How Do I Keep My Parrot Healthy?
Every caring and responsible parrot owner will find that they ask themselves this question on a regular basis, and with the range of products available on the market it is easy to see why there is so much confusion out there among consumers.
The old saying that you are what you eat is also true for our parrot companions. Good nutrition will result in a well balanced, happy and most importantly, as healthy as possible bird, who will thrive for many, many years to come.
What Should I Feed My Parrot And How Often?
There is a variety of foods, from dried to fresh that are readily available and within all of our budgets, here you will find them simply explained.
Dry Foods – Look for a good, clean seed mix that is appropriate for the size of your bird. Hulled oats, spray millet and a variety of size appropriate mixed nuts are also great to add a little variety to your parrots diet.
Do not buy seed mix that has been sprayed or coated in nutrients, this treatment of the seed mix as being beneficial to the bird is highly debatable as the birds discard the shells, and this treatment can also lead to onset of early decay within the seed itself. Do not refrigerate the seed mix as this will make the seed spoil extremely fast. Freezing the seed is a good option if you feel you will not use your seed within in its expiration period. As a general rule, a basic brown paper bag is the best method for keeping your birdseed at its prime for longest.
Fresh Foods – Well-scrubbed and rinsed fruits and vegetables are an excellent choice when it comes to adding highly valued nutrition and variety to your parrots diet. Fruits such as pomegranates, pears, papayas, nectarines, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, mangos, grapes, bananas, apples, carrots, melon, grapefruit and oranges are all fantastic options. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, cucumbers, celery, cooked sweet potatoes, raw or cooked pumpkin, all varieties of cooked squash, corn on the cob, green beans, pod and snap peas are also a wonderful addition. Frozen fruit and vegetables have been proven have almost exactly the same nutritional value as fresh and can be a refreshing treat come summertime for your feathered friend.
How much to feed your parrot will depend on its size. Weaned babies need to have extra food, as do smaller birds. Medium sized birds will need to have at least 20oz. food and water containers. Larger birds should have 30oz. cups or larger for both water and food. All parrots need to have large enough water cups to be able to bathe and clean in.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Feeding My Parrot?
Some foods can be toxic to your beloved pet so you need to ensure that you have the best knowledge possible to avoid any potential deadly mistakes. Avocados are highly toxic, they contain a cardiac glycoside that leads to rapid cardiac arrest and death. Onions are also best avoided as well as all those in the onion family such as garlic, chives and leeks.
Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, cocoa, cabbage, eggplant, asparagus, honey, dill, apple seeds, rhubarb leaves and raw beans are all very bad for your birds health and can result in death if ingested. With all of this information, you will be able to make the best, most educated choices for your treasured parrot companion, and ensure a lifetime of happiness and health for your feathered friend.