When to Feed Birds Charcoal and Gravel

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Charcoal and Oyster Shells

Why would your bird need Charcoal and Oyster shells? Each of these two supplements have unique qualities that can help you with your bird’s care. While the avian community has stepped away from charcoal as a necessity for companion birds, we at HARI find activated charcoal an indispensable item for all companion bird owners. Why? Charcoal is one of the first things offered in suspected cases of toxic ingestion of plants or other items that can harm our pet. If you suspect your parrot has consumed something that is toxic, we strongly advise calling your avian veterinarian. Be sure to advise your vet if you have administered charcoal. As for Oyster shells, many smaller species will consume this right before breeding season. Breeders often use the rate or amount of consumption as a sign that their hens will be laying eggs fairly soon. Hens benefit from the extra calcium derived from the oyster shell.


As a rule, Parrots should not be offered gravel or grit; but, gravel can be offered in small quantities to finches and canaries. The over consumption of indigestible or insoluble grit or gravel can cause deadly crop and ventricular impaction. See this video for more explanation on using digestive supplements for your bird.

Ensuring Quality and Safety in Pet Food

We take great care to adhere to strict quality and safety standards. Our top priority is your pet’s well-being, and we spare no effort to guarantee it.