Dieting is one of the most important factors in maintaining the health of a parrot. An inadequate diet impedes the good development of the animal, predisposes to the appearance of diseases and, even, can lead to the death.
A good diet is one that is balanced, varied and complete, so each animal has different needs depending on the species, age, reproductive age … The diet that is exposed here is applicable to the vast majority of adult parrots to cover maintenance needs.
It is considered that there are two ways to provide a correct diet to a parrot in captivity:
- Food based on fresh seeds and vegetables: This system intends to imitate the behavior of the parrot in the wild and must consist of:
- Mixing seeds: It should constitute 60% of the total food that the bird ingests at the end of the day. There are different brands of food that commercialize this type of food for parrots, but we must keep in mind that a good mix contains a minimum of 10-12 different seeds and the sunflower seeds should be small.
- Fruits, vegetables and vegetables: 40% of the daily ration will be a salad of fruits, vegetables and fresh vegetables. Legumes are left to soak for a few hours so that they are hydrated and not so hard and at the moment of giving them to the animal they are washed with water. We can give lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas … Vegetables are offered raw but well washed with water. And as fruits we will give apple, pear, apricot, strawberry, banana, orange, tangerine, pomegranate, kivi, grape, pineapple, watermelon, melon … washed and without pine nuts.
- Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts … should be occasional. They can be used as prizes whenever the animal obeys an order or to gain their trust. In animals that live abroad throughout the year, you can add an extra supply of nuts during the cold season.
Ideally this diet is divided into two servings, so that is offered the salad of vegetables, vegetables and fruits in the morning and the mixture of seeds in the afternoon or the other way around. In this way the normal behavior of the parrots in freedom is better imitated.
- Another way to offer a balanced diet to our animal is through extruded feed. These feeds are formulated to provide a complete and balanced diet and are marketed different brands that have different presentations as to form and colors. This system is more comfortable for the owner but not all parrots accept it well unless they have been accustomed since chicks. On the other hand, although commercial houses present it as a unique food, we prefer to supplement it with fruits, vegetables and legumes.
On the other hand, the animal must have fresh and clean water at all times. All food of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, milk …) as well as fried and soft drinks, alcoholic or coffee should be excluded from the diet of pet.
In times of moulting or greater wear of the animal can be supplemented with vitamin complexes for parrots, although if we get our animal to follow one of these two diets perfectly, the contribution of vitamins and minerals will be correct. It should be noted that growing animals and females in the breeding season have different nutritional needs, especially for calcium and protein.