In the past few years the trend towards what is the best diet or nutrients to feed a pet parrot has been evolving. Parrot owners, enthusiasts and experts have all contributed their ten cents to what is the best diet and nutrition for a healthy bird.
Parrots come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from medium to large parrots like the African gray, the exotic hyacinth macaw, the senegal parrot, the cockatiel, the parakeet to other species like the electus parrots, conures, the amazons parrot and the pacific parrotlets to name just a few.
Just from the above examples of the different parrot species and parrot types, you can see that there are already a lot of differences, they are native to different parts of the world, have different types of food available and it is therefore expected that their nutritional requirements should be varied, different and diverse. The one thing that is constant is that; feeding parrots a healthy diet can help them live longer, be wonderful pets and have a good quality of life.
Parrot food Research
A few years ago it was accepted that pet parrot life span was only a few years, usually less than ten years. However, with time parrot enthusiasts and other avian experts paid more attention to what their pet parrots where eating, and thy found out that moving away from just seed diet or bird food, which again is mainly seeds showed significant improvement in life expectancy and general well being of the parrot. They at least understood that a seed diet was not sustainable for all birds and not healthy for most parrots. In the wild parrots basically ate what was available and found a way to a healthy balanced diet some how. Finding the best diet and nutrition for your parrot could be a challenge. Different types of diet have been proposed as the healthy diet for parrots and they include:
For a long time it was universally accepted that a seed diet is the right diet for pet parrots, and not much attention was paid to whether an all seed diet is a balanced diet. Parrots were fed seeds day in day out without any change in variety and this did affect the health of the involved birds.
The fact that some parrots do well on a diet based on seeds is a tribute to how hardy parrots are rather than the fact that an all seed diet is balanced. Seeds are deficient in many nutrients such as vitamin A and calcium, and parrot species that require more calcium than other parrots do not do so well on seed diets alone. Calcium The relationship between the African grey parrot and calcium is well known to parrot owners and breeders. Grays, metabolize calcium differently than other parrot species. They tend to require more calcium than other parrots and this is thought to be related to the African greys heavy bone density.
It is very necessary that if you have an African Gray, you must ensure that it gets adequate amounts of calcium to avoid hypocalcaemia. Hypocalcemia simply means decreased levels of calcium in the blood.
This presents as twitching or seizures and is an ugly site to behold. Feeds high in calcium include egg shells, boiled and dried kale, broccoli, almonds, collard greens and turnip greens. As you feed your parrot to avoid deficiencies, you must also not over do it to avoid toxic mineral levels.