Parrots sizes, types, and species vary greatly, but one thing remains the same. The need for a healthy, well-balanced diet is extremely important for the longevity and quality of a parrot's life. A healthy, happy parrot's diet should consist of a proper balance of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein pellets, and seed mixes.
Basics of the Diet
The base of the diet should consist of protein pellets. Protein comes in two forms: complete and incomplete. It's essential that the diet contain the proper amount of complete protein to grow, repair, and sustain healthy tissue, organs, beak, and feathers. The amino acids found in complete protein are made naturally, to some extent, by the parrot's own body, but they are not enough to keep it healthy. Complete protein can be found in most protein pellets. These should be the foundation for a healthy diet.
Adding Variety to the Diet
Because parrots are curious, intelligent, and easily bored, feeding them a diet that consists only of protein pellets will rapidly lose their interest. Thus, like people, parrots prefer to have a creative, varied diet. Feeding a person the same meal every day would get boring and tedious quickly. The diet should be fun, healthy, and have a variety of healthy foods to keep them interested and stimulated. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to the diet is an easy way to add extra vitamins and minerals to an already strong protein pellet base.
Chopping or slicing the fruits and vegetables into large chunks will allow the parrot to hold and gnaw easily on their meals. Owners can also add fun stimulation to the diet by hanging the pieces of fruit and vegetables from the sides or top of the cage. Some vegetables that are recommended are: carrots, celery, cabbage, eggplant, zucchini, and lettuce. Some fruits that are recommended are: bananas, peaches, apples, mangos, kiwis, pineapple, grapes, and oranges. It is important that the seeds and pits be removed from all fruits before giving them to your pet. Some seeds and pit may be toxic. Other toxic foods include: avocado, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, and mushrooms.
Vitamins and Calcium
Calcium also plays an important role in the diet. However, feeding your pet a large amount of dairy can cause them to become ill. Some believe parrots to be "lactose intolerant". However, that is not the case. Some dairy, such as cheeses, can be added to the diet gradually and in moderation. Seed mixes and nuts are also an excellent source of vitamin A and calcium that can easily enhance his diet.
Parrots are lifelong friends. Keeping them healthy, happy, and stimulated is important. Having a varied diet is one of the many ways to accomplish that. Paying close attention what your bird chooses to eat and not eat is essential. Note any changes to their behavior or droppings and adjust their diet accordingly. For the most part, a parrot will know and choose the foods that its body needs. A responsible and dedicated owner should provide a varied diet that consists of protein, fresh fruits and veggies, and seed mixes. Enhancing the diet with excitement and balancing their nutritional needs will allow your parrot to become the best, healthiest pet friend they can be!