Can Parrots Eat Cabbage? (Avian Vet Reviewed Guide)

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Ali Shahid

Parrot and human loves to eat vegetables. As parrot owners, many people want to offer different vegetables to their parrots. However, not all vegetables are safe for parrots. If you’re eating cabbage, you may be wondering if it is safe to feed your bird cabbage. So, can parrots eat cabbage?

According to an avian vet, yes, parrots can eat cabbage, and it can provide many nutritional benefits for them. Cabbage is a healthy green vegetable that is rich in calcium, which is essential for your parrot’s bone strength, nerve impulses, enzyme activation, and fertility.

It is also rich in manganese, which can keep your parrot’s bones and muscles strong, and antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein, which can stimulate their digestive system and eliminate toxins from their body. However, cabbage contains oxalic acid, which can affect the absorption of calcium in birds. Therefore, it is important to feed your parrot cabbage in moderation and not as a staple food.

Can Parrots Eat Cabbage?

Is raw cabbage safe for parrots?

Feeding raw cabbage to parrots is generally safe. But you should know that cabbage has something called oxalic acid, and this stuff can mess with how parrots take in calcium. So, the wise thing to do is offer cabbage to your feathered friends in small amounts as one part of their diverse menu. This way, you keep their calcium levels in check.

Nutritional Benefits of Cabbage for Parrots

Cabbage is a unique type of vegetable belonging to the cruciferous family. It’s rich in important nutrients that our bodies require for good health. Among these nutrients are vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin B6.

Cabbage is also a valuable source of folate, calcium, and potassium, which play a vital role in maintaining a robust immune system, strong bones, and properly functioning muscles. However, cabbage offers more than just these essential vitamins and minerals.

It is akin to a superhero in the vegetable world because it contains potent compounds known as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements. These components assist your body in defending against diseases and maintaining overall well-being.

For our feathered companions, like parrots, this can be a significant benefit. Parrots can be susceptible to illness, so including cabbage in their diet is like providing them with a protective shield against health issues. It is almost like giving them a small dose of superpowers!

Potential Risks of Feeding Cabbage to Parrots

Including cabbage in your parrot’s diet can be generally safe, but there are a few important factors to bear in mind.

Firstly, cabbage contains a natural substance known as oxalic acid. This substance can hinder your bird’s ability to absorb calcium, potentially leading to issues such as weaker bones and muscles. However, the good news is that the oxalic acid content in cabbage is relatively low.

As long as you don’t overdo it, you should be fine. Many parrot enthusiasts even report feeding their feathered companions cabbage without any adverse effects. Another crucial consideration is pesticides. Like many other fruits and vegetables, cabbage can be treated with chemicals to protect against pests and diseases.

These chemicals are not suitable for parrots, especially when consumed in large amounts. To be on the safe side, be sure to thoroughly wash your cabbage before offering it to your parrot. This practice will help reduce the risk of pesticide-related issues.

How to prepare and feed cabbage to parrots?

  1. Selecting the Right Cabbage: When it comes to feeding your parrot, you have two main choices in the cabbage department: green and red or purple cabbage. Both of these options provide some good nutrition for your feathered companion. However, it’s important to remember that cabbage, in general, should only be a part of a balanced diet, not the main event.
  2. Thoroughly Clean the Cabbage: Before you offer any form of raw cabbage to your parrot, it’s essential to give it a good wash. This step is crucial because it helps remove any potential nasties like bacteria or parasites that might have found their way onto the cabbage during processing and packaging.
  3. Prepare Cabbage Properly: Raw cabbage can be a bit tough on your bird’s digestion. To make it gentler on their system, it is a good idea to cook or steam the cabbage before serving it to your parrot. This not only makes it easier for your bird to handle but also helps them absorb the nutrients more effectively.
  4. Introduce New Foods Gradually: Whenever you are introducing a new food like cabbage to your parrot, it is wise to start with a small amount. Watch how your bird reacts – if they seem to like it and handle it well, you can slowly increase the portion.
  5. Feed in Moderation: Cabbage is like a special treat for parrots, so don’t go overboard. Instead, offer it in small quantities occasionally. The main part of your parrot’s diet should consist of pellets, with some fresh fruits and veggies like carrots, apple slices, and cucumber added for variety.

How much cabbage can I feed my parrot?

Cabbage is a special treat for parrots. To ensure their well-being, it’s essential not to provide them with excessive amounts all at once. Instead, you should offer small portions occasionally as part of a diverse diet primarily consisting of pellets, complemented with fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots, apple slices, and cucumber.

The quantity of cabbage suitable for your parrot depends on its size. If you own a larger parrot, you can hand them whole cabbage leaves. Conversely, smaller parrots might require smaller, bird-friendly pieces of cabbage.

To prevent any digestive issues, introduce new foods gradually. Begin with a small portion of cabbage and observe how your parrot responds. If they relish it and handle it well, you can gradually increase the quantity.


Cabbage can be a healthy addition to a parrot’s diet. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that can bolster your parrot’s immunity.

Nevertheless, it is vital to feed cabbage in moderation and ensure it is properly prepared before serving it to your feathered friend. If you have any concerns about feeding cabbage to your parrot, it’s always wise to consult with a veterinarian or an avian specialist.

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