Many owners are tempted to treat their pet budgie with something special like chocolate. If you belong to this group, we’ve to say sorry to you! Budgies can’t eat chocolate, not even a tiny amount.
Can budgies eat chocolate, and is it toxic? Budgies can’t eat chocolate as it’s highly toxic to them. It contains methylxanthine compounds like caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline that budgies can’t metabolize. Even a very small amount of chocolate can poison your budgie’s digestive system and cause diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and even organ failures leading to death.
Is there still a way to feed some form of chocolate to your budgie? What if your budgie has eaten some chocolate accidentally? Is there any cure for these health risks? We’ll find out the answers in this article.
Can You Feed Chocolate to Budgies
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as bird-safe chocolate that your budgie can eat. Alkaloid Theobromine, a core ingredient of chocolate, is the main culprit causing this toxicity for your budgie. So never add chocolate to your parakeet’s diet, nor give it as a treat. Also, ensure it can’t access or steal chocolate when you’re not around.
If you’ve seen someone’s budgie eating a tiny bite of chocolate and it’s doing fine, don’t get misled and tempted to feed your budgie some chocolate. If you measure the heart rate of that particular budgie, you’ll see it has increased to a dangerous level.
Caffeine and theobromine have both short and long-term risks. So the budgie, who sneaked a bite of chocolate, may not show obvious signs initially. But it can still affect his kidney, liver, brain, and central nervous system.
If the sneaked bite was from white chocolate, Nutella, or a baked chocolate recipe, the budgie will probably survive this time without anything serious. However, he must be under continuous supervision for the next few hours to see if he shows any symptoms like tremors or seizures.
Some owners consider adding chocolate as a minor ingredient to some of the budgies’ food recipes. They think a little bit of chocolate mixed up in a safe food like oats, corn, or seeds can minimize the adverse effects of chocolate. Unfortunately, it’ll still be as risky as taking it alone.
Do Budgies Like Chocolate?
Researchers say budgies are attracted to the taste of chocolate. So if they taste it, they’ll start enjoying it; little do they know about its harmful effects. Since they’ll like its taste, you’ve to be more careful that they don’t accidentally access or steal any chocolate.
Risks For Budgies Eating Chocolate
Since chocolate contains toxic methylxanthine ingredients like theobromine and caffeine, it’s dangerous to all species of birds, including budgies. Some of its major risks include:
The New Zealand Veterinary Journal reports the death of a large adult parrot that ingested around 20 grams of dark chocolate. It died because of severe damage to the lungs, brain, and liver. If it’s for a large parrot, imagine how deadly the consequences could be for small pet birds like budgies.
If chocolates didn’t have methylxanthines like caffeine or theobromine (some white chocolates don’t include them), they would’ve still been unhealthy for budgies because they’re high in sugar and contain lecithin, artificial flavors, cocoa butter, preservative, and many other harmful ingredients. So you’d still be advised to avoid feeding such foods.
MSD Vet Manual says that the symptoms of chocolate toxicity in birds arise 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. The major symptoms include hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac distress, cardiac arrest, and sudden death. So any tiny amount of ingestion will require immediate attention from the vet.
Why Shouldn’t You Feed Chocolate to Budgies?
Due to the poisonous effect of chocolate on budgies, they should never be fed this. You’ve seen the risk factors which are so deadly that you can’t even think of giving chocolate in any of its forms to your feathered friend.
You shouldn’t offer it also because there are much safer, healthier, and tastier alternative treats available to provide your budgies, such as budgie popcorn, apple seeds, beans, fruits, nuts, and more.
Can you feed Chocolate to Baby Budgies? If so, how?
Baby budgies have a weaker immune system than adult budgies. You can easily realize how deadly it could be to feed chocolate to the nestling budgies. So don’t even think of feeding any kind of chocolate to them.
Let’s take a look at some more FAQs here.
An amount less than 2 grams of regular dark chocolate could be sufficient to cause your budgie’s death. But it can vary based on the type of chocolate you’re feeding.
If your budgie has eaten chocolate, regardless of how much, take it immediately to the vet to ensure he’s alright. Don’t delay since it can cause irreversible damage like kidney failure, heart failure, or liver damage.
No, a tiny presence of chocolate can be toxic for your budgie. So you shouldn’t give it any chocolate recipes, including Nutella, cocoa beans, or other chocolate cookies.
Chocolate is one of those highly toxic foods you must avoid feeding your budgie. Not only birds, but chocolate poisoning can also cause death in dogs and cats. Chocolate is among the human foods that most animals can’t digest. You might’ve thought of offering your budgie a special treat with chocolate. But that special treat can soon turn into a lethal treat!
The reason is budgie’s digestive system can’t break down theobromine and caffeine in the chocolate, which allows these ingredients to interfere with its ability to maintain energy and normal cardiac rhythm. Also, ensure you’re not offering anything like chocolate cookies, chocolate cakes, or recipes that include cocoa content, even in a tiny quantity.
Do you know if your budgies can eat blackberries or dried fruit? Read our articles about it to learn more.