It's feeding time at the aviary. But you're a new parrot owner and you're wondering what do I feed my parrot? How often does he eat? How do I go about feeding my parrot? Well, wonder no more, here's the how to in proper parrot feeding.
What To Feed Your Parrot
First of all you can't just feed your parrot bird seed. Even a good bird seed. They need a diet that consists of a good seed, pellets, and fruits and vegetables as well. You will need to know what your particular species of parrot is to really know exactly what the best diet is, but no matter what it cannot be just seed. Each species has different foods it will consume based on the area they are from and what was available to them.
As a general rule, if it's healthy for humans then your parrot can eat it too. However, stay away from foods high in salt and sugar. Also no parrots should ever have chocolate, alcohol, avocado, or rhubarb.
A good well rounded parrot diet will consist of protein, whole grains, vegetables that contain Vitamin A, as well as other fruits and vegetables, and carbohydrates. A very hard boiled egg, lean chicken, and turkey are all good proteins you can feed your parrot. Brown rice, corn, nuts, and beans will also be good foods to feed a parrot.
Vitamin A rich foods are needed for the parrot's eyes, skin, and feathers. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, broccoli, spinach, and green peppers. Fruits high in vitamin A include peaches, apricots, cantaloupe, and papaya.
For whole grains you can feed your parrot a whole grain toast or cracker. Whole grain pasta, unsweetened cereals, and oat bran are good to feed your parrot too.
How Often Should You Feed Your Parrot
How often and how much to feed your parrot is important. You don't want your parrot to become obese. You run this risk because with the lack of exercise a parrot in captivity will receive he's not going to need as much food. So be careful with the snacking and stay away from peanuts as they are too high in fat content for parrots.
Obviously, different sized birds are going to require different amounts of food. You just can't feed love birds the same amount of food you can feed an Amazon parrot. To know if you're on the right track watch your bird. See how much waste of food there is and how he's doing with weight. A healthy happy bird is a well fed bird. You can weigh food to know how much to feed each time.
In the wild parrots will eat at dawn and spend the rest of the morning preening and playing and napping. Then they will feed again in the late afternoon before going back home for the evening. You might not be able to provide this same feeding schedule for your parrot, but two meals a day with one snack is ideal anyway you can get it. You can get your parrot on your schedule.
How To Feed Your Parrot
Now finally you are probably wondering how to go about feeding your parrot. Or perhaps you think putting a bowl of food in the cage will work. That could be fine, but you need to keep your parrot interested. In the wild he had to hunt and scavenger for his food. This took up a good portion of his day making it both stimulating and exercise. In captivity you will be providing all meals and are therefore taking the hunt out of it. That doesn't have to be the case though. You need to present the food to your parrot in a variety of different ways. This might mean cutting up the fruit differently or moving the bowl in the cage. Vary the feedings. You don't need to feed him the same food for breakfast, dinner, and snack. For breakfast give him some high in protein foods for energy and for his evening meal some vegetables and grains. Snack of fruit. Mix it up a little, keep your parrot on his toes.
Once you know how to feed your parrot you can have a happy parrot home. And you will keep your parrot healthy and with you for a long time to come. So make sure you are providing a well rounded diet daily. This isn't a dog or cat that you can just give food out of a bag, you'll actually be preparing meals for your parrot.