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    How best to feed a parrot

    ArticleParrot AdviceSaturday 08 January 2011
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    llness in pet birds, particularly parrots, is often caused by a nutritional imbalance because the owner doesn’t know what sort of diet a parrot or parakeet requires. So how can you assure that your parrot is getting the right nutrition?

    • Seeds should only make up about 10% of a parrot’s diet. Seeds are too high in fat and low in nutrients such as calcium to be a sustainable healthy diet for a parrot. Parrots can often come to enjoy seeds so much that they exclude other nutrients from their diets and become fussy. Seeds are like junk food for parrots so try not to feed them too much.
    • Formulated diets were created to solve this problem and consist of rains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fortified with vitamins and minerals, and are baked into pellets or any variety of other extruded shapes to appeal to the parrots. However they can often be considered boring by parrots so should only make up 50-60% of a parrot’s diet.
    • Fresh vegetables are a great healthy addition to a parrot’s diet. These can include carrots, sweet potatoes, leafy greens (such as kale, turnip greens etc), parsley, sweet peppers, broccoli and cucumber. However it may be difficult to convince your parrot to eat these vegetables, so you’ll have to be creative with feeding methods. Try hanging vegetables from the side of the cage in a clip.
    • Fresh fruit is also a wonderful idea for a parrot’s diet – however, parrots love fruit so much that they tend to overdo it, so don’t provide too much. Tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, kiwis and bananas are a good way of getting your parrot to eat the kind of food it would eat in its normal habitat.

    And what about what NOT to feed?

    • Birds are lactose intolerant so dairy products should be limited to bits of hard cheese.
    • Don’t feed them chocolate, avocado or rhubarb as all parrots are allergic to these.
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