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can parrots drink tea?

Is Tea Good for Parrots? (6 Bird-Safe Tea Varieties)

(Last Updated On: May 13, 2023)

Parrots can drink decaffeinated and naturally caffeine-free teas without milk, sugar, sweeteners, and flavorings. The decaffeination process doesn’t make tea caffeine-free, but it’ll be less than 2.5% (by law).

Herbal (like Rooibos) and chamomile tea reduce stress, ease stomach issues, and improve blood circulation. Decaffeinated green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, which reduce oxidative stress.

We’ll examine the most popular varieties to discover which teas are healthiest for parrots. You can give them a small amount of parrot-safe tea, like Rooibos or chamomile, once or twice a week.

Can Parrots Drink Tea?

Many owners want to give tea to parrots, but the ones humans drink are high in caffeine and contain some theobromine, which is highly toxic to birds.

However, there are safer teas for pet birds. Parrots can drink the following:

  • Chamomile tea (naturally caffeine-free).
  • Rooibos tea (naturally caffeine-free).
  • Peppermint tea (most are caffeine-free, but check the ingredients list).
  • Herbal tea (most are caffeine-free, but check the ingredients list).
  • Herbal tea (most are caffeine-free, but check the ingredients list).
  • Decaffeinated green tea (in moderation).
  • Decaffeinated black tea (in moderation).

According to Chinese Medicine, tea contains:

  • Calcium.
  • Magnesium.
  • Manganese.
  • Iron.
  • Copper.
  • Zinc.
  • Potassium.

These minerals are essential to a parrot’s health and physical development.

is tea ok for parrots?


According to the International Journal of Avian Science, calcium is essential for avian reproduction because shells comprise mostly calcium carbonate.

Calcium is also essential for the following:

  • Strong bones.
  • Nerve, brain, and muscle function.
  • Heart health.

Tea is a way to add calcium to a parrot’s diet, aside from giving it cuttlebone.


Iron creates hemoglobin, allowing blood to carry oxygen throughout the body.

Too little iron can cause anemia, while too much iron can cause iron storage disease. This is where excess iron accumulates around a parrot’s organs, preventing them from functioning well.


Potassium is required for bone and muscle growth and can stem blood flow due to an accident or injury. For example, when accidentally cutting the ‘quick’ when trimming its claws.

Potassium works with sodium to regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. It also plays a vital role in calcium absorption but shouldn’t be consumed in moderation.

Is Tea Bad for Parrots?

Unfortunately, tea and the substances found in it can be harmful to parrots.


Many human teas contain caffeine, which is a stimulant. Caffeine belongs to a chemical class of alkaloids called methylated xanthines, stimulating the central nervous system and heart.

Caffeine is responsible for cardiac malfunctions in parrots as it’s absorbed quickly by the intestinal tract, causing too much work for the kidneys to function properly.

Caffeinated drinks should be avoided because it causes:

  • Increased heart rate.
  • Heart arrhythmias.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Cardiac arrest.

As parrots are energetic birds, caffeine can lead to them becoming aggressive, destructive, and claustrophobic inside the cage. They’ll also struggle to sleep, sending their sleep routine out of sync.

Milk (Lactose)

Parrots shouldn’t drink milk because they lack the right enzymes (lactase) to digest the sugars in milk. Instead, fluids are drawn into the digestive tract, causing diarrhea and other digestive complaints.

Added Sugars

If parrots consume refined sugar, they may reject more important areas of their diet, leading to malnutrition. It can also give them excessive energy, making them hyperactive.

What Types of Tea Can Parrots Drink?

Many different types of tea are available, so it’s important to know which varieties are safe for parrots. If you want to share tea with a parrot, here are some important considerations:

Can Parrots Drink Green Tea?

Green tea contains 7.61 mg of caffeine, which is about 80% less than black tea. While it’s a low-caffeine tea, only give green tea to pet parrots when decaffeinated.

Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants (catechins), such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), that reduce oxidative stress, preventing illness and disease.

When looking for a parrot-safe green tea, check the ingredients list. Avoid additives, preservatives, and colorings that may have side effects.

The safe ingredients in green tea include:

  • Probiotics.
  • Dextrose.
  • Green tea extract.
  • Rooibos extract.

Can Parrots Drink Chamomile Tea?

Chamomile tea is extracted from the flowers of the chamomile plant and is naturally caffeine-free.

It comes in black, white, and green varieties, depending on when the leaves were picked. Black chamomile tea is the most nutritious because it’s extracted from the youngest leaves.

Chamomile tea is among the best teas for parrots to drink due to its:

  • Sedative properties that can enable a parrot to sleep better.
  • Its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, which can reduce destructive behaviors like feather plucking.

Misting chamomile over a parrot with a spray bottle can ease feather and skin problems.

Can Parrots Have Peppermint Tea?

Peppermint tea isn’t commonly given to parrots due to its strong, minty flavor.

Peppermint tea is okay for parrots to drink in moderation. As a natural tea, it contains no toxic ingredients that can harm parrots. Always check the ingredients list to ensure there’s no added caffeine.

Peppermint tea boasts a range of health benefits, including:

  • Soothes stomach upsets.
  • Relieves clogged sinuses.
  • Boosts energy levels.
  • Fights bacterial infections.
  • Improves sleep quality.

If a parrot’s poop becomes runny or changes color, it’s unsettling the digestive system.

Can Parrots Drink Black Tea?

Black tea stimulates blood circulation and can soothe stressed parrots. However, 100 ml of black tea contains 37 mg of caffeine. Only drink decaffeinated black tea in the presence of pet birds.

do parrots like tea?

Can Parrots Drink Rooibos Tea?

Rooibos tea (also known as red bush or red tea) is a herbal tea with a distinctive nutty taste. Due to its flavor, many parrots enjoy the taste of Rooibos, which resembles nuts and seeds.

While rooibos tea is rich in natural antioxidants like aspalathin, it lacks vitamins and minerals. As a result, drinking red bush tea in high quantities can cause parrots to become deficient.

That said, rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free, making it a good alternative to black and green tea. It’s also tannin-free; tannins are natural compounds that interfere with vitamin and mineral absorption.

As a result, Rooibos is one of the safest and most nutritious teas to give a parrot.

Can Parrots Drink Herbal Tea?

There are many types of herbal tea, which are usually caffeine-free and safe for parrots to drink. Which herbal tea you give a parrot depends on its sickness or physical ailments.

It should only be offered once or twice a week to allow the parrot’s body to absorb and digest the ingredients. Too much herbal tea can cause stomach problems and diarrhea.

Many shop-bought herbal teas are flavored with artificial colorings and additives to give them a fruity flavor. While you may think fruity teas are suitable because parrots eat fruits, flavorings can be unhealthy.

How To Give A Parrot Tea

To make tea for parrots, do the following:

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of decaffeinated herbal tea to 8-10 ounces of water.
  2. Stir and strain it to remove any loose leaves.
  3. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
  4. To get a parrot to drink tea, place it in a shallow bowl inside the cage.

Avoid giving parrots the tea that many of us drink, especially if it’s caffeinated. Instead, opt for a decaffeinated variety or, better still, a herbal variety (like Rooibos) that’s naturally caffeine-free.