As pet owners, we are constantly on the prowl to find healthy food options to give to our pets so that they will let us eat our food and snacks in peace. If you have a parrot, that makes eating in peace an even bigger task.
Perched upon our shoulders, these social eaters are very interested in our food and are often trying to sneak out a piece for themselves. It is almost as though they expect us to offer them our food!
We won’t lie; it is often tempting to do just that, especially hoping that if we give them a taste of what we’re eating, they’ll let us enjoy the rest of our meal in peace. However, any responsible pet owner knows better than to do that. Humans and parrots differ a great deal, and so make their eating habits. Often, what is healthy for us doesn’t have the same effect on our feathered friends. This even includes vegetables! So we have to be careful about what we offer off of our plates.
If you love eating pizza and eating pizza with mushrooms, you may often find yourself wondering if you can give them a bit of mushroom to get them to stop eyeing your food. But is mushroom an acceptable food for our birds? Read on to find out.
Mushrooms for humans:
Mushrooms are a popular (human) food and for a good reason too. These fungi are low in their sodium and cholesterol content, as well as in their calorie count. They do have a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and all the other essential minerals that our bodies need.
Studies have shown that eating mushrooms will improve our immune system, work to fight off and prevent any kind of cancer, control diabetes, and prevent heart diseases and even obesity.
You can add mushrooms to your pizza or add them as a topping in a sandwich. They taste great and add a burst of flavor to our food.
So we have established that mushrooms are great for our consumption, but what about for our parrots? Do they have the same benefits to our bird?
Parrots and Mushrooms:
Unfortunately, you cannot and should not be offering mushrooms to your parrots at all. They will have a reverse effect on our feathered friends and will cause them a bunch of health issues if given. In fact, most mushrooms are toxic for parrots and should be avoided at all costs.
There are a whole lot of varieties of mushrooms available, and most of them are toxic. Figuring out which ones are toxic and which ones are not is a difficult task to carry out. However, some mushrooms are not heat resistant, which means they lose toxicity if you cook them. However, even if cooking removes the harmful elements, there is always a chance that some of those elements remain and that you haven’t eliminated them all and thus, you can end putting your parrot at risk. Moreover, cooking reduces toxicity but doesn’t completely remove it.
Figuring out which ones can be cooked is also pretty difficult, and one mistake and you can end up giving your parrot mushrooms that are so poisonous that they can be considered poisonous. These mushrooms might end up causing food poisoning and liver problems for your beloved bird.
Another problem with mushrooms and parrots is that mushrooms from one region can be edible, but the same mushroom grown in another region can be deadly. The toxicity, it seems, depends on where they are growing and on what other plants and trees are growing around them.
Associated health problems with mushrooms:
Most mushrooms are usually found on the list of toxic foods not to feed your feathered friend. They might not be toxic for us, but they definitely are for our birds.
Mushrooms can take a severe toll on your parrot’s health. Mushrooms can cause your parrot to end up with a very upset tummy. This is caused by the amatoxin, which is present in the caps and stems of mushrooms. Too much exposure to amatoxin can cause your parrot’s liver to fail.
Amongst the list of mushrooms to avoid, you should make sure steering your parrot away from false morel mushrooms or gyromitra, they will cause your parrot to fall extremely sick, and too much exposure can prove to be fatal for your pet.
Similarly, wild mushrooms are fatal to our birds and should be kept away from them at all costs. In case, if somehow your parrot has come into contact with these deadly mushrooms, seek immediate help from your avian doctor. Eating wild mushrooms can have some serious impact on your parrot’s health and, more specifically, on their stomach and liver. Too much exposure in terms of ingestion can even kill your bird.
Alternatives to mushrooms:
There is a whole list of other foods that you can offer your bird instead of mushrooms that will be safe and healthy for them. Parrots are omnivores, and their diets consist of both meat and of plants. You have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that you can offer to your bird. You can also offer them nuts, seeds, flowers, and insects.
Parrots will prefer seeds the most. Their strong beaks allow them to deshell the nuts to get to the seed, and this activity also keeps them entertained. So if you’re eating mushroom food, offer them seeds to keep them happy and distracted.
Now you know just how dangerous mushrooms are for parrots and why you need to keep food that contains mushrooms away from their reach. The easiest thing to do when eating mushrooms is to give them the food they like to eat and find ways to distract them, like giving them shells to deshell while you enjoy your meal. Your bird will be distracted, and you can enjoy your food.