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feeding corn on the cob to parrots

Can Parrots Eat Corn on the Cob? [Raw vs. Cooked]

Dried corn on the cob without salt, butter, or other additives is a healthy dietary addition.

Parrots enjoy eating corn, as they do so in the wild, and the cob that remains after a parrot pecks off the corn can sharpen and wear down its beak.

Corn is sweet enough to satisfy a parrot without risking obesity or diabetes if offered in moderation. Corn on the cob also has health benefits as it contains fiber, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants.

Corn on the cob can be served raw or cooked, as its nutritional profile remains mostly unchanged.

Raw corn mirrors what a parrot would snack on in the wild, but cooking the corn will increase its scent and potentially improve its flavor for parrots.

Corn can attract fungi, so you’ll need to check it’s safe to eat.

Do Parrots Like Corn on the Cob?

Captive parrots need a varied diet that meets all nutritional requirements while ideally mirroring the foods found and consumed in the wild.

Parrots eat raw corn in their natural habitat, making corn on the cob a worthy addition to any meal plan.

Every parrot is unique, so there are no guarantees that your parrot will enjoy corn on the cob. If you’re unsure, trim a handful of pieces of corn and hand-feed them. If your parrot enjoys this and experiences no ill effects in the aftermath, upgrade to a small corn on the cob.

One advantage of corn on the cob is it serves two purposes. As well as providing a source of nutrition, the leftover cob doubles as a toy for parrots to sharpen their beaks.

As per the Turkish Veterinary Journal, beak sharpening opportunities are otherwise limited in captivity, which can lead to deformities or injury.

Can You Feed Corn on the Cob to Parrots?

Maybe parrots enjoy eating corn, but is it good for parrots? Let’s start by reviewing the nutritional content of one large ear of corn on the cob:

Calories155
Total Fat3.4g
Saturated Fat1.6g of 3.4g
Cholesterol5.8mg
Sodium29.2mg
Potassium359.2mg
Carbohydrates32g
Protein4.5g

Is Corn on the Cob Healthy for Parrots?

There are several reasons corn on the cob is a good food for parrots, beyond familiarity from the wild and satisfying instincts. The vitamins and minerals in corn include the following:

Copper:Helps develop a strong skeleton and blood flow, promoting heart health.
Fiber:It encourages a healthy, regular digestive tract and releases calories slowly, so your parrot feels fuller for longer.
Iron:It helps keep the hormones balanced in a parrot’s body, which is particularly important in females of breeding age.
Manganese:Speeds up the metabolism, ensuring that your parrot processes carbohydrates and protein, managing the risk of weight gain caused by the fat in corn.
Potassium:It balances fluids in your parrot’s body and promotes heart health.
Vitamin B5:It creates new blood cells and ensures that food is converted into energy for your parrot, which is essential for flying and exercising outside the cage.
Vitamin B6:It keeps your parrot’s immune system working to capacity, primarily by creating hemoglobin in the blood and metabolizing protein and glucose.
Vitamin B9:It generates cell growth and minimizes the risk of heart concerns in your parrot.
Zinc:Encourages appropriate nerve function and improves metabolism and digestion.

Corn contains antioxidants, which keep parrots healthy and reduce the impact of free radicals.

Is Corn on the Cob Bad for Parrots?

There is no getting away from the fact that corn on the cab contains a lot of fat and carbohydrates. Excessive corn on the cob can lead to weight gain, which causes joint problems and diabetes.

Another concern is the presence of fungi in corn. Many cereals and legumes attract fungi, which can result in mycotoxins. According to Clinical Microbiology Reviews, mycotoxins can be deadly to parrots.

The journal Toxins said that fumonisins are the mycotoxins most likely found in corn on the cob, as these concerns are associated with hot, dry agricultural growth conditions.

Corn on the cob grown and sold in the USA is subject to FDA checks and approval, and if dangerous levels of fumonisins are found, the product will be recalled.

Is Raw or Cooked Corn on the Cob Better for Parrots?

There’s minimal difference in the nutritional profile of corn on the cob, whether served cooked or raw.

Parrots eat raw corn in the wild, so they’ll rarely have a problem with this arrangement. However, warming up corn can make it more enticing.

Corn on the cob can be boiled, microwaved, baked, or grilled. You can even warm it over a barbeque and allow the corn to cool off before serving it to your parrot.

If you heat corn, it should remain as pure as possible. Never apply butter or oil to corn on the cob, as this will add even more fat and potentially cause a stomach upset.

Avoid salt, too, as parrots can only process so much sodium.

Can Parrots Eat Frozen Corn?

Frozen corn is a good solution if you want to stock up on corn on the cob for your parrot. Freezing the corn ensures that it’ll remain fresh ahead of feeding and won’t lose flavor or nutrients.

Before placing it in a parrot’s cage, thoroughly defrost the corn.

Can Parrots Eat Canned Corn?

Parrots can theoretically eat canned corn, but there are numerous caveats.

Canned corn can be filled with sugar, sodium, additives, and preservatives that’ll negate the health benefits of the corn itself.

Also, avoid creamed corn, as parrots are lactose intolerant.

How to Feed Parrots Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob should always be washed thoroughly before serving, even if you shop organic.

You can strip the corn and place it in a bowl or hand-feed each piece to your parrot. Alternatively, you can hang the corn on the cob in the cage, allowing the parrot to peck at will.

Secure the corn on the cob firmly and allow your parrot to nibble. Keep an eye on the corn, ensuring it doesn’t start to rot before your parrot finishes it.

Corn on the cob only lasts around two hours at room temperature before it starts to turn. Removing it from the cage is safer if your parrot isn’t interested in the corn.

How Much Corn on The Cob Can Parrots Eat?

As corn shouldn’t be left in a parrot’s cage too long, encourage them to eat small corn on the cobs. If your parrot eats a full, small corn on the cob once a week, it won’t experience any adverse effects.

As a foodstuff and a source of entertainment, corn on the cob is a worthy dietary addition.