If your parrot actually eats from your mouth it is a bizarre behavior!
I mean I’m sure you’re probably wondering why your birdie does this
Here’s probably why..
Odds are that your parrot adores you and so, it is eating from your mouth because it thinks that you are part of its flock.
Though, some parrots do so merely out of curiosity.
There is also a slim chance that your bird is experiencing some physical or psychological issue.
In all cases, he shouldn’t be doing that.
In this article we will go through in detail why your parrot does this
You’ll also discover
- Can you feed your parrot from your mouth?
- Is human saliva toxic to parrots?
- Is animal saliva dangerous for parrots?
- Is it Okay to kiss your parrot?
- Can a bird try to feed it’s owner?
- Why your parrot wants to feed you?
Lots to cover with interesting topics
Let’s get started!
Can I Feed My Parrot From My Mouth?
Surely, parrots show affection by kissing or touching their keeper’s face. Also, many bird breeders peck their parrots. Some even feed them through their mouth.
But that doesn’t mean it’s alright.
Because you may transfer harmful bacteria to your bird.
You see, that food in your mouth contains your saliva. And so, it contains all those microbes present within your oral cavity. Therefore, your chewed food is unhealthy and may cause infection to your parrot. So,
Is Human Saliva Toxic to Parrots?
Though, saliva itself is not toxic. However, it contains microorganisms that may be pathogenic to your parrot.
“So a little saliva should be fine?”
Firstly, a bird is fairly small. So, that little saliva is still too much for your bird. Secondly, saliva is rich in microbes, say 100 million microbes per ml. Also, there are at least 700 different types of bacteria in an average human mouth.
Though most of these may not be harmful to you or your bird. However, some of these are.
Among these, gram-negative bacteria like Salmonella and Prevotella, are notorious for their lethal sepsis. Some species of gram-positive bacteria including Streptococcus and Lactobacillus may also cause infection. But,
Your parrot’s immune system is not equipped to deal with these bacteria.
And so, your saliva is a threat to your parrot’s safety. Therefore, vets advise you to not even feed birds from your personal utensils.
Some of you may have other pets that regularly interact with your birds, and so you must wonder:
Is Animal Saliva Dangerous for Parrots?
Since all mammals have microbes in their saliva, therefore, any contact with animal spit is not safe for your birds. And so, saliva from cats, dogs, rabbits, and even hamsters can be a threat to your parrot.
I strongly advise you to keep all your birds’ pots away from other animals.
You must do so, even if you are some Pocahontas with a raccoon pet.
Somehow, people assume that pecking your bird without any saliva will be fine.
So, they end up asking:
Is It Okay to Kiss Your Parrot Without Saliva?
I understand that you and your bird want to celebrate your mutual affection.
But, brushing your lips against your parrot’s beak is not the way.
You may end up contracting psittacosis from your parrot. Besides, you will still risk transmitting microbes to your parrot.
Besides, with an ongoing pandemic, you pecking your bird is irresponsible.
We don’t understand COVID-19 enough to predict if it will mutate and cause harm to a parrot.
So, it is not okay to kiss your bird with or without saliva.
Parrots show affection by cuddling or by pecking their breeders.
Some even try to eat from their parents (you) mouth.
If that’s the case, you must discourage your bird as your saliva may transmit harmful microbes to your bird or vice versa.
After all it is not healthy and can be harmful
It’s best to stay safe then be sorry!
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions which you may be interested in
Can a Bird Try To Feed Its Owner?
Not usually, but a bird may try to give food to its human owner.
A bird giving you food means he will bite some food and try to throw partially digested food at you or your mouth.
This process is called regurgitating.
Of course, that sounds like vomiting.
So, are you sure that your bird is trying to feed you?
Because if that’s vomiting then your bird is sick and it could be from a number of reasons such as:
- Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections
- Stress or tumor growth
- Kidney or heart disease
- Over-eating or unfit diet
In any case, you should rush to a vet as only he can diagnose your parrot’s illness.
But maybe that was not puking and your bird was just regurgitating.
How to tell the difference?
Let’s find out..
How Can I Tell if My Parrot is Regurgitating and Not Vomiting?
Before regurgitating, a parrot will bob its head and move its neck.
It is relatively a neat throw of food.
While vomiting is messy and your parrot may randomly throw food out.
It’s chiefly because regurgitating is a voluntary process and vomiting is not.
If your bird has only started to discharge food on you, it may be vomiting.
But, regurgitating may look somewhat periodic.
Why Does My Parrot Want to Feed Me?
Cause you are his favorite human and he sees you as part of his flock.
You see, parrots feed their flock members by regurgitating.
This is often observed when:
- The female parrot sits on the eggs, the male parrot feeds her
- Parent parrots feed their young ones by regurgitating food. This not only warms up the food but also partially digests it. So, a baby bird can easily absorb energy from it.
- Parrots regurgitate food for their beloved family members. It is part of a mating ritual among several bird species.
So, there is also a slight chance that your parrot is trying to feed you because he sees you as a potential mate.
This can happen when you have only one bird, or he becomes too attached to you that he ends up losing interest in other flock members.
Now you may ponder:
Have I Encouraged This Regurgitating Behavior?
You may have stimulated this behavior by following reasons:
1. Confusing The Bird
Birds have certain sensual areas including the upper and lower side of the birds’ tails as well as the undersides of the main wings.
You may have handled your parrot in such a way as to touch its sensitive parts, which may have confused the bird.
So, he is trying to feed you as he thinks that you are part of his flock or a potential mate.
2. Unbalanced Diet
You need to feed your bird a variety of foods.
Eating an unbalanced diet or excessive vitamins may have triggered certain hormones in your bird wanting to become your parent in the real sense.
Excessive noise such as loud television may make your bird do all sorts of crazy things from randomly biting your fingers to obsessively chasing you around.
So, maybe your bird is stressed and wants your attention by feeding you.
How Do I Respond To My Parrot Trying To Feed Me?
Never react suddenly, or better still don’t react at all.
So, yelling, shrieking, and flicking the beak is off the table.
It’s because your every reaction is attention and so, it may encourage your parrot to keep doing whatever it is doing.
I recommend the following:
- Shut your lips and don’t let your bird go through. But don’t make it obvious, if you can.
- If he continues trying to regurgitate in your mouth, then gently put him back in his cage.
- Try not to distract him with treats, cause then he may form a habit out of it.
- You can use treats only if you can train your bird to stop on your command. Of course, only when he listens to your order.
- Give your bird a balanced diet and only in recommended amounts. Make a note of any new changes especially outside of the cage.
- If you only have one bird, I suggest you get at least another one. This way they can keep each other company.
Most importantly, take your bird to a vet for a detailed check-up.