Feeding a parrot

What do parrots eat?

In the wild, parrots will have a large selection of seeds to pick at. You will need to feed your parrot a mixture of seeds, which can be found in most pet stores — just ask for the right kind of food for your species of parrot. You can also do your own research into where your species of parrot comes from and what types of food they would normally eat.

Seeds alone will not provide your parrot with enough nutrition though, so it's good to keep their diet exciting and introduce new tasty foods that they will enjoy amongst their seeds. Try to give them about a quarter to half a cup of food per day. Larger parrots will also eat different kinds of nuts. 

What fresh foods will my parrot enjoy?

Fresh fruit and vegetables should be given to your parrot, such as apples, strawberries, pears, oranges, grapes and bananas. Make sure you thoroughly wash the fruit so that there's no harmful pesticides or chemicals that will harm your bird, and remove all seeds from the fruit before you feed it to them, and chop up into edible pieces. Vegetables can be things like cooked dried beans, carrots, broccoli, corn, green beans and leafy greens. Watery lettuces such as iceberg and cabbage won't provide much nutrition, so avoid these if possible.

To make feeding time for your parrot a little bit more interesting, do some different things with his food. Try hanging some of the leafy greens in the cage, or tie up a few bits of fruit which will make your parrot work a bit harder for his food, rather than just eating out of his bowl. It's a good activity for your parrot and keeps him occupied. You can also hang a cuttlebone in his cage too, which will provide him with an extra source of calcium that he can nibble at. 

Foods to avoid:

  • Avocado
  • Junk foods
  • Uncooked beans
  • Rhubarb
  • Caffeine / alcohol
  • Onions
  • Sugary foods (especially chocolate)
  • Dairy products (parrots cannot digest lactose)
  • Seeds and pits from fruits (these can be toxic, however strawberry seeds are ok).

Always check with your vet or get some advice from a local pet shop on other foods that you can give to your parrot. Some owners prefer to introduce their parrot to a pellet diet.  

Pet care advice