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Can parrots eat mushrooms?

Are Mushrooms Safe For Parrots? [Cooked vs. Raw]

(Last Updated On: March 26, 2023)

Most wild varieties of mushrooms are poisonous. 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. However, they must be boiled to remove harmful toxins before consumption.

Once cooked, mushrooms are a good source of antioxidants, vitamin B, copper, and potassium.

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 parrots.

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 various 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) may need to 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 doses, but the human body can process them in smaller amounts without any 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 that’s poisoned by mushrooms may experience 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 the parrot likes the chewy texture and browned color of Cremini mushrooms more than buttons. 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 your palm.

These mushrooms have a denser flavor and a firmer texture. Due to its size and texture, the portobello mushroom is 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 that’s If the parrot likes strong flavors, the porcini’s rich, robust taste is ideal.

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, including cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases.
B-vitamins:Growth and development of cells and converting food into energy.
Copper:Healthy nerve cells, robust immune system, and red blood cell creation.
Potassium:Works with sodium to balance fluid levels in the body.


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

Unfortunately, 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.

So, replacing antioxidants can help protect the body from oxidative stress.

Though the amount is species-specific, mushrooms are rich sources of ergothioneine and glutathione. Porcini mushrooms contain the most antioxidants, while button mushrooms contain significantly fewer.

Cooking mushrooms doesn’t significantly reduce antioxidants.

B Vitamins

B vitamins play an essential role in metabolism, especially the conversion of food into energy. So, if a parrot is depressed and lethargic, it may need more B-group vitamins.

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.


The two most abundant minerals in mushrooms are:

  • Copper.
  • Potassium.

Copper is essential for creating red blood cells, which deliver oxygenated blood. 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?

Can Parrots Eat Raw Mushrooms?

Avoid feeding a parrot raw mushrooms. While parrots may be able to eat mushrooms without harm, there’s a high chance that your parrot will consume:

  • Bacteria from during transportation.
  • Toxic compounds in higher doses.

You won’t know if this is the case until a parrot displays symptoms of agaritine poisoning. Studies have shown that agaritine has carcinogenic effects.

For example, 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?

Here’s how to prepare mushrooms for parrots:

Remove the packaging and wash them under the hot tap. This will clean away any bacteria and pesticides picked up during the harvesting, packaging, and shipping.

The most effective way to reduce toxins in mushrooms is by boiling them:

  1. Place the mushrooms in a pot of water.
  2. Let them reach a rolling boil.
  3. Cook them for 10 minutes.

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

A cooked button, cremini, portobello, or porcini mushroom is safe once or twice a week.