Can Parrots Eat Vegemite?

I was eating some Vegemite on toast the other day and it got me thinking. Can parrots eat Vegemite? Surely just a small amount would be ok wouldn’t it?

The answer to this question is yes, parrots can eat vegemite. Vegemite won’t hurt your parrot in small amounts.  If your bird has a taste for it, vegemite can be used the same way that meat scraps might be used like a dog treat.

Like any pet, parrots have a defined diet of what is ‘good for them’. Seeds, nuts, fruit and insects are all generally considered to be part of a balanced meal plan for parrots both as a pet and as a wild animal

Most pet owners are ok about feeding their animals what’s good for them. What happens if your parrot takes their diet into their own hands? Animals, and especially birds, can be proficient food thieves if you aren’t careful. So it’s worth knowing that according to breeders and vets, vegemite won’t hurt your parrot in small amounts.

Too much Vegemite can lead to some health complications for your pet, but it’s safe so long as it is not a large part of their diet. If your parrot eats things like toast and butter alongside vegemite, the risk of health complications increases slightly.

What’s in Vegemite?

Vegemite is a wildly popular condiment in Australia, but the product is less popular elsewhere in the world. As a result, anyone looking for information about vegemite outside of the land down under may face some difficulty finding out exactly what the ingredients of Vegemite are.

The jar proudly states that Vegemite is “a concentrated yeast extract”. But the yeast being used is not the same product used to make bread. Instead, vegemite’s unique recipe involves byproduct yeast from the brewing process. So whatever yeast is left over after the beer has been made is sold and converted into vegemite.

Other than yeast, the primary ingredient in Vegemite is salt.

Unsurprisingly, Vegemite tastes bitter and salty. While it’s salt content is high, the limited number of ingredients in Australia’s favorite condiment means that (as long as you don’t mind the taste) it isn’t terrible for humans to eat in any quantity. However, all that salt could mean something different for your parrot.

Parrots and Vegemite

As we have mentioned, vegemite is essentially yeast and salt. Veterinarians believe that yeast alone has little to no effect negative dietary impact on birds. But salt, on the other hand, is something that you should be careful about when feeding it to your birds.

While salt in small quantities does not hurt your bird, it can be toxic and poisonous for birds who have eaten to much of it. Too much salt in your pet’s diet can leads to dehydration, kidney failure and can even cause death.

How much salt is too much?

It depends on the size of your bird. Generally, the rule to remember is that the smaller the bird, the less toxins they will be able to digest. So use your judgement if your parrot is eating vegemite or anything else salty. If you have a small bird and you absolutely must give your them a treat, be very careful. If your parrot is larger and weighs more, their body will be able to process more salt. This rule is true of all birds as well, not just parrots. Don’t feed them to much salt.

The same can be said of fatty foods. They’re fine in controlled quantities, but too much can lead to some serious healthy complications such as kidney failure or a stroke. Vegemite itself does not have much fat in it, but if your parrot steals a piece of vegemite-smeared toast that also has some butter on it, you are much more likely to wind up with a sick parrot on your hands.

If you can’t help giving your feathered friend a salty treat, or if your parrot finds their way to some salty food, don’t panic! Just limit their intake from that point forward. Salt isn’t an instant death for your parrot, it’s just something that is unhealthy for birds in improper quantities.

My parrot ate vegemite with toast! Will that affect things differently?

Can Parrots Eat Vegemite?

While vegemite (and the salt it contains) can be harmful for your parrot if they eat to much of it, a little bit here and there won’t spell doom for your bird.

What if your parrot makes off with your vegemite after you’ve already spread it on toast? After all, odds are you won’t be spoon feeding your parrot vegemite.

Bread is something that should be treated the same way as vegemite. It isn’t dangerous for birds to have every now and again as a treat, but it should not become a part of their everyday diet.

Unlike Vegemite, bread does not have the same poisonous impact on a parrot’s life that salt does.

That does mean that any bread your parrot eats should be low-salt if you can help it, but bread is unlikely to be toxic for your parrot to eat.

The only reason it should not be a regular part of a parrot’s diet is that bread has very little (if any) nutritional qualities for avian digestive systems. While the presence of bread does not worsen the risks of feeding your parrot vegemite, it doesn’t really make anything the salty spread any better as a bird treat.

Find out more about parrots eating bread in our other article, Can Parrots Eat Bread?

So, while lots of birds love toast with condiments of all sorts, owners must stay diligent order to keep their pet healthy.

If you’re having trouble with your bird stealing your food, it could be a good time to invest in a better cage for your parrot. Since parrots will try and eat a great deal of the things that they find around the house, a cage can control where and when your pet can explore the house.

Just make sure your cage isn’t too small, and has lots of vertical space to let your parrot exist without feeling cramped. There is a large cage on Amazon that we really like has some great options for housing your parrot when you can’t watch it around the house, so check out their website if you’re in need of a new cage for your bird.

So if you love vegemite and your parrot, it might be best to the two away from one another when you aren’t around to supervise.

That doesn’t mean your parrot can never eat vegemite, but keeping it hidden could help you control how much of the spread and toast your bird is consuming.

Without the risks of your bird eating too much on their own and getting sick, your parrot can continue to have the snacks that they enjoy and you can rest easy knowing your parrot is not going to get sick.

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