What Sort of Diet Does My Parrot Need?

Further Reading

When should I feed my Parrot?

Just as important as the choice of foods you offer is the way in which it is offered. Our best advice is to let your bird have one hour in the morning to feed. Then another hour in the evening before it goes to bed and between these two times remove all food from the area. You can then use things like extra nuts, bones and cheese etc as titbits throughout the day to perhaps reward your bird. 

If at all possible move the feeding pots to different locations of the cage each day.  Don’t worry about the “move anything in his cage and he will freak” idea - this is because he has been spoilt and has got himself into a rut. Just move things about only moderately at first, then once he is used to it, make little then more radical movements.

When it comes to the fruit and veg choose one type of fruit and one type of veg for the day. Don’t chop it into tiny pieces rather spike it on something the bird will have fun ripping it to bits even if it chooses not to eat it. This can be left with him all day and if possible spike in a place where the bird has to think how to get to it.

This feeding method i.e. not leaving food in with them all day and making them think for themselves plays a major part in preventing them from plucking at a later date. Parrots in the wild only search for food around dawn and dusk. When in the pet situation and the bird is left on its own it will kill time by eating usually because of boredom. This will inevitably make him overweight and unfit. When a good feeding system is tied in with the “Daily Routine” section then the parrot will learn to think for itself, find enjoyment out of other things and generally keep itself amused rather than be totally reliant on its owners.

Also, leaving food with your parrot all day can result in the parrots only eating the bits they love, i.e one type of seed or particular nut. This can lead to vitamin deficiency and many other health problems. A parrot that is not hungry at feed times will just throw all its seed out on to the floor until it finds the bit it loves. 

Over the last few years a huge amount of pelleted diets have appeared on the market. Most of these suggest that each pellet contains everything a parrot needs to be healthy. We find this strange as African Parrots and South American Parrots and Australian cockatoos do not find or have the same foods available to them in their own countries. Also parrots enjoy eating in the same way as we do after all you wouldn’t eat the same tasting item day after day! So lets not start depriving them of that as well. Remember even if you have a totally human imprinted pet parrot it is still a wild animal and not a domesticated pet. You would not feed a wolf “Pedigree Chum” and expect it to be happy.