Can parrots eat peppers

Can Parrots Eat Peppers? (Sweet Vs Spicy Peppers)

It is quite amazing to see a parrot munch on a hot pepper so calmly. Parrots and other birds are insensitive to the burning sensation caused by capsaicin, which is the main ingredient in hot chili peppers. 

That means that parrots can eat the hottest peppers without feeling anything. But is it also healthy for them? 

Peppers are not only a delicious treat for parrots, but they can be a healthy addition to their meals. Peppers come in a variety of colors and are abound with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Parrots can be offered peppers as a treat or simply chopped up and added to their veggie mix. Bell peppers, which are the non-spicy variety are also full of nutrients. They are loved by parrots due to their sweet taste and bright colors. 

Do Parrots Like Peppers?

Parrots enjoy all types of spicy peppers. They do not feel the burning sensation like we do. Instead, parrots taste a mild flavor. They also like eating the seeds.   

Why Can’t Parrots Taste Spicy?

Parrots cannot taste spicy because they lack the TRPV1 receptors that sense capsaicin, which is the compound responsible for the heat in peppers. 

Capsaicin is a natural compound found in pepper and is responsible for the heat sensation. When capsaicin comes into contact with our tongues or skin, it binds to certain receptors that normally respond to heat, which makes the nervous system send signals of experiencing heat.

According to the University of Nebraska, the insensitivity of parrots towards capsaicin is due to the capsicum having adapted and evolved to facilitate long-distance seed dispersal specifically through avian species. 

Can Peppers Cause Indigestion In Parrots?

Peppers do not cause indigestion or stomach-related problems in parrots on their own. Most varieties of peppers have a pH level in the range of 4.65 to 6.17 pH, which is only slightly acidic so they do not irritate the stomach lining of parrots. However, they can worsen existing stomach issues, especially if the pepper is of the acidic variety.

Are Peppers Good For Parrots?

Peppers pack a punch both in terms of spiciness and nutritional value. But while their hotness is not perceived by parrots, they can obtain a number of health benefits from eating them.

Peppers contain beta carotene which converts into vitamin A in the body. It promotes feather growth and improves eye health. Peppers are also rich in vitamins E, B6, and C, which are antioxidants that strengthen the parrot’s immune system and neutralize free radicals.

Nutritional Benefits Of Peppers for Parrots

Peppers are packed with good nutrition. Some of the vitamins and minerals found in peppers include:

Vitamins A

Peppers are high in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. It improves your parrot’s vision and promotes healthy feathers and beak health.

Vitamin C

Peppers are also a good dietary source of Vitamin C, especially the ripe ones. Vitamin C supports the parrot’s immune function and enriches their health overall. 


Including fiber in your parrot’s diet ensures good digestion and healthy gut function. The seeds as well as the flesh provide sufficient dietary fiber to parrots preventing problems like constipation. 


Potassium is another important mineral for parrots. It is essential for the proper function of their nervous system and muscle coordination. 

Can Parrots Eat Bell Peppers?

Different varieties of bell peppers

Bell peppers are safe for parrots to eat and contain several vital nutrients that they need. Bell peppers do not come into the category of spicy peppers as they do not contain capsaicin. The taste of bell peppers can differ depending on their ripeness and color, but generally, they have a sweet taste. 

Generally, red bell peppers are sweeter compared to others, whereas green peppers taste more bitter because they have not ripened. Bell peppers are also alkaline, so it does have the risk of irritating your parrot’s stomach. 

Bell peppers undergo different color stages as they ripen:

  1. Green: Unripe, slightly bitter taste.
  2. Yellow: Riper than green, with a sweeter taste.
  3. Orange: Even sweeter and more robust in flavor.
  4. Red: Fully mature, sweetest taste, with higher nutritional value (more vitamin C and beta-carotene).

Green Bell Peppers

The green bell peppers are the slightly bitter ones. But parrots do still savor their bitter flavor. Green bell peppers are particularly a good source of Iron.

They are also rich in vitamin A, potassium, folate, and vitamin E. However, compared to other forms of bell peppers, green bell peppers have the least amount of Vitamin C.

Yellow Bell Peppers

Yellow bell peppers are the second stage of ripening and have more vitamin C than green peppers. As bell peppers ripen, their vitamin C content increases.

Yellow bell peppers have slightly less vitamin A compared to green ones. But they are high in nutrients like folate, vitamins B6, E, and K1.

Orange Bell Peppers

This form of bell pepper is a low-calorie and high-nutrient snack for parrots. It has all the goodness and sweetness of ripe bell peppers along with high amounts of Vitamin A, B-6, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. 

Red Bell Peppers

Parrots are most fond of red bell peppers because of their sweet taste. Red bell peppers are allowed the longest to mature on the plant, which makes them juicy and sweet-tasting. Besides the flavor, parrots are also attracted to the pepper’s color. 

Red bell peppers contain more Vitamin C than other types of bell peppers as they are fully ripe. They also have other nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial to parrots.

What Types Of Hot Peppers Can Parrots Eat?

The spicy varieties of peppers are also known as chili peppers. Unlike bell peppers, hot peppers do contain capsaicin. Although the heat of these peppers does not bother parrots in the least, you should be careful while feeding them. Peppers that are more on the acidic side should be fed in moderation. 

Can Parrots Eat Jalapenos?

Jalapeno peppers are among the spiciest peppers in the world with a Scoville heat unit range of 4,000 to 8,500. But aside from their red hot flavor, jalapenos contain a variety of vitamins that are beneficial for parrots, including vitamin A. Jalapenos are rich in Vitamin A and beta carotene, which is an essential nutrient for many physiological functions in parrots. 

Can Parrots Eat Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper

Can Parrots Eat The Carolina Reaper?

The Carolina Reaper is the second-spiciest pepper in the world. It has over 1.6 million Scoville heat units (SHU), which is considerably hotter than other common hot peppers. This type of pepper is often used in making spicy sauces. 

Can Parrots Eat The Pepper X?

If you think that the Carolina reaper is the hottest pepper, you probably haven’t heard of the pepper X. Pepper X is currently the hottest pepper in the world.

Guinness World Records officially announced Pepper X as the world’s hottest chili pepper, with over 2.69 million SHU. Even though parrots cannot feel spicy, you should be careful with something as spicy as this pepper. 

Can Parrots Eat Black Peppers?

Yes, parrots can have black peppers. Unlike other peppers though, black peppers get their spicy taste from another compound called piperine.

However, parrots cannot feel the spiciness from this compound and therefore it is safe for them to consume. According to the Searchable Ornithological Research Archive, parrots are indifferent to piperine, just like they are to capsaicin. 

How Much Bell Pepper Should Your Parrots Eat?

It is usually not a problem to let your parrot eat a whole pepper. But it can be much more beneficial if you chop it and add it to their vegetable mix.

This way they can get a diverse range of nutrients and it will also make for a balanced diet. If you wish to offer your parrot a chile pepper as a treat, you should give them a small one. 

Can Parrots Eat Pepper Seeds?

Yes, parrots can eat pepper seeds. In fact, seeds are one of their favorite parts and they also offer fiber. Pepper seeds are a rich source of Vitamin C and potassium. 

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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