Can Parrots Eat Oats? | Everything you need to know

Can Parrots Eat Oats and Oatmeal

A proper diet is necessary for parrots to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. If you recently got a parrot, you may be stressing about what to feed it. Since they’re a healthy and cheap plant-based food for humans, many new parrot owners end up asking: Can parrots eat oats? Are they safe for our pets to consume? 

 The answer to this very valid question is: Yes! Oats are safe for parrots to eat. And since parrots enjoy eating a wide variety of foods, cereals like oatmeal can be a healthy option for your pet’s morning meals. Oats are highly nutritious for parrots, so they can eat them raw or cooked. 

Before giving your parrot any oats or oatmeal treats, there are a few things to consider, including factors like serving method and quantity, health benefits, adverse effects, and other relevant information. This article will cover all your queries related to oats for parrots. 

Can parrots eat oats?

Oatmeal and other varieties of rolled oats are standard breakfast fare. People worldwide enjoy eating oats because they are rich in essential nutrients and versatile.

Oatmeal and oats are equally safe and beneficial for parrots. Many parrot owners enjoy sharing their favourite oatmeal breakfast with their feathered friends. 

The difference between oats and oatmeal

If you’re unfamiliar with the difference between oats and oatmeal, we would like to dispel any misunderstandings you might have now. Raw and unprocessed oats are a natural and unrefined form of the grain. They’re a staple breakfast item because they’re heavier on the stomach and thus tend to keep you full for longer.  

Steel-cut oats make for a good middle ground: they’re rougher than processed oats, but don’t take as long to cook as unprocessed ones.

However, when it comes to oatmeal, the processed and rolled oats are cut and prepared so that they can be cooked in two to five minutes. Due to this ease and convenience, this is the version preferred by the vast majority of people.  

The difference between oats and oatmeal?

Are oats nutritious?

If you want to keep your parrot active and healthy, you could consider adding oats to their diet. This grain is very nutritious. Here is some more information about nutrient content for those interested:

Nutrients Quantity 
Vitamin B1  0.763 mg 
Vitamin B2  0.139 mg 
Vitamin B3  0.961 mg 
Vitamin B5  1.349 mg 
Vitamin B6  0.12 mcg 
Vitamin B9  56 mcg 
Calcium, Ca 54 mg 
Iron, Fe 5 mg 
Magnesium, Mg 177 mg 
Manganese, Mn 4.9 mg 
Phosphorous, P 523 mg 
Potassium, K 429 mg 
Sodium, Na 2 mg 
Zinc, Zn 4 mg 
Carbohydrates 66.3 g 
Fat 6.9 g 
Protein 16.9 g 
Dietary Fiber 10.6 g 
Energy 389 kcal 
Serving size: 100 grams

This table might have given you a little bit of idea of how oats have many of the nutrients required to keep your pet parrot healthy. Continue reading if you want to learn more about how the nutrients in oats can boost your pet’s health. 

How do oats help your parrot’s health?

How do oats help your parrot’s health?

 Vitamins: Just like us humans, parrots require their daily doses of certain vitamins. Oats can provide your parrot with the required amount of some of these essential vitamins, as well as zinc and magnesium. These allow them to fight against infections and promotes cell growth. 

Protein: The amount of protein in a bird’s diet is a significant concern. Protein is vital for their feathers to stay healthy and for their muscles to grow. Luckily, for a plant-based food, oats contain a considerable amount of protein.  

Fibre: As mentioned above, oats contain plenty of fibre. This is an advantage for your feathered pets, as it helps their digestive systems function effectively and thus improves their gut health. 

Calories: Oats are relatively rich in calories, so a small amount can give your pets enough energy to keep them active all day. 

Fat: Oats are low in fat, which is a plus if your parrot is prone to gaining weight.

Aside from this, other advantages include:

  • Oats help to lower the amount of sugar in the blood. 
  • Parrots’ cholesterol is lower when they eat oats and oatmeal. 
  • It keeps the skin and feathers of the parrot from getting irritated. 
  • Oatmeal is good for the heart health of parrots. 
  • It is excellent for parrots’ immune systems. 
  • Oatmeal has a lot of fibre and protein. 
  • Low in fat.
  • It gives the parrot the energy it needs.

How Can You Serve Oats to Your Parrot? 

There are various ways to cook oats and oatmeal for your parrots. Here are some of the most common methods to serve oats to your feathered pet: 

1. Fresh Oats 

The easiest way for you to serve oats to your parrot is raw. It can be eaten with other foods and seeds as well. If you tend to make chop for your bird, adding uncooked oats is a great way to help absorb excess moisture from the fruit and vegetables, making the whole thing a lot let messy.

2. Cooked Oats 

Although cooked oats can be sticky business, some parrots love a little oatmeal for breakfast. You can cook oatmeal for your parrots with these few easy steps: 

  • First, put 10-15 grams of oats and 1 cup of water, coconut or almond milk in a pot and boil for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  • Add some crushed nuts, such as almonds, to the boiled oats. 
  • After making this oats mixture, you can add fruit slices like berries, bananas, apples (without the cores), and more. 
  • You can also add a teaspoon of boiled corn to this mix. 
  • Finally, serve the oatmeal mixture to your pet at room temperature. 

Cooked oats last in the fridge for at least a day or two, although they can thicken significantly when they cool down.

3. Soaked Oats

Soaked Oats - How to Make them for your Parrot?

Another good option is to give your parrot soaked oats. As with cooked oats, you can soak the grains in water or add coconut or almond milk. Try a few different things to see what your parrot prefers! Just don’t soak the oats in milk, as birds can’t digest dairy products.  

Follow these easy steps to make soaked oats for your birds. 

  • First, put 10-15 grams of oats in a jar. Then, add a small cup of water, coconut or almond milk and mix well. 
  • You can add nuts, shredded coconut, or any seeds that your pet likes to this mixture. 
  • Slices of fruit also make a good addition.
  • Close the jar tightly and shake well after adding all the healthy ingredients. 
  • Place the jar in the fridge for at least a few hours, or overnight.
  • Offer your parrots the oat mixture for breakfast and see what they think.

Like cooked oatmeal, soaked oats last in the fridge for at least a day or two.

Don’t forget: Don’t add chocolate, sugar, or cream when you make oatmeal for your parrot. Chocolate is toxic to birds, while any products high in sugar can cause problems in the long run. Stick with healthy, natural additions like nuts, seeds and fruit.

Frequently asked questions

How often can you feed oatmeal?

Your parrot shouldn’t be eating oats as a staple food: although they are healthy and nutritious, they don’t contain all the nutrients your bird needs to thrive in the long run. Instead, as described in the article on parrot diet, it’s generally better to feed a formulated staple food and offer oats and various other foods as a supplement.

Something like oats can be fed a few times a week in small amounts, like mixed in with other healthy snacks such as vegetables. Remember that variety is the key to a healthy parrot! You could even consider switching oats for other grains like barley or sorghum from time to time.

Can parrots eat oats with dairy milk?

Can parrots eat oats with dairy milk?

When making oatmeal for parrots, it’s important to remember that you can’t use dairy milk, like cow’s milk, because parrots can’t digest lactose.  

Can parrots have flavoured oatmeal?

That depends. If you’re talking about premade flavoured oatmeal packets, chances are they’re not the best choice. You’d have to check whether the packets contain added sugar or other unsafe ingredients. Spices like cinnamon are okay.

You can also flavour your oats at home. As we said, variety is key, and a parrot that likes oatmeal might love to be given the opportunity to explore different flavours every time you offer some! Your parrot’s oatmeal can have unsweetened coconut flakes added to it. Fruity oatmeal is also healthy for parrots to eat, and parrot-safe spices will help liven things up as well.  

Are there any downsides to feeding oats to parrots?

Oats and oatmeal are beneficial for parrots as long as you don’t give them too much of it. If your parrot’s digestive system isn’t used to oats yet, or if you overfeed, it may experience mild stomach issues like bloating.

Conclusion: Can parrots eat oats?

Oats and oatmeal are healthy and safe for parrots to eat, although there are a few things that should be kept in mind if you’d like to include them in your feathered pet’s diet. In this article, we have given you a complete guide to oats and oatmeal, so you can feed them to your pets without having to worry.

If you have more questions about this subject, you can ask them in the comments. We’re here to provide more detail where needed! Join our Facebook Group for more tips and ideas on Parrot Care.

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