Seeds, dry oats, and fruit are all common foods found in bird food and granola. The similarities between your favorite hiking snack and your parrot’s food are astonishing. Similar enough to the point where you might not think twice before giving your pet bird granola. However, you have to be more cautious with this food than you think.
Can parrots eat granola? Yes! A healthy made granola is a great treat for your parrot. However, some store- bought options are high in sugar and calories and should be avoided.
When it comes to your parrot, you want to feed them the most nutritious foods. Let’s dive into what granola is safe for your bird, what isn’t, and much more. We will discuss:
- How to feed granola to your parrot
- Safe granola ingredients
- Dangerous granola ingredients
- Dangers of store-bought granola
- Homemade granola
With so much information to discuss, let’s get started!
What is Granola?
Granola is a popular protein packed health food, popularized by hikers. Made up of grains, seeds, fruit, and more granola is packed with protein and nutritional value to boost energy and fulfill daily nutritional needs. Granola can look similar to your parrot’s typical food, but does not fully act as a substitute. Granola is great for humans and parrots. However, quantity and certain ingredients should be avoided when selecting a granola for your pet.
How to Feed Your Parrot Granola
When talking about feeding your parrot granola, we don’t mean as a substitution to their normal meals. Granola should not be the main food your Parrot eats. However, you can make granola into logs, bars, or cookies to put inside your parrot’s cage as a fun snack.
You can also use crushed up, separated granola that looks similar to regular bird food. This option is great to place in a bowl or in foraging toys. Placing granola in a foraging toy can work your parrot’s brain while also giving them a nutritional snack. This switches up your parrot’s usual routine of cracking nuts to hide away and adds a new addition to their daily routine.
Just with any food, make sure not to over do the feeding. Giving too many snacks to your parrot can result in obesity and other health complications.
What Ingredients in Granola are Safe for My Parrot?
When shopping for granola or making your own for your bird, there are a few ingredients to look for and to avoid. Making the right choice for your parrot’s food can ensure that your parrot is happy and healthy. Let’s see what ingredients are safe in granola.
Grains are an excellent source of protein and healthy carbohydrates for your bird. Scarecrows were invented to keep birds away from eating crops like grain, so it’s no wonder this is a perfect choice for your parrot. When choosing grains found in granola stick to whole grains such as oats, quinoa, or grain bake.
Seeds and Nuts
We all know birds love seeds! They’re a great addition to any granola you want to serve to your bird. Let’s not forget about nuts! Walnuts in particular have nutritional value not found in other kinds of nuts. Add crushed up nuts or small whole pieces to your parrot’s granola.
An odd addition to a human granola, but perfect for parrots are beans. Beans are a great source of vegetable protein and fiber. Fiber is important to keep your parrot’s digestive system healthy. Try adding slightly cooked beans into your granola to mix up the texture in your bird’s treat.
Birds love fruit! They are a great option nutritionally and taste great. They’re also packed with fiber and healthy sugars. Using dried fruit that’s not too high in sugar can be great mixed into granola for your parrot. Apples, mangoes, and bananas are a few great choices.
Popcorn kernels can be a great addition to a batch of granola. The kernels are fun for your bird to break into and are a good source of carbohydrates. Before adding the kernels in, boil them for 10 minutes to make them a little softer and easier to consume and digest.
Dangerous Granola Ingredients
Now that we know what ingredients to put in our parrot’s granola or look for at the store, let’s see what ingredients we should avoid. There are more good ingredients than bad in granola, but still be cautious when purchasing or making a batch of granola for your parrot.
Many store-bought granolas are high in sugar content. This makes the granola taste better, which is why it’s popularly found in grocery stores. Too much sugar isn’t good for humans, let alone birds. If you choose to purchase granola from a grocery store rather than a pet store, make sure to read the nutritional information.
Look for all-natural granolas, but don’t be fooled by product names. Many granola brands claim to be all natural, and may use all-natural ingredients. However, some of these same brands add sugar into their product and only make note of it on the back of the product under nutritional information.
Too much sugar in your parrot’s diet can lead to obesity, fatigue, and other health risks that can be avoided. Making granola at home for your bird is the best way to ensure low sugar ingredients are only added.
Still on the topic of sugar, be cautious of honey. This is a popular ingredient in many granola products. Honey can be a great natural sweetener. Honey is not toxic to your parrot and can be consumed in small doses. However, though the sugar is natural it is still sugar. Avoid granola with too much honey and when making your own granola use honey sparingly.
While fruit and dried fruit is a great option for your parrot, certain fruit seeds are not. Seeds in apples and pears and pits in cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums contain a small amount of a cyanide compound that can be toxic to your bird’s heart health. These seeds and pits should be removed from your parrot’s food before feedings.
Dangers of Store-Bought Granola
Store bought granola is not inherently bad for birds. In fact, even some granola intended only for human consumption can be a great treat for your parrot. However, since you don’t have control over the manufacturing, ingredients, etc. when buying from a store brand it’s important to do your research.
Try to buy granola that health professionals talk about. If a granola is recommended by a person who works in the health food industry, it’s more likely to be a good option for your bird. Granola that is certifiably healthy for humans will be a better option for your bird than those not.
The reason why these “healthy” granolas are better than regular granola comes down to the amount of sugar in the product. Many store- bought brands use large amounts of sugar to make their granola taste better and leave customers wanting more. A bird’s diet is more sensitive than a human’s and lots of sugar can build up to unavoidable health problems quickly.
Certain pet stores carry granola- like bird food that is safe for your parrot. However, if you prefer to buy from the grocery store for both you and your parrot, make sure to do your research. Granola is not bad for your parrot unless toxic ingredients or high amounts of sugar are added to the granola product.
Store- bought granola is a quicker and easier option that can be used in place of making your own bird- safe granola. However, read the nutritional information on the back and do some research into health reviews before buying store-bought granola.
Home Made Granola
If you have the time to make a homemade granola for your pet parrot, it’s a great option. Making a granola from scratch gives you the autonomy to choose ingredients your parrot likes and that are good for them. Home made granola is actually simpler than it seems. Recipes can be found online, but they mainly consist of combining an array of safe ingredients (listed above) and baking them on a sheet. This way you can choose how much granola you want to make and what you want in it. Be cautious of making too much granola, as home-made granola can only last up to two weeks in the fridge.
Granola can be a great new addition for your parrot. Ingredients found in granola are often high in fiber and protein. Avoiding dangerous ingredients can be easy by reading nutritional information on store-bought products or making your own batch of bird safe granola from your kitchen. Try it out! Your bird will love the change of routine.