Parrot Nutrition and Diet

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Parrot Nutrition and Diet
Parrot Nutrition and Diet

Seed for Parrots

What does a parrot eat: Parrot Nutrition is an essential point in the daily management of parrots and the veterinarian has a key role to inform and advise the owner.

Indeed, people with a parrot often feed their animals with seed mixtures, and for different reasons: it is practical, cheaper than other types of food, the bird in love, and this type of Parrot food is the most common in the trade.

Most French pet shops offer only mixtures of seeds on their shelves, thus depriving the owner of the choice of the type or quality of the food he wants to give to his parrot.

Many homeowners are convinced that the seed mix is ​​the only food available, or even that it is the most suitable food for parrots. However, the majority of parrots are not exclusively grain-eating but also frugivorous (except for the Loris and Lorikeets which are nectarivorous and which we will treat separately) and a diet consisting solely of seeds is often the cause of many diseases.


    1. Seed Mixes for Parrots

Use the following as a guideline


  • Wheat groats
  • Canary
  • Hemp seed
  • Oats (whole)
  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame
  • Spelt
  • Sunflower
  • Poppy
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn 
  • Flax seeds
  • Millet 
  • Milo
  • Poppy
  • Quinoa
  • Rice

A-General considerations parrot food and diet

To feed his parrot, the owner has different types of Parrot food in the trade group in Table 4 presented below:

what does a parrot eat

Seed Mixes for Parrots

Advantages of Seed Mixes for Parrots

Affordable price

-Very readily available commercially

-In appearance very well consumed by the bird

-Ease of use

Disadvantages of Seed Mixes for Parrots

-Used alone, source of nutritional imbalances and resulting diseases (see details below)

-Obesity, dull plumage, poor beak growth (too long or deformed), stress sometimes associated with behavioral disorders due to metabolic stress

-In fact, the bird will choose the seeds he prefers, especially millet seeds, sunflower, and peanuts, thus accentuating the imbalances of the ration

Extruded Granules For Parrot

Lists of parrot food

Advantages of extruded granules food for parrots

Avoid sorting

 -Constant composition of vitamins and minerals

 -Easy to use

 -Less expensive than compressed granules

 -Some are very colorful and therefore more palatable for some birds


Disadvantages of extruded granules food for parrots

Cooked under pressure at 140 ° C: the destruction of bacteria, vitamins and natural flavors and modification of the structure of proteins and fibers that become more digestible (thus the acceleration of digestive transit of the bird) 

– Important cost of manufacture is sometimes compensated by lower quality raw materials 

-Added synthesis elements to compensate for the deleterious effects of high-temperature cooking: vitamins, non-extruded fibers, artificial colors, etc … 

-Conservation shorter than compressed even if possible freezing


Extruded Granules Parrot Food

Good Nutrition and Diet for parrots

Advantages of Extruded Granules Parrot Food 

-Avoid sorting

-Constant composition of vitamins and minerals

-Ease of use

-Colorants are impossible to use by compression so the manufacturing process easy to determine for the owner

-Ingredients ground, steamed at a low temperature then compressed so probiotic intact

-Conservation longer than extruded


Disadvantages of Extruded Granules Parrot Food 

No colorful so less palatable for some birds



Fresh fruits and vegetables for parrot

Parrot Nutrition and Diet

5 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables You Should Be Feeding       Your Parrot


  • Beans and Sprouts for parrots
  • Carrots for parrots
  • Melon for parrots
  • Leafy Greens for parrots
  • Blueberries for parrots

Advantages of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables For Parrot

Supply of fresh nutrients (vitamins …) depending on the fruit or vegetable


Disadvantages of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables For Parrot

-More work for the owner: cut according to the size of the bird, remove the fruits after a few hours to avoid fungal and bacterial surface blooms … 

-Attention to toxic fruits (avocado, etc …)

 -Currencies energetics and minerals (especially calcium) if the bird is only fed with fruits/vegetables


Parrot Energy

Food for parrot

Parrot Nutrition and Diet

There are so many species of Psittacidae that it is impossible to define a ration that would suit everyone. Too few studies have been done on food requirements based on parrot species and therefore the practitioner may lack data to accurately calculate a ratio. The data found in the literature are often inspired by studies on Galliformes.

Dietary requirements can be determined for three physiological states: basal (daily incompressible needs necessary for the functioning of the organism), maintenance (maintenance of the weight in normal living conditions:

foraging, interactions with the congeners, etc.), and total combining all the necessary needs according to the stage of life (growth, spawning, molting…) (OROSZ 2014).

In small Psittacids (weight less than 100g), energy requirements for maintenance metabolism (MER) can be calculated using the following formula

Parrot Nutrition and Diet

Best Nutrition for parrot


Parrots Parakeet And Cockatiel Nutriment

Parrot Diet

Parrot Nutrition and Diet

MER = 160 x (PV) 0.715
With PV the live weight of the bird in kg and MER is expressed in kcal / d.

For larger Psittacids, however, this formula seems to underestimate the energy requirements and must, therefore, be adapted to each bird.

The data concerning the food requirements of Psittacidae are therefore still too few since each species has its own needs. The veterinarian is often asked to extrapolate the data of already existing studies that best concern small Psittaciformes (M. undulatus or N. hollandicus) or Galliformes (hens, quails …). Table 5 below shows the recommended intake of a diet for Psittacine

Parrot Nutrition and Diet

Parrots Nutrition


Parrot Nutrition and Diet: Safe & Toxic Foods 

Top 9 Toxic Poisonous Foods for Parrots


1. Alcohol

2. Apple Seeds

3. Avocado

4. Caffeine

5. Chocolate

6. Dried Beans

7. Mushrooms

8. Onions

9. Salt

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