Riverside Veterinary Clinic


Feeding Birds: What Foods to Avoid

These foods can KILL your bird:

Food/ Drinks

Why It Should Not Be Given To Your Birds

Avocado Pear – including fruit, bark,leaves, pips and stems and  Avocado products eg Guacomole Contains an extremely toxic fatty acid derivative called Persin which can cause cardiac distress and heart failure.
Chocolate and Cocoa Contain Theobromide which is extremely toxic.
Rhubarb     The leaves contain high concentrations of oxalic acid which is an intestinal irritant.

These foods and drinks can cause health problems:

Alcohol      A bird's liver cannot metabolise alcohol properly, resulting in depression of the organs.
Apple seeds and fruit pips (apricot, cherry, pear, peach, or nectarine pips)     These contain trace amounts of cyanide and are highly toxic.
Caffeinated drinks eg tea, coffee, coke. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause an increase in heart rate, irregular heart beat, hyperactivity and even cardiac arrest.
Carbonated (fizzy) drinks: Birds have no mechanism (eg burping) for ridding themselves of excess gas from carbonation. This can cause gastric problems.
Cabbage    Can cause gastric problems.
Fatty foods A high-fat diet can lead to fatty liver disease.
Insoluble grit (eg sand). Can cause fatal impaction (blockage) in the crop or intestines.
Onions Contain a chemical that denatures haemoglobin. Red blood cells are destroyed, resulting in anaemia.
Preservatives eg found in processed meats and dried fruits. Studies have shown that a diet high in preservatives can cause a host of problems such as skin conditions and plucking.
Salty foods A high salt diet can cause problems such as excessive thirst, dehydration and kidney dysfunction.
Sugary foods (sucrose)     High amounts of sugar places strain on the pancreas to produce excessive insulin.
Lettuce Little nutritional value and has been shown to cause diarrhoea.
Milk Birds are lactose intolerant. Milk products can be given in small amounts eg cheese and yoghurt.
Mushrooms Mushrooms are a type of fungus and have been4 known to cause digestive upsets.
Number of uncooked beans eg soy, black, red and kidney beans. Uncooked beans can contain a poison called hemagglutinin which is very toxic.
Tomato fruit, leaves, stems and vines. While the tomato fruit is very acidic, the leaves, stems and vines are very toxic.



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Durban North,

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