Can Parrots Eat Sesame Seeds? (Yes, But…)

The natural food for all parrots mostly comprises seeds and nuts. However, there are some seeds that may harm the parrot and cause some serious health problems like apple and avocado seeds. But what about sesame seeds?

Can Parrots eat sesame seeds?

Yes, parrots can eat sesame seeds, and it’s totally safe to include them in a parrot’s daily meals as they’re healthy and parrots will benefit from eating them. Yet, it shouldn’t be the key ingredient. Instead, it should be along with other ingredients of seeds, nuts, fruits, and veggies.

They’re no such food that can provide any parrot with its daily requirement of nutrients. Parrots can get these adequate portions if they are living in the wild, but as a pet, it’s way harder to suffice these needs. And diversifying the meals of the parrots is the closest any owners can go to imitate the natural food wild parrot eat.

And in this article, we will dive into everything about feeding sesame seeds to a parrot, why you should do it, and many more. So, and without further ado, let’s get into this.

can parrots eat sesame seeds

Why Adding Sesame Seeds To a Parrots Diet Is Good

Small portions of sesame or quinoa seeds can provide parrots with a lot of benefits that they might not get when they are kept as pets. And according to USDA, every 9 grams (tbsp) of sesame seeds contains the following nutrients:

  • Protein 1.59 g
  • Fat 4.47 g
  • Carbohydrate 2.11 g
  • Fiber 1.06 g
  • Sugars 0.027 g
  • Calcium 87.8 mg
  • Iron 1.31 mg
  • Magnesium 31.6 mg
  • Phosphorus 56.6 mg
  • Potassium 42.1 mg
  • Sodium 0.99 mg
  • Zinc 0.698 mg
  • Copper 0.367 mg
  • Manganese 0.221 mg

These nutrients are essential for pet parrots, and it doesn’t end with this list, but these are the nutrients that exist in sesame in higher amounts. Look at the USDA website above to see the full list.

Apart from the high amounts of nutrients, sesame seeds can help the parrot by fighting inflammation, maintaining healthy bones, being an excellent source of vitamin B, helping in cell regeneration, fighting cancer especially in old parrots, and can support and boost the immune system. And this will be good for sick parrots.

Apart from that, the exorbitant amount of protein in sesame seeds makes it one of the best vegetarian protein sources, and yes, parrots need protein, preferably vegetarian. Not to mention the vitamin that can help the parrot’s body to healthy functioning and can promote good mood, especially at molting times.

How Much Sesame Seeds Is Enough For Parrots

The amount of sesame seeds is something you need to think about. You don’t want to over-feed your bird a lot of sesame seeds because they won’t suffice the what the parrot needs of nutrients, and in fact, it could pose harmful effects in the long run. But don’t let this scare you, and small portions of sesame seeds can provide significant benefits for the bird.

How To Serve Sesame Seeds To A Parrot?

Just a small pinch of sesame sprinkled on any fruit, veggie, before serving it to the bird is enough. Or you can add them into the food bowl inside the cage, but I don’t prefer this because sesame seeds are too small and they will just leak down to the bottom of the bowl, and in most cases, the parrot won’t be able to eat them.

Another way is to grind the sesame seeds and scatter the powder over any other type of fruit or veggie. This way the ground sesame seeds will stick to the food, and the parrot will consume most of it.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

Yes, there might be some drawbacks when a parrot consumes sesame seeds, an allergic reaction, for example. Although it’s possible for parrots to have an allergic reaction to any food, sesame seeds are generally safe, unlike apple or avocado seeds which can cause intoxication.

Another drawback is the high content of fat, which can reach 50%, and this can cause a parrot to gain extra unwanted weight if consumed extensively and might lead to fatty liver, this disease is common in pet birds that consume a lot of food without limitation.

Can All Breeds Of Parrots Have Sesame Seeds?

Yes, African greys, macaws, cockatoos, cockatiels, Quakers, lovebirds, Pionus parrot, Amazonian parrots, Eclectus, conures, Caique Parrot, Rose-ringed parakeet, Senegal, and budgies can all eat sesame seeds safely and benefit from the many nutrients sesame offers.

However, all breeds of parrots should have sesame in moderation, especially the cockatoos that are prone to gaining more weight, thus, serious health problems.

Can Parrots Have Sesame Oil?

Sesame oil itself is safe, and it’s not toxic, but it’s concentrated oil made of sesame, which means the fats are even higher than the seeds. So, this might induce allergic reactions in parrots if consumed extensively. But, it’s ok for parrots to have sesame oil in small portions, smaller than a tablespoon. And this is another way to serve and provide the benefits of sesame to a parrot without having to deal with the seeds.


Sesame seeds are one of the best additions that parrots can have within their daily meals, because of the nutritional content these seeds comprise. However, serving sesame seeds should be in moderation because of the high content of fat that may cause a parrot to gain more weight and maybe to develop a fatty liver condition, which is common for pet birds.

And yes, that’s about it. I hope you found this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…