If you’ve done a bit of research about what food parrots eat, you probably are well aware of how important vegetables are for their health. They make up a good portion of your parrots’ everyday diet and are not to be skipped.
However, saying vegetables should be given to parrots is a very general statement considering how many different vegetables there are out there. To make things even more complicated is the fact that not all vegetables are safe to be given to our birds. This probably sounds strange because we always associate healthy eating with vegetables. However, birds and their owners are two very different beings altogether, and so is their internal system makeup, and thus, their dietary needs and tolerances vary a great deal as well. This is why you should always look into whether specific vegetables are safe for your parrot.
Let’s talk about kale. Super it isn’t the most delicious vegetable out there, but kale is a superfood of sorts for us humans and is laden with all the necessary nutrients and health benefits that we need. But what about kale as food for our parrots? Do the same health benefits apply to our winged buddies, and will they even like the taste and eat it?
The good news is that parrots can safely eat kale. Kale is a nontoxic vegetable for parrots, and you can include it in their meals. However, one thing to keep in mind when feeding your parrots fruits and vegetables is to always offer it to them in a combination of at least 3, and kale is no exception to this rule.
Read on to find out why kale qualifies as a great vegetable to be given to our birds and what makes it so special.
Kale and its health benefits:
Just because a food is safe doesn’t mean it is healthy for our parrots, but where kale is concerned, it ticks both boxes. Parrots should be given dark green veggies in particular. These kinds of vegetables are known as superfoods because of their high content of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Here is a closer look at the health benefits kale has to offer:
- Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for a healthy parrot with a fully functioning system. Vitamin A is needed for tissue and supports cell growth and is also very important for your parrots’ vision, skeletal, and brain development. It also ensures that your parrot’s feathers are healthy and shiny. Parrots usually lack Vitamin A, and thus, veggies like kale are a great source of the vitamin.
- Vitamin C is especially important for healthy blood vessels, bones, and muscles for your parrot. This vitamin also helps with red blood cell production as well as iron absorption. It also strengthens your parrot’s immune system helping it fight away a lot of illnesses.
- Vitamin K is needed in order to prevent blood clotting in your parrot’s system. If your parrot is vitamin K deficient, they will end up bleeding profusely from injuries, which can cause severe damage to your bird’s health.
- Calcium is of utmost importance for bone development and strength.
- Manganese is also essential for bone growth and will help prevent persis, poor muscle coordination, and joint dislocation.
So, there is no doubt about all the health benefits that come with, including kale in your parrot’s diet.
Feeding your parrot kale:
If you plan on including kale into your parrot’s diet, you can do so by offering this veggie to your parrot between 2 to 4 times a week. It can be treated as a snack or as a staple vegetable. Just as long as you don’t feed your parrot only kale and offer them a variety, there should be no problem.
When giving your parrot kale, make sure to chop it up in order to avoid it becoming a choking hazard. Some parrots prefer kale in its leaf form, and you can also feed it to them like that, but that depends on the size of your parrot and how well they’ll be able to eat it in the lead form.
Should kale be given raw or cooked? Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference. However, if you plan to give your parrot cooked kale, make sure you don’t season it with ingredients such as garlic. Also, avoid cooking it in oil. While parrots can stand a bit of oil in their diet, it is a high-fat content ingredient that can lead to health problems such as obesity if not given in regulated amounts.
Some studies seem to suggest if vegetables, including kale, are cooked, it reduces the nutritional value, which is why most people prefer offering kale uncooked and raw to their feathered friends.
Can parrots eat kale chips?
It all comes down to the way ale chips are being made. If you are offering them homemade kale chips, pay special attention to the ingredients you include. Avoid ingredients such as salt and garlic, which are extremely unhealthy for your parrot. If you follow all the precautions, then the chips are good to go.
However, if you plan on offering your parrot store-bought kale chips, you need first to scan the ingredient list and make sure there is no presence of harmful ingredients. However, these ingredients are fairly common and can’t be avoided in commercially available human food, and thus, we generally would avoid giving your parrot store-bought kale chips.
Kale is a great vegetable for both humans and parrots. It comes loaded with a long list of health benefits that will keep your parrot healthy and able to live a long and healthy life. However, make sure all harmful substances are kept away from our pets, and so make sure that the form in which you offer your parrot kale is safe. Parrots can live over 50 years, and if they follow the right diet, your parrot will be by your side for a long time!