Can Parrots Eat Bay Leaves?

I enjoy making exciting foods for my parrots, and as I mentioned before, I have been cultivating my Dad’s allotment.

I keep making new discoveries there, and this week the herbs are flourishing.

In particular, Dad’s clippings of the bay leaf tree seem to be doing exceedingly well.

With the thought in mind of what foods my parrots can try next, I thought it would be interesting to answer the question, can parrots eat bay leaves?

The answer is yes, parrots can indeed eat bay leaves. Most parrots love eating herbs and are a great healthy, non-toxic, and safe snack for your parrot to enjoy. Herbs give a boost of flavor they will thoroughly enjoy added into their meals.

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Herbs and spices for your parrot can be an excellent addition to their diet.

Giving an injection of flavor with natural resources and fresh herbs can also be a great foraging activity for your parrot, keeping them entertained for some time.

This article will discuss what bay leaves are, how to prepare bay leaves for your parrot, if parrots can eat dried or fresh bay leaves, and much more.

Let us discover all the answers to parrots eating bay leaves.

What are bay leaves?

Bay leaves grow on the bay laurel plant; it is an evergreen plant that slowly grows in warm climates.

The plants can be grown for ornamental use and dried, often used in cooking. 

The thick and leathery leaves have an elongated leaf with pointy ends.

Commonly, recipes call for dried bay leaves, which have a slightly stronger scent than fresh ones.

The fresh bay leaves should be bright green and have a waxy look.

When the fresh leaves are twisted, they should spring back without tearing.

Can parrots eat dried bay leaves?

Yes, parrots can eat dried bay leaves.

When dried, the leaves have an ashy, olive-green tone and have a weak, brittle consistency; the leaves’ edges are jagged and slightly curled.

Your parrot will love to destroy them if nothing else.

Dried bay leaves have a different flavor than the fresh herb.

They are smokier and more intense in taste, and they last much longer than fresh bay leaves.

Dried bay leaves usually are more potent and concentrated than fresh bay leaves.

Your parrot may not eat as much of the dried herb for this reason.

On average, one tablespoon of fresh herbs to one teaspoon of dried herbs is recommended as your parrot may waste some of the bay leaves if the flavor becomes too overwhelming for them.

Can parrots eat fresh bay leaves?

Fresh bay leaves are entirely safe for your parrot—a very different experience for our parrots enjoying fresh bay leaves in comparison to dried leaves.

The fresh leaves are very rigid and leathery.

Your parrot will enjoy tearing at the leaves and playing with them.

It will take them longer to eat fresh bay leaves, and you will see tears in the leaves.

It is unlikely your parrot will eat an entire bay leaf in one sitting.

They will tend to carry out a foraging activity with the plant and come and go with it as they please.

You can place the plant at the bottom of their cage or hang it from the top.

Entirely your preference and how you think your parrot will enjoy it best.

What are the benefits of bay leaves for my parrot?

Bay leaves are full of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Regular inclusion of bay leaves for parrots promotes overall general health.

The leaves contain enzymes that help to breakdown proteins and digest food faster.

Let’s see what these things do for our parrot’s diets.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A involves every system in the body.

The most active form is retinol, and it supports growth, testosterone production, and tissue diversity.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is vital for bones, connective tissues, muscles, and blood vessels, and it also helps in iron absorption and red blood cell production.


Iron is needed for the creation of hemoglobin, enzymes, and proper feather pigmentation.

It aids oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron deficiency can cause Anemia due to low levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin.


Potassium helps with protecting membrane tissues.

Unnecessary amounts of potassium can affect the kidneys and should be given in moderation.


Calcium is essential in the parrots’ diet, and most of it is stored in the skeletal system.

It is absorbed through the small intestines and gives bones strength.


Magnesium is found mainly in the bone structure of a parrot but is required for optimal liver function.

It supports a parrot in being able to excrete any waste products from their diet.

Are there any negative side effects from bay leaves for my parrot?

A parrot’s diet should be complete and varied, just like our own. Too much of one thing can be harmful but only in excessive quantities.

The bay leaves contain potassium, and it is advised to regulate the amount of potassium parrots have as it can harm their kidneys.

Bay leaves are used in Chinese medicine, and while the leaves give many benefits such as better digestion which improves general health, they are also known to help with sleep.

It is unlikely to affect your parrot, but bay leaves are not recommended in humans when taking other medications.

If your parrot is taking medication, always check with a vet if any foods could affect them negatively.

Is it normal to feed parrots bay leaves?

Yes, it is completely normal to feed parrots bay leaves.

Most herbs are safe, fresh, or dried as they don’t contain the fats or sugars contained in other foods.

If you ever feel unsure about feeding herbs to your parrot, always speak with a professional vet who can advise you further.

Where can I find bay leaves for my parrot?

Bay leaves can be found in most grocery stores.

Finding fresh bay leaves may be more difficult to find; however, they are usually grouped with the fresh herbs in the produce department or try the garden center.

How do I prepare bay leaves for my parrot?

There isn’t a lot to prepare, especially with dried herbs.

It is always recommended to purchase organic and thoroughly wash any fresh foods before offering to your parrot to remove any pesticides or edible waxes.

You can use a water spray bottle with a clean cloth to wipe down the fresh bay leaves before providing them to your parrot.

The bay leaves are entirely edible for your parrots, full of flavor, and a great foraging activity when offering fresh bay leaves.

Your parrot will thoroughly enjoy them.

If you ever have any concerns about offering new foods to your parrot, seek advice from a professional vet who can advise you of your parrot’s individual needs.

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