In order to choose the best ration for the bird, it is necessary to be interested in the composition of each food.
- Seed mixes:
Seed mixtures are very rich in lipids and proteins and are often deficient in vitamins and essential amino acids (especially lysine and methionine). In addition, most seeds or nuts have a low Ca / P ratio and contain too little Sodium or beta-carotenes (STAHL, KRONFELD 1998).
Ideally, seed and nut mixtures should be 20-40% of a parrot’s diet, provided the seeds are varied and of good quality. Unfortunately, parrots are very fond of seeds and nuts (especially sunflowers, peanuts, nuts, etc …) and therefore tend to sort to eat only what they prefer, leaving other foods (GROSSET 2009).
- Fruits and vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables usually have little energy and are deficient in calcium, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and some minerals. A diet based solely on fruit is therefore not sufficient to meet the energy needs of the bird, especially for large Psittacidae (STAHL, KRONFELD 1998). Also, be careful not to give only fruit to the bird (even if that’s what it prefers) not to bring too much carbohydrate in the ration.
- Granules (extruded or compressed):
The compositions and nutritional values are normally given by the manufacturer on the product packaging. The main advantage of the granules is that they guarantee a constant nutritional supply from one granule to another.
- Establish a ration:
The main guideline for establishing the diet of a Psittaciform is that it is necessary to diversify the food, whether it is the types (seeds, granules, fruits, and vegetables) but also the constituents (vary fruits, vegetables, seeds, etc. …).
The proportions of each form of food are shown in the Figure below.
What do parrots eat
Recommendations regarding parrot feed intake
It is important to impose these proportions on the bird since if all the food is left to him at will, the bird will tend to eat only what he prefers (mainly the seeds, in particular, sunflower, etc …) which will greatly unbalance its contributions.
Unfortunately, owners are often reluctant to use pellets for their birds, partly because of the price (extruded twice as much per kilo as seed mixtures, compressed up to 6 times more expensive), but also because they are unaware of the nutritional imbalances of a seed-based diet. The information role of the veterinarian is essential and each practitioner, whether specialized in avian medicine or not, should talk about food with the owner. The latter must be aware of the diseases associated with a bad diet and that the financial investment made with the purchase of pellets will often allow him to avoid heavy bills at his vet.
What Your Parrots Should Be Eating
SOURCE:Mikey The Macaw & Friends
But convincing the owner to use the pellets is often not the most difficult: still to persuade the bird to eat! As we have seen, parrots often show food neophobia. Thus, if they are not used to eating very young pellets, the food transition can be a real test. It is therefore important to warn the owner that this change can be very long so that he does not get discouraged and gives up. In order to prove to the bird that the pellets are edible (even good), several strategies exist:
One day in three, give only pellets and leave the seeds the other days. After 2 to 3 weeks, switch to a day out of 2 and so on, until complete transition.
- Give only pellets during the day and deliver seeds at night until the bird eats its croquettes properly.
- Hide seeds at the bottom of a bowl of pellets to force the bird to manipulate the kibble to have its seeds.
- For truly recalcitrant parrots, there are seeds agglomerated on kibble. Thus, the bird will not see the pellet at first but will eat it without noticing it after finishing the seeds.
Diversifying the food ration is therefore essential for the bird’s health, but also its well-being by encouraging it to forage and handling food in order to eat them.
Preparing A Proper Parrot Diet
Recommendations regarding parrot feed intake
How often should I feed my parrot?
Be careful if they are alive, they can wrestle and bite the snake. At 6 months, you can give him an adult mouse, twice a week. For one year, give 1 to 2 mice per week. Depending on the size of the snake, you can give rats or guinea pigs every 15 days.
What food should parrots not eat?
- Fruit seeds and pits
- Dairy products
How to Make Healthy Feed for Baby Parrot at Home