There are Parrot Pops which are said to contain a balanced diet, and one can supplement your pets diet with these but I know I would hate to be given my meals in the form of a tablet for steak, egg and chips and a tablet for chocolate milkshake etc. So the following is the food I prepare for the parrots in my aviaries and one of my pleasures is to watch the look on their faces when they are savouring their favourite item in their dishes. The food I prepare is by no means the only food they can eat, and often most of the food you prepare for yourself can be given to your pet. The only difference is that it should be raw, and not necessarily cooked.
I have seen so many pet parrots in cages day in and day out and their only occupation is to sit and either eat their bowl of sunflower seeds, an occasional piece of apple or mutilate their feathers. My experience in my aviaries is that the more stimulation one can give these beautiful creatures the happier and healthier they are and the better they breed. Having said this, the main occupation of the day for my parrots is the food I give them, the branches they get which they can chew, savour and let off steam and of course the quality time I spend with them just loving them. So for the person who has a busy working schedule, the time needed to prepare a balanced meal with variety is not always easy.
The foods to avoid are avocado pear (a real no-no), chocolate, alcohol, greasy foods and foods high in sugar and salt.
On a daily basis, I prepare a large container which is divided into two, the larger portion is given in the morning and the lesser portion in the afternoon. For this container, I grate raw carrot and beetroot, finely sliced cabbage, spinach, green beans, chilies, and any other vegetable that is in season. I add cooked rice, lentils, peas and mealies. This accounts for approximately 50% of the mix and the other 50% comprises sprouted sunflower seed.
The morning portion has cubed apple, orange, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, brown bread, paw-paw, banana, fresh mealies sliced, wild guavas and mulberries when available, added to it and finally a tiny amount of dry sunflower just in case one of the new birds don’t want to eat the other food.
These are the ingredients of the diet:
- Sprouted sunflower, sprouted mung beans and chickpeas
- Cooked lentils, peas, rice mix
- Cooked mealies
- Cooked butternut, sweet potato and potato
- Fruits that are in season
- Grated vegetables that are in season
- Seed mix: sunflower for larger birds, sunflower and mixed bird seed for smaller Conures etc.
I also give a hot, well moistened portion of Jungle Oats and a rough hand raising mix. To this mix I add vitamins and minerals as well as spirulina, chea seeds, kallunji seeds, mustard seeds (Occasionally)amino acids for birds, mashed banana and a very hardboiled egg.
The afternoon portion has 2-6 peanuts per bird added, depending on the size of the bird, raisins as a special treat, as well as a little apple. Late afternoon I may give babies some Kaytee hand rearing. The larger macaws require a lot of fat and oil in their diet. Therefore they get Pecan and Macadamia nuts in their shell a few times a week.
The important factor is to feed the correct amount of food and daily monitoring of the food bowl leftovers tells me if the birds are wasting or only eating selected items. Persevere with fruits etc for the birds who have only been taught to eat sunflower, and days or months later they will start eating other food. The opposite is also important. Make sure your bird is getting enough food. Check the area around the breastbone of your bird and if it’s not well rounded, your bird is thin and needs added food or close monitoring to check that he is not ill.