Pets are great companions to have around, and parrots are a perfect choice of companions considering how long their lifespan is. On average, a parrot can live up to over 50 years! However, to ensure that your parrot lives a long healthy life, you have to step up as a responsible pet owner and make sure they have a well-balanced diet. To stay healthy, parrots need a wide range of nutrition.
A balanced diet for your parrot consists of pellets and a variety of fruits and vegetables, which have to be further supplemented with grains such as cereal. But a common issue that pet owners face during mealtime is their parrots rejecting food because it is too monotonous. They want variety, and more often than not, you’ll find them eyeing your food!
One common snack we find ourselves munching on is popcorn. Popcorn is a popular snack since it is great not only taste-wise but also in terms of healthy snacking, and so we’re tempted to give in and indulge our parrots and offer them a bit of our snack. The question that thus arises is, is it safe to offer popcorn to our parrots?
There is a reason why popcorn is such a popular snack for health-conscious folks. It is rich in fiber and low in calories. Popcorn is a whole grain snack, and whole grain is known to reduce the likelihood of diabetes, heart problems, and even certain cancers, to name a few. If you’re someone who struggles with sticking to fruits and vegetables as a healthy filler, the good news is that you can use popcorn as an alternative filler.
However, just how healthy popcorn comes down to the way it is prepared. The fact of the matter is that popcorn being a healthy snack is standing on an excellent line. This snack also has great potential to be extremely unhealthy for us. Movie theatre popcorn, for example, does not count as a healthy snack since it has an extremely high-calorie count and is also very rich in sodium.
Microwavable popcorn is no different. It doesn’t fall into a healthy category. Similarly, neither does sugar-coated popcorn, such as caramel popcorn.
So what kind of popcorn is safe for us to eat? Air-popped popcorn! This is the kind of popcorn that you prepare by yourself at home, and the reason why it is preferred as a safe snack is that you have control over how much oil, butter, and salt you’re adding.
If you’re eating homemade popcorn, other health benefits include a better digestive system and better blood circulation. This is because popcorn is a great source of polyphenols, otherwise known as antioxidants, improving our digestion and circulation.
Moreover, since popcorn is of high satiety, it aids weight loss since it has a low-calorie count and low energy density.
But these health benefits are human-specific, and we all know that humans and birds are two vastly different species. Being so different in our makeup, our dietary allowances and restrictions vary greatly, so what is safe for us is not necessarily safe for our parrots. Where does popcorn stand in all of this?
Parrots and Popcorn:
The good news is that popcorn is okay to be fed to parrots. However, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when feeding them to your feathered friend.
First and foremost, you have to make sure that the popcorn you are giving your parrot is neither salted nor sweetened. Highly flavored microwave popcorn should also be avoided at all costs since they are high in fat and salt, both of which can be detrimental to your parrot’s health, especially in the long run. If you feel that you must add some flavor to the popcorn, you can add a bit of pure coconut oil. That is the safest option.
Your parrot can have either popped or even unpopped kernels. If you give them kernels, it is advisable to boil the kernels to make them soft and easy to eat.
Moreover, popcorn should only be an occasional treat for your bird. Bird seeds do have some cracked corn in their mixtures and should be the prime source of this nutrition. They are much healthier than popcorn. It is popcorn that should be incorporated into an already well-balanced diet.
Is popcorn good for parrots?
You probably already know that just because our pets enjoy eating something doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for them. However, this isn’t the case for popcorn and parrots! Parrots seem to love popcorn, and popcorn, as it turns out, is good for their overall health. The kernels are great for their beaks in terms of nutrition and strength as they try to break the kernels to get the food source.
Parrots love popcorn. The kernels are good for their beaks because they try to break them apart to get to the food, but it is also a good nutrition source. This is the chief reason it can be found in most bags of feed. The very fact that chicken can live on nothing but corn kernels shows that popcorn, if unsalted and unsweetened, is good for parrots and other birds.