We understand that you may want to add some variety and flavors to the diet of your pet parrots. You assume that they are bored of the natural fruits, vegetables, and seeds they have been feeding on, and you may want to experiment a little. However, please be informed that you should never experiment without having a clear idea about what foods your parrots can eat, and what they cannot.
Some spices and herbs often used to flavor and add a dash of aroma to our foods, may not suit parrots. Garlic is a good example of this. We, as humans, may love a dash of garlic in our dips, butter, curries, etc. However, it would help if you never tried to include this in your parrot’s diet, because garlic is a toxic food for parrots. If you have been wondering about the question, “can parrots eat garlic” the answer is a vehement “No.” Let us know more about this in the following sections.
Why shouldn’t you feed garlic to parrots?
You may be surprised to know that parrots shouldn’t eat garlic because garlic contains many health benefits. Unfortunately, the benefits that garlic provides for human beings, are actually quite toxic for parrots, leading to several health issues.
The main ingredients of garlic are the following:
- Aliin – This is a cysteine-based amino acid, which contains a large amount of sulfur
- Allinase – This is a protein-rich enzyme.
If you have ever wondered why garlic had a strong and pungent smell, it is because of the combination of these two elements. When alliin and alliinase are combined, they form a compound known as allicin. This compound is also known as thiosulphate.
Allicin is the oxidant compound responsible for creating oxidative stress in the parrot’s body, by creating free radicals. This oxidative stress can lead to many ailments in parrots, which are explained in the following section.
Health issues garlic causes in parrots
The free radicals created by garlic’s oxidants are the main reason for most health ailments in humans and pets. So, when a parrot consumes garlic, the free radicals created by allicin leads to the following common health issues in parrots.
- Issues in the gastrointestinal tract – Consumption of garlic may lead to stomach upsets in parrots, and cause bloating irritable bowel syndrome, and other related issues.
- Irritation or pain in the stomach – Parrots feel uncomfortable pain in their stomach when they consume garlic. They tend to be sluggish, and there is a massive reduction in their appetite.
- Hemolytic anemia – This is the rarest and the most dangerous health ailment that garlic cloves can cause to parrots. This is a condition where the red blood cells get destruction, causing weakness, dizziness, and even death, in some cases.
- Blisters on the skin – The skin of parrots may develop blisters when it comes in contact with garlic cloves.
- Overall reduction in immunity levels – Garlic is very bad for parrots, as it damages their overall immunity system, making them prone to various diseases.
Will parrots fall sick as soon as they consume garlic?
Having read all of this, you may wonder if your parrots may fall severely sick as soon as they consume garlic. IF you have accidentally fed them garlic once or twice, please don’t panic. You should take them to the doctor right away to diagnose problems if any. In most cases, parrots are fine if they feed on garlic very rarely. However, regular consumption of garlic can lead to a lot of health complications in these birds.
Which toxins are there in garlic?
Though garlic contains many nutrients, it has almost 33 sulfur compounds, which can be toxic for parrots. While alliin and allicin are the most common toxic sulfur compounds in garlic, there are other toxic elements, such as ajoene, allyl propyl disulfide, sallycysteine, diallyl trisulfide, and more. All of these are quite dangerous for parrots. The quantity of toxins is the same in raw and cooked garlic; therefore, the way garlic cloves are cooked doesn’t make a difference.
Does this mean that can garlic can never be fed to parrots
No, garlic can be fed to parrots only after consulting with your veterinarian in certain rare instances. Sometimes, doctors allow garlic in home remedies to treat sick parrots. Sometimes, when your parrot is suffering from a fever or flu or some respiratory ailments, you can make a simple home remedy with garlic in it, to develop the bird’s immunity levels.
However, you should never feed garlic cloves directly to parrots, even when using it as a remedy. You can mash a piece of garlic and soak it in about 250ml of water. Let the garlic flavors infuse in water for a while. Then filter it and give it to your parrot to drink. You can add a spoon of lime juice to the water if you want. Make your parrot drink this water for just about 3 days, and you will see a remarkable recovery in your parrots. However, always check with your doctor before trying this out.
Some things to note about parrots eating garlic
Parrots are quite attracted to the smell of garlic. Therefore, when you have garlic cloves lying around in your kitchen, please ensure that you keep the parrot in a cage to avoid the risk of the bird consuming the garlic cloves accidentally.
Even if your parrot eats a garlic clove accidentally, please don’t panic. The bird may experience some irritation in its stomach or mouth, but it will fade away eventually, once you consult a doctor.
Garlic shouldn’t be fed to parrots in any form – be it processed or natural. If you were wondering if feeding garlic bread to parrots would be okay, the answer is no. These are not natural foods of the birds; so, they can cause allergies in parrots.
In short, the best thing to do would be to keep your parrots away from garlic as much as possible. Even if you want to use garlic as part of a home remedy to treat sick parrots, please do so only after consulting your bird’s doctor to be sure. Garlic is one of the most toxic foods for parrots; therefore, you should never include it as part of your bird’s diet.