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5 month old Parrotlet choking on Millet

MJ88

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Last night I was giving my untamed Parrotlet, Rango, some millet through the bars. I do this each day and he's usually fine but this time while he was eating it he paused and had a very weird expression on his face, he was trying to act normal but started gagging (?) and making small cough sounds, very different to when he adjusts his crop and went on for hours - I could tell the millet was stuck. I couldn't sleep properly because I was afraid that he was slowly choking to death, I could occasionally hear him choking while he was sleeping or making a slight squeak out of discomfort.

He seems to be back to normal now but after looking online I found multiple places that talk about how millet can be dangerous:

  1. My cockatiel is going to die from choking on a millet...
  2. Can Tiels Choke on Millet Seed?
  3. Millet dangerous for parrotlets? - Talk Parrotlets Forums
Would be grateful for any advice on whether I should stop giving Rango millet? I'm afraid to see him choking again.
 

MR. Mango

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Kiwi's Mom

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Mizzely

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There is a risk for literally anything. If you want to give a different treat and feel better doing so, go ahead.

There are hundreds of thousands to millions of birds, including wild ones, eating millet without issues.
 

Shilpa

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Did he get the millet out? I don’t think millet is dangerous... almost all foods have a risk of being choked on. If you don’t feel comfortable giving him millet, try something else but I don’t think the millet is the problem here.
 

MJ88

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Thanks for your responses, they were reassuring! I just was curious since breeders and experts (some of which I had linked) have recommended against giving millet.
 

Mizzely

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The threads you linked were akin to anecdotal evidence, and refer to, what, 6 birds?

Lightning kills 25 to 50 people a year in the US.

We all need to do what we feel is best for our birds. You had a scary experience, and if your fear is saying to find a different treat, you shouldn't let what a bunch of people on the internet say sway you. There are tons of healthy snacks to share with birds; millet is not a NEED for any of them.
 

Destiny

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One time, I was eating a delicous piece of soft fudge and it went down my windpipe. I started choking. Couldn't breath. I thought I was going to die. Death by chocolate. What a way to go. Thankfully, I was able to clear it. I haven't eaten chocolate since. :(

...

Just kidding ... I still eat fudge. I am just more careful now and try not to choke on my own spit, like an idiot. :dead: I am mostly successful.

Accidents happen. With a food as popular as millet, I would be shocked if no bird had ever choked on it. But it isn't a common occurrence. If it happened twice to the same bird, I would be more concerned the bird has a swallowing problem than that millet is a serious choking hazard.
 

MJ88

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The threads you linked were akin to anecdotal evidence, and refer to, what, 6 birds?

Lightning kills 25 to 50 people a year in the US.

We all need to do what we feel is best for our birds. You had a scary experience, and if your fear is saying to find a different treat, you shouldn't let what a bunch of people on the internet say sway you. There are tons of healthy snacks to share with birds; millet is not a NEED for any of them.
Thanks a lot, I’m torn between feeding him millet since it’s meant to be fine (except the few recommendations against it) or just finding him a new treat - I’m still training him so it’s really easy to give him millet through the cage bars without too much hand interaction.
 

MJ88

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One time, I was eating a delicous piece of soft fudge and it went down my windpipe. I started choking. Couldn't breath. I thought I was going to die. Death by chocolate. What a way to go. Thankfully, I was able to clear it. I haven't eaten chocolate since. :(

...

Just kidding ... I still eat fudge. I am just more careful now and try not to choke on my own spit, like an idiot. :dead: I am mostly successful.

Accidents happen. With a food as popular as millet, I would be shocked if no bird had ever choked on it. But it isn't a common occurrence. If it happened twice to the same bird, I would be more concerned the bird has a swallowing problem than that millet is a serious choking hazard.
Thanks for giving a sense of perspective with your delightful story . I’m completely new to birds (only had him for 2 months) so I’m naturally being very cautious because I’m just unaware of how things work at the moment.
 

Destiny

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Thanks for giving a sense of perspective with your delightful story . I’m completely new to birds (only had him for 2 months) so I’m naturally being very cautious because I’m just unaware of how things work at the moment.
It is a true story. I am not safe around fudge. But I love the stuff. :D

It is good to be cautious, especially when it comes to birds. So many everyday things can do them harm. It is important to do research and not necessarily assume something is safe, just because other people are doing it. But try not to get too afraid. Still gotta enjoy life and take a few chances. Nothing in life is 100% safe.
 
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MJ88

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It is a true story. I am not safe around fudge. But I love the stuff. :D

It is good to be cautious, especially when it comes to birds. So many everyday things can do them harm. It is important to do research and not necessarily assume something is safe, just because other people are doing it. But try not to get too afraid. Still gotta enjoy life and take a few chances. Nothing in life is 100% safe.
You’re right, thank you Destiny! :)
 
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