One of my favorite ways to cook potatoes is to slice them into wedges then sprinkle them with trimmed rosemary along with generous amounts of salt and pepper before baking them.
I find them to be delicious and they rank as one of my favorite herbs to use in my meals alongside parsley and thyme.
This leads me to think about if rosemary is safe for my pets, avian or otherwise.
To answer the question in simple terms, yes. Parrots can safely consume rosemary, and it contains several health benefits that make it an ideal snack to mix in with regular meals. As with many herbs it is better to use as a snack or in a mix as opposed to the staple in your parrot’s diet.
Herbs are generally safe when it comes to feeding your parrot, usually as a snack rather than the main course as they tend to lack the robust amount of nutrients that are found more often in seed or special food purchased from a pet store.
If you are ever unsure if something is safe for your pet then make sure to contact your vet and ask them, it is always a good idea to verify with a professional.
Also, be wary of where you source your herbs from as pesticides can negatively impact the health of your bird.
What is rosemary?
Rosemary is a needlelike, shrub-like plant that is common to the Mediterranean but can thrive in cooler climates due to its similarities with other evergreen plants such as pine trees.
This allows the plant to be grown in a variety of locales, and it can even be grown in your own backyard if you have got a bit of a green thumb.
It takes some patience as rosemary grows rather slowly, but it can be rewarding in the long run.
The flowers, in particular, are a nice sight, ranging between purple and violet with a rich scent.
Is rosemary toxic to parrots?
No, rosemary on its own is not toxic to parrots.
The largest risk that comes from your parrot eating herbs is if they are coming from an unreliable source and could potentially contain harmful chemicals and pesticides.
Only feed your parrot something that you yourself would consider safe to eat, and if you are not sure then make sure to ask your vet what is and is not safe for your parrot to eat.
Can parrots eat fresh rosemary?
Rosemary is safe to feed to your parrot in any form be it fresh off the stem or roasted in the oven.
Dried rosemary is also an option if you have a food dehydrator of some kind.
My favorite form of rosemary is as I mentioned above roasted and used as a seasoning.
Rosemary has the peculiar trait of keeping its flavor even when cooked, with the smell that comes from cooking it being rather aromatic so if you enjoy the scent then I recommend preparing the rosemary this way for you and your parrot.
What nutrients does rosemary contain?
There are a handful of nutrients that your parrot can glean from regularly eating rosemary.
These include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B-6. Rosemary also carries iron and calcium within it along with several antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Making sure your parrot gets enough Vitamin A is essential, as Vitamin A deficiency is a common ailment suffered by domestic parrots.
Mixing herbs in with their meals is a good way to mitigate this if you do not want to resort to medicinal supplements.
Vitamin A in parrots helps maintain the health of their eyes and consequently their vision.
It also works to keep their feathers healthy and their colors vibrant.
This vitamin serves a purpose similar to that of Vitamin A, mainly affecting the health of the feathers and their color.
This type of vitamin is part of the range of B vitamins, and they should be fed to your bird daily as it is constantly passing through their body and being excreted.
Needless to say, a vitamin deficiency is unhealthy, so rosemary makes for a good way to give your parrot a nice vitamin boost.
Vitamin C is a broadly used vitamin within a parrot’s body and it serves many functions.
It bolsters your bird’s immune system, allowing it to fight off infections more effectively.
Vitamin C also works to maintain the health of bone and muscles within the body, with deficiencies leading to weakness within the bird.
Another benefit is that Vitamin C regulates blood sugar and serves to reduce blood pressure thus enhancing the heart health of the parrot as well.
Stress reduction is also a benefit known to come from Vitamin C consumption.
This reduction in stress may also lead to a reduction in destructive behavior or poor mood.
Calcium is an essential mineral absorbed by the body and used in the construction of bone and other structures inside the body.
If your parrot is female, then calcium will also be used in forming the shells of eggs they might lay so it is important to make sure your parrot is getting enough calcium as deficiencies can be detrimental to their offspring and potentially prove fatal.
Iron is an important component in the formation of red blood cells, making up the main part of the compound hemoglobin.
This compound allows red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to various parts of the body.
Without an adequate level of iron your bird will become anemic, causing your parrot to feel weak and become lethargic.
Can eclectus parrots eat rosemary?
Eclectus parrots can eat rosemary safely, though make sure you wash any plants you feed to your parrots thoroughly.
This ensures that any harmful chemicals are washed off so as not to make your parrot ill.
Rosemary can help keep your parrot’s colorful plumage full and healthy.
Can amazon parrots eat rosemary?
Yes! Rosemary is perfectly safe for your Amazonian friend to eat, and the health benefits listed above apply in full to them.
Their colorful feathers will be well maintained by the vitamins on offer from rosemary, and they will likely enjoy how it tastes.
As always make sure you clean any fruits or vegetables you intend to feed to your parrot thoroughly.
Can African gray parrots eat rosemary?
As with the prior two the answer remains the same.
African gray parrots can safely consume rosemary however you prepare it and receive all the same benefits as their relatives.
While they may not be as colorful as their cousins, rosemary will still go a long way in maintaining the health of your parrot both on their exterior and within their interior.
Rosemary is a wonderful addition to any parrot’s diet, containing nutrients and benefits for all species of parrot without any noticeable downsides.
As is the case with herbs, however, rosemary should never be the main source of food for your parrot as it lacks the broad range of nutrients it needs to survive.
Homegrown rosemary is the safest to eat, while thorough washing should prevent any harmful chemicals that can be found in supermarket rosemary.
As always if you are unsure about something related to the health of your parrot make it a point to contact your vet and make sure.