What to Feed Your Parrot
Feeding - Parrots
If you haven't owned parrots before, you probably think feeding them is as simple as some birdseed and a cracker and you're done. However, parrots need more than seed to survive and live long, healthy lives. In nature parrots eat a diet of all the foods their environments have to offer: leaves, bark,vines, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, shoots, insects, and worms. Parrots who live as pets have the same dietary needs.
Although a parrot cannot live on birdseed alone, birdseed in moderation is an important part of a healthy diet.
There are many types of commercial seed mixes from which to choose. The first thing to be sure of is that you are buying a seed mix that is the right size for your parrot. Try to find a mix that has very little or no sunflower seeds in it. There is evidence linking sunflower seeds to obesity and behavioral problems in parrots.
Pellets are similar to dry dog food. It is mixed from a variety of ingredients to provide a more complete nutrition. Although a valuable addition to a parrots diet they are not truly nutritionally complete. There are wide variety of pelletized diets on the market it is best to check with your veterinarian for their recommendation to meet your parrots specific needs.
Grains, Beans, and Nuts
These items are the basis of a parrots diet. They contain vast quantities of proteins, minerals, vitamins, fiber and fat. The grains you feed to your parrot should be whole-grain products to provide maximum nutrition. These can be cooked grains such as barley, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and wild rice. You can also provide whole grains in other forms such as breads, pastas, cereals, muffins, oatmeal, cream of wheat, and crackers.
Beans—black beans, green beans, navy beans, kidney beans, etc.—along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas. You can serve beans raw or cooked, except for kidney beans, which must be cooked.
Nuts are loaded with protein, but they are also high in fat. The nuts should be unsalted and fed in small quantities due to the high fat content.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals and they are low in fats. All produce should be thoroughly washed before feeding your parrot.
Most vegetables and fruit are fine to feed your parrot with the exception of avocados. Avocados are toxic to parrots. It is also a good idea not to feed apple seeds to your birds. Apple seeds are toxic as well.
Feeding Your Parrot
Feeding a variety of food to your parrot is not only healthy, but prevents boredom. just remember that birdseed should make up no more than a quarter of the total diet. Another quarter should be a good quality pellet. The rest of the diet should be a mix of grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, with a small amount of nuts. Healthy table food works well for your parrots. Food low in salt and sugar and high in protein and fiber is best for your bird.