xylitol safe for birds?

by Donna Tufty
(Queen Charlotte, BC)

Is the sweetener xylitol safe for all birds? (Appears to be safe for chickens) I'm specifically interested in feeding xylitol sweetened foods to corvids-- any info on the safety of this? Thanks!

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Nov 16, 2015
xylitol kills wild sugarbirds
by: grrlscientist

xylitol is DEFINITELY TOXIC to birds, as reported in this story about wild sugarbirds fed xylitol in south africa: http://bit.ly/1MhTMDo

Jul 18, 2015
Xylitol killer
by: Terry

Filled feeder with xylitol. Result:-DEAD HUMMER slumped over on perch ring. OUT wit!h the Xylitol!

Sep 23, 2010
macaw gum chewing
by: Anonymous

Hey guys, I have a 17 yr old Scarlet Macaw, Kramer.
She was at the beach going through my pack and I noticed her chewing and nibbling on a little stick of chewing gum with Xylitol. I immediately took it away and it was obvious that she had injected a little corner of the stick. I would guess no more that 1 mg or less of actual gum. Taking no chances I brought her home and hydrated her with lots of filtered bottled water and blackberry juice. Wanting to increase dextrose intake. She is eating and looks fine. I hope she will have no ill effects.
Again, she ate so little. I will keep you posted.
Thanks. Glenn

Mar 30, 2010
xylitol safe for birds?
by: Linda

NO, XYLITOL IS NOT SAFE FOR BIRDS, DOGS, CATS OR ANY PETS. It has been found to be toxic in dogs for one, and birds are far more sensitive to toxicity than dogs and cats.

Being that it is a non-sugar sweetener, it can also be bad for humans though those with diabetes have to drink/eat something.

ALSO, DO NOT FEED ANYTHING WITH PROCESSED SUGAR IN IT TO BIRDS OF ANY SPECIES. PROCESSED SUGAR WORKS AS A HEAVY TOXIN AND WILL OUTRIGHT KILL SMALLER BIRDS IN A SHORT TIME PERIOD, LIKE A FEW MINUTES.This includes the mixes for hummingbirds and other necter drinkers.

Natural organic honey would be okay in small quantities. Any kind of sugar-tasting product can become addictive for birds. Some of the food manufacturers use a product that is used to stabilize face creams, and it tastes sweet to birds. LaFaeber uses it or used to use it, and I think it's called propynolglycol. This chemical is used in their food that is made into the balls and the hanging kind too unless they have stopped using it. It helps the food to stick together just like when it is used in face creams and hand lotions. It is NOT good for the birds who are eating it, and they tend to NOT eat their other foods because the "sugar" taste is addicting.

So, in answer to your question, DO NOT USE ANYTHING SWEETENED WITH XYLITOL OR ANY OTHER KIND OF ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER WITH BIRDS. Also stay away from any food that has processed sugar and this includes corn syrups as well. ONLY ORGANICALLY GROWN HONEY IN VERY SMALL AMOUNTS OR NATURAL ORGANIC FRUIT SUGARS LIKE WHAT IS IN APPLES, BANANAS AND OTHER FRUIT WOULD BE GOOD FOR BIRDS. Make sure any fruit is also certified organically grown as the stuff in regular grocery stores is full of pesticides and fertilizer residue and is not safe for humans much less tiny birds.

Thanks for writing,
Linda

Mar 29, 2010
Xylitol saftey for birds unknown
by: The Avian Vet

I do not know if it is safe, I have not seen any studies that tested it safety in corvids or any other species. Why would you want to feed it to them? I am sure there are other foods that we know are safe.

Dr B

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