Holiday Notice:
We will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 20th, 2014. 

Parrot and Bird Nutrition

Providing your bird with a healthy nutritious diet is one of the most important thing you can do to insure a long and healthy life.  Birds, like humans, need a properly balanced diet.  We advise a pelleted bird diet, which is much healthier than a standard, dried seed mix.  A diet of dry seed will lead to health problems and will drastically shorten your bird's lifespan.  In addition, birds tend to focus on their favorite varieties of seed, ignoring the rest.  This makes it difficult to monitor what your bird is eating.  Pellets are a more balanced diet in themselves, making it easy for the average bird owner to insure that their bird is getting all of the nutrients it needs.  Each pellet is formulated with the same ingredients, so no matter what shape or color your bird eats, their diet will still be balanced. 
 
Avian nutrition is a relatively new science.  No one knows everything there is about the nutritional requirements for every species of bird.  Variety should be an important part of your bird's diet.  To be sure your bird is getting proper nutrition, provide vegetables, be it fresh cut and raw or cooked, fruits and grains.  Sprouts are another wonderful addition to a bird's diet. There are also psychological benefits in offering a variety of foods. 
 
Parrots are very intelligent creatures, needing intellectual stimulation and activity.  Offering different foods breaks up the boredom and monotony of eating the same thing day in and day out.  Different foods can also become playthings and some can present your bird with a challenge.  Also with birds being flock animals, eating is a social activity.  The bond between the bird and his flock (you, the owner) can often be enhanced by sharing bird safe foods.
 
Fruits are an occasional healthy snack but vegetables are a far better source of vitamins and minerals.  Round out the diet with grains such as pasta, cereal, and rice.  Seed can be offered in a very small amount on an occasional basis, but pellets should be the staple of your bird's diet.  Keep in mind that when offered a choice between seeds and pellets, birds will always pick fatty seeds.  Here at the store we give seeds occasionally as a reward-based food or treat.   
 
 
What Can My Bird Eat?
The following is a list of foods you can offer your bird.  This is just a guideline, not a hard and fast rule.  There are many other foods not listed that are fine to feed birds.  Just use good sense when offering any food to your bird. - go easy on treats, and lean heavily on veggies.

Vegetables - broccoli (especially the leaves and stems, carrots (cooked or raw), cauliflower, corn (on the cob or off), green beans (cooked or raw), dried beans (cooked), lentils (cooked), lima beans, (frozen or dried, cooked), okra, peas (fresh or frozen), peppers (yes - even the hot ones), pumpkin (raw or canned in baked goods), potatoes (must be cooked), snow peas (raw), squash (cooked or raw), sweet potatoes (cooked or raw), yams (cooked or raw).
Greens - spinach (raw), kale (raw), collard greens (raw), broccoli leaves (raw)
Grains - rice, barley, pasta, egg noodles, couscous, bulger wheat, corn meal, oatmeal (try mixing it uncooked into muffin batter), cream of wheat, Cheerios, corn flakes, Rice Krispies, Life, Chex cereals, Other not-too-sweet cereals, whole grain breads, muffins, bread sticks, pancakes.
Fruits -  apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, dates, figs, kiwi, pomegranate, grapes, mango, melon, oranges, papaya, pears, plums, raisins, raspberries, strawberries
Other foods - eggs (never, never uncooked), french toast, small bits of lean chicken or turkey (cooked), nuts (remember the fat - use in moderation), seed (as a treat only and remember that millet and treat sticks are seed.

Be imaginative.  Be persistent, Be patient. -  If your bird won't eat carrots cooked, try grating raw carrots into other food he likes. If he doesn't like his pasta with sauce, offer it to him plain.  Sweet potatoes and yams can be cooked and mashed or fed raw or grated into other foods.  Muffins are excellent hiding places for veggies that your bird won't eat.  He'll never know they're there.  You say your bird loves scrambled egg, but hates greens and carrots?  Try tearing the spinach into bits, grating the carrot, and mixing both into the scrambled egg.  It takes time but most birds will come around to accepting a better diet.  The most important thing to remember is: don't give up.