Baked beans are an easy and yummy dinner many of us fall back on when we don’t feel like cooking a large meal at night.
Beans are some of the most underrated foods, and frequently ignored as a healthy option.
Often turned to as a great comfort food, you may be wondering if you can share your baked beans with your parrot?
The answer to this question is yes, as long as they are prepared properly. Beans often come with a sauce that may be high in sugar and should be rinsed off before served to your parrot. Cooked beans are a favorite delicious treat of many birds and a great addition to their diet, but raw beans can be extremely harmful to your parrot.
There are many foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates as well as fiber, and beans in particular and a great source of all.
Beans are quite nutritious and can be a great additional to a parrot’s diet.
The issue with beans is not when they are baked, but only when they are raw.
Most beans are fine and healthy for your parrot to eat, if they have been thoroughly cooked.
This article will explain why baked beans are a healthy addition to your parrots diet, how to prepare beans in order to keep your bird safe, why raw beans are toxic to parrots, and what a serving size of beans is for your parrot.
Why are beans a good addition to a parrot’s diet?
Beans, if prepared properly, can provide a good basic addition to the diet for most parrots, no matter on their size.
Many veterinarians recommend a healthy diet for parrots that often includes beans.
A diet containing beans will be high in protein, high carbohydrates, and low fat that is much healthier than any low protein, high fat seed diets that are often fed to birds.
Beans can be helpful to treat birds that have fatty liver disease, dull feathers, or obesity.
Beans can also provide many important vitamins and minerals to a diet, are a good source for iron, reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels for a healthy heart, and even help to maintain a healthy gut for parrots.
How should baked beans be served to a parrot?
Many of us enjoy our baked beans on toast, sometimes with tomato sauce, or cheese.
Though delicious, this is not the best way to serve parrots beans.
Beans must be completely cooked through otherwise raw, or under-cooked beans can be toxic to parrots, and even deadly.
Parrots can eat quite a few different types of beans including kidney, black-eyed, pinto, lima, haricot, and garbanzos.
Many bird owners prepare beans by soaking a large amount in a cup overnight to make sure that they are safe.
When the beans are tender, they are then drained.
Before a meal, the cleaned beans are put in the microwave until steaming hot and left to cool for about 20 mins when the temperature is appropriate for your parrot to eat.
To make sure they are cooked through, check them by squishing a bean on the counter.
If it is easily mushy, they can be given to your parrot, if not, cook them a little more.
Rather than feeding your parrot straight baked beans, though they may really enjoy plain beans, you can mix the beans with some healthy options to add a bit of extra flavors such as broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, peas, cooked brown rice, or even whole-wheat breadcrumbs for extra flavor and nutrients.
Be sure that any breadcrumbs you add to the baked beans are from whole wheat bread, because other breads may be high in both salt and sugar which should be avoided in high quantities for a healthy parrot’s diet.
Why are raw baked beans bad for parrots?
Uncooked beans contain a poison called hemagglutinin which is very toxic to birds.
Hemagglutinin is found in many plants, but especially in beans and legumes.
It is found in the highest concentrations in uncooked red kidney beans.
The second highest accumulation of hemagglutinin is in white kidney beans, which is only about a third of what is found in red kidney beans and is also found in smaller doses in some green beans.
Hemagglutinin is a chemical known to inhibit protein assimilation and disturb cellular metabolism which is deadly to birds.
Though this may sound scary, the toxin is only ever found in raw and uncooked beans.
The best way to avoid any chance that your parrot may get sick is through following safe practices such as thoroughly washing, and completely cooking beans.
By cooking the beans, the toxic is no longer present, and they can be safely served to parrots without any cause for concern.
Parrots are naturally curious creatures, and love to get into all kinds of things.
Be sure to keep any raw beans in a storage container that a bird cannot get into and keep your parrot well away from any beans that haven’t been cooked, even when you are in the process of washing and drying the beans.
Make sure that you know what the symptoms of bean poisoning look like in a parrot so that you can recognize the signs and keep your parrot safe.
The symptoms usually appear within an hour after consumption of raw beans and can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, increased urination, tremors, and excitability.
Always take your parrot to the vet if you are at all concerned that they may have eaten raw beans.
Are canned baked beans safe for parrots?
Canned baked beans are likely safe, it is advised that you drain the liquid and very thoroughly rinse the beans.
Canned beans are often packaged in a thick liquid which can be quite starchy, or even a thick sauce or gravy that is often very sugary.
For these reasons, any canned beans you buy should be rinsed well before they are every served to your parrot, and of course cooked before.
Baked beans can come served in a can with the tomato sauce already mixed in, and often this is how we as humans eat baked beans.
For your parrot, tomatoes are an acidic fruit, and so they should avoid them fresh.
However, the tomato sauce which often comes with canned baked beans can be eaten by parrots in moderation, especially if it has been cooked.
Keep in mind that this tomato sauce is probably high in both salt and sugar, and so moderation is key when serving your parrot this type of baked beans.
Most canned beans are fairly healthy, as long as the canned beans you’re buying are simply beans and then will not have a lot of sugar or salt added which is bad for your parrot to consume in high quantities.
Many owners buy canned beans to bake for their parrots that are organic and therefore do not have any added sugar, salt, or sauce.
Many canned beans are actually cooked before they are put in the can, meaning they are actually precooked.
For people, they will not require additional cooking before being eaten, though they should still be rinsed, but it is always better to be safe when it comes to your feathered friend.
Pre-cooked beans should still be warmed up in a microwave, and then left to cool before your parrot eats them.
That way you have ensured that the toxin in beans is no longer present and they can enjoy their yummy treat without worry.
How many baked beans should my parrot eat?
The size of your bird really matters to answer this, but many people say that at least a teaspoon every day will be fine and help your parrot to get enough fiber, protein, and carbohydrates.
For smaller birds it is best to chop the beans into small chunks.
Some parrot owners have noted that if they feed too many beans to their birds, they have aggravated or contributed to digestive problems, so be sure to watch how your bird reacts to beans and adjust the quantity they eat accordingly.
In conclusion baked beans are safe for your bird to eat.
Though many canned baked beans can come in a sauce or water that is not healthy because of starch, salt, or sugar, in small quantities they are safe to consume.
Baked beans that have been rinsed clean of any sauces are a great healthy addition to a parrot’s diet as they are high in fiber, protein, and many vitamins and minerals.
Be sure to completely cook beans before serving them to your parrot, as raw and undercooked beans contain a chemical which is toxic to parrots.
Once beans are cooked, they are perfectly safe to be served to parrots, and in fact are a very healthy, and yummy treat for them.