I often find myself using thyme as a supplemental ingredient in many recipes I make for myself and my family.
From lemon thyme pork to cherry thyme chicken there are many combinations that make thyme a staple in my kitchen, even if it is not the star of any one meal.
The frequent use of thyme in my kitchen led me to think about how safe it would be for pets either in the event they accidentally eat something off my plate or if it were fed to them intentionally.
To answer the question in simple terms, yes. Thyme is completely safe for your parrot to consume, containing a handful of nutrients that make it a good snack for your feathered friend. It should be used as a supplement to your parrot’s diet rather than the main source of food.
The use of herbs in your parrot’s diet should be relegated to supplements or snacks instead of staples in their diet.
Mixing a handful of herbs in with other fruits and vegetables is the most effective way to add herbs to your parrot’s nutritional regimen. Thyme alone does not contain the wide variety of nutrients your parrot needs to maintain healthy growth.
As always if you are unsure if something is healthy for your pet be sure to contact your vet and seek their professional advice.
Also be wary of the source of your greens as pesticides have proven to be harmful to parrots and other pets, always wash your vegetables.
It is ‘thyme’ to take a look at the benefits of using this herb in your parrot’s diet!
Table of Contents
What is thyme?
Thyme is a flowering herb native to the eastern Mediterranean, having been used since antiquity in that region of the world.
The herb has since spread across the globe due to its medicinal and culinary applications along with a more esoteric subset of uses in certain cultures.
Thyme is a perennial herb, meaning a healthy plant will live over two years.
Sunny, hot locations are best suited for growing thyme, though they can handle drought and freezes well too as they are rather hardy.
There are many variations of the thyme plant but the one covered in this article is the one most often used, known as Thymus vulgaris.
Is thyme toxic to parrots?
No, thyme is not toxic to parrots at all.
Instead, it contains several nutrients that serve to enhance the health of your parrot and improve their quality of life.
Most pesticides used in commercial farming can prove harmful or even fatal to parrots however, so be careful as to where your thyme comes from.
Growing your own collection of herbs is the safest method of ensuring nothing harmful enters your parrot’s food supply, though shopping through reputable pet food brands is also a safe option.
Make sure to check with your vet before feeding your bird something you are not sure about.
Can parrots eat fresh thyme?
Thyme is safe in all forms for parrots to eat, though as mentioned above you should be wary of the danger’s pesticides can pose to your bird’s health. Washing your herbs thoroughly reduces this risk if you are not growing the herbs yourself. Dried thyme is a popular way to prepare thyme for pet consumption, usually through the use of a dehydrator though oven baking can often produce a similar result along with a pleasant smell.
What nutrients does thyme contain?
Thyme plays host to a handful of nutrients that can improve the health of your bird in several ways. These include Vitamin C, Iron, Copper, and Manganese.
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.
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.
Copper is a trace element found in most organisms’ bodies and serves a purpose similar to that of iron in the body. It is a component in the construction of hemoglobin, alongside that of iron, though copper is not needed in the same quantity that iron is. Copper serves to maintain the health of a parrot’s nervous and cardiovascular systems. It also plays a role in the absorption of iron, aiding in providing the benefits mentioned for iron above.
Manganese, not to be confused with magnesium, is a trace element similar to copper and is present in very small quantities. The primary use for manganese in the body is in the construction of connective tissues, sex hormones, bones, and a minor role in blood clotting abilities. As it is required in such small quantities, manganese deficiencies are almost unheard of.
Can quaker parrots eat thyme?
Yes, quaker parrots can safely eat thyme and suffer no ill effects. The benefits of thyme focus mostly on the internal organ systems of the parrot rather than their exterior health, aside from iron preventing anemic behavior. Your bird will likely appreciate the addition of thyme to their diet.
Can eclectus parrots eat thyme?
Yep, eclectus parrots can eat thyme and suffer no negative effects. Mixing thyme in with their meals is an excellent way to bolster their nutritional health and ensure that they are getting all they need.
Can amazon parrots eat thyme?
Yes! Thyme is perfectly safe for your Amazonian friend to eat. The handful of health benefits provided by thyme will help ensure the internal health of your parrot, letting you rest easy. Drying some out could be the perfect snack if they have been well behaved.
Can African gray parrots eat thyme?
African gray parrots can eat thyme without having to worry. There are no negative side-effects to feeding your African gray thyme, only health benefits. As always make sure to use thyme as a supplement rather than a main dish.
Thyme is a delightful herb to use in the kitchen and to give to your parrots!
The health benefits focus on maintaining the internal organ systems of your bird, allowing them to thrive.
All species of parrot can benefit from nibbling on thyme every now and again, all while not having to worry about negative side effects.
Homegrown or locally sourced thyme is usually the safest to feed to your bird, and always make sure to wash any food that you intend to feed to your parrots.
If you are unsure, make it a point to contact your vet and ask before feeding something to your parrot.