Ask Lafeber

Question:

July 29, 2021

Safe foods & teaching a parrot


I try to Google Bird safe foods and often the internet gives conflicting information. For example, some sites say radishes are safe for birds others say not to feed the birds radishes. I would love a comprehensive list of bird safe foods from a qualified avian resource.
I belong to a Facebook group that shows birds learning to use iPad apps to do simple tasks like outlying letters and numbers. Do you think a Moustache Parakeet bird is capable of learning this?


Answer:

Hi Laura,

I think the main reason for the lack of a safe foods list, is that there are more foods they can eat, than they can’t. Foods to avoid are avocado, eggplant, chocolate, fruit pits, foods high in salt, sugar and fat. I’ve never heard that radishes are not safe – I know people feed the radish and the tops and I’ve fed these to my birds. I always say stay away from anything rare or exotic – the latest new fruit, veggie or greens. When in doubt, do a search. If you can’t find reliable information on a food, just don’t feed it. There is so much they can eat, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We have presented several nutrition webinars, and unsafe foods have been mentioned, so I can give you the link to that playlist.

As for teaching your Parrot, the Moustache are very smart birds. In general, any parrot has the potential to learn different behaviors or tricks. It depends more on the individual bird than the species. Training should be fun, and the bird needs to be curious. If the bird isn’t into it, find something else to do for enrichment. All you can do is try and see what the bird’s reaction is.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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