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.

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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.

Goldfinch in the Garden

I was driving along a fairly vacant road when a squirrel jumped out. I swerved in order to avoid hitting the squirrel, and I probably looked like something even crazier had happened. Naturally, a cop had to be nearby when it happened. While he was writing me a ticket, I asked if it would be more legal and better if I had just run the squirrel down. He said that morally the answer was ‘no’ but legally it was ‘yes.’



Rarest Exotic Birds For Pets

Many exotic birds that are rare, are mostly psittacines, or parrots that we can have as pets in this country. We, as Americans, can own parrots, that aren’t critically endangered, as long as they aren’t native species of this country. Technically, we can’t own any native bird of this country because they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


There are a few parrots that people might be able to have as pets that are vulnerable to endangerment or considered endangered but that’s as far as it goes concerning the privilege of owning rare birds. As it is, those birds we are able to own that are on the edge of endangerment or are endangered are very expensive and can cost as much as $25,000.

Black Palm Cockatoo. It may be the largest cockatoo species and largest parrot in Australia. They are 22 to 24 inches in length and weigh 2.01–2.65 lb. According to CITES I, it is a protected species.

Hyacinth Macaw. It is about 3.3 ft in length from the top of its head to the tip of its tail, so it is longer than any other species of parrot. Not only is It the largest macaw species, it is also the largest flying parrot species. It is considered endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. It is also protected by its listing on Appendix I of the CITES.

Red Tailed Black Cockatoo. It is listed as vulnerable on the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. They are around 24 inches in length.


Lear’s Macaw, is also known as the Indigo Macaw. It is 28–30 inches long and weighs around 2.09 lbs. Their population in 2010 was estimated at between 1100 and 1200 birds. It is currently listed as an endangered species (CITES I).

Blue Throated Macaws, is also known as Caninde macaw or Wagler’s macaw. Population and range estimates suggests that about 350-400 birds are still in the wild. It is about 33 inches long including the length of its tail feathers and has a wingspan of three feet. It weighs about 32 oz. to 39 oz.

Blue Headed Macaw, is also known as Coulon’s Macaw. It’s a member of the group of smaller macaws sometimes known as the mini-macaws, which includes any species of macaw with a total length of 20 inches or less. It is 16 inches long. It’s total population is 1000-2500 birds. It has been uplisted to endangered in the 2007 IUCN Red List.


Buffons Macaw, is also known as the Great Green Macaw or the Great Military Macaw. This species averages 33–36 inches in length and 2.9 lb in weight. The parrot is considered endangered.


The list of potential pets that are rare birds seems to be getting larger and that may be because there is more intervention for birds, who are at risk of becoming endangered, with the help of scientists, conservationists, parrot breeders and wild bird charities.


It may be impossible to get the birds back that we lost to extinction but we can keep the endangered birds from going the way of the dodo. Rare bird numbers can continue to increase and it will become more likely that we can have any exotic bird for a pet, and hopefully they will no longer be a rarity.


Leah Benson


Best Parrot Food on the Market 2015

Many parrot owners make the mistake of feeding their parrots an exclusively seed diet, and actually that is very harmful to birds. Seed diets lack the needed vitamins and minerals that is necessary for parrots to have, so it can cause them to become sick or malnourished.

Wild birds have a variety of things they can eat that will give them the needed nutrition, for example, bugs, tree and flower seeds, berries, orchard and garden fruits and vegetables. Wild birds don’t exclusively eat seeds; they supplement their diets sufficiently. But pet birds don’t have access to the type of diet wild birds have. Parrots need to have a comprehensive diet, that’s nutritious and satisfying to them, and that’s up to the bird owners to feed them a well rounded, nutritional diet that satisfies their nutritional requirements. ZuPreem Avian Pelleted Diet is the perfect kind of diet for parrots, so it is the best parrot food on the market for 2015.


Zupreem creators developed a line of pelleted food that was specifically designed to feed exotic animals. It was 45 years ago, when they first developed ZuPreem for zoo animals. ZuPreem increased the brand to include nutrition for nontraditional pets, concentrating on caring for every animal with the highest quality, most superbly formulated nutrition achievable.

Today, top-selling ZuPreem products are seen in retail pet stores, zoos, veterinary clinics, and breeding facilities all over the world. The company has expanded the original bunch of ZuPreem products to include a line of life-stage diets for companion birds. ZuPreem still manufactures zoological diets for birds, exotic cats, omnivores and primates as well as for other specialty pets.

Zupreem had created a line of avian, or parrot, food that has a lot of variety which gives parrot owners many options of food to feed their parrots, for every stage of their life.

There is:

FruitBlend with added natural fruit flavors.

Natural with added vitamins and minerals.

Nut Blend with added natural nut flavor.

VeggieBlend with added natural carrot flavor.

Avian Entrees

Smart Selects

Smart Snacks

Lory Diet Nuggets

Low-Iron Softbill Diet

Embrace Hand Feeding Formula for baby birds

Embrace Plus Hand Feeding Formula for baby birds

Avian Breeder FruitBlend with added natural fruit flavors

Avian Breeder Natural with added vitamins and minerals


Since 1964, ZuPreem has been diligent in creating innovative, high-quality food products for the health and longevity of many kinds of animals worldwide. Veterinary clinics, zoos and breeding facilities trust ZuPreem food products so faithfully, they trust their animals’ health and well being to ZuPreem.

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ZuPreem has established a stellar reputation for themselves and the food products they manufacture, and it is with good reason. Pet owners can feel assured that they are feeding their beloved pets the highest quality and highest reputable pet food. ZuPreem has the same commitment today that it had 45 years ago, such as the commitment to the welfare of all animals, commitment to innovative nutrition research and commitment to the highest quality standards of manufacturing.

Leah Benson