Have you ever wondered if parakeets can eat popcorn? Given a piece of plain popcorn to a parakeet, would it eat it or not? Am I the only person who’s been wondering about this for a long time? You are not alone. There are countless others who’ve been wondering whether their small and colorful pets can actually eat popcorn for snacks.
Can parakeets eat popcorn? Parakeets can safely eat popcorn in moderation. Plain popcorn does not contain high nutritional content but it does contribute to your pet’s diet as a whole. Compared to other snacks or foods for parakeets, plain popcorn is much safer and contains less sugar and fats.
If you have parakeets at home, you must know how fun and satisfying it is to see these little guys munching on their snacks. Although most fruits and vegetables make healthy and delicious snacks for these birds, have you ever wondered about trying something new and exciting as their snack?
Although popcorn is not extremely nutritious, it does contain some nutrients that your pets can benefit from. Plain, unsalted, unbuttered, and unflavored popped popcorns are most suitable for your feathered pets. You must be careful about feeding them popcorn in moderation. If your parakeets begin to eat too much popcorn, they might end up missing nutrients that are essential for their well-being.
Below, we will cover all aspects of feeding popcorn to parakeets: nutritional value, health benefits, risks involved, moderation, feeding ideas, and more.
Will parakeets eat popcorn?
Are you about to add popcorn into your parakeet’s diet and are concerned whether or not they will like these treats? As a caring pet parent, it is natural to worry about your pet’s food preferences. And if your parakeets won’t like eating their treats, would it really be a treat for them?
So, will parakeets eat popcorn? The answer to this question depends on the individual taste of your feathered pets. Parakeets can be quite fussy when it comes to food and are known to throw a tantrum now and then. Moreover, these little guys are also not very keen on trying new things.
Therefore, to determine whether your parakeet would like to eat popcorn or not, you will have to serve it to them and see how they react to it. If they finish their treat quickly and seem to be asking for more, it’s a good sign. However, if they’re not touching the popcorn after the first bite, it means that they didn’t like eating it. In that case, you could always look for something else to use as their treat.
Is popcorn healthy for parakeets?
Did you serve your feathered pet popcorn, and they seemed to enjoy it? Congratulations, you can now include popcorn into their diet. But isn’t there anything else you’d like to know first? What about the health benefits of popcorn for parakeets?
Since parakeets have a small and limited diet, it would be wise to feed them food that would add some nutrients to their body, even as treats. Can popcorn do that? Let’s find out.
To figure out whether popcorn can benefit your pet’s health, we will first learn which nutrients are present in popcorn. Take a look at the table below:
|Total fat||1.3 g|
|Saturated fat||0.2 g|
|Sodium, Na||2 mg|
|Potassium, K||93.3 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||2 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.9 mg|
|Dietary fibers||4.1 g|
Serving size: 1 ounce (28 grams)
As indicated in the table above, popcorn is rich in several minerals and other macronutrients. Let’s explore how these nutrients can be beneficial for your feathered pets:
- Parakeets need plenty of dietary fibers in their diet for the smooth functioning of their digestive system. Popcorn contains just the right amount of fibers for this purpose.
- Although you might know it already, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for birds, particularly those that are as energetic as your parakeets. The carbs in popcorn can keep your pet active and energized throughout the day.
- Popcorn contains minerals like calcium and iron in a moderate amount. Both of these minerals are beneficial for your pets. Calcium is responsible for keeping their bones strong and healthy and promoting their bright and shiny feathers. It also plays a key role in their blood clotting and wound healing processes and can boost their reproductive health. On the other hand, iron is indispensable in the production of hemoglobin in their body. And since hemoglobin is responsible for the transportation of oxygen in their blood, iron deficiency in their diet could lead to serious trouble.
- Popcorn also has a low sugar and calorie content, which means that your feathered pets are not at risk of suffering from diabetes by eating it.
Risks involved with feeding popcorn to parakeets
While popcorn does have quite a few health benefits for your parakeets when fed as a snack, feeding it to them more frequently might not be a good idea.
As we’ve mentioned before, small birds like parakeets have a limited diet within which you should meet all their nutritional needs. A parakeet should ideally consume about 30-40 grams of food every day on average.
How much popcorn can parakeets eat?
While popcorn is not nutritionally empty, it’s not exactly nutrient-dense either. It contains no vitamins and lacks some of the essential minerals for the parakeets, such as magnesium, copper, and so on.
Therefore, your pets can safely eat about 3-4 grams of popcorn once or twice a week. Any more than that can make them nutrient-deficit in the long run.
How to feed popcorn to parakeets?
While feeding popcorn to parakeets, it is always better to go with the popped ones instead of the unpopped kernels. It is because, unlike the hard kernels, popped popcorn is much easier to eat and digest for your feathered pets.
You can purchase plain, unflavored popcorn for your pets and pop them up by yourself (on a stovetop or in a microwave) at home. Given below are a few things you might want to keep in mind while feeding popcorn to your parakeets:
- If you’re buying popcorn from a microwaveable brand, make sure to check the pack thoroughly for the presence of any added flavor in it.
- Please do not feed your parakeets salted popcorn, as too much salt can prove to be detrimental to their health.
- Feeding your pets buttered popcorn is a bad idea, too. It is because these birds lack the enzymes that digest any dairy product they consume, including butter. Thus, feeding them buttered popcorn will only result in digestive issues like diarrhea.
Can I feed my parakeet flavored popcorn?
When we prepare popcorn for ourselves, we usually use sugar or other artificial flavors to sweeten our popcorn or give it a unique taste. Can you share flavored popcorn with your parakeets as well? It would be wise not to.
Ideally, it would help if you were feeding only plain and unflavored popcorn to your parakeets since it is the safest for their health. Almost all the artificial flavors we use in our popcorn are made using chemicals that might turn out to be lethal to your feathered pets.
However, there is a safe way of feeding them flavored popcorn safely; if you add a little bit of coconut oil to it. Coconut oil is usually liked by these birds and doesn’t pose a threat to them either.
Do parakeets need water immediately after popcorn? Yes, they might. Eating popcorn can dry out their mouth, making them crave water. Therefore, you must always serve them clean water along with treats like popcorn.
Can parakeets eat corn? Yes, parakeets can not only eat corn but enjoy doing so immensely. You can even serve them a small portion of a corn kernel, and they will eat the corn right from it.
Conclusion: Can parakeets eat popcorn?
Let’s do a quick recap of everything we have learned above: parakeets can safely eat popcorn, but only in moderation.
While popcorn can make a fun and refreshing treat for parakeets, adding it to their daily diet might not be a good idea since they’re not the most nutritious alternatives for them.
If you’re looking for healthier treats for your parakeets, you can go for fresh fruits or vegetables like broccoli, carrot, lettuce, banana, apples, and so on.