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Parrot Pellet Comparison Made Easy!

October 1st, 2010

Recommended Pellets

The ingredients:

Harrisons High Potency: Ground Shelled Sunflower Seeds, Ground Hulless Barley, Ground Soybeans, Ground Shelled Peanuts, Ground Green Peas, Ground Lentils, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Rice, Ground Toasted Oat Groats, Psyllium, Sun Dried Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, Spirulina, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite. CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Crude protein (min.) 18%, crude fat (min.) 15%, crude fiber (max.) 6.5%, moisture (max.) 10%

Harrisons Lifetime: Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Hulless Barley, Ground Soybeans, Ground Shelled Peanuts, Ground Shelled Sunflower Seeds, Ground Lentils, Ground Green Peas, Ground Rice, Ground Toasted Oat Groats, Sun Dried Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, Psyllium, Montmorillonite Clay, Spirulina, Ground Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Sea Salt , Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite. CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Crude protein (min.) 15%, crude fat (min.) 5.5%, crude fiber (max.) 6.5%, moisture (max.) 10%

Zupreem Natural: Ground corn, Soybean meal, Ground wheat, Vegetable oil, Wheat germ meal, Sucrose, Dicalcium phosphate, Calcium carbonate, Ground vegetables (carrots, celery, beets, watercress and spinach), Iodized salt, DL-Methionine, Choline chloride, L-Lysine, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Natural mixed tocopherols, Rosemary extract, Citric acid, Canthaxanthin, Manganous oxide, Zinc oxide, Copper sulfate, Calcium iodate, Sodium selenite, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Vitamin K supplement, Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Thiamine,
Riboflavin, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement.

Protein – 14%
Fat – 4%
Fibre – 3.5%
Moisture – 10%

Zupreem FruitBlend: Ground corn, Soybean meal, Ground wheat, Vegetable oil, Wheat germ meal, Sucrose, Dicalcium phosphate, Calcium carbonate, Ground fruit (bananas, oranges, apples and grapes), Iodized salt, DL-Methionine, Choline chloride, L-Lysine, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, Natural mixed tocopherols, Rosemary extract, Citric acid, Natural and artificial colors, Artificial flavors, Canthaxanthin, Manganous oxide, Zinc oxide, Copper sulfate, Calcium iodate, Sodium selenite, Vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Vitamin K supplement, Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement.
Protein – 14%
Fat – 4%
Fibre – 3.5%
Moisture – 10%

Hagen: Fruits – Orange oil, banana oil (for flavour) – Seeds – Corn, wheat, rice, sunflower kernal, flaxseed, oat groats – Vegetables – Tomato – Legumes – Soybean, peanut kernal – Others – Spirulina, rosemary extract, vitamins and minerals
Protein – 14.0% – Fat – 9.0% – Fibre – 4.0%

Totally Organics Pellets: Certified Organic Ingredients: Rice, hulled millet, barley, alfalfa leaf, sunflower seed hulled, sesame seeds unhulled, quinoa whole, buckwheat hulled, dandelion leaf powder, carrot powder, spinach leaf powder, purple dulse, kelp, rose hips powder, rose hips crushed, orange peel powder, lemon peel powder, rosemary whole leaf, cayenne ground, crushed red chili peppers, nettle leaf.

Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 15% Max., Fat 6% Min., Crude Fiber 6% Max.

Roudybush Maintenance Crumble:  Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Peanut Meal, Soy Oil, Soy Meal, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate, Yucca schidigen Extract, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine, DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Lecithin, Silicon Dioxide (carrier for liquid antioxidants), Sodium Selenite (on Calcium Carbonate), Niacin, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Zinc Oxide, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vit. A Acetate, Thiamine, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vit K), Cyanocobalamin (VitB12), Vit D3 Sup. Folic Acid, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Propionic Acid, Ammonium Hydroxide, Acetic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Tartaric Acid, and natural apple flavoring.

Guaranteed Maintenance analysis: crude protein min. 11.0%; crude fiber max. 3.5%; crude fat min. 7.0%

Not Recommended

Kaytee Exact Rainbow: Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Ground Oat Groats, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Middlings, Ground Flax Seed, Soy Oil, Dried Whole Egg, Dried Beet Pulp, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Wheat Germ Meal, Corn Sugar, L-Lysine, Salt, Whole Cell Algae Meal (source of DHA), Fructooligosaccharide, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin A Supplement, Choline Chloride, Dried Cane Molasses, Titanium Dioxide, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Yeast Extract, DL-Methionine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of vitamin K activity), Niacin, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), Beta-Carotene, Canthaxanthin, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Cobalt Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Artificial Colors, Natural Flavors.

Pretty Bird For African Greys: Ground Corn, Ground Oats, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Wheat, Coconut Oil, Canola Oil, Soya Oil, Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Corn Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, Natural and Artificial Flavors DL Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ferric Sulfate, D-Biotin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Oxide, Niacinamide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, BHT (As a Preservative), Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Natural and Artificial Colors, Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite (Source of Vitamin K3), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Sulfate

Pretty Bird For Small Birds: Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Ground Oat Groats, Corn Gluten Meal, Potato Protein, Coconut Oil, Soya Oil, Safflower Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcuim Phosphate, L-Lysine, Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, Natural and Artificial Flavors, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ferric Sulfate, D-Biotin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Oxide, Niacinamide, Vitamin B12 Supplement, BHT (as a preservative), Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Natural and Artificial Colours, Menadione Dimethylpyrimdinol Bisulfite Complex (source of vitamin K3), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Sulfate

Note the ingredient list is almost exactly the same on both Pretty Bird products, so the label on the packaging suggesting the species of the the parrots it is formulated for is just that, a label, and a meaningless one too.

In red I highlighted the ingredients which are best avoided.

Salt. In minute quantities it is probably harmless, up the amount a bit and it can cause serious toxicity and even death (amount added to pellets is strictly regulated of course)

Sugar (Sucrose). Promotes yeast and bacteria growth in the gut. Excessive amount can lead to diabetes.

Corn Gluten Meal – is a byproduct of corn (maize) processing that has historically been used as an animal feed. It can also be used as an organic herbicide. CGM is used as an inexpensive protein source for pet foods. However, many dogs and cats develop an allergy to corn after eating CGM for an extended amount of time. (from Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_gluten_meal )

Menadione – Large doses of menadione have been reported to cause adverse outcomes including hemolytic anemia due to G6PD deficiency, neonatal brain or liver damage, or neonatal death in some rare cases. Moreover, menadione supplements have been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because of their potential toxicity… (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menadione)

BHT – “BHT could produce hyperactivity in some children. In addition, some controversy surrounds the link of BHT to cancer risk, some studies showing the potential to increase and some showing a decrease in risk. Some food industries have voluntarily eliminated this additive from their products, and since the 1970s it has been steadily replaced with the less studied BHA. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butylated_hydroxytoluene)

Natural Flavours. Even though they are called natural, they are not in fact that natural. Many foods and drinks are flavoured by ‘natural flavours’ or ‘natural flavourings’. These are obtained from plants, meat, fish, fungi and even wood. But they’re a very concentrated chemical extract from natural sources – not the real thing.
Natural flavourings don’t have to come from the plant or animal you might expect. For example, strawberry flavour products can contain natural flavourings that have never been close to a real, natural strawberry.
They have been made in a laboratory and are so chemically similar to real strawberry extract that they are allowed to be called natural. They are sometimes described as ‘nature identical’.
There’s an easy way to tell if a food or drink contains real ingredients. Take a look at the ingredients list. If it shows a lot of colourings and flavourings, there’s a good chance that the manufacturer cut back on real ingredients. (Source: http://www.chewonthis.org.uk/factory_food/additives_home.htm#natural-flavours )

In green I highlighted the ingredients which I am happy to see on the label (they are less conventional ingredient and added to go along with regular seeds/grains/legumes standard for this type of feed)

So in theory, the more red ingredients there are the worse the pellet.

Written By Irina of  http://parrotcomforts.co.uk

Choosing The Right Parrot Food

June 19th, 2010

What is the best parrot food and why? There is no single answer to this question as many different types of parrot food are good for different reasons. However it is important to find out which foods are good and why because you never know what really goes into certain products. So what are the benefits and disadvantages of particular food groups?

Choosing The Right Parrot Food : Seeds

Seeds are a great source of nutrition for parrots. They are designed especially for parrots so the ingredients are not harmful in any way. Regular seed mixes of parrot food usually contain just plain old sunflower seeds which are high in fat and it is recommended that you try to stay away from these. More expensive mixes however, contain a large variety of seeds that are highly nutritious and very beneficial to your parrots diet. It is recommended that when buying seeds, always check to see the exact content of sunflower seeds.

Choosing The Right Parrot Food : Pellets

Another type of parrot food commonly used and perhaps more nutritious than seeds are pellets. Pellets contain many more vitamins and minerals that will help your parrot stay healthy, live longer and have more overall energy. There is very little fat in most pellets found on the parrot food market but always check with someone if you are unsure of the ingredients. This type of parrot food is best mixed with fresh vegetables, which brings us to our next point.

Choosing The Right Parrot Food : Fresh Vegetables

Fresh vegetables are definitely the best type of parrot food there is. Combining vegetables with vitamin rich pellets can make a huge difference to the health of your parrot. It will give him/her a great deal more energy and vibrancy than any other type of parrot food. So go out there and buy some fresh vegetables, chop them up finely so your parrot can eat them and mix in some specially designed pellets. Changing a parrots diet can do wonders for its personality!

The last point to make note of is this, parrots are like children, they will eat anything they can get their beaks on. Some people believe that parrots are smart enough to know what is best for them to eat. Do not believe this as this is the first step to having a very unhealthy bird that will only live for half as long as it is suppose to. In the end it comes down to this, parrots must eat parrot food not human food!

About the Author

Dane Stanton is the owner of www.parrottrainingreview.com which is an extensive review of the top parrot training courses on the internet. Find which course is best for you and your parrot!

Healthy Parrot Diet: Turning Your Parrots Diet Into A Healthy Process

June 19th, 2010

Giving your parrot the wrong bird diet can result in the death of your feathered friend. Yes, this is a fact. Feeding your parrot the right bird diet, however, can help ensure health and longevity for your beloved bird. Only in the last few decades has research revealed which foods are deadly to parrots and which are the best choices for them.

The main benefit of making sure your parrots diet contains the right foods is longevity. Just as people can live longer when eating a healthy diet, so can your companion parrot. It was only come to light in recent decades that parrots can live long lives if properly fed a wide variety of foods.

Healthy Parrot Diet : Seven Deadly Foods

There are many bird diet selections which humans consume that are great for your parrot. However, there are seven foods that can provide deadly to your pet. These are: chocolate, alcohol, avocado, fruits seeds of any type, uncooked eggs, raw meat, or spoiled or moldy foods. There are some other foods over which there is some debate such as onions or garlic cloves. A parrot is extremely unlikely to eat enough of those items to cause a problem.

Healthy Parrot Diet : Parrot Diet Items You Should Limit

There are other human foods which a parrot should have only small amounts included in their bird diet. While a small bit of these foods will not cause harm, allowing the parrot diet to contain large amounts of these can impact the parrot’s health. You will see these foods are also those which healthy humans limit in order to remain at optimum health.

Any food which is high in fat must be limited. Wild parrots diets include very little fat. Think of your parrot diet much as you would the diet of a three year old child. A child could have a few potato chips even though they are high in fact, but you would limit the quantity. In a parrot’s diet, you could allow a bite or even two from the edge of one single potato chip once in a while. Just do not let it become a habit so that every single day the parrot expects and gets potato chips. The golden adage “everything in moderation” is a good guideline to follow about parrot diet items to limit. Examples of foods in this group include: potato chips, fried foods, buttered vegetables or bread, ice cream, and cake or cookies.

Salt is another important item to limit in parrots diets. People should not over-consume salt either, but if you consider how small the parrot body is, you can see what a little salt can be harmful. When cooking any vegetables or other foods, remove a small amount to share with your parrot before adding any seasoning. In this group of foods are: salted meats such as bacon or ham, popcorn with salt, vegetables cooked with salt, and many types of pre-packaged foods such as microwave-ready entrees.

Foods with high sugar are also poor choices for parrots. Diet choices can include very small quantities of added sugar, but use prudence, limiting the parrot to only a bite or two. These foods include items such as: soft drinks with sugar, sweetened cereals, fruit juice with added sugar, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and sugar-coated cereals.

Healthy Parrot Diet : Good Parrot Diet Choices

You may wonder what foods are good to include in your parrot diet. The answer is, basically, everything not listed above! A bird diet should include lots of different foods in order to ensure that a wide range of vitamins and nutrients are consumed. The more choices your parrot diet includes, the better health your parrot will enjoy and the longer life span your companion parrot can expect.

Some of the good foods for parrots’ diets that are really great for parrots are also the foods which are great for health-conscious humans. Vegetables, either raw or lightly cooked are healthy choices. Bits of pasta, cheese, rice, mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes, well-cooked eggs, and bits of well-done meats, poultry, or fish add variety to a bird diet. In fact, many parrots love to chew on a bone from cooked meat and even dig the marrow from the inside of the bone. Let your parrot’s diet include lots of healthy foods.

About the Author

Nora Caterino Mississippi ‘Bird Lady’ finally exposes her proven bird diet.

African Grey Parrot Diet

June 19th, 2010

Parrot Diet

One of our biggest concerns is how to feed our Greys the most balanced, healthful diets. With the field of avian nutrition being new, especially relative to human nutrition which has been around for nearly one hundred years and with new revelations continuing to pop up almost daily in that field, there is no EXACT formula for feeding our parrots.

A diet that is as organic and preservative/processed food free as possible is best. Also, there needs to be a balance of vegetables/fruits, seeds/nuts/grains and pellets, if you’re not doing the total holistic route of the Mash Diet. A diet that is as varied as possible is best, as a diet that focuses JUST on seed is not nutrient sufficient. In contrast, one that focuses mostly on pellets may also prove to be detrimental, as the synthetic nutrients in them can act more like drugs than nutrients, potentially resulting in physical damage or disease (see “Why Food is Better than Pellets” article in African Grey Facts Section). If you do feed your Grey a pelleted diet, Avian Holistic Health Consultant Alicia McWatters recommends the following general guideline: vegetables 30%; legumes 20%; pellets 20%; seeds/nuts 15%; fruits 10%; and grains 5%. The FACT is that the avian nutrition field is too new and NO ONE knows all the answers, so please look at it conservatively.

Our Greys are individuals with individual dietary needs, so a blood chemistry profile to determine nutritional needs/deficiencies and discussion with a competent avian nutritionist would be beneficial. Please note, however, that when you do get a blood profile on your Grey, make sure the avian veterinarian technician doing it has had sufficient experience because the process can be very traumatic for your parrot. The following is a chart to give you ideas on the nutrient content of various foods:

Be sure to consult your vet or avian nutritional consultant to create an optimal feeding program for your Grey. The following provides an outline of foods “rich” in certain nutrients. The list of nutrients and foods is NOT exhaustive, as the chart is meant only as a guide.

Nutrient Function Food
Vitamin A/Beta Carotene Maintains tissue lining, respiratory, reproductive, digestive and urinary tracts. Yellow/winter squash;; sweet potatoes/yams; carrots; egg yolks; alfalfa sprouts; endive; kale; cod liver oil; collard greens; mustard greens; turnip greens; broccoli; beet greens; chicory; chard; green peppers; chili peppers; red sweet peppers; pumpkins; dandelion greens; parsley; mango; cantaloupe; persimmons; apricots; papaya; brussel sprouts; asparagus; zucchini; peas; fish-liver oils. (The darker the flesh, the higher the vitamin A/beta carotene.)
B Vitamins* Participates in metabolic reactions and energy at cell level and other internal growth. Eggs; cheese; nuts; sunflower seeds; millet seeds; green leafy vegetables; cereals; grains; asparagus; broccoli; lemons; bananas; wheat germ; yogurt; brewer’s yeast; brussel sprouts. * This list is only partial as there are eight B vitamins that work as a team.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) Most important for stressful situations, an anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antioxidant and anti-stress nutrient. Potatoes; broccoli; red peppers; green peppers; tomatoes; asparagus; peas; radishes; swiss chard; zucchini; guavas; kiwi fruit; oranges and juice; papayas; cauliflower; strawberries; cantaloupe; brussel sprouts.
Vitamin E Antioxidant protecting cell membranes Egg yolk; green leafy vegetables; alfalfa sprouts; oats; wheat germ; almonds; cashews; corn; lima beans; sunflower seeds.
Protein Provides amino acids (the body’s building blocks). Egg yolk and white; soybean meal; low fat plain yogurt; low fat cheese; low fat cottage cheese; well-cooked chicken and chicken bones; fish; turkey; water packed tuna; brown rice; enriched pasta; nuts; quinoa; amaranth; rice/bean combinations; peanut butter; tofu.
Calcium Maintains growth and support of bone structure (particularly important for Greys). Egg shells; low fat cheese; low fat yogurt; mineral block; collard greens; turnip greens; mustard greens; chicory; kale; dandelion; broccoli; almonds; brewer’s yeast; buttermilk; oats; kelp; cooked dried beans and peas; sesame seeds; tofu; oranges; berries; parsley.
Vitamin D3 Promotes proper calcium and phosphorous absorption and utilization. Egg yolk (boiled at least 15-20 minutes); sunlight; Vita-Lites; fish-liver oil; salmon; sardines; sweet potatoes; dark leafy vegetables; cold water fish.
Phosphorus Important for RNA/DNA synthesis, nerve health, heart/muscle contraction, kidney function, as well as many other functions. Phosphorus should be in equal amount to magnesium and both half that to calcium. Foods high in protein, such as hard boiled eggs; brown rice; yogurt; cheese; well-cooked chicken; legumes.
Magnesium Involved with many metabolic processes; helps regulate acid-alkaline balance and promotes absorption and metabolism of other minerals, particularly calcium. Magnesium should be in equal amount to phosphorus and both half that to calcium. Whole grains; dark-green vegetables; corn; apples; legumes; seeds; nuts; almonds; natural feeds; wheat germ.
Iron Combines with protein and copper to assist in hemoglobin production and is required for stress and disease resistance. Legumes; eggs; green leafy vegetables; kelp; seeds (sesame/sunflower/pumpkin); nuts (almonds); grains; raisins.
Vitamin K Promotes blood clotting, and is useful for normal functioning of liver and maintenance of strong bones. Kelp; alfalfa; green leafy vegetables; eggs; soybeans; beet greens.
Zinc Assists with enzymatic reactions, carbohydrate digestion, facilitates the action of the B vitamins, circulation, liver function, immune system function, protein synthesis and cell growth, skin, bone, joint health, wound healing and growth of reproduction organs. Peas; legumes; nuts; leafy vegetables; seeds (sesame/sunflower/pumpkin); egg yolks; whole grains (sprouted).
Selenium It’s an important antioxidant, commonly combined with vitamin E. It protects the immune system from damage by preventing the development of free radicals. Eggs; sesame and sunflower seeds; whole grains; vegetables; garlic.
Iodine Necessary for normal cell metabolism, metabolism of excess fat and thyroid function. Kelp; sesame seeds; soybeans; summer squashes.

About the Author

Source: Sound Nutrition: the Key to a Healthy Grey By Margaret T. Wright

5 Super Foods For Your Parrot

June 19th, 2010

5 Super Foods - Cheese

African Grey Parrots like humans need a good healthy diet if they are to live to their potential lifespan of up to 70

years, you are what you eat as they say!!

So we thought we’d put together a list of five super foods that it is essential that you parrot gets in it’s diet if you are to achieve optimum health status from a diet aspect, there’s other factors involved in lifespan but lets not look at those in this article, we don’t want to complicate things too much.

So lets take a look at those super foods in a little more detail:

1. Super Foods For Your Parrot: Pulses

Pulse are often greeted eagerly by African Grey Parrots. These should be cooked. Homemade mixtures would consist of several varieties of legumes along with rice and grains. The mixture should be soaked for at least 6 hours, then boiled for 10 minutes, and simmered for 20 more minutes and cooled before serving.

Legumes, grains and potatoes are cooked to neutralize enzymes that inhibit digestion and also to neutralize toxins. You can find many of these bean and grain mixtures available premixed, look for the low fat ones.

If you cook your own bean and grain mixture, using equal amounts of each, your mixture will contain approximately 2% fat and 10% protein.

Pulses should include:

Pinto beans, black-eyed peas, adzuki, green and yellow split peas, garbanzo, black beans and lentils.

2. Super Foods For Your Parrot: Fruit

It’s worth remembering that most of our fruits are bred for appearance and sweetness now-a-days (sadly). This is often to the detriment of vitamins and minerals as well as fibers and I therefore favour feeding vegetables. Still, a parrot’s diet should not be without fruit. Tropical fruits are best – Try and get organic if you can.

Good fruits to feed are:

Apples, oranges, pears, apricots and peaches (stone removed), pineapple, passion fruit, bananas, mangos, melon, cantaloupe, papaya, coconut, plums, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and blackberries are good for your parrot.

Pomegranate is a great favourite when in season.

3. Super Foods For Your Parrot: Vegetables

Other than avocado you can feed your pet parrot pretty much any vegetable that you can think of. Try feeding the nutritional things such as greens, tomatoes and peppers. Salt is a killer for parrots so stay clear of things such as olives (usually preserved in salt). Although garlic and onions are full of goodness they are really rather aggressive on the tummy so that’s another “no-no”.

Apart from providing some fibre and carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables provide much needed vitamins and also minerals.

Parrots are much more reliant on vitamin A to maintain a healthy immune system than they are on vitamin C.

In vitamin supplements vitamin A is present in a complete form. This means that if too much vitamin supplement is added to a bird’s diet it is possible to overdose vitamin A. On the other hand, this is not possible when fresh fruit and vegetables are fed. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A and is changed inside the body into the essential vitamin A. As soon as the bird’s system has ‘produced’ enough vitamin A it will simple discard any excess beta carotene without any harmful effect.

Fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene are:

Carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, winter squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe and mangoes. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, Swiss chard and broccoli.

Other good vegetables to feed are:

Beans, cabbage, sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet corn, green peas, cauliflower, red and green peppers, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber and cooked white potato

Greens: dark leaf lettuces, dandelion greens, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, beet greens

4. Super Foods For Your Parrot: Seed

Although seeds are a source of nutrition, some can be high in fat.

Here is a table showing averaged fat percentages of some common seeds.

  Fat Protein Carbohydrate
Canary Seed 5.6 15.6 65.6
White Millet 4.1 14.3 67.5
Groats 6.6 14.3 67.5
Sunflower (Stripped) 33.9 21.7 41.5
Sunflower (White) 47.0 24.0 20.2
Sunflower (Black) 49.0 24.0 20.2
Safflower 34.6 15.2 43.2
Pumpkin 42 32  

Sprouted seeds:

Seeds can be an important part of the diet, but must be from a clean source and be fresh. Seeds can provide vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin as well as essential amino acids and minerals.

When you sprout a seed, it comes to life, changing its entire chemical composition. The fatty oils found in the seeds are converted to essential fatty acids.

Sprouts are an ideal source of protein that can also help the body to cleanse itself. Besides providing protein, sprouts are rich in almost every nutrient, vitamins (especially vitamin A, B vitamins, C, D and E), enzymes, essential fatty acids and minerals (including iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and chromium) all of which are natural antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and protect against toxic chemical build-up. The few calories that are found in sprouts come from simple sugars, which make them a quick source of energy.

5. Super Foods For Your Parrot: Cheese

Cheese I hear you say? … yes cheese, it’s really important that your African Grey gets a good dose of calcium to help keep it’s bones nice and strong just like a human, a REALLY good source of clacium is dairy products … now you could try and give you parrot a pint off milk but I doubt it would 1. drink it and 2. drink enough of it if it did, the other solution
is to add Calcivet which is a powdered form of calcium to it’s food (Ideally the fruit & Veg), there’s two problems with that, 1. it’s an expensive way of doing things and 2. it’s not really for every day use with your pets because it’s pure calcium and can have the adverse effect of too much calcium (It’s used for breeding parrots that need more calcium for the egg laying process).

So the best and most ideal way to get calcium into your pet African Grey is to give it a block of hard cheese i give cheddar (Not soft cheese) once or twice a week, about an inch square should do the trick, the best part is that African Greys LOVE cheese with a passion so it’s the ideal way to get the calcium into it!!

About the Author

Written by Paula Dansie of the African Grey Parrot Centre ™

This article may be duplicated in its full state but the above link must be retained, if this article is found duplicated anywhere on the web without the link preserved then legal action will be taken and your ISP will be contacted.

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