Can parrots eat cabbage

Can Parrots Eat Cabbage? 

Your parrot might show a keen interest in nibbling on a piece of cabbage because of its green and leafy appearance. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is touted for its nutrients and many health benefits. Vegetables are important for parrots, so you might wonder where cabbage fits into their diet. 

Cabbage is a healthy vegetable for parrots. It is low in calories and provides a number of nutrients that parrots need in their diet. Cabbage also keeps parrots hydrated and improves digestion with its moisture and fiber content. 

However, feeding cabbage in excess can lead to stomach upset and even diarrhea, so it is important you only include this green in moderation. Besides, it is always good to keep shuffling the greens you feed your parrot so that they get a diverse set of nutrients. 

Is Cabbage High In Oxalates? 

Cabbage is a low-oxalate green vegetable. 1 cup of cabbage contains 2 mg of oxalates. While in comparison, 1 cup of spinach contains 656 mg of oxalates. High oxalate vegetables such as spinach are not toxic to parrots but should be fed in moderation. 

Cabbage on the other hand is a low-oxalate vegetable that you can feed your parrot without worrying about it getting in the way of calcium absorption. That being said, you should be careful while feeding cruciferous vegetables to your parrot as many of them are high in oxalic acid. Below is a list of low-oxalate vegetables: 

  1. Arugula
  2. Romaine Lettuce
  3. Iceberg Lettuce
  4. Kale
  5. Cabbage
  6. Collard Greens
  7. Bok Choy
  8. Watercress
  9. Butter Lettuce

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Cabbage For Parrots?

Cabbage can be a nutritious addition to a parrot’s diet offering a variety of different vitamins and minerals. Cabbage is a good source of a few key nutrients. Below we mention those nutrients and their benefits for parrots: 

Source Of Hydration

Cabbage offers hydration for parrots due to its high water content, which is approximately 92% of its total weight. In addition to fiber and nutrition, parrots also get a good amount of hydration from cabbage. 

This is helpful in maintaining essential physiological functions as well as temperature regulation in the parrot’s body. Cabbage also contributes to healthy digestion with dietary fiber. Fiber enhances stool bulk and softness, promoting smooth digestion and preventing constipation. 


Potassium is an essential mineral needed for electrolyte balance and muscle contractions. Parrots need potassium in higher amounts than they need sodium to keep fluid balance, so cabbage can serve as an excellent source for them. 

Vitamin B6

Cabbage is loaded with Vitamin B6. This vitamin boosts your parrot’s immune health, supports joints, and ensures vibrant plumage colors. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can help improve immune function in parrots and reduce metabolic stress.

Vitamin K

Cabbage contains vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and bone health.

Beta Carotene

Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, a nutrient that has several benefits for parrots. Cabbage does contain Vitamin A in its retinol form in high amounts. However, it contains beta-carotene that is converted by the body into Vitamin A. 


Folate, also known as vitamin B9, contributes to the kidney health of your parrot. 


Manganese is an essential antioxidant found in cabbage. Birds need this mineral for their metabolism, immune function, and tissue growth. 


Incorporating cabbage into your parrot’s diet also benefits them by providing a lot of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage and may contribute to the prevention of certain health issues

What Parts Of Cabbage Can Parrots Eat?

All parts of cabbage are safe for parrots to eat including the inner and outer leaves and the stem. 

Can Parrots Eat Cabbage Leaves? 

Yes, parrots can eat cabbage leaves. Wash the leaves thoroughly before offering them to your parrot. Typically, the outer leaves of cabbage contain more nutrients than the inner ones. 

According to Research Gate, the outer leaves of cabbage have the most nutrient content compared to the middle and innermost leaves. 

The nutrient content progressively gets lower towards the inside of the cabbage head, with the middle leaves having less than the outer leaves. The inner leaves, closest to the center, have the lowest amounts of chlorophyll, carotenoid, and vitamin C.

Can Parrots Eat Cabbage Core? 

The core of the cabbage is generally safe for parrots to consume. However, it has a tougher texture. You can be chopped into smaller pieces for your parrot. The core has the least amount of nutrition so it is better to just offer the leaves. 

Raw Vs Cooked Cabbage – Which Is Better For Parrots?

Both raw and cooked cabbage are safe and healthy for parrots. However, cooked cabbage loses a certain amount of its nutrient content, depending on the method of cooking. It also loses all of its moisture when it is cooked. 

Although cooked cabbage has a soft texture and is easier to digest, it is far less nutritious. Parrots can easily digest raw cabbage. It is safe for them to munch on these greens raw, and often a better choice as it gives the maximum nutritional value. 

How To Safely Prepare Cabbage For Parrots?

Before starting to prepare cabbage for your parrot, the first step is to thoroughly clean it. Begin by removing the loose outer leaves. Slice the cabbage into 4 parts so that you can clean and rinse the entire cabbage from the inside out. 

Washing the outer layer of the cabbage only removes external dirt. To remove pesticide residue, you need to clean it from the inside as well. Under cold running water, rub the leaves with your hands to clean them. 

If you are serving cabbage raw to your parrot, simply cut a few pieces of cabbage leaf into a bowl and serve it to them.

If you want to offer cooked cabbage, you can either steam or boil the cabbage leaves, but remember not to add any seasonings or spices. Bland is healthier for parrots and they also enjoy the natural sweet taste of cabbage. Once it’s cooled, serve it to your parrot. 

What Types Of Cabbage Can Parrots Eat?

Your parrot can have all types of cabbage. Savoy cabbage, red cabbage, and Napa cabbage are all safe for parrots to eat. The regular green and red cabbage are also fine, with red ones providing slightly higher nutritional value. Out of all the types of cabbage, red cabbage is the most nutritious, and healthy. Let’s look at some of the popular types of cabbages and what benefits they offer to parrots. 

Can Parrots Eat Red Cabbage?

Parrots can safely eat red cabbage. Aside from the color difference, red cabbage has a slightly earthy taste and is more nutritionally dense. It has an identical nutritional profile as green cabbage but offers higher amounts of those nutrients. Red cabbage is a top choice for parrot owners looking to feed cabbage to their birds.

Red cabbage leaves sliced

Can Parrots Eat Red Acre Cabbage?

Red Acre cabbage can be safely added to a parrot’s diet. Like other varieties of cabbage, Red Acre cabbage contains essential nutrients such as vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Red Acre cabbage also contains anthocyanins and phenolics, which are flavonoids only found in certain blue or purple-colored vegetables. 

Can Parrots Eat Napa Cabbage?

Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage is also fine for parrots. Similar to other cabbage varieties, it is rich in Vitamin C and many other minerals. It has a few additional antioxidants that are not found in other types of cabbage. 

How Much Cabbage Can Parrots Eat?

When it comes to feeding vegetables to parrots, the rule is to only include them in small proportions. Pellets carry the largest proportion in a parrot’s diet. Parrots can have a handful of mixed veggies every day. You can also feed cabbage leaves as a standalone snack to your parrot.  


If you want to introduce cabbage to your parrots, it is a great choice of vegetable. There are a variety of nutrients that it provides and along with that also offers hydration and a good amount of fiber. Research and top sources list cabbage as one of the lowest oxalic acids containing green. Cruciferous vegetables tend to have high oxalates, but fortunately, that is not the case with cabbage. 

Cabbage has plenty of nutrition that is suited to parrots, but like all vegetables, it should only comprise a small part of their diet. Remember to keep switching between vegetables for your parrot’s chop, that way you never have to worry about feeding any particular vegetable too frequently to your parrot.  


Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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