If you are a newbee who has never had a pet parrot before you may think that feeding your new feathered friend is a simple affair. Just get a bag of seed to serve as his staple Bird Food, maybe give him a cracker, or a slice of banana for a treat, and your done.
Wrong, a bird does not live by seed alone, but it does have its place in a parrot's diet. In fact, birdseed in moderation is an important part of a healthy diet.
In any case, seed should not comprise more than 25% of your parrot's diet, or in the case of Budgies or Cockatiels, about 40%.
Bird Food in the form of formulated pellets, theoretically providing complete nutrition, should form the base of the balanced diet, or up to 60% of what he eats.
However, the problem with mixing seeds with pellets is most birds will pick out the seeds, and leave the pellets.
On the other hand, feeding only the pelleted diet is usually boring for your bird, and some way has to be found to make eating it interesting.
One way to do this, is to stuff the pellets and treats in foraging toys and by making him work for his meal, you are making it more fun. In the wild, parrots are always foraging for food, so it is only natural for them to do so. Every now and then, alternate the pellets with seeds, or another treat such as a piece of banana to get some variety in the diet.
In the mean time, the feed bowl should always have a small amount of pellets, a tablespoon or so, and if he neglects the Parrot Food in the bowl, start putting the pellets in the foraging toys again.
Mixing in nutritious tablefood such as cooked brown rice, or oatmeal in with the pellets is a good idea to spark interest in his food bowl, and to add a variety of nutrition types. Fruits and Vegetables can be added in the same fashion, but the bowl should be emptied and cleaned daily to avoid spoilage.
Another way to spark interest is to pretend to eat a pellet yourself while talking gently to your bird, then offer him a piece.
By the way, using his favorite nuts as a reward for good or correct behavior is a great training tool for talking , doing tricks, etc.
- brazil nuts
- hazelnuts (filberts)
Vegetables and fruits contain many nutrious vitamins and minerals and when you find out which ones are eaten by your bird, they can be give them in moderation.
- bell peppers
- butternut and other winter squashes
- collard greens
- corn on the cob
- dandelion greens
- hot peppers (yes, most parrots enjoy these)
- mustard greens
- sweet potatoes
Avacado is toxic to birds, along with chocolate. Salt, even in small amounts is also harmful as well.
Most parrots like to dunk their food, for that reason water dishes should be changed and cleaned several times a day, to avoid bacteria formation.
To sum things up, feeding a parrot nutrious Bird Food is very little different from what we as humans should do. Eat a wide variety of food types, make it fun, and keep it safe!