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Foods that are Toxic to Birds

While there are many foods you can share with your bird, you should be aware of foods that are toxic to your bird. The wrong foods can shorten the life of your feathered friend by causing intestinal disorders or life-threatening illnesses. Here are a few foods you should avoid feeding your bird:

Chocolate and caffeine: Both chocolate and caffeine can be toxic to your bird. If a bird ingests chocolate or caffeine, it may result in hyperactivity, regurgitation, diarrhea, seizures, irregular heartbeat, and even death.

Onion and garlic: Onion and garlic contain compounds that are known to cause the rupture of red blood cells, which can result in anemia.

Avocado: Although only some varieties of avocado may be toxic, it is best to avoid avocado completely. A toxin called persin is found in avocado leaves and perhaps in other areas of the plant.

Salt: If a bird ingests enough salt, it may result in toxicosis. Salt toxicosis results in increased thirst and urination, depression, tremors, weakness, and death.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are an acidic fruit, and they can potentially cause ulcers. Raw tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes, are not recommended for birds.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms, a type of fungus, have been known to cause digestive problems in birds. In addition, the stems and caps of mushrooms could potentially cause liver failure.

Raw dairy: Birds cannot properly digest milk and products containing milk.

Other foods to avoid giving your bird include alcohol, shellfish, carbonated beverages, high-fat junk food, fruit pits, persimmons, peanuts, rhubarb, and undercooked/reheated meat. Any processed food that contains high amounts of salt, sugar, or fat is probably not safe for your bird.

If you have any questions concerning whether or not a food is safe for your bird, you should contact your avian veterinarian.

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