If you have a pet parrot, you might be wondering if sunflower seeds are a good choice for them. Although sunflower seeds are safe for parrots but Sunflower seed is not good for parrots!
For example, sugar is not toxic for us (except you are diabetic) but is sugar good for us? Ask anyone, specially, who is trying to loose weight! Small amount of sugar is ok but excessive amount is really bad.
Imagine, you are having fruit juice with added sugar at breakfast, a cup of ice cream after lunch and a dessert after dinner (oh man! I love pudding after dinner!). Not mentioning tea or coffee at evening or throughout all day. And you are complaining about weight gain!
Same goes for Sunflower seed. Sunflower seeds are a good source of fat. Small amount of fat is necessary for bird but excessive amount is detrimental for you bird health. You can use it occasionally, may be as a treat or may be for training purposes. But not as regular food staple.
The nutritional value of sunflower seeds for parrots
Here is a closer look at the nutritional value of sunflower seeds for parrots.
Sunflower seed kernels, dried. Nutritional value per 100 g
|Dietary fiber||8.6 g|
|Saturated Fat||4.5 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||18.5 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||23.1 g|
If you see total fat content of dried sunflower seed kernel, it is 43% of total nutritional value! Which is way too much.
You might be thinking about 20% protein of Sunflower seed. Yes, protein is essential for parrots but there are many good alternatvie source of protien. If we think about risk/benefit ratio then Sunflower should avoided. Chia or Canary seed is good source of plant protein with very less amount of fat.
Your parrot will eventually become obese. Obesity causes serious health problem: Fatty Liver. And Fatty Liver of parrots is home of other diseases! So, Sunflower seed for parrot is a no go!
What kind of sunflower seeds are best for birds?
Both Striped and Black Oil sunflower seeds are bad for birds. Both have high fat content.
Are white sunflower seeds good for parrots?
No. White Egyptian sunflower seed also high in fat.
Why do birds like sunflower seeds so much?
Sunflower seeds are just like candy to todlers. They high in fat hence test better.
Can birds eat raw unsalted sunflower seeds?
Yes they can eat. Raw unsalted sunflower seeds are not toxic but have high fat content. So small amount should be OK.
Are sunflowers toxic to birds?
No. Sunflowers and sunflower seeds both are not toxic to birds.
How many sunflower seeds can a parrot eat?
Diet of parrots should be mainly contain fresh foods, vegetables and fruits. Fresh food helps to avoid many health issues. Only a small amount of seed can be provided daiy (half cup will do). 2-3 sunflower seeds in each meal is sufficient for any parrots daily fat intake.
Can birds eat too many sunflower seeds?
NO. Birds should not eat too many sunflower seeds.
Can birds just eat sunflower seeds?
Can human just eat ice cream? NO! Birds cannot just eat sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are high in fat. Other neutritions like protein, vitamins, minerals are not present in sufficient amount in sunflower seed. Only sunflower will kill any bird.