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Parrot Diet and Nutrition
 
Parrot Diet and Nutrition is such an important part of owning a Parrot, Don't Panick.We have lots of advice for you here at Priceless Parrots and feeding your parrot will all become clear, you will understand the dietry needs of your parrot and learn how different foods have a effect on your parrots life.
 
The following Information kindly supplied by Dave Faith at Parrot Line
 
Extra Diet and Nutrition Links
 
 
 
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A Healthy Diet for your Parrot
by Dave Faith, Parrot Line Nutritionist
 
Parrots are no different to any other creature; for them to thrive, they need to eat a good, healthy, yet varied diet. If your parrot lives in-doors, then variety is even more important.
People's opinions on what should or should not be eaten, varies as much as the food itself. This article is to give you an idea of what they should be eating on a regular basis and why, it will also be written in layman's terms, so as to be understood by all, and not just nutrition experts and vets. The article is not just based on findings from one or two pet parrots, it is based on information on 100's of parrots that have been in both the sanctuary and pet environments.
There is also inclusions from Mr. Alan Jones, one of the UK's leading veterinary surgeons, with a special interest in aviculture, when quoting Mr Jones, (AKJ) will be shown.
Your parrot does not have to eat everything that's is shown, (availability will dictate this) however the more varied the diet, the better they will absorb the different minerals and vitamins needed along with adding natural stimulus to their daily routine.
First of all it is wise to take on board just what a parrot needs and why?
 
Parrots like most flying creatures burn up calories very quickly, their metabolism works at high speed so therefore they need foods that will give them the energy, as and when it is needed. Carbohydrates must therefore be available in high quantities as they convert to energy very easily.
Parrots are often fed human leftovers, to which they rarely refuse. Why? Well they do need quite similar vitamins as humans do, and in my experience parrots will eat anything and everything.
They do however seem to have the ability to know what they are lacking, and if offered it, will tend to eat more of the food that contains essential vitamins that are deficient in the parrot.
Parrot Diet
Much the same as pregnant women with their crazy cravings, they're not that crazy when you analyse why they want them. My wife ate liver for the first time in 25 years while pregnant with our second child, on visiting the doctors they found she was iron deficient and the cravings were trying to replenish the needs.
So given the variety and feeding at the correct times will give your birds the choice. I know a lot of people will be saying "I can't get my bird to eat anything other than sunflower seeds" or something similar.
 
This is where feeding regimes come into it, believe me, your parrot will be eating all sorts of foods very quickly, if it is fed at the correct times. A little tip here, Parrots in the wild never get the option of cold foods. Why? Because where they live it's always very warm and humid, so the food, be it vegetable matter or meat never has chance to cool down.
Therefore when trying to get new food into your bird, try warming it for a few seconds in the microwave, you'll be amazed at how many will eat it almost instantly. (Make sure you leave it for a few moments before offering it, to make sure it has stopped cooking).
Don't worry about just how much it eats, it may throw the food away the first time it is offered or it may just take a small bite, keep on offering it and it will soon take as much as it needs.
 

I am not going to go into what vitamins and minerals they need here, that will be covered in more detail in its own section on the site. However I will say why they need certain foods and how they will benefit from them.
Feather growth, although we take it for granted, is a big strain on a parrot's body and if they do not take in the correct nutrients to assist the growth then the bird may suffer severe induced stress, which can lead to all kinds of problems.Amino acid deficiency - methionine and lysine particularly, but many other amino acids- are required to manufacture the protein necessary for feather growth. Large quantities will be needed when the bird is moulting. Vegetable protein as a source of these amino acids is not so efficient as animal protein, therefore adding cheese, cooked egg, chicken or fish to the diet will be helpful, (AKJ).

 

When do you feed your parrot? After doing quite extensive research in this area, the results are based on watching parrots in a pet situation living in a house, and parrots living in a semi-natural lifestyle in a colony system outside.
Pet parrots have a food bowl offered to them in the morning, in the same bowl, at the same location and it is left there all day, with a few titbits offered now and then. This is no good for neither your parrot nor your pocket, as you will find yourself throwing just as much good food away each day as what the parrots actually eats.


Why? Due to only giving the parrot one meal a day, we tend to give them a nice big dish full of mixed parrot seed or pellets, whichever you use, the parrots then tend to become very selective and picky, trashing what they don't need, and eating only what they want. The fact that there is always plenty of unopened seeds and uneaten food means that you must be giving far more food than is necessary, so he can pick out what he wants and leave the rest.

 

Parrots in the wild and in colony aviaries will fill their crops to bursting point in the morning, which will then slowly release into their system, throughout the day. On an evening they will go and do the same, taking them through the night. You will be amazed at how much food it takes to fill the crop, of say, an African Grey, definitely not the bucket full most owners give their birds. In fact the amount of a good quality parrot mix offered, should be approx 30/35g or a level serving-spoon. It is up to you what is fed in what order, but we feed the seed mix with a little fruit and veg in the morning and the animal matter with fruit and veg in the evening. We never have any waste and all the birds are of good weight, the birds inside weigh only a fraction more than the birds outside.

 

The main percentage of the diet should consist of mixed fruit and vegetables with some form of animal protein; the remaining part can be of a good mixed Parrot Food or a pelleted mix. When feeding fruit and veg, just think a little about what your parrot has to do to eat it. If it is all cut up into little chunks- that looks lovely to us- this is not very stimulating to your bird. Give it a full apple or a full carrot, hang it on a string, make life a little more interesting and make the bird work for his dinner. This all adds up to your parrot having to think a little more about what it's doing and therefore fills in a little more of his day. It may sound simple but this kind of food activity can keep your parrot sane.
 
When feeding parrot mix, choose one that has a good variety of seeds in it and not a cheap mix that is 75% sunflower, also make sure it has a good variety of dried fruit and vegetables. If using pelleted diets make sure your bird has free access to fresh water, in tests we have noticed a considerable increase in water consumption.
If at all possible move the feeding pots to different locations of the cage each day, forget about the "move anything in his cage and he will freak". This is because he has been spoilt and has got himself into a rut. Don't worry about this, just move things about only moderately initially, then once he is used to little movement then make it more radical.
 

So now for a long list of foods that he can and should be eating on a regular basis. Don't worry about when and what, just try to make sure he is offered something from each list each day. Also take into consideration that, no matter how good and varied you food variety is, many vitamins and minerals only work effectively when the bird has some exposure to natural sunlight (not through glass etc.) D3 is a very important vehicle for say, calcium, without which calcium will not be absorbed at the correct rate. Therefore try to make it possible in nice weather to allow your bird to have at least 30 minutes sunshine each day, this will do him the world of good.


When feeding grown food, such as nuts, please make sure they are prepared for human consumption, as some nuts that are grown wild will have a toxic quality and can kill your parrot. Nuts should only be fed in very small quantities.
Seed mix or Pelleted diet + an average feeding pot of some of the following.

Vegetables
Fruit
Animal Protein
     
Broccolli Apple Cheese
Carrot Banana Chicken Bone (Ckd)
Cellery Plum Harded Boiled Egg
Potato (Cooked) Melon Fish
Turnip Apricot  
Sweetcorn Pomegranate Nuts in small Quantities
Beans/Peas Grapes Peanuts
Swede Orange Hazlenuts
Sweet Potato Mango Brazil Nuts
Cabbage Leaves Peach  
 
As you can see, there are many types of food to keep your parrot not only well nourished but also occupied in keeping himself fed.
Parrot Diet
 
Warning!!!There are however some dangers lurking around in food so please take note of these following items which should never be offered as they can cause severe problems and even death.
 
Avocado Pear
Chocolate
Tea
Coffee
Salt
Alcohol
Uncooked Potato
 
Parrot Diet and Nutrition

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