As I was watching the show Friends the other day, one iconic quote came up; “she’s your lobster’. In the context of the show this means your forever partner, however, it got me thinking about seafood. I for one have never eaten lobster but it is often seen as a sign of wealth if you order it when out. It made me think, can parrots eat lobster too? So I have researched and would like to share the information with you.
Long story short; yes your parrot can eat lobster. They are omnivores so seafood is a healthy addition to their diet. Of course, this should always be cooked properly but there is no issue with feeding your parrot some lobster.
So as long as you’re willing to put the prep work in this can be a tasty treat for your parrot. But is there any nutritional value in lobster? Is it worth eating? Let’s take a look.
What Is Lobster?
Possibly a fairly simple question for seafood connoisseurs but lobster encompasses a family of large marine crustaceans that live in saltwater. They dwell on the seafloor or in rock crevices, lobsters are invertebrates so have a hard exoskeleton. They regularly molt and shed their exoskeleton leaving them vulnerable temporarily.
They have eight legs, the front three of which have claws. The first set of claws are the biggest and they have front pincers too, classing them as decapods. Lobsters can come in a variety of colors but are generally blueish-green or greenish-brown to match the seafloor. Once they have been cooked they turn red which is due to the chemical astaxanthin in the lobster.
Is Lobster Nutritious For Your Parrot?
Lobster actually contains lots of important vitamins and minerals for your parrot. On top of the omega-3, the meat contains Vitamins A and E as well as calcium and iron. These can be really beneficial for your parrot:
This super important vitamin helps eye health, bones, feathers, skin, and even hearing. A crucial vitamin for keeping your parrot happy and healthy.
One of the most important minerals and many parrots are actually calcium deficient. This helps structural strength such as bone growth and can help with some of the internal biochemical reactions.
This helps to produce hemoglobin, a major component in helping oxygen flow through the blood.
Omega-3 fatty acids
A key dietary addition for birds as it can help protect the blood vessels by stopping inflammation and reducing plaque.
Particularly important if you are hoping to breed your parrots this vitamin helps egg production, fertility, sperm mobility, and conception rates.
Another important addition to your parrots diet as it is involved with carbohydrate and fat metabolism and methyl synthesis. A deficiency in this vitamin can result in slow growth and reduced hatchability.
What about mercury levels?
One concern with seafood is that over time they accumulate mercury. Mercury is a naturally occurring element, the form found in seafood is methylmercury which is known to be toxic. The worry with this is that the amount of mercury accumulates in your parrot’s body over time, however, most lobsters have low levels of mercury except the North American lobster. That being said, levels are monitored and regulated in the USA so there is no reason to panic.
How often should you feed your parrot lobster?
As mentioned previously, lobster contains some really important nutrients for your parrot but should not become the sole diet. Mixing in some lobster occasionally as a treat is the best way to incorporate it into your parrot’s diet.
The predominant food sources for your parrot should still be seeds, nuts etc. A varied diet is key to a healthy parrot.
How should you prepare the lobster for your parrot?
Lobster is best served boiled and has a distinct color change to let you know when it is done cooking. For the most part you may be cooking lobster for yourself and wishing to give your parrot some of the leftovers.
Whatever recipe you use the main takeaway is put the lobster in boiling water until it cooked through. This is identifiable by the bright red coloring of the shell. Once it is cooked you can serve.
It is up to you whether you remove the shell or give your bird the whole claw or tail to work out for itself how to get to the meat. Some people like to let their parrot have the lobster with the exoskeleton still on so they get some brain stimulation as well as a healthy meal. Be sure to remove the shell once they’ve finished playing though.
How can you tell if lobster is off?
Lobsters are most commonly boiled alive, this is because if left uncooked the meat will go bad within hours. The humane thing chefs tend to do is to kill the lobster just before it needs to be cooked.
Once it has been cooked it should last for three to four days but only if it has been refrigerated. You will know it as gone bad if there is a pungent smell coming from the meat. Also if it has a soft, cottage cheese-like consistency this indicates it has gone past its best.
What’s the difference between lobster and crayfish and can parrots eat both?
Whilst the appearance of these two creatures mean they are often confused there are some very simple differences to look out for. Crayfish tend to be much smaller than lobsters, averaging two to six inches long as opposed to lobsters which are upwards of eight inches. Lobsters, as mentioned earlier, live in saltwater (oceans) whereas the crayfish is a freshwater (rivers, lakes and ponds).
The general flavor of both is similar but there is a different preparation style for each with crayfish being favored in stews as opposed to being served individually like the lobster. Both are safe for your parrot to eat but the preparation of lobster is safer as the other likely has additional ingredients that may be harmful to your parrot.
There you have it, feeding your parrot some lobster as a fun little activity and treat is a really good way to make sure they are getting some much needed nutrients. However, it isn’t advisable to be feeding them this constantly and it would be one pampered parrot if you were.
The vitamins and minerals contained outweigh the mercury but you must be confident in your ability to cook lobster thoroughly and not to get into the habit of feeding them this dish too often. There are plenty of other types of seafood that provides similar nutritional value with less concern about mercury or boiling something alive.