Let’s say you adore eating chicken (today’s article is not for vegetarians). Roasted or fried with a crispy coating, chicken wings can add some delight to a dull dinner. The majority of humans really love chicken meat and eat it a lot. But what about parrots?
Can parrots eat chicken at all?
Well, why not? Your parrot can eat chicken. With chicken meat, the size of the portion and the way it was cooked are essential for your bird. And you may be surprised, but some parrots prefer the taste of chicken over other products.
Today, we’ll have a closer look at the nutritional benefits, pros, and cons of meat for the parrot, explain what kind of chicken is good for the parrot, what should be avoided, and much more.
What Are the Benefits of a Parrot Eating Chicken?
Choosing the best diet for your parrot, you should watch for nutrients that each food bears.
Nutrients are microelements and vitamins included in the meal. All products have different amounts and a list of components your parrot can get.
If we speak of chicken meat, the list of the benefits is not small:
Chicken is a healthy protein source
10-20% of the parrot’s menu should be proteins. Generally, animal proteins, like chicken meat, are preferable to plant-based (like seeds or nuts).
Parrot owners tend to give their parrot different types of meat, but chicken is the healthier option. It is because chicken contains less fat but supplies the bird with a sufficient amount of amino acids and collagen that can be gained only from meat.
A decent amount of protein intake is essential for the parrot. Protein is material for bird’s muscles, cardiovascular and other tissue in their bodies.
Enough protein helps parrots to stay healthy and prevents obesity. For example, if your parrot won’t get enough protein from his regular pelleted food, he will start eating more, willing to replenish the rest of the necessary need in proteins. Overeating leads to weight gain and troubles that follow this.
Chicken meat and, specifically, bones bear enough calcium for your parrot’s health. Especially for older parrots, adding one more source of calcium to his diet can be a lifesaver for his feathering and bones health.
Plus, stronger bones guarantee better flying ability, prevent injury, and keep your parrot active for longer.
Improves parrot’s mood
Giving chicken to your parrot helps to regulate his mood and cognitive functions. Amino acids and vitamins (B6, riboflavin, etc.) help boost the thinking process in your parrot. When the bird gets enough nutrients from his diet, his brain functions better, and the reactions improve.
Some owners are afraid that eating chicken can make the parrot aggressive. The chance that giving meat to your parrot will awaken a carnivore instinct in your pet is meager.
Parrots are omnivores. In the wild nature, they hunt from time to time to get some insects full of proteins. Otherwise, they eat plants, seeds, and fruits. The intake of meat won’t influence their behavior that much.
What Are the Negatives of a Parrot Eating Chicken?
Chicken is not an all-good product for your parrot. There are some opposing sides to such a diet. Let’s see what those are.
Fats and cholesterol intake increase on the meat diet
Compared to plant-based proteins, meat contains more fats. Chicken is considered white meat safer to give to your parrot because it has fewer fats and cholesterol than pork. However, the good idea is to add small portions to the main menu of your pet and monitor the outcome.
Increased cholesterol is harmful to the heart and causes various heart diseases in parrots. So, if you notice that your bird doesn’t want to exercise, has troubles with breathing, or become lethargic – you should reduce the amount of chicken you feed your parrot with.
Some parrots do like the taste of chicken and can seriously overeat it. Such condition causes excessive gas, troubles with digestion, and the overall feel of discomfort in your pet.
To avoid such situations, make sure you give the chicken to a parrot under supervision. Also, meat must be properly cooked so that it can be digested easier.
Too much chicken can be harmful
Make sure you control the amount of meat you give to a parrot. According to the University of Florida research, when you include too much protein into the parrot’s diet, you risk damaging his kidneys and liver.
Can Parrots Eat Fried Chicken?
The chicken you feed your parrot with should be properly cooked. Fried chicken may be too greasy for the bird, which automatically makes this meal unhealthy.
So if you want to give the fried chicken to a parrot, ensure you peel off the skin and keep only meat and bones. Alternatively, cook it at home using natural oils.
Can Parrots Eat Roasted Chicken?
Roasting is one of the best ways to cook chicken meat for your parrot. Make sure the chicken is not seasoned with salt and too many herbs and spices. Adding salt can be harmful to a parrot, especially if you give him meat often.
Spicy meat can turn your bird away from eating or irritate its stomach. So these are the points to watch with roasted meat.
Can Parrots Eat Chicken Skin?
Preferably to peel off the skin before feeding your parrot with chicken.
The skin usually contains more fats and fatty acids (like omega 6-s). When a parrot ingests those nutrients, it can cause inflammation in his body. So, to reduce this risk – give only peeled meat to your parrot.
You can also keep chicken bones. Many parrots enjoy having a chicken wing without skin.
Can Parrots Eat Chicken-Flavored Chips?
Giving chips and nachos to your bird is not a good idea. Such treats bear small nutritional value but are flavored with lots of chemicals and are rich in calories. So, we would recommend avoiding these products in your parrot’s diet at all.
Can Parrots Eat Chicken Salt?
Salt is among the harmful substances for a parrot. Here it all depends on the amount. Giving your bird salty pretzels or adding salt when you cook chicken meat for him should be mindful.
Like for a human, high salt intake can ruin the fluid balance in the parrot’s body, leading to dehydration and kidney disease.
So, it’s better to avoid or feed tiny amounts of chicken with salt to your parrot.
Do Parrots Like Chicken?
In the wild, parrots usually don’t each other bird’s meat. They get the protein dosage from seeds, nuts, and insects they can catch.
Domesticate parrots do like chicken as they learn what is safe to eat from their owner. Some parrots like to be treated with chicken bones that they smash to get the bone marrow.
What Kind of Chicken Is Best for a Parrot?
A plain, well-cooked piece of chicken with a bone inside will be an excellent treat for your parrot. The less grease it has, the better for your parrot’s health.
Remember that you shouldn’t overfeed your bird with chicken meat in any case. The intake of protein should be monitored and regulated attentively.
Also, note that ready-served parrot food like pellets already comprises a certain amount of protein. So, to get the whole set of benefits for your parrots, the amount of chicken meat you give should be mixed with fresh vegetables and fruits, like watermelon.