Is rice consumed by humans harmful for parrots?

There is a urban legend that goes – “consuming uncooked rice is harmful for a bird and can even lead to it’s death.” Out of fear of causing harm to flocks, people have stopped throwing rice at weddings. If you are a parrot owner who has been believing in this urban legend so far, it is time to get rid of this misconception and include rice to the diet of your feathered buddy! No one is quite sure how this myth emerged but there is no truth to this notion and on the factual side rice can be cosidered a tasty and nutritious dietary staple. The infamous myth of rice killing birds was based upon the faulty assertion that rice upon consumption consumes all the moisture in a bird’s stomach and henceforth expands and causes tearing, ultimately leading to it’s demise. But the fact is rice after soaking up moisture in a bird’s stomach will expand in a way that will lead to a healthy digestion.
However, the question of focus is – what kind of rice is more preferrable? Raw or cooked? Or how much quantity of rice should you feed your pet parrot?
Rice contains protein, Iron, thiamine, niacine and magnesium that promotes optimal physiological function in birds. Rice is also rice in carbs and helps in providing energy to birds. Technically, birds can be fed both raw and cooked rice. While parrots living in the wild habitat are most likely to consume uncooked rice, one can feed their pet parrot cooked rice. Infact, in many cases it has been observed that parrots after getting a taste of soft and starchy flavour of cooked rice have rejected raw rice. Furthermore, birds with small beaks find it difficult to consume and digest uncooked rice. It is extremely important to keep in mind that under no circumstances, one should feed their parrot fried rice since they can be detrimental to their health. Fried rice contains oil, salt and other ingredients which are unhealthy substances for birds. Excess salts can lead to hardening of arteries and cause heart problems that can be fatal for your parrot. Only pure rice without any additives is considered nutritious for birds. While rice is considered healthy, one shouldn’t force it upon their pets if they refuse to consume rice. Just like humans, your pet bird also has his/her own set of preferences. Therefore, it is advisable that you consult your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet routine.

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