If you've been wondering, 'Is red palm oil good for parrots?' then the short answer is, 'YES. It's extremely beneficial to birds.' This blog post will explain why so many Avian Veterinarians and Bird Nutritionists endorse using red palm oil to support your parrots' health needs.
Why is palm oil considered such a controversial product?
It is sad when Red Palm Oil used for parrots gets ‘bad rap.' This is completely understandable.
First off, most palm oil is not produced in a sustainable way. The irresponsible production has played a major role in deforestation. Unfortunately, millions of orangutans are now being forced to flee.
This oil boasts high levels of fat-soluble antioxidants: beta-carotene (vitamin A), tocopherols, and tocotrienols (vitamin E). With a distinct neutral flavor and deep reddish-orange hue, our Red Palm Oil stands out both in quality and nutritional value.
Is red palm oil the same as palm oil?
It is semi-solid at room temperature. According to Healthline.com, Palm Oil comes from the fleshy fruit of oil palm trees. Unrefined palm oil is sometimes called red palm oil due to its deep reddish-orange hue. Palm Oil’s melting point is 95°F.
Is red palm oil good for birds?
When fed correctly red palm oil is very good for birds.
Here is the nutritional content of one tablespoon (14 grams) of palm oil (1):
- Calories: 114
- Fat: 14 grams
- Saturated fat: 7 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 grams
- Vitamin E: 11% of the RDI
Avian veterinarians often recommend red palm oil for parrots with skin and feather problems, as it has many health benefits including its antibacterial properties. It's especially helpful for African Grey Parrots, Macaws and Palm Cockatoos. Red Palm Oil’s health benefits are unique in its bioavailability of nutrient-rich foods that parrots need!
Research on human subjects reveals that Red Palm Oil, sometimes called Dende Palm Fruit Oil has these benefits:
- It improves skin health, especially the soft tissue in the lungs, nasal cavity, and digestive tract.
- It decreases incidence of arteriosclerosis.
- It lowers blood cholesterol.
- It decreases the occurrence of blood clots by increasing vasodilatation.
- It lowers the incidence of strokes and heart attacks.
- It improves immune function.
UnRuffledRx Red Palm Oil is one of the richest, bird-safe, natural sources of carotenoids that you can offer your parrot.
Carotenoids offer important antioxidant and anticancer effects. Antioxidants “forage” free radicals, thereby reducing known risks associated with heart disease, cellular aging, cancer, and arthritis.
Carotenoids are also known to repair body tissues and soothe the skin. They assist in the formation of bones, improve the resistance to infection and aid in the development of healthy eye tissues. Who doesn’t want these benefits for their bird?
Red palm oil is a rich resource of Vitamin E, Omega 3, Omega 6, Antioxidants, Beta Carotene and Carotenoids (Vitamin A precursors). Your bird would have to consume overwhelming amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables to receive the benefits found in just ¼ teaspoon of Red Palm Oil.
But, on top of that little factoid, the body requires fatty acids to convert the Carotenes.
Fruits and vegetables that contain Carotenoids, such as squash, carrots, and mangos, are not necessarily rich in important, essential fats.
What is healthier palm oil or coconut oil?
Both red palm oil and coconut oil are considered Essential Fatty Acids, or EFA’s. And, you should consider including both of these fats in your bird’s diet. EFA’s are essential for growth, feather production and a healthy immune system. Your bird needs EFA’s to properly absorb key vitamins like A, D, E and K.
You've probably heard of Omega fatty acids. Most notable are Omega-3 Omega-6.
Red palm oil contains both Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 is needed to replace old and dying cells. Omega-6 is also known as linoleic. This fatty acid supports your bird's skin, feathers, normal reproduction, and normal organ function.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, is high in medium chain triglycerides, or MCT’s. The body uses MCTS as an energy source. Coconut oil has been found to lower the risk of cancer and degenerative conditions like arthritis. It also supports metabolism and balances hormones.
Unfortunately, a lot of bird owners don’t realize how important these essential fatty acids are in their birds’ diets.
Getty Images: Used From PicMonkey
How to Teach Your Bird to Accept a New Supplement
Parrots, like most pets, are often reluctant to try a new supplement.
That’s normal. It’s not the taste. Parrots only have about 30% of the taste buds that you and I have. They're more worried about whether the new supplement is safe to eat.
Grab Up Some Supplies
- A bird stand
- A jar of the supplement
- Two spoons
- Maybe, even a clicker
Set the Stage
- Get your bird out on its bird stand and bring out the red palm oil.
- Place a dab of red palm oil on a plate.
Let the Training Begin
After getting your birds' attention, dip a spoon or your finger into the red palm oil and elaborately eat it in front of your bird, making a h-u-g-e deal out of it.”
"Ooh and awe” about how delicious this orange stuff is. Do this over and over again until your bird is literally begging for a taste.
Don’t give in just yet. Tell your bird that this fabulous treat is all yours and that you are not sharing. “No, you can’t have any!” Continue savoring your new treat. Back up if your bird stretches its neck out to get a text.
When your bird has made several attempts to get you to share, finally give in. Dip a clean spoon in the jar and grab a dab of red palm oil. Or, you can dip a piece of fruit or vegetable in it. Serve it to your bird enthusiastically, using a clicker to reinforce that this is a wanted behavior.
- Tell your bird that this is “Red Palm Oil,” giving it words for what you're feeding it. Continue teaching and praising your bird over the course of several days until the bird has learned that Red Palm Oil is a safe and desirable food source.
Final thoughts: I shared how important finding sustainably sourced red palm oil for your pet bird is. Also talked about coconut oil. Both of these products provide valuable nutrients for both you and your bird! And they should be an integral part of your bird’s diet.
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Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.
Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.
TAGS: #RedPalmOilForBirds #BirdNutrition #EssentialFattyAcidsForBirds #VitaminAForBirds
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