Why Do Parrots Eat Chilies? (Find Out Here)

  • Time to read: 9 min.

From time to time, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a spicy dish. You may have tried spicy meals before and perhaps loved them afterward. What’s more, is that eating chilies during the rainy or cold season heats your body temperature and makes you comfy even when the weather is cold. The good thing about this is that parrots adore chilies and occasionally eat this as a snack. 

Hot chili peppers can be toxic and a bit painful to ingest for some species of animals. Fortunately for parrots, these red and spicy peppers can be consumed by your plumaged friend and included in their diet as an alternative to harmful spices. 

Why Do Parrots Eat Chilies? 

Parrots like to eat chilies because of their seeds. Highly social eaters will grab a bite of anything that tastes good for them. Luckily for parrots, chilies go well with their diet and provide several benefits that keep them strong. Chilies are quick to digest and enable parrots to talk and perform tricks. Finally, unlike other animals with sensitive buds for Chilies, parrots cannot taste the spiciness of chilies. (source)

What About Parrots’ Diet?

Many food considerations must be recognized or researched thoroughly when feeding your parrots. In all seriousness, you can serve parrots with a wide variety of dishes or food mixes from fresh and organic vegetables, fruits, and quality pellets and seeds. As parrot owners, it’s crucial to keep up with the food sensitivities of parrots to avoid severe complications, primarily if your parrots are in captivity while breeding.

Parrots’ diets are essential to maintain their health and overall growth and lengthen their lifespan with you. As a responsible owner, researching the good and best food list for your parrots is likely to help your feathered friends. Parrots can only do one thing: keep you company and eat the food you serve. Nothing against parrots, but you know what we mean! 

Question This Article Will Answer

  1. Why do parrots eat chilies?
  2. Are chilies safe for parrots to eat? 
  3. What chilies can you serve to parrots? 
  4. What are the health benefits of chilies to parrots? 
  5. How to feed parrots chilies? 
  6. How many times should I feed chilies to my parrots?  
  7. Is it possible for me to grow my chilies? 

Why Do Parrots Eat Chilies?

The main reason parrots eat chilies is that parrots don’t have sensitive buds that can taste the spiciness of chilies. The anatomy of birds is different from mammals. Unlike mammals, their buds are susceptible to chilies or hot peppers. On the other hand, parrots can ingest chilies, especially their seeds. 

Parrots are unaffected by chilies’ overpowering and painful taste; instead, they enjoy picking and pecking until they reach the seeds. Among the chilies they love relish are jalapeno, tabasco, and habaneros which are spicy and fleshy peppers with pungent seeds. These peppers are too spicy even for us! 

Why Chilies’ Defense Mechanism Does Not Work On Parrots?

One can say that chilies’ defense mechanism against predators doesn’t work well with parrots and other classifications of birds. Chilies use this defense mechanism for mammals so that the birds ingest the seeds and spread them throughout different areas. Mainly because mammals digest all the composites of the food, especially the seeds in chilies; in this case, chilies will not propagate and flourish. 

As time went by, chilies evolved their spicy level so that mammals would stay away and keep destructive fungi from eating the flesh and seeds of a chili. This natural phenomenon happens more often in wet areas compared to dryer areas where fungi can’t survive. That’s why many parrot owners and experts recommend including chilies as an alternative to other spices because of their health benefits and savory taste to parrots. 

Are Chilies Safe For Parrots To Eat? 

Yes, chilies are safe for parrots to eat in moderate portions. They contain essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that benefit your parrot. In a blog, Woo Parrot, Sadeq stated that parrots find peppers sumptuous and choose this as their favorite treat. Even though chilis are suitable for parrots, feeding them in fair portions is still essential. A significant amount of chili peppers can negatively affect the parrots’ digestive tract. (source)

What Chilies Can You Serve To Parrots? 

Like any bird species, you should serve your parrots with various sustenance such as organic fruits, vegetables, good pellets, and seeds. Chilies or peppers are also the best recommendations for experts, and other bird owners are suggesting. 

In a blog from All About Parrots, Carrie explained that you could serve ghost peppers, habaneros, banana peppers, and bell peppers, as well as red, yellow, green, and orange peppers that can be raw or cooked. (source)

If you’re troubled or worried about the tingling effect of peppers, don’t worry since parrots can’t taste capsaicin—a chemical irritant that causes unbearable spiciness. (source)

What Are The Health Benefits Of Chilies To Parrots? 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Chilies To Parrots? 

Good news! Chilies or peppers have health benefits for parrots. The chemical irritant capsaicin has an anti-inflammatory agent that can: 

  • Reduce and relieve pain
  • Reduce symptoms of arthritis
  • Prevents colon cancer

Since chilies provide health benefits for your parrots. This fleshy fruit is the best treat to boost your gaudy gliders’ health since it contains: 

  1. Vitamins

Chilies compose an incredible amount of vitamin C. This tiny fruit packs a good vitamin C composition; as a matter-of-fact, bell pepper contains almost 169% of the needed vitamin C for humans—what more for a parrot. Therefore, giving your parrots thin slices of bell peppers improves your parrots’ immune system. Aside from boosting your parrots’ immune system, chilies can also: 

  • Good tissue recuperation
  • Faster cell regeneration
  • Stronger bones, beaks, and talons
  • Firm cartilage
  • More brilliant feathers

Apart from vitamin C, chilies are rich in essential vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 can prevent chronic illnesses and is necessary to: 

  • Generate red blood cells
  • Repair neurotransmitters
  • Metabolizes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
  1. Carbohydrates

Chilies also have natural sugars, which are called glucose and fructose. It is not by chance since chilies are known as fruit instead of vegetables. Processed sugar is bad for parrots, but good thing this sugar is more refined organically. Therefore, providing a generous slice of peppers or chilies can energize your parrots and boost their mood. 

In fact, including bell peppers specifically in your parrot’s treat provides fiber that ensures balanced weight to your parrots. Fiber is vital to your parrot since it gives: 

  • Ensures good digestion
  • Improves metabolism and bowel movements
  • More excellent nutrients and mineral absorption
  1. Riboflavin

This vitamin B is vital for growth and development through cellular functions, energy production, and food metabolism. Since parrots need good eyesight, riboflavin decreases the formation of cataracts in your parrots’ eyes. Talk about 20-20 vision! 

  1. Minerals 

Chilies have multiple minerals, and a few slices give a punch to your parrots’ energetic demeanor. These minerals are: 

  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Potassium

These minerals can strengthen your parrots’ bones and beaks. At the same time, folate ensures that your parrots’ wings are firm and vibrant. Another good thing is iron which allows your parrots to produce healthy and new blood cells. Hence, increasing their energy throughout the day. 

  1. Capsaicin

Although capsaicin is a defense irritant for mammals, this chemical compound has multiple health benefits that your parrot can absorb. Capsaicin is an antioxidant that protects your parrots from free radicals and causes chronic illnesses. 

Other benefits of capsaicin are quick digestion, bacterial infection prevention, and help with joint aches. Finally, capsaicin aids in killing certain types of cancer cells. 

How To Feed Parrots Chilies? 

If you’re wondering how to serve or feed your parrot’s chilies, worry not because there is a way to do it! Mainly speaking, parrots should eat a wide range of portions that are mixes of fruits and vegetables, and on some occasions, seeds and pellets can be treats or rewards. Even though chilies have a reputation for being fiery, these fruits are an excellent alternative to harmful spices like onions and garlic. By the way, these are toxic portions even the tiniest bit can negatively impact your parrots’ health. 

Mix It With Other Foods

First and foremost, you can mix chilies with other veggies, nuts, and seeds. So, spicing up the parrots’ plate by adding these tiny and fiery bits motivates your parrots to eat. To make it spicier, you can dry chilies and sprinkle them onto their seed mixes. Nevertheless, however you mix chilies or peppers on the parrots’ diet, they will surely relish it one way or the other. 

Cleanliness Is Necessary

Remember to wash your hands carefully after cutting the chilies or peppers into thin slices. The reason is that you’re not a parrot immune to the chemical irritant. The extract or fluid is irritating to your skin and mucous membranes. 

Next, it is best to look for fresh chilies instead of buying from markets. Pesticides and insecticides are mass-produced compared to homegrown chilies. So, to avoid chronic illnesses and toxic composites in the chilies, it’s best to either buy from organic fruit and vegetable shops or plant your own. 

Moderate Serving

Finally, remember that moderation is the key. Even if your parrots are unaffected by the compounds found in chilies, a fair portion is vital to enable your parrots to absorb a balanced nutrient, vitamin, and mineral. 

How Many Times Should I Feed Chilies To My Parrots?  

Avian species differ from one another, and their diets can be a little bit tricky for new parrot owners. However, parrot owners avoid overfeeding as they tend to get used to the same food and treat every meal. It will make your parrot a picky eater.  

Now back to the questions, how frequently should you feed your parrot’s chilies? 

As per recommendation, one to two chilies at least once a week will suffice. However, other bird owners usually give them as a treat after every successful training. As previously stated, parrots may be social eaters, but sometimes they get bored of their food. That’s why some parrot owners find a way to create various meals and prepare seasonal portions to satisfy their parrot buds.

Is It Possible For Me To Grow My Chilies? 

Thumbs up! Growing your chilies for your gaudy gliders assures that there will be no harmful toxins like pesticides and insecticides that will impact your parrot’s overall health and lifespan. More so, chilies or peppers are easy to grow at home, and novice gardeners can produce them. 

Peppers and chilies come in different levels as well as flavors. So, you can purchase one of these fruits in your local market to save up and give organic and safe treats for your parrots. It should be at least a native in your country or area when buying seedlings. You don’t want to start an ecological disaster. Hence, better ask questions to your local garden shops. 

The Importance Of Natural Sunlight

When planting chili seedlings, sufficient sunlight is necessary to grow your chilies. These buds flourish more when sunlight is in their area. On another note, if you experience winter in your area, it’s best to plant chili seedlings after the frost. Just for context, a full-grown chili stalk can grow for three feet tall, be sure to allow at least 18 inches between plants. 

Although chili thrives in dryer areas, chili needs moisture, and you should water them for at least three days. The soil should be moist but not entirely soaked. Too much water will rot the chilies, and they are no use to your parrots. Regularly weeding your plot lets your chilies absorb essential nutrients and water. Weed your plots! 

Final Thoughts

In summary, parrots can eat dried or cooked. You can give these peppers at least once a week as treats to avoid parrots being used to the meal. Remember that a fair serving of chilies ascertains more nutrient, mineral, and vitamin absorption. In addition, planting and growing your chilies assures that there are no harmful pesticides or insecticides which inflict adverse effects on your parrot’s health. More importantly, when preparing chilies as treats or as part of the meal, washing your hands is of the highest necessity to clean off the irritating compounds. Besides, you’re not as immune from the compounds since you’re not a feathered parrot—bad luck! 

Did this article help you? Like and share this with your parrot buddies! 

  1. Born For Pets. “Do Chillies Make Parrots Talk?” bornforpets.com, November 20, 2020.
  2. John. “Can Parrots Eat Chilies?” Parrot Website. www.parrotwebsite.com, January 16, 2021.
  3. Sadeq. “Can Parrots Eat Spicy Food?” WooParrot. www.wooparrot.com, April 23, 2021.
  4. Stephens, Carrie. “Can Parrots Eat Peppers? (Red, Green, Orange, Yellow).” All About Parrots. www.allaboutparrots.com, September 7, 2021.
  5. PubChem. “Capsaicin.” Capsaicin | C18H27NO3 – PubChem. pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed June 15, 2022.