In Reply to: Re: What does everyone feed their GGC? Great Educational Resource. posted by Scooter & Mike on February 08, 2012 at 09:22:45:
There are multiple lists floating around. The rule I tend to use is that if I can eat it my birds can eat it in the same form I eat it in a weight-proportional portion with only a few exceptions. Those are caffiene, alcohol, avocado, chocolate. Raw red kidney beans aren't something you'd eat, but they are pretty toxic. They are OK cooked. Don't use soaking/sprouting mixes with red kidney beans. Virtually all other beans are fine. Raw onion and garlic are problematic in all but the tiniest of quantities.
Things to be cautious about include raw tomato, rhubarb, mushroom, the pits of stone fruits, pungent herbs.
There is a lot of paranoia/misinformation/distorted partial truths in the area of do not feed lists for parrots. I like to know why I'm making the decisions I'm making so I've done a bit of research. Here are some of the things I've discovered:
Avocado skin and pit contain toxins which can leach into the flesh, so it is generally on do not feed lists. However, feral parrots eat avocado off trees and survive.
Chocolate is a dosage-related issue -- a person can die from theobromine poisoning if you eat about 6 lbs of chocolate in a sitting. Dogs and birds are more sensitive to it even than weight-proportional dosage, so it is best avoided.
Alcohol and caffeine are dosage issues, birds just weigh so little that a very modest amount can cause serious issues.
Cherries do NOT contain cyanide. If you combine cherry flesh with crushed cherry seeds, there is a cyanogenic reaction. I believe this is true for all stone fruits. I remove the pits.
Mushrooms are not "toxic because they are a fungus". They are a healthful food. HOWEVER, they spoil very quickly and most people don't know how to recognize this and many mushrooms you buy at the grocery are already a bit slimy. They won't hurt you (dosage issue) but it is probably safest to avoid feeding raw mushrooms to your birds unless you are super confident that they are very fresh.
Dairy -- indeed birds don't have lactase making them functionally lactose-intolerant. However, hard cheeses and yogurt essentially have most of the lactose "used up" in the curing process. People report giving birds small amounts of cheese and yogurt without trouble.
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