Can Apple Seeds kill my bird?

Apples, people have fed them to their birds for years without any deaths or health issues. Is it because they removed the seeds or is it because feeding your birds apples with the seed may not actually kill them?

Have you ever heard of a bird dying from eating apple seeds? The answer is probably no. So how did this myth come about, it probably started when it was discovered that apple seeds contain a small amount of Amygdalin, which contains an even smaller amount of Cyanide.

Worst case scenario, each apple seed contains about 0.15mg of Amygdalin which means it would take about 20 whole apple seeds to make only 1g of Amygdalin. If a bird properly chewed and swallowed the 20 apple seeds the amount of Amygdalin would potentially only break down into about 65 mg of Cyanide.

A simplified calculation is that a 100g bird would need to ingest over 50 apple seeds (about 10 apples) in one sitting for the Amygdalin to potentially break down and release enough Cyanide.

Cyanide does not build up over time and is quickly removed by the liver and kidney meaning the bird would need to eat all the seeds or more in the one sitting for the Cyanide to have any effect.


What are the symptoms of Cyanide poisoning in parrots? Well, no one really knows, because it never happens. In humans detection of cyanide poisoning can be difficult. Cyanide stops the cells of the body from being able to use oxygen, which all cells need to survive. Symptoms are often general weakness, shortness of breath and seizures.


Safe & Toxic Bird Foods