Parrots, by nature, forage for the food that they like and that is good for them so it makes sense that when we are responsible for a pet parrot we need to keep in mind that they need to be given a healthy diet so that we have a healthy parrot. A parrot diet is really not too difficult to attend to, it is just a matter of taking the time to write down all the things that you need to keep on hand so that you can give your pet parrot a range of foods that will keep it healthy.
There is no hard evidence to show that a seed diet is the perfect diet for a parrot. Seeds are deficient in many nutrients needed for good health like Vitamin A and calcium. Because of this those who have been studying parrots and parrot diets agree that only about 10% of a parrot’s diet should be seed. In saying that, the smaller seed eaters like budgies and cockatiels seem to be able to have about 25% of their diet as seed without any undue affect on their health.
Feeding your parrot
Parrots do like and need stimulation so to cut some food like a carrot and hang it in the cage is a good idea. This activates the parrot and he will play with it and eat it at the same time. They will most likely be happy to try cucumber, sweet potato, corn, green beans, green peas, cauliflower and sweet peppers etc. They especially like the tropical fruits as they are a hot climate bird and will love fruits like melons, pineapple, mango, papaya and kiwi fruit. Do keep in mind that chemical sprays on leafy vegetables are harmful to these birds.
A parrot diet should be varied so that they do not get bored with the same food all the time. As they are happy to eat fruit and vegetables there is a wide range to choose from. Like us, they will have their favorites, but do be careful not to spoil them too much or they will become selective and that will not be good for their overall health.
Pellets should make up about 30-40% of the parrot diet as pellets have been constructed in such a way that they consist of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds plus vitamins and minerals. Giving your pet parrot pellets will ensure that they are getting all the required nutrients needs in caring for a pet parrot.
If at all possible go for organic with your parrot’s diet. It is possible to get organic pellets and it is better for your bird if you can feed it organic fruit and vegetables as well.
Foods toxic to parrots
Some foods are toxic to parrots and they are:
• Foods with salt, sugar, grease, preservatives, food coloring and other additives
• Bread as this has most of the above and parrots can contact a fungal stomach disease from eating commercial bread
It is also possible to give your parrot dehydrated fruits and vegetables. With their strong beaks a parrot is quite happy to crunch through these tasty morsels and dried items are fantastic if you are travelling or to keep on hand in case of emergency. You can place dried food in the cage and leave them without them being spoilt and this is an advantage as well.
Water for your bird
Parrots love to flop around in water so leave some water in the cage for a couple of hours to let it have a wash but remove it so that the bird does not drink it all day and end up with diseases. A water bottle is a much better way of providing drinking water for your parrot.
There is such a huge range of food that parrots can eat and the amazing thing is that most parrot problems stem from malnutrition. As suggested, make a list and keep it somewhere so that you can quickly find something from the home to feed the parrot and always make sure you have a supply of pellets.