Cabbage – some people love it, others would prefer to chuck it in the garbage. But whether you like it or not, there’s no denying that cabbage falls into the category of healthy greens. And as you probably know by now, many of the healthy greens that are good for us are also good for our parrots. But when it comes to cabbage, is the same true for our parrots? In other words, can parrots have cabbage?
The answer to this question is yes – parrots can have cabbage. In fact, cabbage holds many nutritional benefits for parrots. This is true for both smaller and larger varieties of parrot – though you may want to chop the cabbage into bite size pieces for smaller birds.
But what nutritional benefits does cabbage hold? Does it matter if it is raw or cooked? And can parrots eat all different types of cabbage? Today we will answer all of these questions and more – so let’s not waste another minute:
What are the nutritional benefits of cabbage?
We’ve already established that parrots of all varieties can benefit from cabbage but exactly what benefits does cabbage hold?
The main benefit of cabbage is that it provides a high source of calcium. And did you know that calcium is the most predominant mineral in your parrots body? It’s true! In fact, calcium makes up over 1.5% of your parrot’s total body weight. In return, it’s essential to your parrot’s diet. Calcium not only helps to improve bone strength, but also helps to transmit nerve impulses and activate enzymes. It’s also very important for fertility.
But Calcium isn’t the only nutritional benefit that cabbage holds. Other nutrients within cabbage include:
Helps to prevent blood clotting. Without vitamin K, parrots can bleed excessively from minor injuries.
Essential for healthy bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also helps with iron absorption and the production of red blood cells.
Aids in bone growth and reproduction. Manganese can also help to prevent poor muscle coordination, perosis, and joint dislocation.
Required for glucose and protein metabolism
Essential for healthy blood vessels, bones, and connective tissues. Copper also helps to prevent feather pigmentation problems, egg abnormalities, and amino acid deficiencies.
Essential for heart health, bone development, and metabolism functioning.
Necessary for hemoglobin production and enzymes, and is essential for feather pigmentation.
Raw vs Cooked Cabbage – Does it matter for parrots?
Parrots can have both raw and cooked cabbage. But is one more nutritionally beneficial than the other? There seems to be a rumour going around that raw vegetables are more nutritious than cooked vegetables. Is this true?
Well, sometimes. Cooking methods can alter the nutritional composition of vegetables but it’s not always in a bad way. It’s true that some nutrients can be degraded by cooking, but others can be enhanced. So what does this mean in terms of cabbage?
Two of the nutrients that get hit the worst by cooking are vitamin B and vitamin C. According to research peas and carrots can lose up to 85-95% of their Vitamin C content when cooked. And when it comes to spinach, it can lose up to ⅔ of it’s vitamin C content when cooked. Given that cabbage and spinach fall into a similar category of leafy greens, we can assume that cabbage would lose a similar amount.
Other vitamins, like Vitamin A, D, E, and K, all fare far better during the cooking process and may even be enhanced when boiled.
In return, it really depends on which nutrients your parrot needs the most as to whether cooking or raw is the better option. Perhaps the best option is to provide raw cabbage sometimes and cooked cabbage other times? Alternatively, just give your parrot whichever option they prefer.
What types of cabbage can my parrot have?
Did you know that there are over 400 different varieties of cabbage in the world? That’s a lot to choose from! While we don’t have time to discuss or research all cabbages, we can state that it is safe for parrots to have any of the main four. Green cabbage, red/purple cabbage, savoy cabbage, and napa cabbage are all safe for parrots to eat.
With that being said, each type of cabbage has its own texture and flavor. Like people, parrots all have their own personalities and preferences. In return, your parrot may prefer one type of cabbage to another. The key may be to try different varieties of cabbage until you find one that your parrot likes.
How can I serve cabbage to my parrot?
If you have a larger parrot, you can break off different leaves of cabbage and give them to your parrot whole. Smaller varieties of parrot, however, may require that you chop the cabbage up into bite sized pieces. You can do this for larger parrots too if you are concerned about it becoming a choking hazard.
When cooking your cabbage, boiling is the best method to preserve vitamins and minerals. You should never give parrots fried cabbage, or anything else fried for that matter. When preparing your cabbage, also make sure to keep it bland. Avoid adding any spices or sauces that could make your parrot ill. When it comes to their fruits and vegetables, bland is best.
In terms of buying cabbage, we always suggest going organic. Buying organic is the only way that you can be certain that no pesticides or chemicals were used to grow your vegetables. Such things can be toxic and deadly to your parrot.
Can my parrot have cabbage rolls?
Depending on what you put in and how you make your cabbage rolls, they may or may not be safe for your parrot.
With that being said, we would generally lean towards not feeding them to your parrot.
Most cabbage rolls contain ingredients like tomato sauce, sugar, and seasonings that are not healthy for your parrot.
If you’re going to have cabbage rolls for dinner, break a piece of cabbage off first for your parrot and save the rolls for yourself.
Can my parrot have Kimchi?
Kimchi is a popular Korean dish that is made from cabbage. There are many different ways to make and eat Kimchi, but in general most Kimchi recipes are filled with spices. In return, they are not a safe option for your parrot. Again, break off a piece of cabbage first and save the kimchi dishes for yourself
In conclusion, yes, parrots can have cabbage and they can have all four of the main varieties. When eating cabbage, you can share both cooked and raw versions with your parrot, but just make sure you forgo any spices or extra additions if you intend to share.