What eating habits of baby parrots

Live with parrots

As one can easily imagine, nutrition and health are closely related. We read again and again on the Internet about parrots that have serious health problems because they have been malnourished for years. Unfortunately, many parrots still get a commercial feed mixture and maybe some fruit every now and then. Many people often get something from human-prepared food that is far too much protein, fat, sugar, and salt for them. It's time to start thinking about a healthy and balanced parrot diet. But what does it actually look like?

The parrots and other bird species we keep originally come from various continents, climates and vegetation zones with very different flora. The birds have adapted to their respective habitat, especially with regard to nutrition, so that they can optimally nourish themselves from the available range of plants, fruits and seeds.

It is still largely unexplored what food the different parrot species eat in nature and even if we knew it, we would not be able to offer them exactly these plants, fruits, seeds, etc. Just as little is known for each bird species how many carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and trace elements are absorbed in nature and how they are converted.

But we know that feed and health, or health disorders, are closely related. What can we do? Feed as varied as possible!
The commercially available grain mix plus a little fruit every now and then is not enough and there is a risk that the bird will only pick out the tasty things. Often these are the high-fat seeds such as sunflower seeds, so weight and liver problems are inevitable. Our job as the keeper is to compose the feed in such a way that the birds take in all essential nutritional components in sufficient quantities. In this context, I would like to draw your attention to the following article:

Feeding the parrots in your care

In the article "Feeding the Parrots in Your Care" (PDF file), the author Pamela Clark goes into detail about the nutritional needs and errors in parrot nutrition. It gives an introduction to the essential building blocks of nutrition: carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals. It also names those feeds that contain these nutritional components. It also explains what should be observed and avoided when feeding parrots, why the unknown is often not touched and how to switch a parrot that only knows grain food to healthy food.

At the end of the article there are three food recipes that Pamela Clark uses for her own group of parrots and that can be varied again and again to keep them varied and interesting for the birds.

As you read the article, please keep in mind that it was written by an American woman. It is well known that individual housing, wing connections and very close connection to the family are much more common there than with us. An American parrot consultant must certainly take this into account, which does not mean that she is in favor of it. Now have fun and some good suggestions while reading the article, which is available as a PDF file.

Go to Article: "Feeding the parrots in your care" (PDF file)

I would like to thank Pamela Clark, who gave me permission to translate her article and the recipes and to publish them here, and who patiently answered many queries by email. At her request, a different recipe from the one in the original publication was also incorporated. I would also like to thank Lilo Pieth, who discovered the article and helped me with the correct translation of the sometimes "exotic" names of some vegetables.

Have you ever cooked for your parrot?

Parrot feed mixes, consisting of cooked vegetables, legumes, and grains, to which raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other ingredients are added, are great at providing the birds with all of the nutrients they need. The mixture is not ground too finely in the mixer. This has the advantage that the birds cannot "sort" and thus pick up all the components. Such mixed feed is very popular and must always be given fresh and in small portions that are eaten immediately. It shouldn't stay in the bowl for long as it spoils quickly.

The mixture cooked in large quantities can be frozen in portions so that it only has to be thawed for feeding and can be supplemented with fresh berries, fruits and vegetables. The composition of the mixture should be varied frequently to give the parrots a varied diet.

Such mixtures are suitable for most small and large parrots and for larger parakeets. There are ready-made cooked feed mixes in good feed stores or you can put together the mix yourself. We have collected some delicious illustrated recipes with instructions for you, click on the pictures or links on the right.

It is also very important to have an adequate supply of vitamin D, but it must not be overdosed!
Read the article on this A vitamin with a special role.

Links to the recipes:

Chop mix - Author: Pamela Clark
Food served warm - Author: Pamela Clark
You can find these two recipes in the PDF file
"Feeding the parrots in our care" on pages 12 and 13 .

Mike's Mash a la Lilo - Author: Lilo Pieth

Lilos food mix - Author: Lilo Pieth

Brigitte's feed mix - Author: Brigitte Block

Many thanks to the hardworking cooksfor the recipes and photos.