Many of us have been growing herbs in our gardens or have a few small pots of herbs in our kitchen. Herbs are often hardy little plants that are easy to grow, and it can bring a lot of satisfaction to go and pick something you grew yourself to add to your meals. If you have an herb garden, you know that dill is a plant that is standard in most gardens. Adding a little fresh dill to certain foods like salmon, potato salad or other salads is a great way to get a nice taste, some nutrients, and a pretty garnish.
If you have considered adding some herbs to your parrots diet it is important to know which are safe for them to eat. Not all herbs are okay for parrots and you should be sure that everything is safe before you add anything to their diet. Many herbs are surprisingly potent and could have some side effects that you may not be aware of that could be harmful to your parrot. It is always important to make sure everything a parrot eats is safe. So, when it comes to dill, can parrots eat it?
To answer this question… yes, dill is safe for most parrots to eat. In fact, most parrots may enjoy having a bit of dill added to their diets, and it will contribute to the health of your parrot. Dill in particular is an especially good addition to your parrot’s diet, but it is important not to overfeed them.
Let’s dive deeper into the subject of dill and find out why exactly it’s so good for your parrot’s diet, how often your parrot should eat dill, what form they should eat it, and how much dill is safe for your parrot to consume.
Let’s dive into it!
Why is dill so good for parrots?
The name dill, also known as the dill weed, comes from the Old Norse word “dilla,” which means to soothe. In fact, dill has been used since ancient times not only for cooking and to bring out flavour in food, but to help heal. As the name to soothe suggests, dill has calming properties, and can help to soothe your parrot if it is feeling stressed out. Dill is recommended to help parrots feel calm when they are meeting new people, pets or moving.
Dill has also been used to treat various ailments as it contains certain medicinal purposes, including digestive issues, colic in human infants as well as birds, and bad breath for all creatures. If you suspect your parrot has an upset stomach, adding a little dill will help to settle them.
As dill is often used as garnish for our food, your parrot may enjoy the taste as dill herb has a sweet, grassy flavor that can be a nice addition to meals.
What are the nutritional benefits of dill for your parrot?
Fresh dill is very low in calories and so it can be added to any meal. Despite that, dill is a surprisingly good source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin C, antioxidants, manganese, and vitamin A.
Vitamin C is vital for the immune system, helps with bone growth, wound healing, and creating a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C specifically helps to prevents parrots from engaging in self destructive behaviours such as excessive chewing, tearing and preening.
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that is very important for maintaining a parrot’s vision, healthy skin, growth and supports a healthy immune system.
Dill is especially helpful if your bird is low in vitamin A because a small serving of dill can boost the vitamin intake.
Dill has been shown to be a potent antioxidant that helps protect a parrot’s cells against damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are molecules produced when a parrot’s body breaks down food.
Because of this, research suggests that consuming foods rich in antioxidants such as dill may help to reduce any inflammation and prevent or even treat things like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and even certain forms of cancer in parrots and humans alike.
Dill is very high in calcium, which is often why parrot owners choose to feed dill to their birds. Calcium is important for parrots to maintain bones and keeps them strong by supporting their structure and hardness. Calcium allows the muscular and nervous systems to function properly and helps to contribute to blood clotting in wounds.
As well, calcium helps parrots carry out many important functions such as making it easier for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and their bodies.
Lower blood sugar levels
For all animals with diabetes, dill has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. These studies have been done with daily doses of dill extract rather than fresh or dried dill. If your parrot has chronically high blood sugar levels it can increase the risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes.
May benefit heart health
Flavonoids, like those found in dill, have been shown to protect heart health because of their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As well, for animals’ dill extract has been suggested to have cholesterol lowering effects.
Dill is known to have antibacterial properties which could help fight potentially harmful bacteria.
Dill is also a good source of manganese which is an essential mineral that supports the functioning a parrot’s brain, nervous system, and the metabolism of sugar and fat.
How to use dill in your parrots’ diet?
The daily dose of dill can bring many health benefits to your bird. However, the amount of dill consumed makes a difference. In order to actually get all of the benefits of dill, it requires your parrot to eat a lot, about a full 100-gram serving which is about 2/3 cup. This is not recommended.
Not only is that way too much of one type of food for your parrot to eat and have a balanced healthy diet, but it’s very unlikely they would want to eat that much dill anyway. The amount of nutrients you get from sprinkling dill over your parrots’ food will be considerably less than eating a large amount, but many people use a much smaller amount and still get smaller doses of micronutrients which is fine for a healthy parrot’s diet.
Dill can be offered fresh, dried and added to wet foods, or steeped in a tea for them to drink. The problem with dill is often the strong taste. If your parrot refuses to eat dill in any form try daily doses of dill extract, as this is a great way to get the benefits of dill without any of the hassle.
Are the seeds of dill weed okay for my parrot to eat?
The dill weed plant has soft leaves and flat, oval seeds. You may be wondering which part of the plant exactly is okay for your parrot to eat. The dill that you are most likely adding to your own food and your parrots is the leaves, but the seeds are also safe for you parrot to eat.
If you’re growing your own dill, this is great news because the plants produce large amounts of them. If your parrot doesn’t actually enjoy eating dill, then you may find that they will enjoy the seeds more. As the seeds are more aromatic than the herb, they can add a lemony flavor to your parrot’s food, which they may enjoy much more than the herb taste.
The seeds can be given to your parrot whole or crushed. As well the dill seeds have many similar nutritional benefits to the herb so if you find your parrot does not like one, try the other.
One teaspoon of dill seeds provides calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium.
Can too much dill hurt my parrot?
There are possible side effects for your parrot from consuming dill, the herb or the seeds. Although in most cases dill is generally safe, there are still rare situations where a bird can have a bad reaction to dill. If your bird is allergic to carrots, they may experience an allergic reaction to dill.
If your parrot is not allergic, they can eat dill every day, just as you can! Again, it’s all about moderation.
Is fresh dill or dried dill better for my parrot?
There’s no harm in giving your parrot dried dill, but fresh is more beneficial because sometimes the drying process loses vitamins.
Something also to keep in mind is that dry dill will no longer have any moisture in it, making the flavor much stronger than the fresh stuff, since fresh still has water in it. If your parrot doesn’t like the strong flavor of dill herb, try fresh because the taste may be more tolerable.