Seeds are also too high in fat and therefore a seed diet is not adequate to keep your pet parrot healthy and on a balanced diet. Parrots like Cockatoos who naturally thrive on a low fat diet made up of grains and corn, develop fatty liver which reduces their life span. In the world of parrot, seeds should only make up about ten percent of their diet. The only exceptions to this rule are natural seed eaters like budgies and cockatiels; they can tolerate about twenty-five percent of seeds in their diets without any health implications.
With more research and better understanding of the need for a balanced diet for our avian friends, researchers developed feeds that are produced in form of pellets. Pellet foods are basically dry food mixes that were used on life stock with very good results. It was only natural that such feed where extended to pet parrots with some modification here and there to provide the best nutrition and calories for pet parrots. Pelleted feeds are mostly available in pet stores and have a special place in bird’s diets. Even though these formulated feeds are affordable and convenient to provide to pet parrots, one school of thought reasons that pellet feeds should not be fed to parrots because they contain fillers and harmful additives that could be toxic to parrots. However, they agree that if the dry mix is made of all organic and natural products, then it could be fed to parrots safely.
A highly recommended pellet diet is the Harrisons parrot food. It is sold in most veterinary offices and highly recommended by most vets. Pellet foods like the Harrisons, are made from a variety of foods including grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits plus vitamins and minerals. They provide a nutritious and balanced diet. However, parrots, especially the African Grey may get bored with eating the same type of food all the time. Parrots are birds that crave stimulation, and diversity in the types of feeds they receive provides good stimulation for them.
Pelleted diet provides a better balanced and nutritious healthy diet for parrots than seed diets. Due to the processes they go through during production, some of the vitamins present in the feeds are lost to extreme heat and therefore; such vitamins should be supplemented in the parrot’s diet. Pellet feeds can make up the base of a parrots diet about fifty to sixty percent and could be provided as snacks now and then.
Fruits and vegetables
Parrot owners should offer their birds fresh fruits and vegetables as well. These can be offered to parrots chopped or in large chucks for large birds to hold and gnaw on. To provide the parrot with stimulation and mimick the parrots experience in the wild, owners can hang pieces on the side of the cage.
It is best for owners to aim to feed their birds a wide variety of foods as possible. This way their parrots can receive a well rounded variety of nutrition. Some good vegetables to offer parrots are carrots, eggplant, cucumber, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cauliflower, sweet peppers, etc.
Parrots love fruits and it is good to try to feed them a variety of more tropical fruits that they might have been exposed to in the wild. Some of these types of fruits are mangos, kiwi, melons, pineapple, papaya, or pomegranates. Parrots also enjoy fruits like peaches, cherries, grapes, apples, oranges, or bananas. When owners are feeding their parrots these fruits they have to make sure they do not eat the pits of the fruit or the apple seeds because they can be toxic.
A few other foods are toxic to parrots like avocado, guacamole, chocolate or cocoa, alcohol, caffeine, and mushrooms. Parrots should not be given feeds that contain large amount of salt, sugar, grease, preservatives, food coloring, and other additives.
Now, due to the fact that parrots are such sensitive birds their owners have to take a lot of consideration into the diet that they are providing. Most problems with parrots stem from not eating healthy foods leading to malnutrition. Responsible owners understand the importance of the parrots diet and are willing to take out the time and see to all of their bird’s nutritional needs.
What do I feed my parrot?
This is the million dollar question, but it will be answered here. At least most avian experts agree that a seed diet or pelleted diet alone is not enough to provide your pet parrot the balanced diet it needs. Most of the different types of feeds already mentioned in this article when combined together, and mixed in adequate quantity depending on the species of parrot will provide a balanced healthy diet for your parrot.
Even though in the wild, parrots do not have any chefs cooking for them, however, it has been noticed that parrots do well when fed cooked food and a good approach is to give some of the feed mixture cooked, while the remaining mixture should be added to the food in its raw form.
Grains such as cooked brown rice, oats, barely, pasta and weight are also a good source of nutrients for parrots. Whole wheat bread or unsweetened whole wheat cereals can also be given. This approach will provide a wider variety of feeds for the parrot to keep it stimulated and active.
Feeding your bird a varied diet is the key to a balanced healthy diet. You can combine vegetables, fruits, pellets and seeds in the appropriate proportion to ensure that your pet gets its proteins, carbs and vitamins for a healthy parrot. Othe brands of excellent parrot food include Kaytee, Hartz, Zupreem and Parrot Dyna.