I was on my way returning home, passing by a void deck where I saw an old chinese man with a Green Ringneck Parakeet. It wasn’t the Green Ringneck Parakeet that caught my attention, but was actually the old man’s actions.
The old man was actually feeding the Ringneck Parakeet with some iced milo (a kind of chocolate beverage). I was alarmed.
I decided to go forward and confront the old man.
“Are you feeding the parrot with iced milo?” I asked the old man politely in mandarin.
The old man smiled and replied in mandarin, “Yes! He (Green Ringneck Parakeet) loves it! It is his favorite drink.” I wasn’t smiling, instead I was worried when I heard this.
“Uncle, please don’t feed him (Green Ringneck Parakeet) with milo. Milo contains chocolate, anything that contains chocolate is toxic to parrots!” I explained to him in mandarin.
The old man rebuked me in mandarin, “I’ve been feeding him all the time with small serving and it won’t cause any harm! Anyway he’s not dead yet!”
The old man was peeved. He ignored my advice and continued to feed the Ringneck Parakeet with iced milo.
I didn’t persist and left the place in the end. This incident left me deeply pondering whether is the old man being stubborn, being ignorant or being selfish?
Why Chocolate is Toxic to Parrots?
Chocolate contains a toxic substance called Theobromine. Parrots lack the ability to metabolize Theobromine effectively like humans. Other animals like dogs and cats also lack this ability to metabolize Theobromine.
When parrots consumed chocolate, Theobromine remains in their body and bloodstream for up to 20 hours.
With the accumulation of Theobromine, this leads to toxicity resulting in symptoms like lethargic, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea and excessive urination. In severe conditions, it can leads to internal bleeding, seizures and death.
Other Toxic Food/Drinks includes:
I felt that all parrot owners should know what food is safe and what food is toxic, right from day one when you brought your parrot home. This is a piece of information that is extremely crucial and also a matter of life and death!
If you had not know about the toxicity caused by the chocolate (or other toxic food) in the past, I forgive your ignorance, but after reading this article, I begged you please stop offering chocolate (or other toxic food) to your parrot right from today! Be a responsible parrot owner!
*Some parrots may have allergic reactions to soy products. Also do refer to article titled Dangers of Soy Based Products from The Parrot Society UK. Although the evidence are still not clear, but prevention is better than cure, it will be wise to avoid offering raw soy products to parrots.
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