Who doesn’t love a good piece of bacon now and again?
Aside from vegetarians, bacon is a favorite among many and makes an excellent addition to any breakfast plate.
And if you have a parrot, you may notice them eyeing up your bacon while you eat it.
You want to share so badly, but you don’t know if you should or not.
Well, welcome to the right place!
Today we’re going to talk all about bacon and your bird.
Can your parrot have bacon?
And how much bacon can they have?
The answer to this question is yes, your parrot can have bacon. Having said that, it should not be a staple in their diet, nor should it be a regular treat. Bacon is not a part of your birds natural diet, and the way that it’s processed can be unhealthy for your bird (yes, and you).
Today we’ll dive deeper into the topic of bacon for your parrot and learn why it’s unhealthy, how much can be included in their diet, and why overfeeding them bacon can be dangerous.
So let’s not waste another minute!
How much bacon can you feed your parrot?
As mentioned above, it’s okay to give your parrot bacon – but only in very small quantities.
Firstly, meat is not a natural part of your parrot’s diet. Parrots are omnivores.
This means their natural diet consists of things like seeds, nuts, fruits, plants, and vegetables – but not meat.
If they do eat meat, they might eat the occasional insect, but even still, this is rare.
So anytime you feed your parrot meat, like bacon, you are stretching them past their natural diet.
Will a parrot even eat bacon? Probably.
Most kids would also eat glue if you gave it to them, but that doesn’t mean it’s something that benefits their diet.
Yes, meats are high in protein, which is necessary for a healthy parrot, but there is more than enough protein in their natural diet to cover that dietary requirement.
Legumes, nuts, and seeds, which are all part of a parrots natural diet, provide more than enough protein to keep your parrot healthy.
With that, meat is not a necessary part of your bird’s diet.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s “bad” for your parrot in small quantities, it just means that your parrot will not benefit from it in any way.
So back to our original question – how much bacon can you feed your parrot?
Very little. Sure, it’s okay to give them a small broken scrap every now and again, it’s not going to hurt them.
But feeding your parrot bacon on a daily basis, or in large quantities (an entire piece of bacon) can be dangerous.
What will happen if you give your parrot too much bacon?
Here is the problem with bacon – it’s high in calories, its high in cholesterol and saturated fats, and it’s fatty – all of which can be a problem for your bird.
Let’s take a closer look at why bacon is not healthy for your parrot:
Bacon is high in calories
In fact, there are over 540 calories in just 100g of bacon.
If your parrot eats too much bacon, it puts them at risk of becoming overweight.
And while a chubby bird may seem cute, it’s actually very unhealthy.
Bacon is high in cholesterol and saturated fats
A parrot’s natural diet is actually very low in both cholesterol and saturated fats.
When you start incorporating them into your parrots diet you can end up with a host of concerns including an increased risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
Bacon is fatty
Yes, bacon contains protein, but is also contains excess fat.
Excess fat can be extremely dangerous for birds, putting them at risk of hepatic lipidosis (or excess fat in the liver)
Bacon can overload your bird with Protein
Your parrot already gets enough protein within their natural diet, and adding more can be problematic.
Like anything else, too much protein can actually lead to problems as well, or more specifically, it can cause kidney damage.
Bacon can contain antibiotics
Yes – those medications that doctors prescribe you?
They can actually be found in our bacon as well.
Every year, farm animals are given over 30 million pounds of antibiotics to help them grow larger and eat less.
The problem with this is that even trace amounts of these antibiotics can kill off healthy bacteria within our digestive system.
And while most humans can live through this, antibiotics can be extremely dangerous for birds – even in small doses.
How to Feed Your Parrot Bacon
Should you decide that you want to go ahead and feed your parrot small amounts of bacon, there are some other things that you need to know first:
Never serve your parrot fried bacon
Fried foods might be delicious, but they are loaded with fat that can be harmful for your parrot.
If you’re frying your bacon, keep it to yourself. Bacon that you feed your parrot should be cooked using other methods
Avoid serving your parrot any bacon with sauces or spices on it.
Again, these can be harmful to your parrot.
If you’re going to serve them bacon, keep it simple and plain. (Yes, that means no salt)
Only feed your parrot bacon that has been well cooked.
Undercooked bacon can contain food-borne illnesses like salmonella that can be very dangerous for your parrot.
Any meat you feed your parrot should always be cooked to the recommended temperature.
Chop it up finely.
Some birds may have difficulty biting into and processing bacon.
If you’re going to feed it to them, be sure to chop it up finely to prevent any unnecessary choking hazards.
You could use a chefs knife to chop up the bacon like this one on Amazon.
Why is protein important for my Parrot’s diet?
Protein is the building block for every single cell in your parrot’s body.
Insufficient amounts of protein can impact a bird’s muscle tone, which can furthermore impact their ability to fly, perch, and co-ordinate.
Proteins also help to regulate hormones.
When there is a long term deficiency of protein in a parrot’s diet, the result can organ dysfunction, chronic disease, kidney failure, cancer, starvation, and even complete organ failure.
How much protein does my parrot need?
The amount of protein that your parrot requires will vary from parrot to parrot.
More active birds, birds that are breeding, and birds that are growing need more protein in their diet than birds that are caged.
Older birds, or parrots that suffer from conditions like liver, kidney disease, or gout, need less amounts of protein.
A normal protein intake is usually somewhere between 1.5 and 5.5 grams.
It’s also important to remember that not all proteins are created equally.
There are a variety of different types of proteins and amino acids, and parrots require several of them for optimal health.
Therefore, feeding your parrot one single source of protein (ie. Nuts) is unlikely to be valuable.
Rather, you need to feed your parrot a mixture of proteins from nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, eggs, legumes, and dairy products like yogurt.
The more varied your parrot’s diet, the more health benefits they will receive.
Can Parrots Eat Bread with Bacon?
Most of us usually have a small side of toast when we eat our bacon.
Can parrots have some of that?
Yes, they can.
But again, bread is not a natural part of your parrot’s diet, and intake should be limited.
Bread can also be high in sugar and carb content, which is not nutritionally ideal for your parrot.
So yes, you can feed your parrot some bread, but again, keep it to a minimum and never use it as a source of nutrition within your bird’s diet.
Can parrots eat eggs with bacon?
Eggs are one breakfast food that you can definitely share with your parrot.
In fact, eggs are an excellent source of nutrition for your parrot, and are part of their natural diet.
In the wild, parrots often consume eggs and eggshells that have been unhatched.
Not only are they an excellent source of protein, but they are also a great source of calcium and minerals.
In conclusion, you can feed your parrot bacon if you have processed it properly, but it should not be a regular part of their diet.
Very small amounts of bacon are okay, but too much can lead to a variety of health concerns for your bird.