Celery is a superfood in the vegetable world. Its crunchy texture and subtle flavor make it popular with some, but is it safe for parrots to eat?
Celery contains several vitamins and minerals that are good for parrots, including vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and potassium. Celery also provides parrots with mental stimulation because of its fibrous texture. However, the stringiness can also cause crop impaction, which is where food gets stuck in the parrot’s crop, causing digestive issues. Similarly, pesticides are commonly found on celery, so you must wash the vegetable before feeding it to your parrot.
Owners mustn’t feed parrots too much celery, as it risks deficiencies and malnourishment. Some parrots aren’t interested in the taste as there are tastier foods available, but most love tearing celery apart.
Can Parrots Eat Celery?
Like all other vegetables, celery is fine for parrots to eat in moderation. Like we’ve already mentioned, in small doses, celery is a good source of nutrients, including essential vitamins and minerals.
Parrots struggle to get some vitamins through pellets alone, so vegetables such as celery can boost their levels. Similarly, diets that contain several seeds and nuts are usually lacking in vitamins.
However, too much celery isn’t recommended either. That’s because parrots require a varied diet that contains all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Celery contains some essential vitamins and minerals, but, as we’ve already mentioned, excessive amounts leaves them vulnerable to malnourishment and vitamin deficiencies.
It also contains few calories, so if celery isn’t incorporated with higher-calorie fruits and vegetables, parrots are at risk of losing a significant amount of weight.
The celery’s stringiness poses a problem for parrots, as they struggle to digest the fibrous material. As a result, celery must be adequately prepared and cut into smaller chunks before you give it to your parrot.
Do Parrots Like Celery?
More than the taste, parrots enjoy the texture of celery. Most parrots hold onto the celery stick with their claws and rip the vegetable with their strong jaws and beak. This provides birds with mental stimulation, preventing them from getting stressed or bored.
Nutritional Information of Celery
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, one cup of celery (120 g) contains the following nutrients:
|Nutrient or Mineral||Amount|
|Vitamin C||3.72 mg|
|Vitamin A||26.4 µg|
|Vitamin E||0.324 µg|
|Vitamin K||35.2 µg|
Is Celery Good For Parrots?
Celery is high in several essential nutrients that parrots need to stay healthy. Feeding celery in moderation helps keep the immune system and digestive tract strong and functioning correctly. That’s because it provides parrots with the following:
One cup of celery (120 g) contains 3.72 mg of vitamin C. While this isn’t as high as other foods, such as kiwi and oranges, celery still includes a fair amount compared to its low calorie levels. A weekly treat of celery helps:
- Keep blood sugar levels stable
- Stabilize cholesterol levels
- Reduce the risk of kidney diseases
- Heal wounds
- Keep blood pressure at safe levels
- Stop bad cells from forming
Vitamin C keeps the immune system healthy and stops parrots from displaying self-destructive behaviors, such as feather plucking.
As described by a journal on Vin, parrots get beta carotene from vegetables in their diet, which is converted into vitamin A. Therefore, it’s essential parrots get enough vitamin A from the foods they eat. Symptoms include:
- Oral abscesses
- Breathing problems
- Poor eyesight
- Weak bones
- Respiratory disease
- Lowered immune function
Similarly, birds with a vitamin A deficiency have duller red, orange, and yellow feathers because there aren’t enough carotenoids to give them their bright coloration. This is one of the most noticeable signs that parrots need more vegetables in their diet.
Celery contains vitamin K, which is essential for strong bones. Without it, deficient parrots suffer from weak, brittle bones and are prone to injuries and breakages. This is a problem as they stand on their feet all day and hold themselves upright with their legs, even while they’re sleeping. Sometimes parrots stand on just one leg.
Similarly, vitamin K helps with injuries that draw blood. It clots the blood, helping to stem the flow and stop heavy bleeding. Anemia and vitamin K deficiencies are closely linked with each other.
Breeding and pregnant parrots need more vitamin K to ensure their eggshells are strong and healthy, reducing the risk of hatching mortality.
A cup of celery contains 48 mg of calcium, which is another essential parrot nutrient. Like most mammals, parrots need calcium for strong, healthy bones.
Because parrots can’t digest lactose, dairy products aren’t suitable foods for parrots. As a result, they need to consume it from other sources, including fruits and vegetables. Calcium helps to:
- Make eggshells healthy and strong
- Prevent hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency disease)
- Prevent self-destructive behaviors, such as feather mutilation
- Lower the risk of heart disease
- Lower cholesterol
- Prevent muscle contractions
- Reduces muscle pain
- Improves balance and coordination
Incorporate celery into your parrot’s diet each week to increase their calcium intake to a stable, healthy level.
Potassium reduces blood pressure and the parrot’s stress levels, which is vital to their mental health. Parrots are also prone to several behavioral problems, including feather plucking. These behaviors are enhanced by stress, so potassium is essential for preventing them.
However, potassium isn’t responsible for reducing stress alone. Their environment needs to be comfortable for them to live in, too.
Is Celery Bad For Parrots?
Celery isn’t toxic for parrots and is safe for them to eat. However, the stringy part can cause problems. Before feeding it to your parrot, there are a few things you must be aware of, including:
Because celery is such a fibrous material, it can get stuck inside your parrot’s crop. This condition is serious if it’s not treated immediately. As described by VCA Hospitals, the entrapment of foreign objects causes problems and sometimes lead to infections.
An impacted crop means that the digestive system stops functioning properly and prevents new food from passing through. Symptoms include:
- Frequent regurgitation
- Loss of appetite
If the impaction isn’t treated, the following issues can occur:
- Bacterial infections
- Yeast infections
Crop impaction requires veterinary treatment to remove the impacted celery.
Celery has a high water content. As a result, too much can cause watery stools and diarrhea. It can also cause excess gas to form in the stomach, making parrots bloated and uncomfortable. The gas also causes painful stomach cramps.
95% of farm-grown celery has been found to contain up to 13 pesticides. Farmers use them to protect their crops from pests.
If the celery isn’t thoroughly washed before you give it to your parrot, it’s at risk of pesticide poisoning. Symptoms include:
- Dilated pupils
- Incoordination and unsteadiness
- Labored breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Head tilt
Organic celery is a better option, as it’s rarely grown where pesticides are used. Unfortunately, cheaper celery tends to be grown on farms that use chemicals, whereas more expensive vegetables are of better quality.
Can Parrots Drink Celery Juice?
Celery juice is one of the safest and healthiest ways to feed the vegetable to parrots. This is because it pulverizes the stringy pieces that can get stuck in your parrot’s crop.
Some parrots love drinking celery from a shallow bowl. The vegetable is ideal for juicing because of its high water content, as the water gives it a pleasant consistency. However, you might want to add a splash more depending on your bird’s taste preferences.
Similarly, combining celery with other vegetables and juicing them all together with water is an excellent way to provide extra vitamins and minerals. It also makes the celery more flavorsome.
Before juicing, wash the celery, as blitzing it doesn’t remove the chemicals.
Can Parrots Eat Celery Leaves?
Celery leaves are the most flavorsome part of the vegetable. The dark outer leaves are surprisingly the tastiest part, so many parrots love devouring them. However, the texture is tough and fibrous. This isn’t actually a bad thing, as they provide parrots with mental stimulation, as they’ll enjoy ripping and tearing them. It’s just something to be mindful of.
The lighter inner leaves are delicate and have a more subtle flavor. While neither contains enough nutrients for your parrot to eat alone, they’re healthy when paired with the rest of the celery.
That being said, it’s important to understand that celery leaves contain minuscule traces of toxic compounds called psoralens. As described by SF Gate, they could cause a reaction if they’re eaten every day. However, feeding them to your parrot as an occasional treat won’t do any harm.
Can Parrots Eat Celery Seeds?
Celery seeds are just as safe to eat as the rest of the celery and contain several nutrients that are beneficial to a parrot’s health.
They aren’t found in the celery but on the plant. Once they become brown and dry, you can harvest them and feed them to your parrot.
However, parrots tend to prefer other seeds, such as sunflower seeds and pine nuts. You can incorporate celery seeds into their daily seed intake, but your parrot may leave them, picking out their favorites instead.
How To Prepare Celery For Your Parrot
Before treating your parrot to a celery stick, you must prepare it properly first. This is to prevent crop impaction.
As already mentioned, before feeding, wash the celery in cool water, being sure to rub into the fibrous sections where pesticides may be lurking. For an even better clean, soak it for an hour in a saltwater bath to remove all chemical traces.
To prevent large strings from entering your parrot’s body, chop it up into fine pieces. While parrots love holding the stick and tearing it apart, it’s not safe for your bird and can cause problems in the long run.
If you’re worried about crop impaction, juice the celery and feed it in a shallow bowl. If your parrot hasn’t consumed it within a couple of hours, replace it with a fresh batch.
Celery is a good addition to a parrot’s varied diet. However, it’s not the most nutritionally-dense vegetable available because it’s low in fat and calories. If you have leftover celery, it’s OK to feed it to your parrot.