(Arguably) the most delightful pizza topping and the most welcomed snack in our culture.
Olives have been providing our countries with delight since their origin in Medieval Italy.
For a food that has been considered so high in Vitamins and anti-oxidants, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for us to assume that feeding our pet parrot some of our “healthy” little olives would do it some favors.
But unfortunately, that is not so much the case.
Today, I’m going to begin to answer all your queries about olives and parrots.
The answer to this question is no, parrots cannot eat olives. Whilst olives are considered a healthy food for humans, it is not the same for parrots. It may be tempting to feed your parrot a little bit, but it’s best to stay on the safe side, and keep your savoury snack to yourself!
I know this probably isn’t the answer you were expecting, so that’s why I’m going to go, in detail, to explain why parrots and olives aren’t a great match for each other.
Uncovering the following:
- Why are olives healthy for humans?
- Why are they not healthy for parrots?
- Can parrots have olive oil?
- What are some alternatives to olives?
So let’s get into the good stuff: Here is your inclusive guide to parrots and olives.
Aren’t olives healthy?
Yes. They are healthy.
In case you’ve been misled by research online suggesting that olives are healthy, and that you should give some to your parrots… let me confirm some of the benefits of eating olives that actually are true.
Olives grow on little trees known as… (you guessed it) olive trees.
They are part of a “stone fruit” family, (not a literal family) like mangos and cherries.
Olives are extremely high in Vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants.
Studies have confirmed that they are extremely useful for the heart and may protect against certain cancers.
All sounds good, doesn’t it?
With the healthy fats then extracted to make olive oil, making up a key component of the (very healthy) Mediterranean diet, you would be forgiven for thinking that your parrot would happily gobble up these delightful little fruits.
With high Vitamin E levels which can help prevent heart diseases and boosts immune functioning, and high levels of iron to boost red blood cell levels and transport oxygen around the body, it all seems to point towards a healthy little snack for both us and parrots.
But on the flip side, Olives are also relatively high in sodium.
Since they are traditionally packaged in saltwater and bind from our friends at the Mediterranean… that brings me to the next stage of this article, which is to explain to you why olives may not have the same benefits for your own pet parrot.
So why can’t I give any to my parrot?
Parrots are not picky eaters.
A famous veterinary scientist called Dr Crystal Shropshire claimed that our own feathery friends have a 5 year old personality as well as nutritional needs.
And assuming that you do have a pet parrot, you would probably claim this to be true as well.
You’ve probably thought before that your parrots diet should be high in fruit and vegetables, especially considering the fact that they are omnivores.
But that’s not necessarily the case.
Just to prove that certain fruits can cause extreme harm to your parrot, it is worth knowing that avocados in themselves, are poisonous to birds.
If eaten, they would act slowly, as a poison to your bird.
The reason why I tell you this, is because olives are classified in the same “group” as these avocados.
Although the consequences of feeding your parrot some olives are not quite as extreme, it’s a practice that should best be ignored, (for your own benefit, other fruits in this group include rhubarb, asparagus and raw onions).
Can I give my parrot olive oil?
Now, this is where the good news begins.
Thankfully olive oil is completely okay for parrots and all bird types.
In fact, olive oil has all of the same health benefits for parrots as it does for humans.
In case you need reminding how what these benefits are and why they’re good for your parrots (and yourself!), let me talk you through some of them
The process begins with fresh olives being ground into a slurry, using millstones to create a paste, from there, it is layered between hemp maps, where pressure is applied, and oil is taken out of the pulp and put into the container below.
From there, the oils is placed into a green container (or bottle) in order to filter out harmful UV rays.
Now let me explain some if the reasons why olive oil is so healthy.
Olive oil is extremely high in “monounsaturated fat”, which has many health benefits of its own, including reduced inflammation and lower risk if certain cancers.
However, a small portion of the fat is saturated (14%), which is still relatively low compared to other oils that are available.
Olive oil is also very high in vitamins.
Most noticeably, it contains high amounts of vitamin K and Vitamin E, which can help strengthen the bones of our parrot, and boost its own immune functioning.
Olive oil is packed with lots of anti-oxidants, all of which have many benefits for our feathery friend.
These antioxidants are biologically active and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Not to mention the fact that they fight inflammation and lower cholesterol levels in birds.
What are some good alternatives to olives?
Don’t ignore the first word.
We mean DRY tomatoes.
Unfortunately, the fruit itself is highly acidic, which means that it has the potential to cause ulcers and other problems to your parrot.
That applies to cherry tomatoes as well, unfortunately.
Luckily, there is a solution.
The process of drying tomatoes often removes most of the acidity from them.
Which does mean that they can be fed to your parrot without you having to worry about any of the negative side effects.
However, it is important to note that you should still only feed your parrot tomatoes in moderation, because like any other snack… too much of it may come with negative side effects.
But apart from that, your parrot can enjoy a healthy alternative to olives when its peckish.
Capers may appear very similar to olives, and fortunately, they share many of the same great health benefits.
Capers are also high in Vitamin K, Calcium and magnesium, which can support strong bones for our feathery friends.
Other antioxidants play a significant role in boosting immune functioning and reducing any consequences of inflammation.
Making them a great alternative to olives.
On top of that, they are extremely easy to serve to your parrot and will ensure that no mess is made by your pet.
Also coming from the Mediterranean, and having been initially discovered in 77 AD, artichokes are an excellent, easy-to-make alternative to feeding your parrots olives.
Like the previous two substitutes I have described, they are packed with dense nutrition and have a savory taste your parrot will love.
Extremely high in fat, protein, carbs, and vitamin C&K, Artichokes are also some of the richest vegetables in anti-oxidants, the benefits of which can be found above.
Some of the other useful benefits include lowered blood pressure, and aiding parrots with the digestion of food.
Essentially, they have all the same health benefits as Olives, and as I have already described, make for a healthy & tasty alternative.
What should you do if your parrot does eat olives?
If you do find yourself in a situation where your parrot has perhaps been left unattended and gobbled up some of your spare olives, it is important that you do not panic.
Whilst today I have outlined some of the problems which arise when eating olives, the truth is, that it only becomes a problem when they are eaten regularly in excess.
Unlike other foods such as avocados, olives are not “poisonous” in themselves, and will not cause any severe harm instantly.
If your parrot has eaten an excessive amount of olives and is displaying unusual symptoms, you may wish to take it to the vet in order to let an expert check it.
In conclusion then, it seems that the best thing to do, is to make sure that our parrots do not eat an excessive amount of olives.
If you’re an avid olive fan, I know this may be frustrating as you want to share some of your treats with your feathery friend, but I hope today I’ve outlined some of the reasons why you shouldn’t feed your parrot olives.
However, like I have discussed, there are many olive oils which provide significant health benefits to parrots and can make for a little bit of added nutrition to their meals.
However, like all foods, it should be taken in moderation as part of a healthy & balanced diet.
Thank you guys for reading, and I hope to see you again soon.