Parrots are lovable, entertaining pets kept in households all across the globe.
With several species to choose from, parrots range from beautiful greens to mesmerizing blues and yellows.
Here, we will mainly discuss what a parrot’s diet consists of and what you can feed them if you choose to keep them as pets.
With fresh fruits to spinach, kale, and asparagus, a parrot’s diet is as interesting and colorful as the bird itself.
So, the question is what you should be feeding a parrot?
What Do Parrots Eat?
The best food group to feed your parrot is fruits, fresh vegetables, seeds, or pellets.
Parrots prefer to eat seeds and fresh fruits along with flowers, nuts, and even corn if they can easily find it in the wild.
Domesticated parrots are no different in terms of diet because it is pretty easy to feed parrots these food groups as they are in coherence with what humans eat.
Here is a list of fruits that you can feed your parrot:
- Citrus Fruits
- Passion Fruit
Here is a list of fresh vegetables that you can give your parrot:
- Bell Peppers
- Collard Greens
- Corn on the cob
- Mustard Greens
- Hot Peppers
- Winter Squashes
- Dandelion Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
You can try out almost any fresh vegetable and fruit with parrots because they love them all. However, avoid stewed fruit because of its high sugar and fat content.
What About Protein?
Giving parrots a tiny amount of animal protein is pretty okay, but most parrot owners stick to fruit and vegetable food groups.
Some animal doctors and bird specialists, however, forbid eggs, while some don’t.
Feeding your carrot some chicken bones to increase calcium efficiency is a good way to go.
Young macaws especially prefer chicken bones because they are soft and easy to chew.
Even though fruits and vegetables are an essential parrot diet, they are not affordable for everyone.
What About Percentage?
The portion of fruits and vegetables you provide your parrot depends on the species you have.
Some people argue that vegetables are a better choice for parrots because fruits are incredibly high in sugar.
However, fruits contain natural sugars and are meant to be a big part of the bird’s diet even when they live in the wild.
What Role Do Pellets Play In A Parrot Diet?
At least 40% of your parrot’s diet should be fresh ingredients such as fruits and vegetables.
Many vets recommend bird pellets because nonprofessional bird owners and caregivers cannot fully make up a parrot diet that contains every mineral and vitamin.
This is where pellets help in providing a healthy and nutritious balance.
Adding chopped fruits and vegetables as well as seeds with pellets creates a wholesome diet for your beautiful bird.
Parrot pellets have been available in the market for more than 30 years.
Considering the recent improvements in technology, now you can find ones with improved formulas than before.
Several manufacturers now produce parrot pellets that are targeted for different parrot species.
It is a sensible choice for those caretakers and bird owners who have a busy schedule and cannot customize their parrot’s diet based on minerals and vitamins.
An important thing to remember here is that cheaper brands can contain chemicals, colorings, and too many fillers.
If you want to add pellets to your parrot’s diet, you need to invest in a good brand.
Baby birds who are given pellets right from the start adjust to them easily than adult birds used to having fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you try to introduce pellets into an adult parrot’s diet, there is a high chance your bird might get fussy and refuse to accept it.
Wild Food For Parrots
Other than fresh garden produce and what you buy at the supermarket, some foraged foods are becoming popular when it comes to parrot diets.
The following are some items that wild parrots prefer to eat:
- Slow Thistle
- Hawthorn Berries
- Fat Hen Plant
- Orange Blossom
A Parrot’s Favorite Foods
Typically, parrots love to have nuts and seeds. This food group is also used for training a parrot.
You can use anything from peanuts to cashews to treat your parrot, especially in the cold weather. Nuts and legumes are loaded with protein but are high, in fact.
You can feed your parrot unsalted nuts, but do not overdo it. Base your portions on the activity your bird gets in a day to not overfeed items with fatty contents.
For most species, a daily recommendation would be two to three nuts. However, Macaws do require a higher fat percentage.
What Can You Not Feed A Parrot?
You should always avoid fatty, sugary, salty, and fried human foods as well as coffee, tea, and alcohol.
Several pet parrots like to munch on a piece of toast, crackers, or any other forbidden foods that they may see you munching on.
In this situation, moderation is key. We understand if your bird likes to join you for dinner, just make sure never to serve food that is unsuitable for them.
Speaking of unsuitable foods, there are very few fruits and plants that may be poisonous for your parrot. Yew and laburnum can prove poisonous for parrots.
If your bird is in a healthy environment and is properly fed, there is a very low chance that it would come across touching these two.
What Do Parrots Drink?
Parrots like to drink water from a variety of sources. If you are keeping your parrot in a cage, you need to change out the water at least twice a day.
Normal spring water is fine, but adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar can do wonders for your parrot.
Do Parrots Need Supplements?
Even for us, supplements are a form of probiotics, calcium, vitamins, and other minerals that our body needs.
If you are feeding your pet a good proportion of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as pellets, you may not need to add supplements on top.
But, if your pet does not have pellets in its diet, you use can supplements to add all minerals and vitamins that a parrot may need.
Can You Give Your Parrot Chocolate?
No, you should not allow your parrot to have chocolate, even in moderation.
Even a small amount of chocolate will not be fatal for your bird immediately, but it can be toxic.
Chocolate is usually toxic to almost all mammals and birds. Yes, that means the chocolate is also toxic for humans.
That being said, you need to consume about 1/7th of your body weight for chocolate actually to have a fatal impact.
Since parrots are incredibly small, having as little as half an ounce of chocolate can be very dangerous for them.
An active ingredient in chocolate is caffeine which should never be given to any bird in any form.
This means that you have to keep them away from coffee, soda, and all other caffeine-based products.
If you suspect that your parrot has snuck a piece of chocolate, it is best to take an immediate trip to the doctor, even if there are no visible signs of discomfort.
How Exercising Your Parrot Is Part Of The Diet
Most wild birds need a high-energy diet because of their lifestyle and the need to fly long distances. Our ped birds don’t.
Overfeeding your parrot can lead to obesity, which is something quite common in pet birds.
It is very important to provide your parrot with exercise along with a nutritious diet to keep everything balanced.
Even if you do not have the means to provide your parrot with free-flying exercises, there are tons of other things you can do.
The amount of exercise your parrot should get should mirror the amount of fat content you are providing through its diet.
Almost all animals require physical activity to stay healthy and increase their life span.
Bird owners in winter regions might have to provide parrots with higher fat content. So, you must ensure your parrots get proper activity and exercise.
How Do You Know That Your Diet Has Worked?
A healthy bird who eats a nutritious diet has shiny feathers, an active posture, and bright eyes.
Your daily observations can tell you if your bird is healthy based on its level of activity and mood.
Keeping a pet is a huge responsibility, especially when it comes to what diet you are catering to them.
If you choose to keep a parrot as a pet, do the necessary research and make a diet plan containing proper portions of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and pellets.
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