Now that we’ve learned that parrots can eat chicken and it’s not considered cannibalism, let’s check a closely related food source that is especially popular at this time of year – turkey. Can parrots eat turkey? Is it similar to chicken, or are there other rules?
The answer to this question is both easy and complicated. Yes, parrots can eat turkey, but you have to know how to cook it just the right way not to harm your bird. The majority of a parrot’s diet should be plant-based. Turkey can only be a tasty treat once in a while as it contains saturated fats.
With the upcoming Thanksgiving, it’s natural to be curious about holiday foods and which can be shared with parrots. You want your bird to join festivities and try a bit of turkey alongside the whole family; you can do it. However, you cannot give the parrot turkey from your table as it’s not cooked right to be safe for birds.
Here are a few tips on how to serve turkey and what benefits it can provide to the bird.
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Turkey for Parrots?
Although poultry is not among the parrot diet in the wild, it’s the best alternative to various larvae that birds consume naturally.
Poultry, and especially turkey, is full of lean protein that supports the muscles and tissues of birds. Among all the meats, turkey provides an optimal balance of protein and fats. Even small amounts of turkey can provide the necessary amount of protein, so you don’t need to feed big amounts of meat.
In addition to protein that is especially effective for birds among all the nutrients available, it contains vitamins
Combined, these elements provide a compound improvement of overall health and the immune system.
How to Serve Turkey to Parrots?
While you can use a variety of recipes to cook poultry for your Thanksgiving table, most of them are not suitable for parrots.
Poultry has to be either steamed or boiled to be safe for the bird. Also, avoid adding sugar, oils, and seasoning. Just pure meat will do!
Plain turkey can be tasteless for you, but your parrot will be satisfied with the taste. You can add a bit of cayenne powder when it’s cooked. Recently, I’ve mentioned a few spices and herbs parrots can eat, and cayenne pepper powder is among the few that can be used in tiny amounts.
Remember to give your bird no more than necessary, depending on its size. Bigger birds can eat portions similar to a baby. Small parrots can have about a half of that.
Another rule is to peel the skin as it’s started with fats. This fatty part contains fewer nutrients as well.
The general rule – fewer fats is always preferable.
Can parrots eat fried turkey?
Unfortunately, no. It would be easy just to give your pet turkey you eat yourself, but frying involves additional fats that are only harmful to the bird. Even if you use no spices, oily turkey is no good. Unhealthy and saturated fats should be avoided at all costs.
Do Parrots Eat Raw Turkey?
You may think that it’s entirely natural for parrots to eat everything raw. However, that is not the case with poultry. As it’s not among parrots’ diet in the wild, they don’t have the natural resistance to all the salmonella contained in raw meat. Thus, thermal processing is required.
Can Parrots Eat Turkey Bones?
Your parrot is not a dog, yes, but it will occasionally enjoy a bone or two. But only poultry! Turkey bones are soft and contain bone marrow that parrots enjoy greatly. Sometimes, they even prefer bones to meat!
Besides the marrow rich in vitamins B6 and riboflavin, the bones themselves contain potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Overall, parrots’ bones benefit from eating bones!
However, you should never leave your parrot alone when giving bones as they are somewhat a choking hazard!
Are There Any Risks of Eating Turkey for Parrots?
Yes, there are certain risks of eating turkey, even besides bones being a choking hazard. However, they are not as severe as poisoning or something like that.
Parrots are omnivores and should have no problem eating meat as well. However, if it’s a captive bird that has never tried meat in its life, a whole wing right away will upset the bird’s stomach. Then, it’ll disrupt healthy bowel movements, and your parrot will become aggressive.
While your pet is still not used to meat, you should start slowly with a few strips in the beginning. Later, you can increase the dose when the bird is used to this food.
Yes, poultry is the safest choice when it comes to saturated fats and cholesterol. However, it is still not a low-calorie vegetable. Turkey contains enough calories that you should mind the amount and frequency.
Too much turkey leads to obesity, and that, in turn, to a number of health concerns from all parts of a bird’s organism! Besides, it decreases life expectancy and quality!
Remember that white meat is less fatty than dark meat. You should prioritize white parts but also include a bit of dark meat as its nutritional benefits slightly differ. Provide everything in moderation.
Is Organic Turkey Better for Parrots?
Organic and free-range poultry is a popular choice among the modern eco-minded population. But is it worth the trouble for your parrot?
Yes! It’s definitely worth it. You might be okay consuming the regular farmer’s poultry raised in containment or injected with antibiotics injected (and God knows what else!). For parrots, food has to be as natural as possible to avoid harmful additives. Thus, eco brads with free-range turkeys would be your best choice both for yourself and your pet. If you are not a fan of turkey yourself but want to spoil your parrot a bit, you better find an eco store that sells small parts as your bird doesn’t need much.
To sum it up, your parrot can eat turkey safely. There is no harm and only health benefits if you keep to specific rules:
- cook it by boiling or steaming
- remove skin
- be careful with bones
- no oil or seasoning
- give it in moderation