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Can parrots eat mushrooms?

Are Mushrooms Safe for Parrots? (Cooked vs. Raw)

(Last Updated On: July 2, 2023)

Most wild varieties of mushrooms are poisonous for humans and birds alike. Even edible mushrooms can contain agaritine, hydrazine, and formaldehyde.

While humans can consume these toxic compounds in small quantities, they’re deadly for parrots.

Parrots can eat button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, and porcini mushrooms. All varieties must be boiled to remove harmful toxins before consumption.

Once cooked, mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin B, copper, potassium, and antioxidants.

Can You Feed Parrots Mushrooms?

If store-bought and cooked, you can feed mushrooms to parrots because they’re:

  • Non-toxic.
  • Cultivated in a healthy environment.
  • Stored in optimal conditions.

These mushrooms have an extra layer of safety that you won’t get with wild mushrooms. However, clean and boil mushrooms before feeding them to pet birds.

Are Mushrooms Bad for Parrots?

Mushrooms can be dangerous to parrots when:

  • Harvested incorrectly.
  • Eaten raw.
  • Picked in the wild.

Mushrooms are classed as fungi, which can introduce health concerns.

Mushrooms Absorb Toxins

Unlike plants, fungi don’t photosynthesize. Instead, they break down other organisms, turning them into food, which gives them a porous texture.

This can be dangerous to parrots that eat a mushroom that’s absorbed a toxic ingredient. Since mushrooms absorb nutrients around their environments, this could include:

  • Pollutants.
  • Toxins from plants.
  • Harmful chemicals from the soil or air.

A mushroom could become toxic if grown in the wrong environment.

can parrots each cooked mushrooms?

Poisonous Mushrooms Are Hard To Identify

Mushrooms are notoriously difficult to identify and tell apart. Even experts in mycology (the study of fungi) sometimes perform chemical tests to separate one family of mushrooms from another.

Parrots Are Vulnerable To Mushroom Toxins

Edible mushrooms contain toxins, the most common of which include:

  • Agaritine.
  • Hydrazine.
  • Formaldehyde.

These can be dangerous to humans in large quantities, but our bodies can process them in smaller amounts without adverse effects, but the same doesn’t apply to parrots.

For example, shiitake mushrooms contain a naturally occurring form of formaldehyde. This is safe for humans but harmful for parrots.

A parrot poisoned by mushrooms may suffer from the following:

If you choose the right mushrooms and cook them thoroughly, a parrot can enjoy eating them as a treat.

What Mushrooms Are Safe for Parrots?

Here’s more information on different parrot-safe mushrooms:

Button Mushrooms

Button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) come from the edible family of basidiomycete mushrooms. They’re a good source of vitamins and minerals with a neutral taste.

Button mushrooms contain carcinogenic hydrazines but are found in very small amounts. Once cooked, the amount of hydrazine diminishes further.

Cremini Mushrooms

Cremini mushrooms are the same as button mushrooms but older. The Agaricus bisporus mushroom goes through life stages, maturing, changing color, and taking on slightly different flavors.

For this reason, you may find parrots like Cremini mushrooms’ chewy texture and brown color more than button mushrooms. The hydrazines contained within don’t intensify with age.

Compared to button mushrooms, creminis are harder to find and more expensive.

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are older cremini mushrooms. Due to their age, portobello mushrooms grow quite large, sometimes as big as the palm of your hand.

These mushrooms have a denser flavor and a firmer texture. Due to their size and texture, portobello mushrooms are a common meat substitute.

Porcini Mushrooms

Translating to ‘hog mushroom’ in Italian, porcini mushrooms have a hog-like appearance.

They feature chunky stalks that are bright white, with a red-brown cap. The porcini’s rich, robust taste is ideal if the parrot likes strong flavors.

Porcini mushrooms are mycorrhizal, so they survive by feeding off the underground roots of trees. For this reason, they’re susceptible to taking on the compounds found in those trees.

When cultivated in the right environments, they contain fewer toxins.

Are Mushrooms Healthy For Parrots?

Mushrooms contain the following vitamins and minerals:

Antioxidants:Fights age-related diseases (cardiovascular and inflammatory).
B-vitamins:The growth and development of cells and converting food into energy.
Copper:Healthy nerve cells, robust immune system, and red blood cell creation.
Potassium:Combines with sodium to balance fluid levels in the body.


Converting food into energy causes oxidative stress due to the production of free radicals.

Free radicals cause damage to the body’s cells and proteins, increasing the risk of life-threatening conditions like coronary heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Replacing antioxidants can help protect the body from the damage caused by oxidative stress.

Although the amount is species-specific, mushrooms are high in ergothioneine and glutathione. Porcini mushrooms contain the most antioxidants, while button mushrooms contain significantly less.

Cooking mushrooms doesn’t significantly reduce antioxidant levels.

B Vitamins

B vitamins play an essential role in metabolism, especially the conversion of food into energy. A parrot may need more B vitamins if it’s lethargic with a low mood.

According to the Mushroom Council, mushrooms contain the following B vitamins:

  • Thiamin (B1).
  • Riboflavin (B2).
  • Niacin (B3).
  • Pantothenic acid (B5).
  • Folate (B9).
  • Cobalamin (B12).

The benefits include:

  • Red blood cell creation.
  • Improved digestion.
  • Hormones that regulate growth and mood.
  • Nerve health.
can parrots eat raw mushrooms?


The two most abundant minerals in mushrooms are:

  • Copper.
  • Potassium.

Copper is essential for creating red blood cells, which deliver oxygenated blood to organs. Aside from its role in the cardiovascular system, copper keeps the bones and nerves healthy.

Potassium is vital for the heart, muscles, and nerves, performing the following roles:

  • Nutrient absorption.
  • Muscle strengthening.
  • Cell waste removal.

Potassium balances out the effects of too much sodium in the body.

Can Parrots Eat Raw Mushrooms?

Avoid feeding a parrot raw mushrooms, as studies have shown that agaritine has carcinogenic effects. You won’t know if it’s ill until the parrot displays symptoms of agaritine poisoning.

Food and Chemical Toxicology found that agaritine led to mutated cells in a study performed on mice. That toxin is paired with hydrazine, which is also found in mushrooms.

These toxic compounds can be removed by cooking the mushrooms. The Japanese Journal of Public Health determined that boiling the mushrooms for 10 minutes significantly reduces agaritine.

Can Parrots Eat Cooked Mushrooms?

The most effective way to reduce toxins in mushrooms is by boiling them. Follow this process:

  1. Remove the packaging.
  2. Wash the mushrooms under the tap to remove bacteria and pesticides.
  3. Put the mushrooms in a pot of water.
  4. Let them reach a rolling boil.
  5. Cook them for 10 minutes.

You can bake or sauté mushrooms but don’t include butter, salt (sodium), or cooking oil. Remember that baking or sautéing will remove fewer toxins than boiling them in water.

A cooked button, cremini, portobello, or porcini mushroom is safe for pet parrots once or twice a week. Combine them with different nutritious vegetables for other essential vitamins and minerals.