In general, parrots should receive about 75% pellets and 25% other foods. This handout discusses some of the healthy foods that might make up the part of the diet that is not pellets. Remove fresh foods within about 8 hours to avoid exposing birds to spoilage.
Vitamin A Dense Veggies: Vitamin A is essential for healthy feathers and skin, good eyesight, and a strong, healthy immune system. Vegetables are a better source of vitamin A than fruits. Give your bird vegetables that have dark colored “flesh”, as these have higher beta carotene content. Beta carotene is converted into the active form of vitamin A through metabolism. Vegetables are best fed raw, but may also be served cooked (steamed or sautéed with a small amount of healthy vegetable oil). Overcooking vegetables can break down vitamin A and reduce the nutritional benefit.
Good sources of vitamin A include the following: dark leafy greens (collards, kale, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, chicory, chard, parsley, and alfalfa), green/red/hot peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin.
Protein: Choose healthy proteins that are low in fat, as the intestinal flora of parrots is different from that of mammals and humans.
Good sources of protein include the following – nonfat plain yogurt, tofu, hard boiled eggs, chicken (well cooked), white fish, turkey, water packed tuna, grains, brown rice, enriched/whole grain pasta, nuts (shelled and of human grade, no salt), and beans.
Healthy Fruits and Vegetables: Offering fruits and vegetables can help enrich your parrot’s psychological and nutritional well-being.
Healthy fruits and vegetables include the following – peas in the pod, bean sprouts, leeks, artichokes, zucchini, green beans, okra, beets, tomato, potato, apples, banana, dark berries, pomegranate, oranges or tangerines, kiwi, cranberries, etc.
Good sources of whole grains include the following – whole grain breads, unsweetened or low sugar cereals, whole grain pasta, brown rice, low fat granola, wheat germ, wild rice, and oat bran.
Good sources of carbohydrates include the following – fruits, pasta, grains, beans, potatoes, peas, nuts, and small amounts of seeds.
Food Concerns and Important Notes:
-NEVER FEED avocado/guacamole or chocolate (toxic). DO NOT OFFER alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. Feeding peanuts, especially in shells, is not recommended due to risk of fungal infection.
-AVOID FEEDING grapes (high sugar, contain toxins) and apple seeds/cores (seeds contain cyanide).
-AVOID FEEDING uncultured dairy/milk products, as birds are essentially lactose intolerant.
-Research suggests that most birds make food choices based on color and texture rather than taste.
-Dietary changes and new foods may alter the consistency/color of your pet’s stool. Please contact us if you have any questions/concerns in this regard.