I was eating some beets the other day and it made me kind of wonder, is it ok for my parrot to eat beets too?
The answer is…… yes! Your parrot can eat beets and we are sure that they will enjoy eating them as long as they are prepared correctly.
This article will give you everything you need to know about giving your feathered friend beets, including the greens (Yes, they can eat the greens as well!) and we’ve even included a recipe for ‘chop’ which includes beets and the greens so there is no waste.
Nutritional value of beets
There are many fruits and vegetables that have beneficial nutritional value to parrots, but we are interested in what beets can offer to your wonderful bird.
Your parrot can eat both the beet greens and the beet itself as they are both as nutritious for them. If you’ve never bought beet’s fresh before then the beet green is the leaf that is attached to the beet vegetable itself. The stem is red/pink which makes them stand out if you were to buy them separately.
Beets contain the following nutrients:
Vitamin A is essential to your birds’ diet as it reduces them getting a Vitamin A deficiency (called hypovitaminosis A). hypovitaminosis A is the most overlooked deficiency in a parrot’s diet and unfortunately is the most common because of this. Vitamin A is essential to your parrots’ diet to ensure that their immune system is healthy, as well their kidneys, brain and vision development.
Vitamin C is good for your parrots’ diet as it helps to build and maintain your pet’s immune system. While Vitamin C helps to maintain your parrot’s immune system, it also helps to lower blood pressure, regulates blood sugar, keeps cardiovascular health and is also a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. These are just a few of the health benefits of vitamin C.
Protein is mainly used to build and form parrots muscles and tissue. Ensuring your parrot has the correct amount of protein is essential to their health as a protein deficiency will also result in your bird eating more food to find protein and could then lead to obesity in your parrot. This will then lead on to a lot more health complications.
Fiber in a parrot’s diet is used for exactly the same reasons we need them as humans to keep things moving! Fiber in your parrot’s diet is used to help the digestive system. Fiber is essential in small parrot breeds however larger breeds of parrot do not need fiber as an essential nutrient in their diet.
Cooked or raw beets
When it comes to giving your parrot’s beets, you may be asking yourself (other than WHY DID I CHOOSE THE MESSIEST VEGETABLE THERE IS!) is it best to give it to them raw or cooked?
There are a variety of answers to this question as it depends on how your parrot likes to eat their food.
We recommend that you give it to them raw as then you have not lost any of the nutrients in the beet. If you do choose to cook them then you could lose some of the nutrients, but if you cook them for a short time, you can use the water you have cooked them in and freeze this for later use. You could then make little ice treats for your feathered friend or add the water to a recipe for chop if you wish to.
Beets Fast Facts
Reusing the water you cook your beets in is known to help reduce the risk of tumors and growths in your parrots.
How do you prepare beets for parrots?
It is important to know that you should only be feeding your parrot fresh beets. Whether this is cooked or raw, you should not be feeding them canned or tinned beets. This is because they are full of sugar which is very unhealthy for your beautiful birds. All the nutritional values of beets we mentioned earlier will become irrelevant if you used canned beets.
Another thing to know is not to be afraid of using the whole beet. The root and the green can be given to your parrot. The greens are high in fiber for your parrots as they are a dark, leafy green and are at their most nutritious when they are freshly bought.
Obviously if you are unable to obtain these fresh then it’s probably best to go without them as you don’t know how long they would have been separated from the root for.
You will need to choose how you prepare your beets as your parrot may like cooked or raw veggies. Whichever way you decide to prepare your beets, the best way to feed them to your parrot is by grating them so they are in small strips to feed to your parrot. If you leave them in too big of a chunk, then it may cause your parrot to associate negatively to the beets and will refuse to eat them again in the future.
If you are looking to include beets in your parrots feed mix then you can finely chop it (and the greens also) so that they are small enough to eat, without choking on them.
Side effects of eating beets.
Now I know this may be a given but preparing and feeding beets to your parrot may come with a little mess.
This means from the moment you prepare them to, feeding them to your parrot, this can be very messy! It is probably best to make sure you do not have anything that could get ruined around your parrot while they are eating them. Also make sure that when preparing them you are aware that your hands will also get a little stained.
DO NOT be alarmed if your parrots’ poop is also a little pink in color, as well as staining everything they touch, the color also does not dilute shall we say) in the digestive system. It is all part and parcel of your parrot eating beets, so rest assured, everything is ok!
‘Chop’ recipe including beets
So now you have all the information on beets for your parrot, you might want to try a tasty ‘chop’ recipe for your birds. Below is a nutritional recipe for you to try. Just remember that this doesn’t have to be perfect because it is ‘chop’, that means it can be as perfect or messy as you like! Chop is used as a parrot’s daily diet, not to be used as a treat so this can be used as often or as little as you like.
You will need:
2-5 varieties of veggies (this is where you include the beets!)
1 dark leafy green (this could be the beet leaves which are equally as nutritious)
And 1-2 orange veggies. – stick to carrots, squash or, pumpkin, yams but could also include mango, papaya, apricots.Th
This is the method:
Step 1: Cook all the ingredients that need cooking and let it cool.
Step 2: Chop anything that is larger than pea sized, to a pea size but no smaller.
Step 3: mix all together and combine until it is all thoroughly mixed.
You can store this in the fridge until you are ready to use it again or you can freeze this and defrost when you want to use it. Simple!
So, there you have it, everything you could want to know about beets for your parrot and a recipe included for you to try. Don’t worry if they don’t take to it straight away, sometimes new food items can take a while to get used to. Just remember that beets can be used in everyday mealtimes rather than as a treat so you can feel these nutritional foods to your parrot as often or as little as you like.
Also please don’t be afraid to get a little messy when preparing and feeding beets to your parrot. That’s all part of the fun is to watch their feet and beaks get a little pink stain to them. Who needs to paint their nails baby pink when you have beets!
We hope this has given you everything you need to know about feeding your parrot beets.
Thanks for reading!