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My Bird Ate Chocolate – What Should I Do?

As the popularity of keeping pet birds continues to increase, the number of questions that we see from people within the bird keeping community also keeps on increasing every month.

We have already covered a number of the common questions that we see people asking about birds but there has been a number of people asking about what to do if their bird has eaten chocolate recently.

Just like many other animals, chocolate can cause serious problems with birds when eaten in large amounts but even small amounts of chocolate can cause side effects in your bird.

That said, prevention is always better than cure in our opinion, especially when it comes to something like feeding your bird chocolate.

Due to this, we would just recommend against giving your bird chocolate if possible as it’s just not worth the risk.

That said, accidents do happen and your bird may have accidentally gained access to chocolate and eaten it so this article should be able to help you.

Before we go any further though, we just want to quickly say that this article is intended for informational purposes and is not a substitute for advice from a veterinarian.

Can Birds Eat Chocolate?

Although birds can eat chocolate, it is not good for them and can cause a number of different side effects in most species of bird.

The majority of birds will need to eat a large amount of chocolate to have problems with the more serious symptoms but smaller birds can have real problems from a small amount of chocolate.

Just like most other pets, birds are not aware of the potential risks of eating chocolate to them.

This is why so many birds will eat chocolate if you offer it to them.

Other birds will often eat chocolate that has been left out while they are out of their cage as many birds are opportunistic when it comes to their food.

In addition to pure chocolate such as a chocolate bar, other types of food that are chocolate flavored such as chocolate muffins or chocolate cookies can still cause problems for your bird.

Is Chocolate Poisonous To Birds?

Chocolate is not poisonous to birds but it can cause a number of different side effects that can be serious, even life-threatening in some cases.

The side effects that chocolate can cause in birds will depend on a number of different factors such as the type of bird, the amount of chocolate consumed and the quality of the chocolate.

For example, darker chocolate is generally more dangerous to birds than milk chocolate as it contains higher levels of theobromine and caffeine.

The amount of chocolate consumed will also play a role in the side effects that your bird experiences.

A small bird may only need to eat a small amount of chocolate before they start to experience side effects while a larger bird may be able to eat more chocolate before they start to experience problems.

The type of bird will also play a role in the side effects that chocolate can cause.

For example, parrots are generally more sensitive to chocolate than other types of birds such as chickens or ducks.

This is due to the fact that parrots have a higher metabolism which means that they process chocolate differently to other birds.

What Are The Side Effects Of Birds Eating Chocolate?

The side effects of chocolate in birds can vary depending on the amount of chocolate consumed, the type of bird and the quality of the chocolate.

However, there are a number of different side effects that are commonly seen in birds after eating the chocolate such as:-

  • Hyperactivity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Fatality

There are some less common symptoms that may occur in smaller birds such as shaking too but these do tend to be rare.

For the most part, you will usually see at least one of the main five issues covered in our list above.

How Much Chocolate Is Toxic For A Bird?

The amount of chocolate that is toxic for a bird will depend on the following factors:-

  • Type Of Bird.
  • Age Of The Bird.
  • How Much Chocolate The Bird Ate.
  • The Size of The Bird.
  • Other Health Conditions In The Bird.

This is why we maintain that prevention is better than cure when it comes to birds eating chocolate.

There are just too many variables that you have to factor in to try and work out how much chocolate a bird can eat before it will start to have problems.

There are a number of commercial bird treats available on the market that are cheap enough for the majority of people to be able to use as a treat for their bird instead of chocolate.

If you do have a pet bird that you let out of its cage on a regular basis, spend a couple of minutes prior to letting your bird out of its cage to check for any left out chocolate in your home.

This will often be enough to remove the potential risk of your pet bird accidentally eating any chocolate that you have left out.

Should I Be Worried If A Bird Eats Chocolate?

Although most birds who each chocolate will usually be totally fine once the initial side effects pass, there is always going to be a risk.

If possible, you should be taking your pet bird to a vet for a check up if it does each chocolate, especially large amounts.

They will be in a better position to advise you on the potential risks to your bird as they will be able to inspect your bird and take various factors into account to judge the risk.