The Dangers Of Fruits Seeds And Pits

The Dangers Of Fruits Seeds And Pits

 August 23rd, 2010
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Q:  Is it safe to let my parrot eat fruit seeds?

A:  Whenever you question whether or not something is safe for your bird, it is always best to opt against using it until you know for certain.  My philosophy is: when in doubt, don’t. Fruit is wonderful for your parrot but the seeds cause a lot of confusion because some are bad and others are not. Here is a list use can use a guideline:

The seeds of apples and the pits of cherries, peaches, plums, pears, apricots and nectarines are all unsafe to give to your birds.  They contain varying levels of a cyanide compound that can cause death. In humans, it would take many, many apple seeds to cause us to feel the effects of the poison, but, of course, parrots would succumb much more quickly to a smaller amount. If your bird gets a hold of a couple of apple seeds, it really isn’t a big deal, and you don’t need to rush him to the vet.
Keep in mind that the larger the seed or pit, the higher the amount of toxins they contain. Chewing them releases amounts of poison that might otherwise remain locked inside the hull and pass through the system without causing much harm.  Unfortunately, birds chew everything, and if given the opportunity to chew open a pit, they will.

The seeds contained in grapes, cantaloupe, cranberries, watermelon and pomegranates are all safe for birds to eat as well as the seeds of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons.  While they are not fruits, the seeds from squashes and pumpkins are also safe.  Sometimes giving these seedy portions of fruits and vegetables will entice a bird to eat the flesh around them.

The pomegranate is a most interesting fruit. The only thing edible about it is the seed portion.  The seeds are surrounded by a foam-like textured flesh covered in a tough rind.  This is a great foraging toy for a bird and I serve it as pictured above.

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145 Comments on “The Dangers Of Fruits Seeds And Pits”

Joe  08/23/2010 9:57 pm

It was squash, zucchini, sprouts, banana, kale, tomato, pear, and pellets for my bird this evening.

Jessica  08/24/2010 2:20 pm

Wow – I’m so glad I read this. I routinely quarter apples and give them to my conure – seeds and all. I won’t be doing THAT again anytime soon! Thank you so much for posting this article.

Dr. Michelle Klukos ND  08/24/2010 2:33 pm

“Boomer” my Eclectus loves, loves, loves pomegranates !!!!

kat  08/24/2010 2:34 pm

ive seen in a book that feeding tomatoes arent good that they have a toxin in them

Arson  08/24/2010 2:36 pm

good info ty you can never be to safe i say

LYDIA SPARKS  08/24/2010 2:37 pm


Andrew Pitman  08/24/2010 2:46 pm

Squashes and pumpkins, which contain seeds, actually ARE fruits, as are tomatoes. Are tomato seeds safe for birds?

j suehr  08/24/2010 2:58 pm

just wanted to check on tomatoes?

Judy  08/24/2010 3:09 pm

What about berry seeds?

Wendy Middleton  08/24/2010 3:19 pm

My Quaker loves to eat raspberries, but he is extremely messy when he does (even more than usual!!) He eats the seeds and then shakes his head to get rid of the flesh on his beak. Since I prefer the flesh to the seeds, I guess that makes us perfectly compatible.

Larry  08/24/2010 3:30 pm

as stated … “While they are not fruits, the seeds from squashes and pumpkins are also safe.”

Ummm … they are fruits BECAUSE they have seeds. So are tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

Kathy  08/24/2010 3:31 pm

thanks for posting this, very timely, as I was wondering about the cantaloupe seeds, hated to throw out what might be goodies for my birds!

marty  08/24/2010 3:46 pm

i’ve had a triton cockatoo for 25 years and he’s eaten apple seeds several times per week for almost his entire life. guess i’m lucky he’s got a cast-iron stomach

Nicole  08/24/2010 3:59 pm

Wow thanks, my budgies love popcorn and i just buy the regular fruit bird seeds.

Kim  08/24/2010 4:11 pm

I have heard that avocado’s and their pits are especially dangerous, is this true?

Jeanette  08/24/2010 4:14 pm

Thank you! Very informative. I never thought about feeding my birds pomegranate. This is sure to be a fun treat for them to enjoy.

deen e_11  08/24/2010 4:34 pm

i never have given my bird any seeds i always core his apples….and i never ever give pits

deene_11  08/24/2010 4:37 pm

i have fed him blueberries..and strawberries

Lee McNamara  08/24/2010 4:49 pm

Joy loves black berries and she seems to love to eat one berry bump at a time, I never thought to feed her lemon, because it makes my mouth water. She love cherries, but I take the pit out, four times a week I give her scrambled eggs and toasted bagle. I try to feed her organic pellets, she would only eat certain ones. I also giver her pasta and tomatoe sauce, with a little grated cheese.
I don’t use salt when I cook, because I don’t like a lot of salty food, I also give rice cereal, with blue berries and banana, My vet is an averian vet and he said her weight is good. I know she is over twenty years, because she is with me 19 years now and she is my little pal,

Trish  08/24/2010 5:11 pm

wow – good to know! My Indian Ringneck loves to tear open apricot and peach seeds to get at the nugget in the middle. Is that part bad for him?

joe applegate  08/24/2010 5:13 pm

wait so can you give them a pomoegrante that is cut in half and the can forage through it and they wont eat the foam stuff?  08/24/2010 5:18 pm

How about mango seeds?

Lionel Fernandes  08/24/2010 5:56 pm


I’ve always wondered about apple seeds… Really appreciate the advice you give out constantly…

Cheers man…

Pauline  08/24/2010 5:58 pm

I think you should re look at the above, the Cyanide in these seeds is what stops cancer, it contains B17. Its Cyanide that is not in the poisonous form. A bird would eat this in the wild I am sure.

Roz  08/24/2010 6:03 pm

Could you please provide opinion on passion fruit seeds?

Debra  08/24/2010 6:15 pm

Good question, Judy…my Quaker loves berries and their seeds.
What a smorgas-bird, Joe! 😀

Lovey Manteit  08/24/2010 6:16 pm

Is silver beet, spinach, water cress, lettuce leafs, cabbage leafs, cauliflower, broccoli, safe to serve to my Corella.

ushi soames  08/24/2010 6:39 pm

I have over time cut down on dry Parrot food and they mostly get fruit like mangoes,pommegranates,grapes,passionfruit and berries, basically fruit when in season, like pineapples, peaches, tangerines etc. Certain herbs from the garden they love too, like parsley, chives, sage, thyme etc. Peppers and chillies too . and certain nice grasses.I also pick wild flowers like daysies and cloverThey also love peas which they have to unravel themselfes and cellery cut in to long thin bits which they love to crunch on and fiddle about with! They get 1 or two almonds too and half a wallnut or a whole one though not all at once! Fruit is best to start off the day with, when they are hungriest and get the full benefit of all the vitamins and minerals. I also give them tiny little dishes of soya based yoghurt rich in calcium and they are like children with their favourite icecream! Dirty beaks and all! Give them a tissue or a bit of kitchen roll after and they wipe their faces while laughing! Evenings they do get the odd treat like a bit of cous-cous or a bit of pasta and the odd bit off sweet or normal potatoe.Enjoy! Whatch them prosper and get healthier and happier by the day as each one bears new pleasures and surprises! Happy parroting to all ………..with much love ushi and my two Amazones, one Eclectus(Solomon Islands) 2 Conures(the naughtiest birds ever!!)1, 30 year old Dove and a regular guest George the African Grey.
Ps. Don’t ever feed them processed food like cake,bisquits or choccolate and never avocado!!!

said  08/24/2010 7:08 pm

i give my parots what ever i’m a matter of fact i have thm around me when i’m ready to we had chicke ,broccoli and ziti.

Ronna  08/24/2010 7:25 pm

Thank you, Chet! Great information! I also learned that the wood from those same fruits are also poison to them! So DO NOT cut off a piece of a branch from your apple or peach tree to put in the bird cage!!
My Naturopathic Vet (very high in his field) informed me that even though parrots love to eat chicken and turkey etc… it shouldn’t be given to them because they’re not able to digest it properly. Good rule to go by, if it’s not something they eat in the wild, they probably shouldn’t be eating it. (With the exception of their kibble food, which they really do need!) I give mine Harrison’s cause it’s the best, along with a few bites of whatever I’m eating at the time. I eat lots of organic fruits and veggies, so they’re pretty healthy birds.

For the record, birds can’t digest milk products either, such as yogurt and ice cream, even though they love it. It can upset their stomachs and give them diarrhea. So will the sugar in the ice cream, besides lowering their immune system! Remember, it only takes a very small amount to effect them.

Andy Corona  08/24/2010 7:40 pm

Another food I would NEVER give a parrot, is a tortilla chip, My husband gave my African Grey, Polly, (I know, real original name, but I named her after Polly Klass who was kidnapped and murdered in CA) anyway, my husband slipped a torlilla chip to my bird, which I didn’t know, she seemed to almost stop breathing, she kind of looked glazed in her eyes, and didn’t move, it may have got stuck in her croup or something, I was panicked beyond anything, Thank God, it passed and I grabbed what she had left over. Do not ever give your Parrot a corn chip at all!

Roz  08/24/2010 7:53 pm

Just out of interest, could you please quote the reference of your information? Doing so will add credibility and I would like to read the research for myself. Many thanks

Name (required)  08/24/2010 8:02 pm

Thank you I was aware of apple seeds. My gold and blue macaw Is a great eater. She is
getting too demanding when we eat although she gets her portion. She screams a loud
churp as impatient. Now I can add more of the good seeds.

Ian W  08/24/2010 8:09 pm

Thanks for that very educational article, Oscar has been loosing a lot of feathers, I think I overfed him treats particularly sunflower seeds.He is still happy and talking a lot, but his feathers are a mess.

nathan  08/24/2010 8:30 pm

thanks 4 warning me my 2 cockatiels love fruits

barbara  08/24/2010 8:50 pm

Can I give my blue fronted parrot tomatoes

Barbara Kinser  08/24/2010 9:14 pm

Barb 8/24/2010/9:00 pm
I have an african grey and a double yellow head I feed them Abba1500 parrot food and the man where I order it from said it has everything in it they need and it does have fruits and nuts and veggies you can see, he told me to be careful feeding anything else. They will eat grapes,apple broccoli and they like corn bread, corn bread is only if we are having it and the fruits etc are only given occasionally too. The breeder in florida reccomended the seed when I bought the birds as babies and thats all they have ever had. Do you think Im doing the right thing?

Sonia  08/24/2010 9:37 pm

What about exotic fruits such as the lychee or longan seed?

Lori  08/24/2010 10:28 pm

Sweet Pea our new 5 month old conure is much more interested in her seeds than fruit and veges (although i am giving her a big assortment in am.The only thing she is really crazy about and eats is watermellon. Is this common for young birds ???. Or habit from two months in petsmart? i would really like her to eat more fresh food. I present kale apple berries cantelope bell pepper brocolli carrots etc.. she will take tiny bits of egg, chicken from our plates when offered. Any suggestions? Or just keep offering.

Raven  08/24/2010 10:35 pm

Omg, thank you! My bird loves cherries, but I never let her have the seeds, since I’m uncertain of what seeds she can or can’t eat. Now that I read this blog, I understand what seeds she can not eat and what seeds she can eat. She loves pomegranates, but she always leaves a mess.

Sheryl  08/24/2010 11:09 pm

Thank You for this great info. Please be aware bird lovers, never feed your birds avacado or chocolate. It will kill them! I won’t even keep them in my house anymore for fear they could get into it by accident.

Vivian  08/24/2010 11:26 pm

My lovebird likes to pick & eat each little seed off a strawberry, the seeds inside a green or red pepper – are they safe for him to eat? He’s loves corn which I hope isn’t too much sweet carbohydrates. He also just discovered he likes crunching on kale stalks although I don’t think he eats them. Birds are so interesting………

H.S.Sehgal  08/25/2010 12:25 am

very good you save my birds

LIZ R  08/25/2010 1:07 am

Thank you for the valuable information. I have two little parrots and I only feed them their dry food. I didn’t know that I could give them fruits and vegetables. I am so amazed of all the things I can give them now, so thanks again!

Elizabeth Johnson  08/25/2010 1:15 am

Any one know of a parrot dieing or sickened from avocados? It has been one of those “not sure so don’t” things. I’d like to know for sure from a reliable source.

Marco  08/25/2010 1:20 am

My Cockatiels like to eat the seeds from hot chillies peppers.

Rachelle  08/25/2010 2:33 am

Avocados are the most dangerous fruit a bird can be exposed to!!!

I have heard that grapes are not safe aswell, a friend of mine nearly lost her Macaw to grapes!

My Eclectus loves carrots and apples but his all time favourite are gooseberries when in season.

Isabel  08/25/2010 2:34 am

This was now a revelation, I will certainly be on the lookout from now on not to give the dangerous seeds to my parrot! Thanks for sharing.

Sharon  08/25/2010 2:54 am

Thank you so much for that information – we “used” to give our Quaker parrot apple seeds and pear seeds (including the pear and apple to eat as well of course. Now no more seeds for our little “Cheeky” bird

Angela  08/25/2010 2:57 am

My birds love pomegranates, but they always end up on the walls.

Rhona van Zyl  08/25/2010 3:11 am

Thank you for your valuable information regarding parrots. Muffett African Grey) loves his food especially fruit. Living in South Africa makes it quite easy as we have lovely fruit throughout the year,

Deborah  08/25/2010 3:24 am

Jessica.. I have also given apple seeds to my Cockatoo {Alfred} and like you … I will not be doin that again ever ! lol.. he loves them and, he eats the apple..I usually eat the apple down to core then give him the rest…thank goodness my cousin { Mike } who raise’s Lg birds for a living told me not to give pit seeds.. he also says not to give Mushrooms, chocolate or kiwi to my cockatoo..and espeacially AVACADO’S he say’s they are deadly to them…

Deborah from Tx  08/25/2010 3:40 am

Attention … Ian W..your bird … may have messed up feathers due to the fact that he might be shredding them… lg birds have to have lots of toys to play with and shred.. they are natural shreders in the wild… try making him some toys …when i got my Alfred .. he is a Umbrella Cockatoo..his feathers where a mess… now i make all his toys… the rule is when makin toys if safe for babies and kids .. then die in toys are safe for birds..I buy alot of stuff at the Dollar tree colored blocks they come with lil shoe string like ropes,popcycle sticks,jute rope,and woffle balls stuff the balls with colored papper shreds, wooden spoons or SS spoons and drill holes in them and put toys on them ..i also save all my toilet paper and paper towel rolls and make toys from them …or i take news paper or craft paper and put treats in them and stuff them in the rolls my Alfred loves it cause he has to find the treats…if u already new about shredding .. i’m sorry .. was just tryin to help…
Deborah In Texas

Jenni W  08/25/2010 4:05 am

Thanks heaps for that information. My ringneck has a wonderful appetite and l love to provide variety for him. I will be looking out for pomegranates next time I go shopping for him and see how much entertainment that will provide him.

Annette  08/25/2010 4:46 am

My Macaw loves a complete Mango and especially the pit – Is it good?

george  08/25/2010 5:08 am

thankyou for the imformation,iwould never knew.

Peter John  08/25/2010 5:12 am

Hey Chet,
Thanx so much for updating us with your valuable knowledge of pets, U really saved so many Birds in the world today.

Peter John.

Samantha  08/25/2010 5:22 am




Terry  08/25/2010 5:36 am

my birds favorite foods is chile verde, pasta, apples, grapes, eggs and loves black beans. he will not eat any bird food at all even though i always give him some. he will eat nuts though really likes pine nuts. he is a cockatoo that i rescued about 19 years ago and he would not eat anything i got him to start eating with toast with butter which saved his life. if you like to look at pictures of birds visit my website at the are no ads, sales or pop ups. have a good day folks

sheila  08/25/2010 5:47 am

i quote agree when you r not sure dont feed i do this with anything check before you give them anything new as you covered most seeds and pits one i would like to9 know is lycees jay my afreican gret loves thm and likes to peel them atthe monent i do take out the pit but wonder if it is nesccasary cheers sheila

Conure mummy  08/25/2010 6:16 am

Nice! Good to know. Verification over the tomato debate would be gratefully recieved… And everyone who corrected him over the fruit classification…. get a life. x

Pat Mc  08/25/2010 6:48 am

My Cockatoo loves cherries…. thank you for the info….NEVER again cherries. I have heard that grapes have a mold in them that can kill the birds in minutes… Has anyone else had that problem? She is so fussy about her eating ,I rescued her and she came this way…I will have to re-train her to eat better! Thanks for the Information on PITS!

pollyanna whitaker  08/25/2010 7:54 am

i am sorry i was e/mailing you &lost the site.i am so happy you told me about cherry angel a blue and gold mccaw loves the seed more than the cheery but not any more.she eats every thing i eat .well she de mands it she has her own dishies and she eats on a big tea that my son made for her when she was young.she is 6now and she looks at my plate and their better not be something she dont have.again thank you so much. keep them coming

Norman  08/25/2010 8:12 am

We have 4 Macaws, a sulphur crested cockatoo and 2 African Grey Parrots. The macaws love the pips from peaches etc.

After reading this they will certainly not be getting any more.

ron  08/25/2010 8:19 am

I set out a plate of food every morning for our senegal parrot (Keela) I slice up some apples (no seeds or skin) grapes, oranges, corn and some cherios and home made bread (no perservatives) toast. My question is this a healthy diet for our bird.

SHARON SMITH  08/25/2010 10:18 am


Val Durao  08/25/2010 10:21 am

What fruits and veggies are safe for parakeets. I have been giving them Broccoli ,Apples , Canteloupe, Watermelon. all without seeds, I am sure they would like other various fruits and veggies.
I would like a list of those.

Thank you Val Durao

Patsy Seo  08/25/2010 10:39 am

I always core the apple I give my bird and often hang it on the cage by passing a string or shoe lace through the hole left where the core was. I was told the little plastic like piece around the seed in the core of the apple could get stuck in the birds nose/beak and cause problems So it is not safe for the bird to eat. My bird is a double head talking Amazon whose flag color is red so I usually give him a red apple.

tammy  08/25/2010 10:58 am

bout blueberries?

tammy  08/25/2010 11:13 am

all this info is GREAT for me. my aferican gray is only 2 im still learning. the more info you can give me will help. THANK YOU MY email

Joanna  08/25/2010 11:20 am

Thank you very much for this information! I am going to try giving my bird some squash seeds surrounded by bits of squash. He is a budgie named Ollie. He will not touch anything that looks at all different, unless I am eating it and he can jump in it on my plate. This is not acceptable to me–think where his feet have been! He does, however, get between an apple and my mouth on occasion and take a few bites. So far, any food other than cooked peas or corn seem to make him frightened–especially the darker coloured ones, for some reason. He squawks and flies away as though I have offended him by offering it or even having it on my plate when he comes to sample! I really would love to get him to try more things!

Joanna  08/25/2010 11:37 am

I should add to my previous comment that Ollie will eat the buds off fresh broccoli or chew on a carrot if I put them in his cage, stuck through the bars. He will also eat bites of cress sprouts or fresh kale if I hand feed them to him. Things put in his food dish get thrown out in disgust. He eats harrison’s bird food, but I would love to have him eat a variety of fresh foods every day, as well. really don’t understand why he is so opposed to eating fruits. He won’t even eat the dried ones that come in bird treats.

Joanna  08/25/2010 11:42 am

I should add that Ollie eats Harrison’s bird food, and I forgot that he also will eat the buds off fresh broccoli and gnaw on a carrot if I wedge them through the bars in his cage next to his favourite perch. Anywhere else, and he won’t touch them. He also will eat bites of cress sprouts and curly kale and fresh spinach if I hand feed them to him. I don’t understand why he refuses to sample other foods. If put in his food dish, he throws them out, and if put in a separate dish, he acts disgusted that it is even in his presence. Sometimes he seems actually afraid of things. He never, ever will eat any fruits except the occasional bite of apple. He loves cheese. I don’t give him more than a couple of bites of that. Any suggestions about how I can get him to try more fresh foods?

Matt  08/25/2010 11:42 am

WOW, I never new that apples where so bad, I am glad i read this but wish that i had read it before giving them to my parrots but now i will be more careful

Philip Hutson  08/25/2010 11:44 am

Hey Chet. My Alex Parrot Louie (Lou Lou ( long story the pet shop got his sex wrong,Didn’t know until 2nd moult)) Loves passion fruit ,(likes to put them into his water and play) He’s been eating them ever since we got him, so I think passion fruit are safe. Yeah he likes pomegranates too. Trouble is he seems to be stuck in a rut with his speech all he seems to say is “Wacha doing” and “Come on” as well as “Ooo” He used to say “Good morning”, “Good girl”,”Lu Lu Good?” and a few other words as well. Do parrots Have favorite words? Do they understand? How can I get him to use his full vocab and train him to say more. I’ve tried rewards to no avail.

Name (required)  08/25/2010 12:19 pm

my cockatiel won’t eat anything you give him.

Robbie  08/25/2010 12:21 pm

my cockatiel won’t eat anything you give him. my old one used to eat anything he saw people eat. but he died. my new cockatiel refuses to eat anything besides what’s in his food container.


Kathy  08/25/2010 12:24 pm

Hi bird lovers

Kathy  08/25/2010 12:31 pm

I have three bird buddies. An african grey, an orange wing amazon and a goldies lorikeet, they eat everything except avocado, chocolate, and pits. The orange wing is 40 yrs old, the a african grey just turned 23 and the lorikeet just turned 6. Dinner time around our house is a much anticipated event for them. Hope this was helpful.

Tammy Hearn  08/25/2010 12:38 pm

My Goffin, Gabriel, loves the seeds of bell peppers, any color. He will also eat the outside, but only after he has finished the seeds. I know about the apple seeds, it never occurred to me to check about the pepper. Does anyone know?

ILY  08/25/2010 2:15 pm

My African Grey “Bebe” loves to eat cantalope seeds. Can’t find a place who sells them, so I eat a lot of cantalopes. She likes her organic pellets, but she loves Baby Food the most. Not sure if this is good for her. She prefers it over real fruits and veggies. She will eat grapes. I see other people say they have several birds but Bebe is not fond of any birds getting my attention. She is always with me as soon as I come from work including the shower. Any thoughts on what to do to get her to accept another bird? I don’t see it happening since she gets too much attention from me.

Robin  08/25/2010 2:40 pm

Another note – do not give your parrots any celery stalks, only the leaves are safe. My African Grey loves the leaves (as well as red beet leaves, but my little Pionus adores the celery stalks, and would eat them first every time. When I talked to our Avian vet, she told me that because of the “stringy” pieces in the celery, they are off limits for birds – they can clog up the crop and cause stasis and can also congregate in the intestinal tract – causing death or requiring emergency surgery. No more celery in my house. Also, although my Grey loved the cherry pits and would chew them open, she advised that some parrots have died from the cyanide in the pits. As to avocados, there is a poisonous substance in the pit that leaches into the flesh of the avocado, which is why they are unsafe. Finally, tomatoes – okay if cooked like in marinara) but not fresh for birds, And of course, no onions, garlic or chocolate.

Robin  08/25/2010 2:55 pm

Note to Philip Huston – We have had a similar situation with our 4 year old Grey – he has favorite phrases for a while and then seems to move on to other comments, sometimes leaving old faves behind. In discussing with our vet, she told me that the old phrases are not actually forgotten, it is just that the “new” words or phrases usually get more reaction from owners, so they are more desirable for the parrot, who likes the reward for speaking something that gets your attention. For a while our Mojo (now Mo – another case of erroneous sex definition) loved to make the “Brrrrrrrrrrrrr Wipe Out!” from the old song of the same name, then seemed to stop. We missed it! By saying it a lot ourselves and making a big fuss when Mo said it again, it has returned to her daily repertoire. Birds love the drama reward, and do not care if they are getting your response for good or naughty behavior, so cheering or scolding are pretty similar, but the cheering and clapping for the comments we were missing brough them back into rotation. Good luck with Lou Lou’s vocabulary!

Jan  08/25/2010 3:01 pm

Have heard artichokes and/or avacados are not good. Cannot recall if one or both so I don’t give my birds either.

Puka Head’s Mom  08/25/2010 3:21 pm

My parrot loves lilikoi (passions fruit) seeds and all. Do I need to worry about giving him these? He literally devours them.

Roberta  08/25/2010 3:39 pm

I’ve always been careful about the pits/seeds I leave in my blue and gold macaw’s food. But with this info (thank you) it will be easier for me to get her fruit bowl together. It will be interesting to see how she handles a 1/2 pomegranate. My bird is a carnavore and any meat, fish or chicken are her first choice of foods so I have to trick her into eating the healthy stuff. Last night she had chicken.

Claudette  08/25/2010 4:11 pm

My husband bought a honey seed stick for our Quaker. In 2 days she turned into a biting monster who didn’t want us to touch her or come near. Is it the seed stick or could she be molting?

dan  08/25/2010 4:33 pm

Great advise thanks .

Gillian  08/25/2010 5:52 pm

thanks for this i have now printed this off for the rest of the family to read and be aware.
Yes true enough if in doubt then don’t give as this i always do until i know for certain what is safe.
whenever serving my macaws fruit i always make sure that there are no seeds anyway, better to take a couple of minutes longer to prepare than have you’r bird die on you. Be honest would you eat the seeds.

Kirsi  08/25/2010 7:01 pm

It would be helpful to have an idea about the quantity to give our pet birds. I have been told 80% pellet supplemented by other healthy foods, and that fruits should be somewhat limited because it is high in sugar. Fruits also can contains lot of pesticides, especially berries. As for vegs, I have been told by a vet to avoid those high in iron (spinach, kale, etc.).

I would be wary of ‘sharing” food on one’s plate because our germs are a lot more dangerous for birds than theirs are to us. Temperature might also be a concern, as well as processed food, which can contain many additives (salt, preservatives, etc.). How committed and able are you to seek quality veterinary care if needed?

Attempting to duplicate a species nature diet would seem to be the most responsible thing to do.

I once had someone who is very knowledgeable about birds feed mine a small piece of pizza (done without asking me first), and I watched in horror as my bird choked. Fortunately he was able to still drink some water and in a few moments was alright.

About toys…Dollar Store materials are a bit suspect. The dyes and substances used to make strings and metal pieces have a high probability of containing contaminants. They should be “food safe”. Would we let our infants and small children “mouth” them? I think there has been enough written in the media to make us concerned about where and how such things are made.
There are places to obtain safe parts to make simple and clever toys, and a number of places to purchase quality things to amuse our beloved birds…and to keep there “little grey cells” functioning.

Karen  08/25/2010 7:45 pm

I think that was a really important post. Fortunately, I already knew about about cyanide in apple seeds , but not the others you mentioned. My senegal Joe doesn’t like them anyway. Got scared when I started reading this when I saw the word “seeds” because Joe loves the seeds in cherry & grape tomato & zucchini. So again, really good post.

Pacco  08/25/2010 9:24 pm

I can’t my African Grey to eat fresh fruits but thanks for the posting. i’ll keep trying the safe fruits.

Linda  08/25/2010 9:26 pm

Thank you for this info. Would definitelyh like clarification on grapes as I give them to my grey every day. and tomatoes as well. Knew about apple seeds and pits. So have always avoided all seeds. Good to know “good seeds”. Must expand my or Elvis’s horizons! And to Philip with the “Alex” bird..Greys have excellent if not the best vocabulary ability.Depending on age, they will keep repeating what they have “conqured” and practice, practice and make up their own language. Then gradually expand and when you least expect it, blurt out new words, phrases, songs…and even bodily function noises! Thank you for this Chet and everyone for their input.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!! Laurenne  08/25/2010 10:00 pm

Thanks, this was very helful, and i will be adding some of these things to my ever growing list of roxic foods. But i have one problem: My parrots will not eat fruit! The only thing my red rumped seems to like are carrots and banana peels. Are the peels bad? Thanks!

Sandra  08/25/2010 10:24 pm

My blue and gold macaw also likes green pepper seeds. Both macaws eat seedless grapes, I noticed someone mentioning grapes were bad. Wonder where this info comes from.

Sarah  08/26/2010 2:09 am

I read never give your conoure Avacodo. That it is very bad and can kill them. Is this true?Because when I eat one his tries to eat it with me. I mean to the point of if he could he would beat me up for it.

Sarah  08/26/2010 2:16 am

Sorry, me again. About the Avacodo. If some one has the answer to my question please contact me at My birds name is Zuse.

Sarah  08/26/2010 2:59 am

Hi everyone, one more question. do larger birds such as conoures and up, need grit and gravel in there food dish like the parakeet and cockatiel? For the diegestion of seed. Thank you for any help on all my questions that you can give. I’m have had Zuse for about 1 year now, so I’m a newbee at sharing my life with such a wonderful creatcher. I don’t want to do anything that could hurt him or take him away from me any time soon.
Zuse thanks you to. Oh! Do conoures talk???? I’m done now………Thanks.

Amanda Mattheyse South Africa  08/26/2010 12:54 pm

Hi You
My problem is “eggs”. The person I bought my African Gray from said that Rocky have te eat 1 x egg per day. He jumps from the top of his cage to eat that and i think that he is geting addicted. He eats egg first, then fruit vegies and last seeds.

raafil  08/26/2010 1:46 pm

hey is it safe to give sunflower seeds to my white cockataeil

benazir  08/26/2010 2:04 pm

is sugarcane safe for my birds?

Joan Groves  08/26/2010 2:41 pm

Thank you for posting this. I have been giving my Blue & Gold Peach pits… I will no longer do that.

therese blackvurn  08/26/2010 6:44 pm

Noah, my indian ringneck,s favorite is to crunch on kiwi seeds, not sure if he actually eats them, are they safe??

therese  08/26/2010 7:14 pm

noah my indian ringneck loves kiwi’s and nibbles on the seeds are they o.k??

glynn  08/26/2010 11:48 pm

gave my bird my fruit salad from a restaurant and she left everything but the watermelon and kiwi- both of which she loved. there was coconut in there too but she left that behind too. how do you feed fresh beans and or peas and which are good for them?

jean  08/27/2010 3:51 am

My African Grey,who I have had for 11 years,loves pomegranete and passion fruit,she spits out the seeds in grapes,but I have never given her apple pips,I wouldn’t eat them either,&I read somewhere never give them avocoda.

Chris  08/27/2010 6:39 am

hello parrot lovers of the world
thankyou Chet for your valuable information. Jimmi my cockatoo loves hot potato chips. I heard potatoes are not good for parrots. Is that cooked or raw? He only gets them (one or two) as a treat not often
regards Chris

JoannMurnane  08/27/2010 10:06 am

Thank`s for the information. Joann

Alecia Houston  08/27/2010 11:24 am

My Umbrella Cockatoo Gabby loves all kinds of peppers and their seeds he also loves tomatoes and their seeds green beans and their seeds are they safe for him?! Please answer as soon as possible as he eats them almost every day! He also loves to forage cucumbers! PLEASE SOMEONE LET ME KNOW SOON! GABBY IS MY LIFE! PLEASE reply my email address is I would be so thanklful! I also have Gabby’s parents (15 years before Gabby came never set up to breed! Quite the SURPRISE!) two Blue and Gold McCaws and an African Grey. They all love the above mentioned foods! Thank You to anyone who replies now I am terrifed of feeding them something that I thought was good for them and may in fact harm them! I knew some of the information but now see not enough! Bless You,
Alecia Houston

Felix torres  08/27/2010 2:58 pm

thanks for the insights on seeds .I always pitted the fruit I gave my grey and cockatoo but all info helps’s the baby?

Jess  08/27/2010 8:23 pm

Uhm, gave my Amazon Mealy a pomegranate a few years ago, she was on the floor of the cage for two days! No more promegranate for her……

MADHU  08/28/2010 5:45 am

I have cockatiels. The safe seeds which you have written in the article are they safe for cockatiels too?

Deborah  08/28/2010 7:48 pm

I have a quaker and a Nanday. What kind of fruit and veggys are okay to give them?

I give them at times sweet potatoe, grapes and corn on the cob, not sure what else they would love.

Just bird seed has got to get old after a while.

Patty  08/28/2010 10:47 pm

Hi Jess,
I’m sorry your bird was not feeling well, but there is no relation to her eating pomegranate. It’s perfectly safe and good for them too.

Patty  08/28/2010 11:07 pm

Hi Amanda,
Eggs are great for birds, but only in moderation -maybe once or twice a week would be great. He won’t become addicted to an egg, but might start throwing a tantrum when he doesn’t get on every day.

Patty  08/28/2010 11:17 pm

Hey Sarah,
Parrots DO NOT require grit in their diet. There are some older books on parrot care that say differently, but it is old information. It was once thought that grit was needed to help a parrot grind down seed in its stomach. We now know that a parrot has a powerful muscular portion of their stomach that gets the job done fine on its own. Further, parrots hull their seeds and eat only the soft insides. So, no grit is needed.
And yes, conures talk. This course will show you how to teach your bird:

Patty  08/28/2010 11:23 pm

Hi Laurenne,
Most of my birds definitely prefer their veggies to fruit. Here’s a link to a post with some ideas for you to try: Banana peel won’t hurt your bird.

Lisa Tovar  08/28/2010 11:45 pm

Thank you so much, I had no idea that apple and plum seed were bad for my parrot I give her apple with seeds everyday, as of now no more.

Hans  08/29/2010 6:07 am

I’m a little confused with this report. I have been feeding my parrots most of the noted unsafe fruits, when in season, on a daily basis for over 20years now and have never had a problem? I have also never removed the Pits and or seeds whilst prepairing there daily feeds. Does this only appy to the USA? I’m in South Africa and have Yellow Naped Amazon, Goffin Cockatoo, African Greys and others. Please advise

Patty  08/29/2010 6:40 pm

Hi Hans,
First of all, the fruits are all safe and great for your birds, only the pits or seeds mentioned are dangerous, and their toxic content is the same everywhere. This could just be a matter of your birds not biting into the pits with any regularity. You are fortunate that this is the case as I have read of deaths occurring with the seeds and pits cited as the cause. I don’t think this is a problem with all birds, clearly not yours. But problems happen often enough that I felt the warning should be put out there. Better safe than sorry.

Bembie  08/29/2010 7:28 pm

Help . My African grey Mickey wont eat any fruit except apples an pomigranites. He also is very selective about the veggies he eats. If he does not like them he throws em at me an the cats :( what do i do?

angie  08/30/2010 12:25 pm

please help !!! i recently bought a blue and gold macaw , i thought i knew enough about her , but now i’m not so sure …can anyone tell me about how much of whatever she should eat daily ?? i love her so so much already , i just need to know that i’m doing enough for her so , please , all advice will greatly be appreciated !!

tanya  08/31/2010 12:08 pm

thanks for the tip ,i have a sun conure and a jenday conure,the y love fruits .now i know to make sure i take out all the seeds

Patty  08/31/2010 9:09 pm

Hi Angie,
Here’s a link to a post that will give you all the details:

linda  09/01/2010 1:48 am

i mix up a big batch of cooked brown rice, couscous, cooked frozen mixed veggies, corn, peas, hard boiled eggs chopped up, and powdered bone meal (from health food store). i pkg. it up in snack sized baggies and freeze. a pkg. left in the refrig. overnite will defrost. i put it in microwave for about 12 seconds to take the chill off. my plumhead parrakeet loves the inside of sweet peppers, seeds and all. also loves the marrow from chicken wing bones! he is now 22 years old and just passed his annual exam with flying colors! he is a great eater–will try anything once.

EVA TZOREF  09/02/2010 12:01 pm

Fruits are healthy for parrots but are some one that not good to give from them to
much.Promegranats, grapes ,cherry, date including lot of iron, what is not so good for the birds.
A few pices it’s ok, but must be feed carefully.
Tomato, eggplant are from the family solanum, what is poisning for parrots.
Also for people is not good to eat the yellow or green part from the tomato, beacuse if it is not enough rippen this part incloud the solanum.

Debbie  09/03/2010 11:54 pm

What I don’t understand is why no one posting has ever consulted their Avian Vet !!! I bring my Quakers in at least once a year. I ask a ton of questions about everything, especially diet. My vet is an expert…..Dr. Peter Sakas (Chicago. Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Center) He has written articles on diet and other things. google him. Avocado… for sure OFF the list. Scrambled eggs are great, just remove the yoke, alittle is ok. and also I take the egg shells and grind down to a powder and sprinkle into the eggs as i scramble them…..they get calcium and protein. Also, learn to look at and ‘read’ their poop. important. Also, remember about the non-stick frying pans…….the fumes released can kill your bird. Important thing is to LEARN from the vet, other pros, and read. If in doubt, ask your Avian Vet. My first vet didn’t really care much for birds, and his advice nearly killed my bird. So find a real bird-loving vet!

Patty  09/04/2010 2:11 pm

Hi Debbie,
Many people here are new to living with birds and we welcome their questions. Please keep in mind that avian vets are not easy to come by in many areas. I am pleased that these people are seeking out sources for information and looking for assistance as needed. Consider the alternative…

KathyH  09/04/2010 3:33 pm

My goffin cockatoo LOVES the seeds inside papayas! It’s his favorite food. He also loves sno peas.

KathyH  09/04/2010 3:54 pm

Other foods that our goffin likes include little pieces of bell pepper, mango pieces, watermelon, cantaloupe, kale, cauliflower pieces, any kind of pasta or rice, little pieces of chicken, bread (he dips it in his water and then eats it), and, of course, the striped sunflower seeds. I also give him the corner off of an ear of corn, and he loves to nibble on it. He LOVES it when I put ice chips in his water bowl and will sit and sip on his water for a half an hour. I’m aware of the various “bad” seeds and avoid them. As I mentioned before, his favorite food are little chunks of papaya with the seeds. I often just scrape a whole bunch of the seeds into his fruit/veggie bowl. He gets a little buffet of fruits and veggies every day, and rewards me with lots of hugs and kisses. The only problem we have is he hates our adult son for some reason, and he screams and screams when he comes into the house. He has also developed a dislike for my husband, and we don’t know why. We love our little goffin so much – any ideas on how to get him to behave and accept my husband and son more? He’s also great at mimicking, but doesn’t talk much.

Fontainne Schoenfeld  09/12/2010 2:12 pm

I am fortunate enough to have a husband who planted two pomegranate trees. My macaw and african grey love this fruit and make a wonderful mess for me to clean up as pomegranates are sticky. They love the seeds so much, how could I possibly deny them? We also have apples, pear trees and crabapple trees in our yard and I know they are safe because we don’t spray them with any poisons because of the birds. I knew about the seeds but thanks for telling others so they can change their feeding habits for their birds.

luis  09/14/2010 5:14 am

Im am from mexico city and i love to learn about how to take care of my parrots better every time thanks so much to teach me what to do with their food, because i give them fruits and vegetables once in a while but i never knew what kind of seeds were dangerous for them and because in my country we have the whole fruits and vegetables the whole year i thougt they can eat the fuit just like they are without taking off the seeds. thanks

Donna Bourne  09/15/2010 9:08 am

Five years ago, I am saddened to say, I bought a bean burritto and it had avocado on it, I left it in the refrigerator, and had to go out of town during a move, my roommate gave it to my Greater, sulphur crested cockatoo, we dearly loved one evening just before bedtime, unkowingly of course. In the morning frosty had her little head in her cup dead of a heartattack. I had her 26 years, and handfed her as a baby, this was so devastating, I still cry just writing this. I still have my adorable sadie, she is 30 now, and I also handfed her as a baby, she missed frosty for a long time, and kept biting me at first. so this is a waring to all most avocados are poisonous to birds. from Donna

leia king  09/22/2010 12:06 pm

thanks for this information, im from barbados and most of the fruits you just called we have here, and i also feed my love birds, baked peanuts, cabbage and sunflower seeds!

sandra walker  10/08/2010 10:41 pm

I have tryed to get pellets for my african gray franky here in middlesbrough england with out any luck but i will keep trying and hopfully franky will eat more as all he really eats out off a sake off food is the sunflower seds and the flat seeds so rest off the sake i buy would go to wast but i throw it out for out for the wild bird thay seem to enjoy it so i will put franky on pellets as soon as i find a shop to get them i hope he will not be as bad tempered then lol the only one he gos to is me he will not have anything to do with anyone else in the family at all in fact he flys at them if hes out bad lad he is lol mind i love him to bits but i have to tell people not to put there fingers in the cage as he dont like it lol

Georgia  11/01/2010 11:16 am

I am so very glad to see the info printed for once and for all. All one can do is to print the info. If people choose not to pay attention and their most beloved pet dies there is nothing more that can be done.
The very first parrot book I read stressed that parrot can die from ingesting Avacado, chocolate, garlic and onion therefore I do not feed those fruits. Arguing over whether something is a fruit or a veg is unimportant. I personally think Chet gives advice that he or his brother has personally sought out from reliable sources. Thank you Chet for all that you share unselfishly on your web-site. My advice to most bird lovers is go to and let Chet send out info to your email. I have learned so much from him. My bird coco sits on my shoulder while I watch and listen to his Ytube presentations and she just watches so very intently and listens. I really think she loves his voice.
As for the seeds stuff…I never give fruit seeds to coco. I slice apples core and peel them. Oranges I seed but give them a small piece of the rind. Coco loves banana peel but not a lot of the fruit itself. She does love red peppers (dried type). When I cook Pasta at my daughters house most all of the birds love and get very noisy waiting for me to serve it up. She has cockatiel, MacCaw, Meyers Parrot and of course my Quaker, Coco.
I also feed a small amout of spaghetti and a small piece of toast with peanut butter as a treat. the MacCaw peeks out from the corner of his cage into the kitchen to see if I’m bringing the toast in the mornings. His name is Logan. He loves it.
I also make the bird-muffins from a receipe using veggies such as grren bean and peas and even egg shells. Of course you do not give a whole muffin at any one time…just break the muffin into pieces. I got this receipe from Chet’s web-site when he interviewed a woman that was one of his guestes at a seminar. Chet really does share a lot of info..more importantly he researches before he puts it out there and he has his own birds and trains them.


Andy K  01/08/2011 10:52 pm

I have been feeding apple seeds to my my cockatiel almost daily for years. During a day I have one or two apples and she sits on that side of the cage waiting for the seeds which she loves. I even save and bring home the seeds if I have an apple away from home. Other foods she eventually gets bored with but not apple seeds. She’ll get anywhere from 2 to 12 a day depending on the variety of apple. I was even going to go to a local apple cider press and ask for the seeds which I figured they discarded, but I thought I would check the almighty internet first. I won’t be going to the cider press but I am tempted to continue with the few seeds per day. I wonder if their metabolism eventually builds up a tolerance to the cyanide and arsenic.

Jean  01/27/2011 1:49 pm

My parakeet eats only the seeds of strawberries and makes a mess of raspberries. I buy only organic produce.

Mac  03/18/2014 5:33 am

what about mango husk, not the seed, just the husk containing the seed, and not as a food source but as a toy.

Reginald  04/15/2014 9:21 pm

Hi. Fabulous blog post you have there. Personally, you have explained almost everything and I’ve even jot them down for future usage. Keep writing and thank you for revealing the important info.

Jesse whittington  08/24/2014 10:29 am

is all of the water melon safe ?

Jesse Whittington  08/24/2014 11:56 am

Is to say that unsafe fruts are never to be given to your birds or is there a way to make them safe

George Butel  09/13/2014 2:30 am

Someone asked about the safety of lychee and longan seeds, and got no answer. Lychee (litchi) seeds contain a chemical called alpha-(Methylenecyclopropyl)glycine which is hypoglycemic (it lowers blood sugar). In addition it depletes liver glycogen stores in mice. See , SInce longan is botanically closely related to lychee, it might very well contain the same or a similar substance. I doubt that a single seed would be toxic, but I don’t think it’s wise to let birds eat those seeds. Parrots love the fruit, though, which is quite nutritious, There are reports that the seeds are used medicinally in some parts of the world, as a vermifuge and as a pain-reliever.

If you want to know the facts about whether something is toxic or not, check out the literature, not what “they say” or “everybody knows” or “I hear.” Go to PubMed or Google Scholar and type in the name of whatever you’re trying to find out about, and also put in the word “toxicity.” If there are lots of results, you might try putting in the word “broiler” or “chicken” also to see what is known about the effects on avian species. Lot’s of work is done on chickens as far as herbs, for instance, to see if they will improve productivity. When it’s something oddball like a certain seed, you may not find out much toxicity information except on rats or mice, but if something is toxic to a mouse, it’s probably toxic to a bird also.

Gayle Robinson  05/04/2015 4:02 am

Is Passion fruit seed bad for birds and yes no apple seeds to birds i have Conures Green Cheech gayle

Sandra  08/24/2015 8:48 am

Thanks so much for this I have learned a lot .