Parrots are very curious creatures when it comes to new toys, mates, and food, especially food. Parrots always look for something new to try, sometimes they like and other times they hate it.
And eggplant is actually a new food for parrots, at least in most cases, it’s not their natural food like seeds and nuts, but they may feel interested in and seek to try and eat. And again they may like eggplant, and sometimes hate it.
So, Can Parrots Eat Eggplant? and is it healthy for them? And the answer is Yes parrots can eat eggplant. But it could cause them poisoning on very rare occasions, especially if they consumed large quantities of eggplant. And to stay on the safe side you can feed eggplant to your parrot in tiny quantities to avoid any risks.
And in this article, we will dive into everything you need to know, why eggplant could poisonous to some parrots, how to minimize the risks of feeding eggplants to parrots, and everything you need to know about this topic.
Let’s get into this
Table of Contents
Why Eggplant Can Be Poisonous to Parrots
Eggplant and tomato, along with potato and some types of peppers actually belong to the nightshade family. Nightshade family is a big one, and it comprises a lot of plants. The tobacco plant also belongs to this family as well.
A lot of plants subtypes that belong to nightshade contain the solanine alkaloid, this alkaloid is poisonous to humans and animals including parrots.
I know it could be unheard of before, but the reason behind it is the fact that the consumption of small amounts of solanine is absolutely safe, at least for people.
But, for parrots and with their tiny bodies this alkaloid can take effect, causing them sickness and many dangerous symptoms.
Can Solanine kill Your Parrot?
With large consumption yes, solanine can kill parrots after causing them a lot of painful symptoms leading them to die, eventually.
Symptoms will occur mainly in their digestive and neurological systems and may cause them to feel dizzy and sensitivety.
And if you noticed any weird symptoms after the parrot has eaten eggplant, you need to take it to the vet as quickly as possible, ignoring the condition can cause death to the bird.
These symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, cardiac dysrhythmia, nightmares, headache, dizziness, itching, eczema, thyroid problems, and inflammation and pain in the joints.
As you see, there are few symptoms the owners can notice if they were happening with their parrots, and at that time they need to act fast by taking their bird to the vet.
What is The Toxic Dose of Solanine?
The average eggplant contains approximately 11mg of solanine. Now, the lethal dosage of this alkaloid is between 2-5 mg per kilogram.
So, the killer dose for a human weighing around 80 kilograms is between 160mg and 400mg. So, if any person decided to suicide by solanine he will need to eat 14-36 raw eggplant.
these calculations are for humans and for parrots, the lethal dosage is way lesser considering that the largest breed of parrots can barely grow to reach 2 kilos.
For example, the African grey parrot normally weighs around 500 grams, so the lethal dosage will between 1mg and 2.5mg.
Even though, some owners have tolerance toward these hazards of feeding eggplant to their pet parrots and risking their health or causing them poisoning.
And again parrots can actually eat eggplant and the smaller the amount the safer for your parrot.
And if you find it so necessary to feed eggplant to your parrot, Let’s jump and find out how to prepare eggplant for parrots safely.
How to Prepare Eggplant to Your Parrot Safely?
So, to prepare eggplant for your parrot and avoid or minimize any risks you can follow some of the following multiple steps:
The first step is to cut or slice the eggplant to 20 pieces or more, it’s mentioned above that every eggplant contains about 11mg of solanine, so if you chop it to 20 pieces or more you know every piece has less than 1mg of solanine.
The second step, it to feed only the flesh of the eggplant, you will need to peel the skin because it has the most concentration of solanine.
The third step is to cook the eggplant after you chop it. Boiling or baking can help to reduce the solanine, which means that it will become safer for parrots to consume.
And, by following these steps you can feed your parrot eggplant with minimum risks. Another method to reduce the solanine is to sprinkle salt on it after you slice it, but salt is not an excellent idea to serve to parrot. The mentioned steps can suffice.
What Benefits Parrots Can Find in Eggplant?
Regardless of solanine, eggplant contains many nutrients and every parrot can benefit from, and according to USDA, every 82 grams of eggplants contain:
- 100 mg of Fat
- Sodium 2 mg
- Potassium 188 mg
- Dietary fiber 2.5 g
- Sugar 2.9 g
- Protein 0.8 g
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-6
So, there are huge benefits in eggplant, and luckily there are a lot of alternatives to get these nutrients for your parrots, and there is no need to depend on the eggplant to get them.
In conclusion, the smaller the amounts of eggplant you feed, the safer for your parrot. Also remember, the smaller the body of your parrot, the higher the risk.
Some parrots weigh around 80-120 grams just like cockatiels. Some parrots weigh even less, just like budgies who average between 30-35 grams.
However, and if you asked me about my opinion, I would recommend avoiding feeding eggplant to parrots, you don’t what may happen to them after they eat.
And what applies to one parrot doesn’t necessarily mean it will apply to another one, even within the same breed.
Apart from that, eggplant is not a natural food for parrots, and they may ignore and won’t eat unless they are hungry, which is not the case with all parrots.
And yes, that’s about it, hope you find this informative and helpful, Thank you for reading…