, it excites the cells that produce norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is known to increase the sympathetic drive. One of the many things that an increased sympathetic activity does is increase heart rate. This effect of caffeine is well-tolerated in humans but not so much in the birds sadly. Caffeine stimulates sympathetic drive, thereby increasing the heart rate, which in turn leads to hyperactivity, seizures, and tremors. Likely, this whole process may eventually lead to the death of the poor bird.

Conclusion

Parrots are beautiful birds that live in the tropics enchanting the world around them with their wondrous colors of feathers and voice. Parrots have been kept as pets for a long time. Owning a pet comes with great responsibility such as feeding them, training them, and so on. We explored how much chocolate is advantageous for humans, but they have little, if any, value for the health of the parrots. So, next time when you bring home chocolate, feed it yourself and spare those birds. In the world of parrots, let’s keep them safe from the chocolate and feed them seeds, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and pellets. With that having said, let’s enjoy this little adorable creature’s company in our lives.

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