are onions bad for birds

Vegetables and fruits are a tasty, enriching way to enhance your bird’s fortified pelleted diet. In fact, according to Byron J.S. de la Navarre, DVM at the Animal House of Chicago, vegetables and fruits should make up about 30 percent of your bird’s diet. And while some pelleted parrot bird food contain dried vegetables and fruits, you can choose to feed fresh options as well. But not all foods from your refrigerator or pantry are safe for your bird to eat. In fact, some, like onions and garlic, can be downright toxic.

“Onions, garlic, chives, shallots, leek or anything containing these should be avoided,” he says. “Excessive consumption of onions and garlic can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive problems in pet birds.”

Although seed mix is a popular staple diet for pet birds, the ASPCA recommends giving pelleted foods instead. Pelleted foods are more nutritionally balanced for birds needs. Just be careful to buy pelleted meals that are made especially for the kind of bird you have. Keep food that is labeled as being exclusively for parrots for the parrots only.

Knowing the right diet for the species of bird you own is one of the most crucial aspects of being a responsible pet owner. Food toxicity is a concern for all pets, whether they are parrots, finches, or budgerigars. Remember that onions are extremely toxic to birds, whether they are raw or cooked.

Onions arent the only potentially dangerous veggies for pet birds. Other hazards include rhubarb, avocado and tomato and rhubarb leaves. Never give your bird anything to eat without a qualified veterinarian’s prior approval. Additionally, be very careful to ensure that there are never any leftovers of spoiled or outdated food in your bird’s cage. Take the food out of your bird’s cage if he ignores it for longer than an hour or two to stop him from eating it later. For birds, as well as all other kinds of pets, spoiled food is strictly prohibited.

While many vegetables are safe and beneficial for pet birds, onions, in any form—raw or cooked—are not one of them. Onions are toxic to pet birds. Never feed your bird onions under any circumstances. They are made up of sulfur compounds, which when chewed, can turn into poisonous disulfides. Onions are linked to the fatal illness known as hemolytic anemia in a variety of pet species. Avoid giving any kind of onion to birds because of the risk. Additionally, refrain from giving birds other onions, such as garlic, scallions, leeks, and chives.

Pet birds benefit from daily treats of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to a basic diet of pelleted foods. Leafy veggies offer a lot of vitamin content for birds. But always make sure in advance that the particular fruits and vegetables you feed your bird are in fact 100% suitable and safe for him. Broccoli, pears, melons, apples, carrots, kiwi, kale, romaine, chicory, and oranges are a few examples of foods that are good for birds.

Xylitol? Not at All

While high-fat diets, particularly those high in seeds, are often the cause of pet bird obesity, de la Navarre advises against giving your bird xylitol-containing sugar-free snacks as a means of reducing his calorie intake. This artificial sweetener is frequently found in diet foods like sugarless gum and other items that lower blood sugar. It can also harm the liver and, in large doses, even cause death.

He states, “Birds may be more sensitive to even small amounts of this artificial sweetener because they have a faster metabolism than many other species.”

Naturally, gum of any kind should be avoided since it can adhere to the skin, beak, and feathers of birds, resulting in an uncomfortable and unsightly mess.

Say No-No to Cocoa

According to de la Navarre, chocolate is another item that should be avoided, especially dark chocolate.

According to him, “the more bitter and darker the chocolate, the more likely it is to be toxic to a pet.”

According to him, birds’ digestive systems are impacted by theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate, which can lead to seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, and, in extreme cases, even death.


What happens if bird eats onion?

Onions — cooked, raw or dehydrated — contain sulfur compounds that, when chewed, can cause rupture of red blood cells, leading to anemia (inadequate numbers of red blood cells). Onions also can irritate a bird’s mouth, esophagus and crop, and may lead to ulcers.

Is cutting onions bad for birds?

It is not widely understood that onion and garlic can be toxic to birds. Very small amounts of these foods are not generally toxic, but there are reports that a ¼ of a garlic clove can be fatal to parrots.

What does onion do to birds?

Perhaps another surprising one, particularly as they are plant-based, but onions and garlic are off the menu for wild birds. Onions contain sulphur compounds that can cause irritation in the lining of a bird’s mouth, oesophagus, and crop. This can even cause ulcers which can lead to secondary infections.

Can the smell of onions hurt a bird?

Foods like onion, garlic, ginger, and quite a few spices, can irritate their lungs and respitory system just by being close to the fumes. Teflon poisoning aside, birds should never be kept in the kitchen or where the smells can easily reach them.