Sweet, spicy cinnamon- yum!
We love it on our favorite desserts, breakfast goodies, and even our lattes.
In Hawaii they are lucky to have many cinnamon trees growing around to harvest cinnamon bark.
They also have some wild parrots flying about the canopy from time to time.
I was talking to a friend who was working in his yard, amongst the cinnamon trees, when I heard the infamous screeching of parrots above me.
The combination of parrots and cinnamon trees got me thinking, can parrots eat cinnamon?
Parrots can safely eat powdered or whole-stick Ceylon cinnamon. It can even be healthy for them, especially if it’s high-quality, organic cinnamon. However, they cannot eat Cassia/Chinese cinnamon. Cassia/Chinese cinnamon contains high levels of a toxic blood thinner called coumarin that can cause severe, even deadly, liver complications in parrots.
As long as you’re being careful about the type of cinnamon you’re offering your parrot, it is acceptable to feed it to them.
Still, there are so many more questions that arise about how to give parrots cinnamon.
I’ll do my best to explain what Ceylon cinnamon is and why it’s healthy for parrots, how to incorporate the spice into their diets, and other ways to use cinnamon with your parrot.
This article will also touch on some additional herbs that parrots tend to like and which foods you should always avoid feeding your parrot.
What is Ceylon Cinnamon?
Unlike cassia cinnamon, which is typically from Asia, Ceylon cinnamon is from a tree native to Sri Lanka.
Ceylon cinnamon is more robust and spicier than cassia cinnamon, which is toxic to parrots.
The part that we, or your parrot, eats is the bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree, a small evergreen tree that does not grow much higher than ten feet.
The bark is carefully harvested from the small limbs of the tree, dried, and then cut into three-inch portions for our consumption pleasures.
Is cinnamon healthy for parrots?
There are so many great health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon for pet parrots- and us too!
Ceylon cinnamon is high in fiber, calcium, manganese, and iron.
All of which are important for the overall health of your feathery friend.
The sweet spice can help kill E. Coli and improve a parrot’s general digestion.
Some pet owners have found that adding cinnamon to their parrot’s food has helped seed-only eaters switch over to a more diverse diet.
The healthiest cinnamon to give your parrot is organic Ceylon cinnamon.
Non-organic Ceylon cinnamon could contain harmful pesticides or herbicides.
These chemicals are also unsafe for humans, but since parrots are so small, their bodies can withstand even less of these substances.
Your local healthfoods store like Sprouts, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s would most likely have Ceylon cinnamon.
Sometimes it may even be available for bulk purchase like here on Amazon– which could help save you money.
How can I add Ceylon cinnamon into my parrot’s diet?
There are countless ways to incorporate cinnamon into your pet’s diet.
Perhaps you haven’t heard yet, but parrots love spiced food.
It quite literally spices up their diet, adding diversity and nutrition.
You can simply sprinkle powdered Ceylon cinnamon over what you are already feeding your parrot.
If you slightly dampen the food before adding the ground cinnamon, it helps the cinnamon stick to the food better.
If you pride yourself on being your bird’s personal gourmet chef, it’s great to add to cooked food.
Some pet owners choose to use cinnamon in their birdie bread or other soft foods.
Others have pleased their parrot’s pallets by combining powdered cinnamon with cooked rice, barley, or lentils while it’s still hot.
This method maximizes the spice’s health benefits.
The heat from the cooked food draws out healthy oils, making them more readily available for your bird’s little body to absorb.
You may choose to later mix the cinnamon-coated rice, barley, or lentils with other foods, and the cinnamon will coat that as well!
Are there other ways to use cinnamon with my parrot?
Absolutely! It’s essential to provide your parrot with toys that stimulate multiple senses.
A great toy to fit those parameters are whole sticks of organic Ceylon cinnamon.
The sticks usually come at the perfect size for your parrot to manipulate.
The zesty smell can keep your bird curious and engaged for hours.
Cinnamon sticks also offer a safe alternative to candles for adding a delectable aroma to your home.
Some candles contain petroleum or other harmful substances that can be dangerous for your parrot and yourself to breathe in.
Simply boil orange peels and cinnamon sticks to splendidly fragrance a room toxin-free!
Are there other spices parrots enjoy?
Parrots like and benefit from many spices. Cumin, chili powder, turmeric, and cayenne pepper can add nutritional value to your parrot’s diet.
Like cinnamon, choosing the organic version of these spices ensures you’re not exposing your bird to potentially hazardous chemicals.
When choosing spices, make sure there is no added salt, too much sodium can be unhealthy for parrots.
Which foods are poisonous to parrots?
Whenever you choose new foods to feed your parrot, there are certain foods you always need to avoid.
Maybe this goes without saying but, you should never give your parrot alcohol.
Nor dairy products, meat, or any chocolate/cocoa.
What may surprise some is that avocado, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, and fruit seeds/pits are also no-goes for your parrot.
Lastly, do not feed your bird foods that contain dyes/preservatives or are high in fat, sugar, or salt.
Just like us, parrots love a fresh, healthy diet full of organic spices.
As long as you avoid cassia cinnamon, powdered Ceylon cinnamon is a great way to add nutrition to your parrot’s diet.
Whether you’re adding it to already prepared food or using it to serve up delicious cooked treats, your parrot will get a kick out of the sweet, aromatic spice.
While you’re at it, try adding other parrot-safe organic spices to your bird’s food.
We could all use a little more spice in our life, I’m sure your parrot could too.