Feeding your pet parrot a proper parrot diet is one of the fundamental keys to ensuring that he lives a long and healthy life. Parrots are really no different to humans in this respect – any human who lives on a diet which mainly comprises of junk food isn’t likely to be very heathy, and is unlikely to live to be a ripe old age. There are other important things you need to do for your parrot to be healthy, such as interacting with him, and grooming him etc…, but, if you feed him the wrong diet, you might as well not bother! A proper parrot diet is that important.
Unfortunately, even though parrot experts all agree that what you feed your parrot is absolutely vital, they don’t agree on what that diet should consist of. This is because not enough research has been undertaken regarding the foods that parrots eat in the wild. Having said that, there is an agreement that just feeding a parrot a diet of seeds isn’t adequate. This is due to the fact that seeds do not have the many nutrients that parrots require (e.g. calcium, and vitamins), and they also contain far too much fat. Most parrot experts agree that seeds should not make up more than 10% of a parrot’s diet.
In an attempt to resolve the inadequacies of a seed-only diet, parrot pellets were developed. These pellets do contain a good balance of grains, minerals, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and vitamins, but the big problem with them is that parrots quickly become really bored with eating the same food, over and over again. For this reason, the consensus view amongst parrot experts is that these pellet foods should not account for more than 60% of a parrot’s diet.
In my opinion, the ideal parrot diet should consist of 40% – 50% pellets, and 50% – 60% fresh vegetables and fruits. This kind of a diet will provide three major benefits for your pet parrot:
It will provide all of the nutrients required to keep him healthy.
He will actually enjoy the taste and variety.
It will mentally stimulate him, because, in order to eat larger pieces of food, he will need to grasp them with his claws.
The following vegetables are ideal for your parrot – green beans, cucumber, sweet peppers, carrots, eggplant, cauliflower, and corn.
The following fruits (ensure all pips or seeds are removed, because some are toxic to parrots) are ideal for your parrot – melon, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, mango, grapes, peaches, apples, cherries, and oranges.
Now you know what you should feed your parrot, here is a list of things that you must not feed him, because they are very toxic to parrots – caffeine, mushrooms, alcohol, chocolate, cocoa, guacamole, and any food that contains a lot of salt, food coloring, grease, and food preservatives.
Even though you need to be aware of the toxic foods listed above, don’t panic about accidently feeding your parrot something which isn’t good for him. This is because parrots are normally intelligent enough to avoid eating something that is really harmful to them.
One final point is that you must actually monitor the amount of food your parrot eats. Just because you are giving your parrot the right parrot diet, it doesn’t mean he will eat it – if he doesn’t like the taste of the food, he won’t eat it, no matter how hungry he is! Unchecked, this can quickly result in a parrot that is suffering from malnutrition, which is one of the major causes of parrot problems. So, please be sure to carefully monitor his food intake.