After publishing our article going over if parrots can eat cheese or not, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking various questions about different types of food that they are able to give their pet parrots. Over the last couple of months, we have noticed more and more people specifically reaching out to ask questions about if parrots can eat chickpeas or not so we have decided to make this the main focus for today’s article as chickpeas are a little controversial for parrots.
The majority of healthy parrots should be able to have chickpeas as a treat food that makes up a small part of their overall diet with many parrot keepers using chickpeas with their own parrots. The problem with chickpeas is that if they are not prepared correctly then they can present a risk of a salmonella, E. coli, or listeria breakout in your pet parrot.
Considering that there are so many high-quality parrot treat options on the market that come prepared and ready to give to your pet parrot, this can reduce the need to give your parrot chickpeas as a treat food. In addition to that, chickpeas really shouldn’t make up more than ten to twenty percent of your parrot’s total calorie intake to make sure that their diet is well balanced so if you don’t eat chickpeas yourself, you can often find yourself having to throw them away due to going bad.
Can Parrots Eat Chickpeas?
Provided they are cooked correctly, parrots can eat chickpeas and most parrots do seem to really enjoy having chickpeas added to their diet as a treat food. There is usually no need to crack the chickpea for your parrot as the majority of healthy parrots will easily be able to eat the chickpea without issue with sprouted chickpeas often being preferred for most parrots.
There is usually only a small window of usability of chickpeas as a food source so try not to buy too many else you will end up having to throw a large amount of them away due to them going bad prior to being able to give them to your pet parrot. This is due to chickpeas not being a nutritionally complete food source with them being highly deficient in many essential vitamins and minerals that your parrot requires.
This is why the bulk of your parrot’s diet should really be made up of a mixed parrot food as it covers a wide range of food sources with it being packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Provided around eighty percent of your parrot’s diet is made up from a well-balanced food source, the remainder of your parrot’s calories can usually be made up of various treat foods such as chickpeas that would otherwise be considered to be nutritionally deficient and unsuitable.
How Do You Cook Chickpeas For Parrots?
There are a number of ways to cook chickpeas for parrots but the most common way is to leave the chickpeas in water overnight to soak and then bring them to the boil until the chickpeas are soft before putting them in the oven to bake them for around fifteen minutes. At this stage, leave them to cool back to room temperature before giving them to your pet parrot.
The majority of parrots tend to prefer their chickpeas to be crunchy and you can increase the amount of crunch on the chickpeas by leaving them in the oven to cool down to room temperature as the oven cools. Depending on the situation, you may have to take the chickpeas out of the oven to prepare your own food and they are generally fine to leave to cool on the kitchen counter but they will not be as crunchy and some parrots may lose interest after a chickpea or two without the crunch.
If you are using frozen chickpeas then it may be worth leaving them to soak in the water for over twenty four hours rather than just overnight. For the most part they will defrost if you do just leave them overnight in water but depending on the ambient temperature in your area as well as how many chickpeas you are trying to defrost at the same time, you may have issues defrosting them quickly so leave them for longer prior to boiling them.
Are Sprouted Chickpeas Safe For Parrots?
Sprouted chickpeas that have been correctly prepared for a parrot are generally fine to use as a treat food with some parrots preferring sprouted chickpeas rather than unsprouted chickpeas. You will often find that once a parrot has eaten sprouted chickpeas that they will refuse to eat regular chickpeas unless they are crunchy.
Keep in mind that variety is the spice of life though and if you only use chickpeas as the treat food option for your pet parrot then it will often end up getting bored of them and refuse to eat them. This is why mixing the treat food you use for your pet parrot with something like high-quality parrot treats is recommended as it lets you keep your parrot’s diet interesting.
If you keep multiple parrots then you can often get through your chickpeas much quicker than you could with just a single parrot too meaning that it is less likely for you to have to throw your chickpeas out when they start to go bad as your parrots will eat them. Once chickpeas are cooked, some people do freeze them for future use with their parrots but some people recommend against this.
That brings our article going over if parrots can eat chickpeas or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand how you are able to add chickpeas to your parrot’s diet as well as how you can correctly cook them. A small number of parrots tend to not like chickpeas at all but the majority of them will happily eat them, especially if they are crunch offering you a quick, easy, and cheap way to give your pet parrot a treat.