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Parrot Diet & Nutrition

We all want what's best for our parrot companions. But did you know that one of the main causes of a shorter lifetime, behavioral issues and poor health in parrots is a lack of proper nutrition?  Pet stores are often not equipped with staff knowledgeable in avian nutrition.

No two parrots are the same, and depending on the species of parrot you have, diet information may differ. But we're going to provide some general guidelines that can help you make diet choices. For more detailed, species specific information, we recommend you speak with your local avian veterinarian. We'll also put some useful links at the bottom of the page for you to explore. 


Let's learn how to provide your friend with a healthy and whole diet. It'll make them feel good right away and help contribute to a long, happy life together for you and your bird.

Let's take a look at what a parrot should eat and how much. 


* This is just a very general guideline. These amounts may be different depending on the species of parrot. Your best resource will be your bird's veterinarian.

When people think of a parrot diet, they often think of them as eating mostly seeds and fruit. While this may be the case for some species, it's also important for us to consider a parrot's lifestyle in the wild vs. in our homes. 

In the wild, parrots can fly several miles per day. So, they will use up the calories they consume in seed and fruit. But due to the domestic nature of our parrots, consuming high amounts of sugar and fat is actually bad for their health, because they aren't as active as they would be in the wild. 


Just as with humans, parrots can gain weight and have serious health problems from excess fat and sugar and lack of exercise. These are arguably the most common issues vets face when someone brings a parrot in with health issues.

What kind of pellet should you feed your bird and why is it important?


Parrot pellets are extremely important to a bird's diet because they are formulated with the nutrients that parrots need and are a complete food.

Pellets should have the correct fat content, vitamins, and minerals to keep your bird healthy. The best pellets to feed your parrots are those that do not contain sugar or dyes. However, fruit flavored pellets can aid in converting a stubborn parrot from an all seed diet to pellet due to their more stimulating color, shape and taste. 

Here are some common veterinarian recommended brands of pellet. However, this is not a complete list and your avian vet should be your first source when finding the right food for your parrot.

Harrison’s Adult Lifetime (coarse or fine)

Zupreem Fruitblend or Naturals

Lafeber Pellets

Roudybush Daily Maintenance

TOP Organics, TOP Organic Pellets (not seed mixes)

So, is seed completely bad for birds?

No! Seed plays an important role in your bird's nutrition. The key to adding seed into a bird's diet is moderation and balance. Also, understanding your parrot's species specific nutritional needs can help you choose the right seed mix that will provide some of the vital nutrients that the bird needs to be healthy.

What about foods that can hurt your bird?

There's a lot to cover here. So, as far as foods that can actually hurt or kill your bird, we HIGHLY recommend that you visit this page for more info and speak with your avian vet so you can know what to never give your bird.


We never want to leave anything out, so arm yourself with as much information as you can to keep your feathered companions safe. 

Here are some helpful articles that go more in-depth about parrot nutrition

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