Is tea a magic potion for your bird? Should you be using it?

Is tea a magic potion for your bird? Should you be using it?

Hello Mitch:

Love your birdie brunch and have learned much from it.

Do you know whether or not it’s harmful to give a budgie green tea? Don’t know if you heard of the lady with the 26-year old budgie who claimed he was so long-lived because they shared a cup of green tea every day. I don’t know if that is fiction or not. Green tea has been touted as good in preventing cancer. But don’t know if there is scientific evidence.

I do know that budgies are little tumor factories and I’ve searched for a long time for something that may help prevent these illnesses. If green tea is healthy for them, do you know in what form – a few drops of extract in their water? Straight green tea as their drinking water? Decaf?

Budgies are my favorite pet bird, but I’ve lost so many to cancer. Thanks!

Susan Valenti

I heard the story from the veterinarian who did the intake on the Budgie. It’s important to use decaffeinated green tea – served straight, lukewarm in a dish will be fine. She noted that working internships at zoos, it was common practice to mix tea leaves into the food of many of the animals

According to legend, tea was first discovered by the legendary Chinese emperor and herbalist, Shennong, in 2737 BCE. It is said that the emperor liked his drinking water boiled before he drank it so it would be clean, so that is what his servants did. One day, on a trip to a distant region, he and his army stopped to rest. A servant began boiling water for him to drink, and a dead leaf from the wild tea bush fell into the water. It turned a brownish color, but it was unnoticed and presented to the emperor anyway. The emperor drank it and found it very refreshing, and cha (tea) came into being.

Tea is versatile. You can put the tea leaves directly into the bird’s food or you can steep it in water. You want to only use teas that have been decaffeinated but not decaffeinated using ethyl acetate in the decaffeination process. You’ll want to use teas that are decaffeinated using CO2 or water as they keep more of the polyphenels and catechins intact, about 95%.

Feathered factoid: In the wild many substances act like tea, steeping in what normally would be water that is far from sterile. These plant compounds can actually pull the bad things like toxic minerals out of what looks to be muddy undrinkable water.

You can choose from green tea – black tea – white tea – herbal teas – chamomile teas – calendula teas – Rose hip teas – peppermint tea’s – ginger root teas – anise seed tea – raspberry leaf tea -ribooise tea – and there are others that you can explore. The aforementioned teas have different applications.

Chamomile tea for example is the use to help birds that have night frights. Raspberry leaf tea is believed to help with the muscles needed to form contractions in a female’s reproductive tract helping them lay eggs while reducing complications. It’s been widely used for egg bound females and smaller birds with harder than normal labors.

We’ve heard anecdotally that green tea can be helpful in feather plucking. Some birds have been known to instinctively drop the plucked part of their bodies, when presented with a dish of green tea directly into the dish

There’s really not a whole lot of research on this so we would certainly love to hear anybody weigh in on their experiences or hear questions about the use of tea for their birds
written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I started giving my birds chamomile and apple tea different varieties. I think they like it

      1. Yes I believe it’s extremely beneficial to pet birds. Find a tea that they like and mix it up for them they’ll love it and live longer hopefully or heal faster.

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