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Discussion Starter #1
I was going to buy my boys some parrot fruit/seed mix from the store where I work as an occasional. Then I noticed that there were some dried hot peppers in the mix. And I started thinking, is it ok to give them hot peppers? I'm more afraid they would get capsaicin on their hands and rub their eyes than anything else. Has anyone ever given their rats hot peppers? I not sure theyd eat them but chances are good they'll atleast touch them.
 

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i wouldnt be giving my girls hot peppers at all... matter of fact, i dont think i would be giving them bird seed either.
 

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Upset tummy would likely result.

And seed mix isn't very good for them anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
upset tummy
Ill stay away from the peppers then

Forensic said:
And seed mix isn't very good for them anyway.
I know a lot of seeds aren't good for them. Its mostly dried fruit and it wasn't going to be a diet staple anyway, just a once in a while treat, like something i put a few pieces of into a toilet paper tube and give them to play with


*edited bc double quote is to much for me
 

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when the only thing i had to feed my rats was parrot food i took out the pepper things as well as the raw peanuts...and id feed them people food and veggies when we had them.....*sigh* i miss my boys...i hope they r happy
 

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Peppers that aren't spicy are ok...since it's in a parrot mix, I'd say it's safe to assume they are chilies. I regularly feed red and green bell peppers, mild jalapenoes, and other non-spicy peppers to Splinter and she's ok. I have to be careful, because Connor (our Conure) eats the same food as the girls, so I have to watch out for spicy peppers I sneak in the food. I gave one to Splinter and it gave her diarhhea. Bad Mommy, BAD!
 

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It was difficult to find any information on peppers in rats, except I did find this one study on using the spicy ingredient in peppers as an anesthetic.

So my final advice is that it won't kill your rats, but I would avoid peppers in general because you don't know for sure if they don't have even just a little of the spicy part in them, and I have a feeling that'd be awful for the rat.
 

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I would absolutely not give hot peppers to a rat and there is a good chance the peppers in bird seed are in fact hot. One of my other hobbies is growing chili peppers so I know a good deal about them.

The reason they can be put in bird food is because birds are immune to the chemical, capsicum, which makes the peppers hot. This is naturally developed by the chili plant to ward off mammals from eating the fruit. Otherwise mammals would eat the fruit and digest the seeds resulting in no further propagation for the plant. Whereas birds will eat the fruit but not actually digest the seeds. This way the seeds are conveniently excreted, before being digested, along with a small dollop of fertilizer. Also birds have the ability to spread the seeds across a farther distance than mammals would ensuring the survival of the plant.

Some advice for us humans when you find yourself eating food that was too hot is not to drink water but a fatty based product like milk or cheese. The reason water does not work is because the capsicum bonds with your skin at the molecular level. It takes a fatty based product to break that bond and neutralizes it. Water simply rolls right of it and does nothing but perhaps spread the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was under the impression that capsicum had no effect on birds because they had no saliva?

And I thought your best bet with hot peppers what something with sugar in it?
 

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glindella said:
I was under the impression that capsicum had no effect on birds because they had no saliva?

And I thought your best bet with hot peppers what something with sugar in it?
I've always heard "drink milk if it's too spicy!" though i never listen :D probably would help though

and when Hilda, my mom's Africa Grey, licks us, it's kind of wet...

also found this:

"Note that some birds have quite functional salivary glands and in birds which feed mainly on small insects or seeds this saliva is used to glue the insects or seeds into a sticky ball for ease of swallowing. Though in some birds such as the pelicans, the salivary glands have disappeared altogether."

- http://www.earthlife.net/birds/digestion.html
 

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glindella said:
And I thought your best bet with hot peppers what something with sugar in it?
I think sugar will help, but not like milk will.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I should probably clarify that when I said "birds" I meant "parrots" the type of birds the food was intended for. Parrots do not have saliva (any one who has been chewed on by a parrot can attest to that), actually their tongues feel leathery which is kinda weird. On a random note I did find out that human/all mammal saliva can be deadly to birds
 

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glindella said:
Parrots do not have saliva (any one who has been chewed on by a parrot can attest to that), actually their tongues feel leathery which is kinda weird.
Yeah, I get that too sometimes. Especially on Saturday morning :wink:
 
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