Can parrots eat hemp seeds?

The Benefits of Hemp Seed for Birds: A Nutritious Addition to Their Diet

Hemp seed is a nutritious and versatile ingredient that is gaining popularity as a superfood for humans. But did you know that it can also benefit our feathered friends? In this article, we will explore the benefits of hemp seed for birds and why it should be a part of their regular diet.

Can birds eat hemp seeds?

Why Hemp Seed is Good for Birds

Hemp seed is a rich source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, making it an excellent addition to any bird’s diet. Birds require a high amount of protein in their diet, especially during their breeding season, and hemp seed provides them with the necessary amino acids they need to build and repair their bodies. Additionally, hemp seed is a good source of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which are vital for maintaining a healthy coat, beak, and overall well-being.

The Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seed for Birds

Nutritional values of hemp seeds based on data from the USDA:

NutrientAmount per 100g
Total Fat48.75g
Saturated Fat4.536g
Polyunsaturated Fat36.033g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids9.301g
Omega-6 Fatty Acids26.414g
Can parrots eat hemp seeds?
Can parrots eat hemp seeds?


Protein is essential for birds as it is necessary for growth, maintenance, and repair of tissues. Hemp seed contains all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids that birds cannot produce themselves, making it a complete protein source. The high protein content in hemp seed can help birds build and repair their muscles, feathers, and beaks.


Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Birds diet high in fiber in the wild. Hemp seed is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help regulate digestion and prevent digestive issues in birds. It also mimics their wild diet. 

Essential Fatty Acids

Although hemp seeds contain almost 50% fat like Sunflower seeds but good news is most of the fat is essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which are important for birds’ overall health. These fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, feathers, and beaks, and can also improve birds’ cognitive function and immune system.

Vitamins and Minerals

Hemp seed is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining birds’ overall health and can help prevent illnesses and diseases.

Although it is not rich in calcium, hemp seed has a good amount of selenium and zinc. Selenium and zinc will help your bird’s feathers to shine.

One important thing is that it is high in potassium, which may cause problems for the bird with heart issues. So if your bird has vascular disease, you should be careful to provide hemp seeds to your bird.

How to Incorporate Hemp Seed into Your Bird’s Diet

Seed should not be the only diet for your bird. Seed based diet is not healthy at all. Birds should be provided with fresh food. But a cup full of seeds should be provided besides fresh food every day. Hemp seed is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into your bird’s diet in many ways. Here are some ideas on how to introduce hemp seed into your bird’s daily routine:

Offer Hemp Seed as a Treat

Hemp seed can be given to birds as a healthy and nutritious treat. You can mix it with other seeds or nuts and offer it to your bird as a snack throughout the day.

Mix Hemp Seed with Their Regular Food

You can mix hemp seed with your bird’s regular food to provide them with a nutritional boost. You can mix it with their seed mix, pellets, or fresh fruits and vegetables.

Make Homemade Bird Treats with Hemp Seed

You can use hemp seed to make homemade bird treats. There are many recipes available online that use hemp seed as a primary ingredient. You can make hemp seed balls or cakes and offer them as a special treat to your bird.


Hemp seed is a nutritious and beneficial addition to your bird’s diet. It is a rich source of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that can improve their overall health and well-being. By incorporating hemp seed into your bird’s diet occasionally, you can ensure that they receive the necessary nutrients they need to maintain a healthy and happy life.