Water chestnuts can be great as snacks for humans! Although, many people wonder if parrots can eat water chestnuts too. It’s vital that you educate yourself on what parrots can and cannot eat before attempting to feed them any new foods!
In short, yes, parrots can eat water chestnuts. However, different water chestnut types have different benefits and disadvantages to them, therefore, it’s important to choose the water chestnut type wisely! Also, feeding your parrot appropriate water chestnut portions is important, as it is with any other food.
Not to worry, we’ll cover everything you need to know about feeding parrots water chestnuts in this article. Be sure to read until the end to not miss any important information and to have this burning question answered!
Which type of water chestnut should I feed my parrot?
There are several types of water chestnuts that exist, each of which have their own tastes, textures and most importantly, nutritional values! It’s also important to be familiar with different kinds of water chestnuts if you plan on feeding them to your parrot. The reason for this is that certain kinds are more beneficial to your parrot, while others do have certain risks. Let’s cover what the most popular water chestnut types have to offer for your parrot, in particular!
Chinese water chestnuts
Chinese water chestnuts grow in tall grass-like plants. These plants are green and are often cultivated for their edible corms. These Chinese water chestnut plants grow in many parts of the world such as Asia, Australia as well as the tropical parts of Africa and certain Pacific and Indian ocean islands. How nutritious are these water chestnuts?
Chinese water chestnuts are very low in fat, which is great for parrots! You should always try to avoid fat when feeding parrots, as much as possible. This specific type of water chestnut does not offer very much nutrition. There is a bit of vitamins in them, such as a small amount of vitamin C and vitamin E. While there are other vitamins in Chinese water chestnuts, the amounts are very minimal that they are hardly worth mentioning. As for calories, there are 60 of them in a half-cup portion of Chinese water chestnuts, which is reasonable. To answer the question you’ve been asking yourself, yes, Chinese water chestnuts are most certainly safe for your parrot to eat, although, they have very little benefit when eaten.
European water chestnuts
Certain areas in the world consider European water chestnuts as an invading species that they want to eliminate from their environment. The reason for this is that because this type of water chestnut has leaves that float near the surface of the water, it creates shade that covers other plants. Because of this, European water chestnuts decrease plant biodiversity and is therefore harmful to ecosystems.
How are European water chestnuts when it comes to nutrition? They are very similar to Chinese water chestnuts, in that sense. Although European water chestnuts do have slightly less calcium than the Chinese water chestnut type, they are higher in calcium which is excellent for your parrot! Furthermore, there is a significant portion of manganese in these chestnuts, which is great for both humans and parrots. Other than that, this water chestnut choice does not offer very much nutrition, much like many kinds of water chestnuts, however, they can be fed to your parrot in appropriate portions, as long as you are also feeding them other foods that will meet their needs for vitamins and minerals.
Indian water chestnuts
Despite their name, India is only one of many places where this type of water chestnut is common. They can also be found across most parts of Asia. This type of water chestnut requires full sunlight to grow and can be found in lakes and ponds. Indian water chestnuts also create a mat like appearance on the surface of the water, which can limit the biodiversity of other plants in the area they grow in.
As for their nutritional benefits, they don’t contain any fat, which is already excellent. Since these water chestnuts are not very nutritional, you will need to once again ensure that your parrot is getting the nutrition they need from other foods. Indian water chestnuts have a very small amount of protein in them, as well as a bit of vitamin C, and some iron. Other than this, there is not much else that these chestnuts have to offer. They can be served as a snack, but don’t forget to feed your parrot real food throughout the day too!
To summarize, any of these three water chestnut types are completely safe for consummation by your parrot. Though, it is vital to keep in mind that these aren’t nutritional meals for your parrot, but rather snacks or a side-dish if you want to be fancy.
Where can I buy water chestnuts for my parrot?
Water chestnuts are very easy to find. You can visit your local grocery store and they will most likely have a variety of water chestnuts for you to choose from.
Don’t forget that buying organic when it comes to shopping for your parrot is very important! Chemicals and pesticides can be harmful towards your parrot, therefore, only buy organic water chestnuts. If you can’t find them, it is not encouraged to feed your parrot any water chestnuts because of the risk of illness they offer due to pesticides used to produce these chestnuts.
Why should you only feed your parrot organic water chestnuts?
As mentioned previously, buying any type of food that is not organic can be risky if you plan on feeding it to your parrot. The reason for this is that products that are not organic are often produced with numerous types of pesticides that can harm your parrot. But in which way can these pesticides affect your parrot?
Pesticides can kill birds either directly or poison them without directly killing them. There are several types of poising that can be caused by the consummation of pesticides such as lethal poisoning and sublethal poisoning.
How to pick out the right water chestnuts for your parrot
Like apples and other kinds of foods, there are several tricks to picking out the right water chestnuts. An important thing to keep in consideration when picking out your parrot’s water chestnuts is the look of the skin. The skin offers lots of information about what you can expect to find underneath that skin on the inside of the water chestnut! For example, a wrinkled skin and soft spots on the outside of the chestnut usually means that on the inside, that water chestnut is going to be quite soft and mushy, which is not exactly what you want for you or your parrot!
That being said, you should always aim for the chestnuts that have an unwrinkled skin and that seem to have no soft spots. Keeping this in mind when picking out water chestnuts for you or your parrot can help you find the best chestnuts and leave the bad ones behind. Here’s one last tip when it comes to shopping for water chestnuts; You should always take with you a few more water chestnuts than you will need since a few of the chestnuts you chose may not be as nice on the inside as they are on the outside. It is always good to be prepared!
Where to store my parrot’s chestnuts?
It’s important to ensure that you practice proper storage when it comes to food for your parrot, and that includes his/her water chestnuts, of course! It’s best to use the water chestnuts as soon as possible from the time you bought them. By doing this, you or your parrot will get to eat the chestnuts when they taste the best.
To keep water chestnuts good for as long as possible, store them in a plastic bag and ensure that they stay refrigerated. It is not encouraged to store them in cans! Also, water chestnuts when stored in a safe manner can be kept good for up to 2 weeks! But as we mentioned previously, you’ll enjoy them more when they are fresh, and most likely your parrot too.
How to prepare water chestnuts for my parrot
Before feeding your parrot water chestnuts, start by peeling them and removing the top. If you happened to buy canned water chestnuts, you should rinse them properly to remove as much sodium and pesticides as possible, although, as we mentioned previously, organic is always better, despite the additional cost.
Once those steps are done, the chestnuts are ready for serving! Your parrot should love them. If you want to enjoy some water chestnuts with your parrot, you can also throw them into a salad (for yourself)!
Well, you are ready to serve your parrot some water chestnuts! We hope this article was helpful and that we managed to answer all of your questions.