Is spinach safe for birds?

by Art
(TX)

Spinach ( a no no since 1950 in animal husbandry ) is also a source of Fe and will prevent the absorption of Calcium. Yet you have it as a good food for parrots. Dr. Phalen DVM now in AU originally Texas A&M has just finished a paper on this subject. Fe retention disease ...not to mention calcium blocker.....Then Vitamin C In most sources avoid fruit that has it. Oranges for example.

Comments for Is spinach safe for birds?

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Dec 29, 2010
Is spinach safe for birds?
by: Linda

I agree with Dr. B on this one. My motto for spinich is the law of moderation. Anything can be overdone and with all the testing that has been done about spinich and its interference with calcium absorption means for bird guardians that a little is better than a lot. Parrot diets should be 80-85% organic pellets, and treats like fruit and veggies should be no more than 10-15% of total diet which means a few times a week in smaller amounts.

As for citrus, I've fed an orange slice here and there to Macaws and Amazons for years in small amounts with no adverse results short-term or long-term. My Macaw used to have a nice, citrus fruity smell to her which was very pleasant for all concerned. Again, all things in moderation keeping pellets as the main diet always.

So, a bit of spinich is not going to cause problems. A lot of spinich or any other treat food will and does cause health issues with parrots. In the wild, they are limited to what they can forage, and they also tend to waste a lot of food, so they're not getting as much of anything as some may think.

Feeding people food is a definate no no as most human treat foods contain large amounts of salt, sugar and fat the 3 biggest killers of pet parrots and other pets. Basically, dogs need high quality dog food with few, if any, treats, cats need cat food and birds need high quality pellets and a few high quality treats a few times a week in smaller amounts. Birds do not have to eat seeds though sprouting seeds for them is a source of high quality pure protein and some vitamins and minerals too. Internet has some instructions for safely sprouting seeds for birds for those of you who have changed your parrots over to pellets and have seeds left over. Needless to say, sprouts do not keep for very long in refrigerator, so sprout only what birds will eat in a day or two at most.

Linda
PS It would not hurt to find out more information about the dangers of feeding too much spinich for those not already aware, and the internet is a great source for any kind of research.

Dec 28, 2010
Spinach safe for birds in small amounts
by: The Avian Vet

Yes, spinach is safe to feed birds - as a treat. My grey loves greens and I give her a single leaf or two almost daily. Feeding small amounts occasionally is not going to have enough of an effect on calcium absorption to cause a health problem, and parrots (except maybe lories) are not affected by iron retention. The same goes for citrus fruits, too.

Dr B

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