COCONUT OIL FOR PARROTS? By Paula Rossow

Here is “point/counterpoint” on this topic:

This article is spreading widely: Why Your Bird Should Try Coconut Oil
However, concerns about giving it to birds range from the issue of too much saturated fat to the lack of Omega 3 fatty acids. An appropriate balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is optimal for bird health; please see this article for an explanation of why: Balanced Omega Fatty Acids: Why Do Birds Need Them?

In the group Nutrition For Pets, Dr. Scott Echols has commented that
“…not only is coconut oil very high in saturated fat (which is not all bad) but it has no appreciable omega-3 fatty acids. Besides the issues of destructive farming to get red palm oil (not an issue with all products) it is even higher in omega-6 fatty acids (and again no appreciable omega-3’s) than coconut oil. There are some beneficial fats in both oils including medium chain triglycerides and more that are used in a number of body systems. Some have touted the antioxidants and more. However, there are 0 refereed studies of feeding coconut or red palm oil in parrots. At least red palm oil has been shown to significantly increase omega-6 levels in the blood of chickens. There is generally already plenty of omega-6 fats in our and our pets’ diets. We really don’t need more. So until I can see some solid proof of benefit (I am open to research I am not aware of), I really cannot recommend feeding coconut or red palm oil to birds.”

Here are links for additional info on coconut oil; these links refer to *human* usage as, as Dr. Echols says, there aren’t any studies about its effects on parrots:
Coconut Oil
The Truth About Coconut Oil
Health & Nutrition Coconut oil

For more discussion please see Nutrition For Pets
or Feeding Feathers

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