Parrots require a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables in their everyday meal plans.
The answer to the question, “can parrots eat celery” is yes, they can, but it is not highly recommended. The choice as to whether you want to feed your parrot celery or not is up to you, but today we hope to give you all of the information you need to create an informed decision.
Fruits and veggies are jam packed with nutrients that are essential to your birds diet, and in the wild, this is partially what they live off of.
When it comes to parrots, not all fruits and vegetables are created equally.
Some fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than others, and some are not safe for parrots to eat.
Other fruits and vegetables can be downright toxic, even leading to death.
So which category does celery fall under? Celery falls somewhere in the middle.
In order to provide you with all of the information you need to create your own opinion, we will discuss the nutritional benefits of celery, the risks of feeding your parrot celery, and how to feed your parrot celery (should you so choose to).
So let’s not waste another minute!
What are the nutritional benefits of celery for parrots?
As mentioned above, there are some nutritional benefits that come along with feeding your parrot celery.
Known as a member of the Apium Graveolens family, celery is a type of vegetable that is full of nutrients that can be beneficial to birds.
These include, but are not limited to:
Vitamin A is another nutrient that can be found in prickly pears and is essential in the upkeep and maintenance of your parrots feathers.
In fact, Vitamin A is one of the main reasons that some parrots have such bright blue, orange, red, or yellow pigmentations.
Having said that, it’s important that you naturally provide your parrot with Vitamin A through a healthy diet, as synthetic Vitamin A can actually be toxic to your parrot.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that helps to prevent birds from engaging in self destructive behaviors.
When parrots lack vitamin C, they may start to engage in excessive chewing, tearing, or preening behaviors.
Prickly pear is one way to provide them with this essential nutrient.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that is necessary for blood coagulation.
This nutrient is often found in green plants, but can also be found in prickly pear.
Birds tend to produce Vitamin K naturally by the bacteria in their bowel, but it can also be supplemented into their diet with Vitamin K rich foods.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 is essential for multiple things like cell growth and metabolism.
When birds have a deficiency of folic acid, they may experience stunted growth, anemia, or even malformations.
Potassium rich foods are an essential part of your birds diet and are a type of electrolyte that helps to regulate muscle contractions, nerve signals, and fluid balance.
It plays a large role in maintaining your parrots overall health.
What are the risks of celery?
There are many health benefits that come along with feeding your parrot celery, but as we mentioned before, there are also risks.
Celery itself is not bad for parrots.
Unlike some fruits and vegetables that can be toxic to parrots, celery is not one of them.
It is safe to eat.
What is unsafe about celery is the stringy part.
If you have ever eaten celery, you have probably noticed a stringy fiber that runs along the length of the stalk.
If these strings are swallowed by your parrot, they can clog up the digestive system.
In return, this can lead to crop impaction or constipation.
When a parrot suffers from crop impaction it means that food is not moving through their digestive tract as quickly as it is supposed to.
As a result, a barrier is created that prevents anything from moving through.
Crop impaction is very similar to intestinal obstruction in humans, and can be very serious if not dealt with immediately.
Complications of crop impaction can include bacterial, yeast, or fungus infections, dehydration, hypoglycemia, and in severe cases, death.
If you do feed your parrot celery, it’s important to watch for symptoms of crop impaction so that you can catch it before it becomes fatal.
Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, lack of appetite, frequent regurgitation or vomiting, dehydration, inactivity, agitation, and depression.
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your parrot to the vet immediately.
Is there any safe way to feed my parrot celery?
As you can see, we’re now stuck in between a rock and a hard place.
Celery has a great deal of nutritional benefits for your parrot, but it can also lead to fatal consequences.
Is there any way to meet in the middle?
Or, is there any safe way to feed a parrot celery?
The answer is yes, there are several ways that you can provide your parrot with the nutritional benefits of celery without subjecting them to the risks.
First off, if you are going to feed your parrot celery, the best way to do so is to chop it up in very fine pieces using a knife like this one from Amazon.
Doing so will help to prevent any large strings from entering into the body and blocking up the system.
Alternatively, you could provide the nutritional benefits of celery in other ways.
Celery seeds are completely safe for your parrot to eat, and contain just as many health benefits as regular celery.
When added to their regular diet, celery seeds can help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, ease joint pain, and even provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Another way that you can mix celery into your parrot’s diet is by juicing it.
We really like using this juicer from Amazon.
When making celery juice, you can opt to use pure celery, or can mix in a variety of other fruits and vegetables for your parrot to enjoy.
As a general rule of thumb, fruits and vegetables should make up between 15-30 percent of your parrots daily diet, and juicing can be a great way to fill those portions.
Finally, it’s also safe for parrots to eat celery leaves.
Celery leaves are a great source of essential body salts, and pose absolutely no harm to your parrot.
Does celery have pesticides?
One thing you do have to watch for on celery, even if you are juicing, is pesticides.
Pesticides, or chemicals that are used to keep mold, insects, and rodents away during growth, kill millions of wild birds every year.
Just because our parrots are indoors, doesn’t mean they are any less susceptible to the damages of pesticides.
Though your parrot is unlikely to ingest enough pesticides to be fatal, the pesticides contained on our fruits and vegetables can be enough to cause illness.
While you can remove the skin of some fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk, celery is not one of them.
Unfortunately, celery also made the list of the “dirty dozen” – or the most contaminated foods that we grow.
When grown conventionally, over 95% of all samples tested positive for pesticide use, and the average piece of celery contained over 13 different pesticides – that’s a lot of pesticides!
In return, if you are going to feed your parrot celery, or provide them with the juices, you should always opt to buy organic produce.
Organic produce is free of pesticides and will not pose any harm to your parrot.
In summary, celery is not toxic to your parrot, but precaution needs to be taken if you are going to provide it as a nutritious snack.
It contains stringy pieces so celery should never be fed to your parrot whole.
They can receive the same nutritional benefits in the form of celery seeds or celery juice, and they can also receive nutritional benefits from the celery leaves.
P.S. always go organic!