Can Parrots Eat Biscuits?

Let’s be honest… Who doesn’t love a biscuit or two as a pick-me-up snack? We all have them in our homes, and very often, we are tempted to share some with our companion parrots. Since parrots love to eat sweet foods, they will gladly gobble up any biscuits you offer.  But while parrots can technically eat biscuits, the type of biscuit you give them and the quantity really matter.

Biscuits that are overly sweet or sugary are a definite NO because of their high sugar content. Those biscuits are also high in saturated fat, which can affect your pet’s health. 

The variety of biscuits available on the market today is huge. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of biscuits your parrot can and cannot eat. And what should be considered before giving one to your pet? 

Can Parrots Eat Biscuits?

Can parrots eat biscuits? Not these:

Not all types of biscuits are good for pet parrots. Some are particularly bad and should be on the top of the list to avoid at all costs. They are toxic for parrots and can have various adverse effects on your bird. Biscuits from these categories can cause weight gain, stomachache, indigestion, irritation, nausea, heart disease and more. 

The biscuits your parrot cannot eat include: 

Parrots should not eat biscuits on a regular basis. This video is an excellent example of what we shouldn’t do.

1. Sugar-coated Biscuits 

Sugar-coated biscuits are often made with tons of sugar, butter, vanilla, and other tasty but unhealthy ingredients. Generally, they are not good for us but can have fatal effects when given to parrots and pets in general. Why? Because parrots have a hard time digesting sugar. It puts a ton of stress on their pancreas, and trying to break down the sugar content in the biscuit might take away nutrients from the parrot’s body. 

Plus, a biscuit with high amounts of refined sugar rarely has any nutritional value. This will leave your parrot malnourished and hungry if you try to feed it as a staple. It can also lead to some health issues like diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and weakness. In addition, if you constantly feed your pet these sugar-coated biscuits, you can expect it to gain some weight. This, in many cases, will lead to illnesses like diabetes and heart problems. 

Instead of letting your parrot eat biscuits that have too much-refined sugar, stick to the natural sugars found in fruits.

2. Rich Tea Biscuits 

It is easy to think that rich tea biscuits are great treats for parrots. But despite how plain they look, rich tea biscuits are actually high in refined sugar and fat. In fact, the calories in rich tea biscuits are almost as high as in chocolate ones. 

These biscuits are usually made with flour, malt extract, sugar, and vegetable oil. None of which parrots should have in their system. Vegetable oil is filled with polyunsaturated fatty acids, which parrots find difficult to digest. These fatty acids will cause issues in the long run if consumed daily. 

Rich tea biscuits are really high in sugars, fat, and calories. Consider getting a healthier alternative for your parrot. A crumble isn’t going to make your feathered pet drop dead off its perch. But consuming regularly will make your pet ill in the long run.

If you think your parrot needs snacks that contain a higher percentage of fats, offer some nuts or seeds instead of biscuits. Hight fatty food is beneficial for active parrots, parrots in aviaries and breeding pairs.

3. Chocolate Biscuits and Cookies

Chocolate Biscuit & Cookies

High on top of the list of foods you should never feed your parrot are chocolate biscuits or chocolate-chip cookies. We all love chocolate, and your parrot probably does too, but that doesn’t make it the best option for them. Chocolate is one of those foods that are harmful to parrots, even in small amounts. It contains caffeine and theobromine, which are toxic to parrots: these are chemicals that their body cannot easily break down and may cause serious damage to their nervous system and liver. 

When you feed your parrot a stimulant like caffeine, which is found in dark chocolate, it makes them overly energetic. This can lead to hyperactivity, increased heart rate, and cardiac arrest. If you keep feeding your pet small doses of chocolate in the long run, you may notice some aggressive behaviour and stress. These side effects don’t usually happen immediately, and it is something you will see as time goes by. 

So, whether it contains milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or any other type of chocolate, a chocolate biscuit should never be given to a parrot. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is for your pet.

Can parrots eat biscuits and cookies that don’t have any chocolate? Well, they still tend to have flavourings, artificial colourings, and sugar that can spike blood sugar levels in your pet. We’ve already discussed what sugar does to parrots. 

4. Digestive Biscuits 

Digestive biscuits are typically high in calories and fats, which is suitable for some birds, especially in the winter. However, giving them to your parrot isn’t the best option. Give a few crumbs as a treat if you think the bird will love it but don’t take things any further than that.

Did you know that parrots’ digestive systems cannot properly break down gluten? When buying digestive biscuits, you should go for the ones made with gluten-free oat flour or biscuits made with barley or millet. 

5. Dog Biscuits 

Dog biscuits do not have as much sugar as digestive biscuits, rich tea biscuits, or cookies, but they’re still not recommended as treats for parrots. Your pet parrot can eat dog biscuits in small amounts, but they are filled with carbs and don’t have enough nutritional benefits for parrots. 

If this is something that you want your pet to try out, look out for brands that don’t have a lot of sugar or salt.

6. Ginger Biscuits 

Ginger has been used by humans for over 2000 years because of its many health benefits. And these apply to your bird just as much as they do to you! Ginger contains protein that helps to maintain the quality of the feathers. Also the Vitamin A present in ginger root is good for the respiratory and digestive systems. Giving your parrot small amounts of ginger can help with stomach upset and motion sickness when you are travelling with your pet, but feeding your parrot ginger biscuits might not be such a good idea. 

Although one of the main ingredients is ginger, ginger biscuits are high in sugar and fat with little to no nutritional value. Taking sugar isn’t outrightly bad for parrots, but it puts them at risk when they “overdose” on it for a long time. 

7. Crackers

Crackers - Can Parrots Eat Biscuits

Crackers are made with basic ingredients like wheat flour, water, sugar, chemical leaveners, salt, and more. They are usually plain biscuits with little sugar and fat content, and there are different types of crackers in the market, like Saltine crackers, Graham crackers, Prawn crackers, cream crackers, and Ritz. 

Crackers are not overly bad for parrots, but most store-bought types tend to have a lot of sugar and fat to make them more flavorful and appealing. Unfortunately, because of ingredients like salt, yeast, and sugar, giving your parrot too many crackers can result in some serious health issues. 

For instance, the salt in the crackers can lead to excessive thirst in parrots or cause musculoskeletal issues like seizures and tremors. The sugar level in crackers can also cause inflammation, which is harmful to the parrot in the long run. Depending on the type and brand of crackers you buy, they may not have any nutritional value and are basically filled with empty calories. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot give your parrot crackers, as it all depends on the amount you give. For example, you can feed your pet part of a Saltine or Ritz cracker occasionally without issues, and the same goes for cream crackers because they don’t have a lot of salt. Graham crackers, on the other hand, have the highest sugar content, so those are not something you’ll want to give your pet parrot regularly.  

Which Biscuits Can My Parrot Eat

The biscuits on this list are some of the safest options for your parrot to eat, but as always, they still need to be offered in moderation. If you want to give your pet something new, here are some biscuits you can try.

Always try and feed your parrot biscuits that are made for pet birds with safe and healthy ingredients. And even those biscuits should be given in moderation and as an occasional treat.

1. Homemade Biscuits

Can Parrot Eat Homemade Biscuits

Homemade biscuits are wonderful treats for parrots because you can control what goes into them. They can be prepared with little or no sugar, and you can add some extra ingredients that will provide more nutritional value to your pet. For instance, you can add spices, vegetables, seeds, and some oatmeal to ensure your pet is getting the very best. 

Still, you should monitor how much of this you give to your pet, simply because you don’t want them to take in too many calories. 

2. Nice Biscuits 

Nice biscuits don’t contain as much sugar and fat as many others, making them a somewhat better option for your parrot. You can get either the plain type or the coconut-flavoured version. Parrots absolutely love the flavour of coconut and will appreciate a few small pieces here and there.

Keep in mind that Nice biscuits are still high in calories, and you should look out for that when giving them to your pet parrot. It’s normal for us to finish a big pack of nice biscuits like it’s nothing, but parrots cannot eat the way we do, and the sugar and fat in their system will increase depending on the number they eat. 

3. Lincoln Biscuits

Lincoln biscuits are a type of shortcake biscuits that have relatively low sugar and fat content as far as biscuits go, making them one of the less unhealthy varieties. However, just like other biscuits, Lincoln biscuits still have a good amount of calories that you need to be conscious about.

Feeding your parrot a small piece of lincoln biscuit works fine, but offering more can cause stomach upset that you certainly don’t want to deal with. 

4. Monkey Biscuits 

Monkey Biscuits are mainly designed for primates or mammals, but you can find a few on the market that are good for parrots. They are a fun way to incorporate protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and fibre into your pet’s diet, and you can use them to get chicks used to solid food. 

Before you give monkey biscuits to your pet, make sure to soak them in some water to make them soft and easier to eat.

Although these biscuits are generally safe to give to your parrot, it is always important to do it in moderation. They cannot consume the same amount of calories that we can. It’s easy for parrots to get addicted to biscuits, and they definitely won’t be full after eating just a couple.


Can Parrots Eat Biscuits Summary

Can Parrots Eat Biscuits? Are they really harmful?

Biscuits are yummy and enjoyable, and it’s great that you want your parrot to share in that too. However, remember that their safety and health always come first. Check the ingredient list, offer only occasional small amounts and remember that a high-quality staple pellet supplemented with plenty of fresh produce makes the best base for a parrot’s diet.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

    1. Hi Karen,

      I guess they can, as long as there is no salt, sugar and additives to the risks.
      A lot of manufacturers will add those even though they are for babies.

      Parrot Essentials – Anguel

  1. Thanks for the helpful information. I might make my parrot some healthy ginger biscuits,thanks to your research.

  2. Thanks for your helpful information. I might make my parrot some healthy ginger biscuits. Thank you for your research.

    1. Hi Anne,

      Healthy ginger biscuits are also a great treat for parrots. You can use Harrison’s Bird Bread Mix. Add ginger. Bake and Freeze. Voila.

      Parrot Essentials – Anna

  3. I think homemade or pet specialist ore the way to go.

    I know other biscuits may be convenient, so where I have my biscuits, I allow my parrots to have a plain cracker between them or even a plain rice cake/plain popcorn (no oil, no salt, no sugar etc). Popcorn is one of the healthier options and my two seem to love it the most.

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