The popularity of keeping parrots as pets is seeing rapid growth as more and more people decide to add a pet parrot to their family. Due to there being such a large number of people new to keeping parrots out there right now, we have noticed a spike in the various questions about caring for parrots, particularly in what to feed them with a number of people asking if parrots can eat eggplant or not.
Most parrots will at least try eating eggplant but in some situations, they can prefer to have the eggplant peeled and cooked a little. Eggplant does contain a higher than average amount of solanin that can cause digestive upset in some parrots depending on the amount of eggplant they eat so keep that in mind too.
As we covered in our article going over if parrots eat chickpeas, some parrots can be picky with their food and although they may not pay much attention to normal eggplant, if you cook it to crunch it up a little it may quickly become one of their favorite treats. This is common with a range of different foods for parrots as many tend to prefer their food to be crunchy rather than soft with eggplant being no different.
Is Eggplant Safe For Parrots?
Eggplant is generally considered safe for parrots to eat with a large number of people feeding their pet parrots eggplant. The higher than average levels of solanin in eggplant can cause some birds to suffer digestive upset but the other foods in their diet will also come into play for this.
Some people also insist that you peel the eggplant too due to the skin of the eggplant potentially being toxic to some animals but the toxicity levels of the skin of eggplant for parrots is down to speculation rather than science. Still, we always recommend that you try to be careful and it doesn’t take long to peel your eggplant prior to giving it to your pet parrot so we would recommend that you peel it if possible.
Some people do recommend that you add a very small amount of sale to the eggplant prior to giving it to your parrot too but this is simply to tweak the flavor rather than due to any potential risk of giving your parrot eggplant. You can add a small amount of salt if you wish but many people who do feed their parrot’s eggplant just give it to their birds as is as too much sodium in a parrot’s diet can cause problems too.
Can Parrots Eat Eggplant?
Most healthy adult parrots can and will eat eggplant, especially if it is cooked to a level where it is crispy. As with humans, parrots have their own preferential foods though so some parrots may only eat a small amount of eggplant where as others will eat large amounts of eggplant. Adding small amounts of salt or other seasonings can sometimes get your parrot to eat more of the eggplant that you have repaired too.
Cooking eggplant for parrots is very easy too as you just cut the eggplant into half-inch slices, lay it on a sheet pan and bake it at a high temperature setting until the eggplant becomes tender. Depending on the temperature you bake the eggplant at and the type of oven you use, the time period required to get your eggplant tender will usually vary but it won’t take long so be sure to check the eggplant on a regular basis.
You can crisp your eggplant up by leaving it in the oven after cooking it to gradually cool down as the heat from the oven dissipates adding a crispy coat to the eggplant. Although this is easy to do and sounds simple, it really can drastically increase the amount of eggplant that your pet parrot will eat without you having to add any seasoning to the eggplant prior to feeding it to your parrot.
How Much Eggplant Should You Feed Your Parrot?
Eggplant is not a nutritionally complete food source for your pet parrot so you should always use it as a small part of a well-balanced diet that is made up of multiple food sources. Ideally, you will keep the eggplant to a maximum of ten percent of your parrot’s total calorie intake to make sure that there is plenty of option options available for other vitamins and minerals.
The macronutrient ratio of eggplant is not optimal for parrots either and although parrots are able to eat small amounts of eggplant as a treat food without issue, they really don’t do well with large amounts of eggplant in their diet. Although the higher than average amount of solanin in the diet of a parrot can cause digestive upset, the more eggplant you feed your parrot increases the solanin in their system as well as puts their macronutrient ratio further and further out of whack increasing the chances of digestive upset too.
Ideally, the bulk of your parrot’s diet will be made up of a well-balanced commercial parrot food that contains plenty of seeds, nuts, and other food types. This should be able to keep your parrots diet as nutritionally complete as possible while also keeping their macronutrient ratio inline with what they need even if you food feed them eggplant on a regular basis.
That brings our article going over if parrots can eat eggplant or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand that you are usually able to work eggplant into the diet of your pet parrot with minimal issues but in some cases, you may want to do an initial test with a very small amount to see if your parrot will actually eat the eggplant or if the solanin will cause problems.