can parrots eat wild bird food

Today’s parrot bird food comes in many forms. Pet bird owners feed bird seed, pellets, table foods, soak and cook mixes, vegetables, proteins, fruits and treats to their birds, so it’s easy to get confused about what to feed your specific pet bird. Find out all about parrot bird food info you need to know with our simple bird food basic primer below.

Bird seed mixes are often the staple food for many pet birds and parrots. Common seeds found in bird food seed mixes include safflower seeds, sunflower seeds, millet seed, canary seed, hemp seed, thistle seed and more.

A seed consists of four parts: the germ, the cotyledon, the endosperm and the hull. What pet birds eat are ungerminated seeds, which have not started growing to become plants. A bird hulls the seed so it can eat the germ, the cotyledon and the endosperm. Pet birds can eat germinated seed, too, when you sprout bird seed.

A pellet usually consists of ground up grains and seeds, vitamins and minerals that are baked at a low heat and formed into shapes. The different shapes that pellets are formed in can vary from little spheres to pellets that look like Cheerios. Some pellets are colored to appeal to your bird, while other pellets are natural colors, mostly browns. A number of pelleted diets are available to buy. Work with your avian veterinarian to determine the best pelleted diet for your pet bird. Some aviculturists do not recommend feeding dry pellets to lories and other softbills. Talk with your veterinarian about the best bird foods to feed your softbills.

Many vegetables are packed full of vitamins, fiber, protein, calcium and other nutrients. Offer your bird freshly washed freshly washed vegetable, such as dark-leafy greens, such as parsley, spinach, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard. Bell peppers, squashes (e.g. pumpkins, butternut, spaghetti, plus roasted seeds), sweet potatoes, green beans and carrots are also great for your bird. Mix in legumes, sprouts and whole grains (e.g., quinoa, brown rice, oats) with your bird’s vegetables. Do not put any sort of dressing on your bird’s vegetables, and remove the food after a few hours so it doesn’t spoil.

Foods high in plant protein are broccoli, quinoa, soybeans (edamame), legumes/beans, nuts and sprouts. You can also feed moderate amounts of animal-based proteins, such as well-cooked, unseasoned chicken, turkey or fish. Unseasoned scrambled eggs are another option, and you can crumple up and cook the shell with the egg. Some birds, like macaws, need extra protein sources, like nuts. Good nuts to offer are walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and more. Feed plain nuts only, not salted or honey-roasted, etc.

Feed fruits high in vitamin A. Some fruits high in vitamin A content include mangoes, papayas, cantaloupe, persimmon, apricots and pomegranates. Feed lots of berries, like blueberries, strawberries, etc. Fruit is a great visual treat for your bird as well; fruits are so bright and colorful, your bird will have to give it a try!

– Grit is unnecessary for all parrots. Every few months, finches and canaries can benefit from an additional pinch of grit. Too much grit can cause vitamin deficiencies and grit .

Pelletized avian diets have been developed to address this issue and give your pet birds balanced nutrition. A daily variety of fresh foods should be fed to complement these diets. Birds have a poorly developed sense of smell and taste. However, the way food looks and feels will have a big impact on what they eat. After birds get used to eating seeds, they typically view anything different with considerable skepticism. It can take months to gradually replace your bird’s unhealthy eating habits with a healthier one, so DON’T GIVE UP!

These are components of a bird’s balanced diet. Carrots, kale, spinach, yellow squash, collard greens, dandelion greens, beet greens, mustard greens, endive, broccoli, parsley, romaine, cooked sweet potato, green beans, asparagus, spinach, bell and jalapeño peppers, watercress, lima beans, and other legumes are among the recommended vegetables. Vegetables should be well cleaned before being fed either raw or cooked, though cooking reduces some of their nutrients.

– Due to their high sugar and salt content, canned fruits and vegetables should be avoided as they may lead to diarrhea or other health issues.

Signs of illness in birds may include: change in stool, decreased appetite, fluffed feathers, sneezing or wheezing, decreased activity or vocalization, weight loss, or runny nose or eyes. Birds disguise disease very well. Therefore, once signs of illness are visible, the disease process is usually well advanced and immediate treatment is needed. If you think that your bird may be ill, keep the cage temperature about 85 degrees and cover the cage to avoid draft and allow rest. Do not clean the cage, but place waxed paper on the cage floor to collect a fresh stool sample and call for an appointment. ​​​​​​​Download Free PDF Handout HERE

Put yourself in your bird’s place. Feed a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fruit to a small bird, and a tablespoon of fruit to larger birds. A single grape is the size of your head, so that’s way too much food for one cockatiel! Give your smaller birds half a spoonful of veggies and half a tablespoon of a source of protein. Give your larger bird one and a half tablespoons of protein source and a small spoonful of veggies.

Numerous vegetables are rich in calcium, protein, fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. Give your bird freshly cleaned vegetables, like Swiss chard, collard greens, parsley, spinach, and kale, as well as dark leafy greens. Bell peppers, squashes (e. g. Sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, butternut squash, spaghetti, and roasted seeds are also excellent for your bird. Mix in legumes, sprouts and whole grains (e. g. , quinoa, brown rice, oats) with your bird’s vegetables. To prevent food spoiling, take out the food after a few hours and avoid dressing your bird’s veggies.

Feed fruits high in vitamin A. Some fruits that are high in vitamin A include pomegranates, cantaloupe, papayas, mangoes, persimmons, and apricots. Feed lots of berries, like blueberries, strawberries, etc. Fruits are so vivid and colorful that your bird will have to try them; they’re also a great visual treat for them!

The word “foraging” may be familiar to you from watching a lot of nature television. Foraging is the active search for food; wild parrots can spend up to 80% of their waking hours doing this! It requires a lot of energy, which your house bird may not have since it just needs to visit its food bowl to eat.

For many pet birds and parrots, bird seed mixes are their main source of nutrition. Bird food seed mixes often contain a variety of seeds, such as safflower, sunflower, millet, canary, hemp, thistle, and more.

FAQ

Is wild bird food okay for parrots?

NEVER feed any bird a diet of wild bird seeds! FRUITS & VEGETABLES: – These are a part of a balanced diet for a bird.

Can my parakeets eat wild bird seed?

Wild bird mixes are mixed for completely different species with different dietary requirements to parakeets. There is also the danger that the food is of poor quality, especially if it’s very cheap. You should not be feeding such stuff to any bird, and certainly not to your beloved pets!

What’s the difference between wild bird food and pet bird food?

While wild birds eat some seeds, it is not the only food in their diet. Pet birds, however, eat what they are fed, and it is not healthy when seeds are their one option. Wild birds eat a variety of seeds during different seasons, as well as bugs, berries and a variety of vegetation.

What is the best food to feed parrots?

Dark, leafy greens such as kale, dandelion leaves, spinach and broccoli make particularly good parrot food. Iceberg lettuce is safe for parrots to eat but should only be given occasionally as it does not provide any vital nutrients. Lettuce also has a high water content so may result in very soft droppings.