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I am in a testing phase with Copi and have been offering him various foods in a controlled way to see what he likes and dislikes since he is quite fussy. The good thing is that he is adventurous and is good about trying new things. I needed some parsley yesterday for a paella and I hate buying it fresh because you have to purchase a huge bunch and unless you are running a restaurant much gets tossed. In fact, this morning my wife opened the fridge and tsk'd that the parsley was already wilted. She chopped of the ends and stuck the bunch in a glass of water (the old celery trick!). Anyway, to get back to Parrotlets, I had the thought that Copi might eat parsley. So I grabbed a stem and pushed it down through the bars on the top of his cage so that it hung down like a bushy inverted tree.

He climbed over to it immediately and began tasting it. Then he started eating it. Now he has visited the "bush" twice since I have been typing this. I then wondered if anyone else was feeding parsley to their 'lets and did a search here. I had a moment of concern when I saw the posts appear putting parsley on the "poisonous to birds" list. Further investigation proved otherwise, as it often does. First let me say that there are various forms of parsley. The curled leaf version, which is what Copi is nibbling, is only one kind. There is also the flat-leafed, and some of those are cilantro, but not all.

What is important to understand is that birds are not as stupid as most humans think they are. Yes, from an evolutionary standpoint they did sacrifice brain volume in favor of flight, but they have an extensive set of instinctual behaviors that have been developed over eons. These behaviors work to protect them from harm and also serve as moderating mechanisms. So, whatever we eat is pretty much safe for your bird. Again, we have to consider moderation. The hunger state of the bird, or any organism for that matter, also has to be considered. For example, given the reasons posted here and discussed below, you would not want to leave home with your bird only having a large sprig of parsley to eat!

From the following site, I found the most sensible discussion on parsley not found here:

Parsley is a particularly nutritious green plant but for whatever reason, it has long been suspected of being poisonous to birds. Parsley is not toxic to birds and can be fed in moderation without any problem. It is a good source of iron, beta carotene and vitamins B1, B2 and C. Parsley contains most of the amino acids that are the "building blocks" of protein. Medicinal benefits: Parsley is useful as a blood purifier. It detoxifies harmful contaminants, promotes healthy skin and feathers, tones the digestive system, prevents kidney ailments and treats arthritis. It also acts as a natural antibiotic.

I mentioned sex earlier. The metal calcium tends to be particularly electrifying in avian discussions simply because birds lay eggs with calcium shells. Female birds will eat specific foods to build up their calcium reserves prior to egg laying. This is not a behavior of male birds so calcium issues are not as acute. The intelligent breeder will make sure his hens have adequate calcium rich foods and will refrain from offering foods high in oxalates, if at all, of which parsley is one.

Again, all things in moderation is an age old saw with timeless wisdom!
 

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Parsley is not toxic to parrots, however, it's a poor choice of greens. Parsley and spinach are both high in oxalic acid, which binds calcium so it can't be absorbed into the bird's system. While parsley may be nutritious, I, personally, think the downside outweighs the benefits. Better choices are broccoli and collard greens.
 

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I have offered parsley on occasion to my birds, but it is not something I offer on a regular basis due to the high oxalic acid.

Thanks for your post
 

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I have feed my parrotlets parsley and they love it. I do not do it often so I'm glad to see that moderation is ok. I like to feed mine different things and always try to research to make sure it is ok to feed them. Thanks for the info.
 

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Walk a mile in their feathers!

I have feed my parrotlets parsley and they love it. I do not do it often so I'm glad to see that moderation is ok. I like to feed mine different things and always try to research to make sure it is ok to feed them. Thanks for the info.
I just think how I would like to eat the same thing, day after day, week after week, I'd go nuts! The intelligent mind needs stimulation and parrots have been known to go insane in zoo cages for lack of stimulation. You are doing the right thing!!!
 
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