Last Updated on: 31st October 2023, 12:55 pm
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is safe for parrots. It’s a natural remedy for fatty liver disease, renal failure, joint pain, yeast infections, and mite infestations.
Never give a parrot too much ACV or offer it undiluted because. Non-watered-down apple cider vinegar can cause oral and digestive burns, calcium deficiencies, and diarrhea.
Parrots that like the taste of apples and other acidic fruits may enjoy the taste of apple cider vinegar as long as it’s adequately diluted and not too strong.
Can Parrots Drink Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. There are health benefits when using ACV for caged birds, but it’s often overlooked as a parrot-friendly substance.
Parrots shouldn’t be given undiluted ACV because it’s too acidic and can irritate the skin. In the worst cases, it can cause stomach ulcers and digestive distress.
Parrots with sensitive stomachs or digestive problems may find ACV too acidic, even when watered down.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Parrots?
ACV is a natural antioxidant that may prevent certain health conditions.
The best ACV has sediment on the bottom of the bottle, called the “mother of vinegar.” Braggs is among the most popular brands.
ACV may benefit parrots in the following ways:
Fatty Liver Disease
Fatty liver disease leads to a build-up of fat around the liver.
The liver is essential for detoxification, digestion, and storing vitamins and minerals. When extra fat accumulates, it enters the bloodstream, preventing the liver from functioning.
Some parrot species are prone to fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis), including galahs, Amazons, Australian parakeets, and budgies.
According to Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, diluting ACV in a parrot’s drinking water can reduce the intestinal tract’s pH, decreasing bacteria and ammonia production.
When ACV is used alongside the laxative lactulose, the parrot’s protein tolerance increases. This allows the liver to regenerate while easing the symptoms of hepatic lipidosis.
Symptoms of Avian Renal Disease
When a parrot has avian renal disease, its liver can’t remove waste from its body. Avian disease is commonly caused by inflammation or kidney damage. The symptoms include:
- Blood in stool.
- Increased thirst.
- Increased urination.
- Muscle weakness.
- Painful joints.
- Puffy abdomen.
- Weight loss.
Natural ACV is an alternative treatment for coccidiosis. This is caused by a parasitic organism that damages the parrot’s intestinal system.
ACV contains pectic, acetic acid, and malic acid that absorb metabolic waste stored in connective tissues, flushing them from the body. It also dissolves acid crystals between the joints.
ACV may prevent the onset of arthritis by maintaining the body’s pH balance. This stops minerals from crystalizing between the joints.
Bacteria And Fungi
When added to fresh food, ACV can prevent bacterial and mold growth. While you shouldn’t leave food out for more than 4-6 hours, adding ACV ensures the parrot’s food is safe.
Apple cider vinegar can remove pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables by destroying microorganisms, fungi, and viruses. As vinegar is acidic, it creates an inhospitable environment for growth.
ACV is a preventative natural treatment for avian digestive disorders, removing harmful pathogens. It also breaks down protein, making it easier for the body to utilize.
Vitamins And Minerals
ACV contains vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E.
Nutritional deficiencies are among the leading causes of health conditions, stress, and disease.
Parrots can develop thrush and yeast infections. They’re associated with stress due to nutritional deficiencies, improper environmental conditions, fluctuating temperatures, and psychological stress.
The symptoms of a yeast infection include:
- Lack of appetite.
- Weight loss.
- Swollen crop.
- White or red mouth plaques.
- General discomfort.
- Bowel changes.
- Excessive swallowing.
ACV naturally encourages acidity in the digestive system, promoting the growth of healthy bacteria.
Add ACV to the parrot’s water to normalize the pH level in the gastrointestinal tract.
Chicks can have 1-2 drops of raw apple cider vinegar in their hand-feeding formula. Adult parrots can have between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ACV per 16 oz of water.
ACV can treat yeast infections on the skin. Soak a cotton bud in apple cider vinegar and water to treat them. Then, apply it daily until the infection is gone.
ACV can be applied directly to damaged feather follicles to ease the pain.
Also, it can be diluted with water in a spray bottle and misted over the parrot’s body. This discourages parrots from plucking their feathers, reducing the discomfort caused by dry skin.
Apple cider vinegar can treat wounds. Treating a parrot with a cut or scratch on its foot with ACV may alleviate the pain and prevent bumblefoot.
You can use ACV to treat parrot mites. Parrots are affected by the following:
- Red mites.
- Feather mites.
- Scaly-leg mites.
- Air sac mites.
While ACV isn’t effective against air sac mites in the respiratory tract, dousing the parrot in a solution of 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water can drown mites that feed off the skin.
Alternatively, a mist bath can be beneficial, especially if the parrot’s skin is dry and sore. After bathing the parrot in vinegar, rinse it with clean water to remove the odor.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Bad for Parrots?
ACV isn’t toxic or harmful for parrots, but too much can cause problems. Parrots with sensitive digestive systems may have trouble consuming apple cider vinegar.
Here are the issues caused by giving apple cider vinegar to parrots:
ACV can absorb calcium, removing this mineral from the parrot’s body. In the long term, this can cause a calcium deficiency, leading to the following problems:
- Soft eggshells.
- Feather picking.
- Heart disorders.
- High cholesterol.
- Muscular pain and contractions.
- Lack of balance and coordination.
Diarrhea can occur when sugars stimulate the esophageal peristalsis, making contraction in irregular waves. Food moves through the digestive tract too quickly, increasing the feces’ water content.
Diarrhea caused by ACV can reduce a parrot’s potassium levels, leading to low blood pressure and muscle weakness. The effects of low potassium include stress, destructive behaviors, and feather plucking.
Apple cider vinegar enhances feelings of fullness and decreases appetite.
Parrots who consume ACV long-term could lose weight. Again, this is only a problem when parrots are given too much, as a few drops won’t cause weight loss problems.
ACV’s 5% acidity is harmful when undiluted or inappropriately watered down. If a parrot swallows undiluted ACV, it’ll burn its mouth, tongue, and digestive tract.
Acidic foods also cause the following problems:
- Blood in the poop and urine.
- Cold or pale feet.
- Lack of energy.
- Loss of appetite.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Stomach ulcers.
- Vomiting blood.
Acid burns can be damaging, so measure the amount of ACV you give a parrot.
What’s A Safe ACV Dosage for Parrots?
Add a ratio of 1/4 tsp per 4 oz of water to the hand-feeding formula of juvenile parrots. This can prevent yeast, fungus, and bacteria from growing and multiplying.
Budgies, parrotlets, and other small parrots can have the following doses of apple cider vinegar:
- Health maintenance: 1/4 teaspoon of ACV to 1 cup of water for 3 days per month.
- Digestion problems: 1/2 teaspoon of ACV to 1 cup of water for 5 days.
- Respiratory issues: 3/4 teaspoon of ACV to 1 cup of water for 7 days.
For medium to large-sized parrots, including cockatiels, African grays, and Amazon parrots:
- Health maintenance: 1/2 teaspoon of ACV to 1 cup of water for 3 days per month.
- Digestion problems: 1 teaspoon of ACV to 1 cup of water for 5 days.
- Respiratory issues: 1 ½ teaspoon of ACV to 1 cup of water for 7 days.
Avoid metal food or water dishes, as they’ll tarnish over time. Provide a stainless steel dish.
Is The Smell of Vinegar Harmful To Parrots?
The odor of ACV isn’t toxic to parrots because it’s natural. ACV has a pungent smell when undiluted, which means that not all parrots will enjoy the scent.
While parrots can locate food via scent, they don’t have the best sense of smell. In most cases, diluted ACV shouldn’t affect them too much, especially when only a small quantity of vinegar is used.
Heated vinegar fumes enter the parrot’s respiratory tract, causing a burning sensation and irritation.
Can You Use ACV To Clean A Parrot Cage?
Many owners use apple cider vinegar to clean cages because it contains acetic acid, a natural disinfectant.
To clean a parrot’s cage, create a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Wipe down the cage and all removable parts with a clean cloth. Then, let it sink in before wiping it down with a wet cloth.
For hardened feces or ground-on dirt, soak a cotton pad in ACV and place it on any soiled areas. This will soften all hard stains, making them easier to remove.
Apple cider vinegar has various health benefits but must be watered down due to its acidity. Not all parrots like the taste or smell, so you’ll have to see how the parrot reacts.