What Can Macaws Not Eat?

A diet high in sugar can cause atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease common in captive parrots. Therefore, pellets should represent 75-80% of your macaw’s diet, with vegetables and fruits completing it. Macaws enjoy eating fruits, vegetables and nuts that they can tear or crack with their powerful beaks. However, some foods are unsafe for them and can be toxic.


Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants. They also contain lycopene, which offers protection against oxidative stress, cardiovascular disease and cancer. To protect your parrot’s stomach, it is important to only feed tomatoes that are ripe. Unripe tomatoes may contain dangerous levels of toxins.

Cooked tomatoes are a safer option, as the acidity is reduced. They are also a good source of vitamin A, folic acid and pyridoxine. Tomato cages help prevent wild birds from reaching the ripening fruits, but these are not always effective at keeping them away.

Tomato leaves

Macaws are incredibly intelligent and require lots of interaction. They become unhappy when they are left alone and can start feather plucking which can be dangerous for the bird.

Tomato leaves and stems contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine. These are from the nightshade family and can cause a number of issues for your bird including vomiting, diarrhea, labored breathing and paralysis. Only offer tomatoes to your pet when they are cooked.

Fruits are a great source of vitamins and minerals for macaws. They can eat apples, mangoes, bananas, pomegranates, citrus fruits, melons, berries and nuts. However, nut consumption should be limited since they are high in fat.

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Macaws are intelligent, affectionate, social and playful birds. They are also high-maintenance pets that require consistent interaction. They will quickly become irritable and even begin feather plucking if they feel bored or neglected.

As a result, owners should be ready to provide a daily routine and a variety of healthy foods. While it is natural for birds to prefer one type of food, too much of a good thing can lead to nutritional deficiencies. A visit to an avian veterinarian will help owners determine the best diet for their specific bird.


When it comes to Macaws, many new owners are not familiar with the right diet for these beautiful birds. The birds need a healthy diet that includes pellets and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Onions can cause gastrointestinal problems in parrots, like diarrhea and stomach upset. They can also lead to hemolytic anemia, a condition that causes low red blood cell count in the birds.

The best option is to avoid onions altogether and feed your macaw other healthy food choices. Ideally, a macaw’s diet should be made up of 80% pellets and 20% fruits and vegetables.


While macaws do not have the lungs of humans, they are sensitive to many household items that can cause respiratory problems. Things like candles, cleaning products and air fresheners can cause toxic fumes that irritate the respiratory tract of the parrot.

The smell of garlic is very strong for a macaw and will put them off eating it, even if it has been cooked. Garlic contains a compound called allicin which is harmful to parrots, even in small amounts.

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It is important to avoid junk foods when feeding a macaw, as they contain large amounts of salt, sugar and fat that can be detrimental to the bird’s health. Instead, choose nutritious foods that replicate the natural diet of a wild macaw like Bird Street Bistro’s blends.


Macaws are not able to flush toxins from alcohol, which can be life-threatening. Even a single sip of alcoholic drinks can affect parrots’ organ systems, making them sick. This is because their bodies are smaller and the effects of these substances take longer to wear off. Seeds and pits of certain fruits such as apricots, peaches, and apples contain cyanide that can be fatal to macaws. Washing these fruits and removing the seeds is a good practice.

Macaws are a great addition to any family, but they may not be the best choice for homes that cannot tolerate constant squawking. These beautiful birds are part of a flock, and it is in their nature to communicate with each other.



A diet too heavy in sunflower seeds is not good for a macaw. They are a seed with high fat content that can cause clogged arteries.

Sunflower seeds are safe for macaws in moderation as part of a mix, but not if they are the only thing offered. They also have a low nutritional value.

Bringing a macaw into your home is a long-term commitment. These intelligent birds require consistent interaction and attention. A macaw that feels neglected can become destructive and may even start plucking its feathers.