Jump to content

Sharing food with your bird


Recommended Posts

I'm curious as to what you guys think about sharing food with your bird (i.e. giving him a bite of something you've bitten off of, or letting him play with a straw that you've sipped from).

I know it's not a good idea if you're sick, but is it ok if you're healthy?

This is not addressed in my parrot book.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could of sworn lovemygrey made a post a while back about why we should not kiss our birds. As soon as I can find it Ill link it. Or mabye someone can help me out?

The same would apply for food.

I know its a no no but that post explains why it is a no no.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok this is one of the things I found about sharing food.

Don't Kiss Your Bird and Other Common Mistakes Bird Owners Make


by Roxanne Hawn

Article borrowed from PetSmart.com


People remain mystified by the magic of our feathered friends. Be it their ability to fly or their fantastic plumage, we just can't seem to get enough of them. So it's no surprise that birds are being kept as pets in increasing numbers. However, because birds are so very different from the dogs and cats who most often live in our homes, their proper care remains a mystery. So much so, that people commonly make mistakes when caring for their pet birds -- even with the best of intentions.


To help set the record straight of these confusing issues, we consulted with Brian Speer, DVM, a board certified avian veterinarian, 2000 president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, and co-author of Birds for Dummies.


Why Mammal Saliva and Birds Don't Mix

Birds mouths are much cleaner than ours. And, ours are much cleaner than say a cat's. When it comes to birds, the most dangerous organism in any mammal's mouth is something called Pasteurella multocida. Once introduced onto or into a bird, Pasteurella multocida can become a "very infectious organism," says Speer, crossing membranes, entering the blood stream, and taking a bird from perfect health to death in as little as one hour.


That means a bird that is attacked by a cat, even if the injuries look minor, can be in serious trouble. The bird's instinct will be to clean the wounds by licking them. Doing so, the bird ingests this dangerous organism and may be starting a chain of events that leads to serious illness and even death.


According to Speer, this same organism can be found to a lesser extent in dog and human saliva. "Unless it's a really wet kiss," chuckles Speer, "It's not a real danger to kiss them." However, he warns that safety precautions should be taken to prevent any cats or dogs (no matter how well-behaved) from "kissing" your pet bird -- even if it does look cute. Sharing food with your bird can also be a bad idea. For example, if you bite off a piece of apple before feeding it to your bird, your saliva is on that piece of food and can be introduced into your bird's system.


"In general, the rule of thumb is that you don't want saliva and pet birds to mix," says Speer. "From an academic sense, there is some risk [to kissing your bird], but I've never seen a sick bird from human saliva. I have seen it with dogs and cats."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest briansmum

brian always gets a bite of what i'm having (if he's allowed it) but i offer him the opposite side to the one i've been eating. and i try and avoid letting him steal my straws, but sometimes he's too sly. i'm trying to get into the habit of bringing an extra straw in with me that way he thinks he's pulled a fast one, but i get to keep my straw and he doesnt get and icky human germs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...