How And What To Feed Your Pet Bird Or Parrot

Hand Feeding King Parrot
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In the wild birds have to work much harder to get their food than in captive environments.


It’s important to find the right balance with caloric intake and output so your bird is healthy and not overweight.


The problem isn’t the seed blends that you choose for your birds.


It’s the fact that the birds will pick and choose their favorites which might lead to certain deficiencies in their diet.


Although we’ve often said there are no pellet trees in the rain forest, engineered foods like bird food pellets can help bring an overall healthy dimension to your bird’s diet.


Mainstream bird food brands like Higgins and Hagen introduce their brands of pellets into the seed blends and the more complex fruit and nut and seed blends. 


A portion of your birds diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables.


Here’s some suggestions for fresh vegetables:


Beet & Turnip Greens – Broccoli (head and leaves) – Carrots (root and tops) Cauliflower – Collard Greens – Cooked Red Potatoes – Cooked Sweet Potatoes – Corn – Cucumber – Eggplant – Endive – Green Beans – Kale – Kohlrabi – Mustard & Dandelion Greens – Parsley – Radicchio – Radishes – Red Beets (peeled) – Romaine or Green/Red leaf lettuce – Swiss Chard – Squash (peeled & steamed) – Sugar Snap or Snow Peas – Sweet Red & Green Peppers – Other types of peppers including Habaneros.


Thoughts about fresh fruit for your birds:


Apples – Apricots – Banana – Berries – Cantaloupe – Cherries – Cranberries – Grapefruit – Grapes – Honeydew – Kiwi – Mango – Oranges – Papaya – Peaches – Pears – Pineapple – Plums – Pomegranate – Star fruit – Tangerines


With the exception of pomegranates it is better not to offer any seeds from fruits.


It is also our unscientific opinion that citrus can linger in a birds crop and cause birdie heartburn possibly becoming a trigger for feather destruction.

Any citrus fruit including tomatoes should be given in very small amounts early in the day so it is eaten with other foods and is not in the crop alone.


You know that feeling after you’ve had a seven course meal topped off by Bavarian chocolate cake?


Your bird does not know how to ask for an antacid.


Nuts are great foraging foods.


Birds like to crack the shells.


Our Senegal likes walnuts but she cannot make the initial shell crack so I break it in half at least and she can pick the meat out of the shell.


We know the bird will make you nuts so you should return the favor with more nuts.


All unsalted – raw is ok, roasted has more flavor for you and the bird.


Almonds – Brazile – Cashews – Coconut – Filberts – Macadamia (raw unshelled) – Palm

Peanuts – Pine nuts – Pistachio – Sunflower seed – Walnuts

Also published on Medium.

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He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.