Capital Region Parrot Society 

We are for the birds!     

This is one of the most important aspects of being a parront and must be taken seriously. Diet affects the health, attitude and pretty much every aspect of a parrot.

Seed: Should not be given to most parrots, especially larger ones. It can cause heart disease, liver disease, strokes, poor nutrition, behavioral issues and many other diseases/aliments. It is an outdated diet for most companion birds.  

People Food:

Parrots are flock creatures and so they truly enjoy eating with their flock. (Which is us!) This however can lead to issues if not monitored. Most people tend to eat foods on the not so healthy side and so when our feathered companions see us eating this food they, you guessed it, want some too! Some may fly over and steal bites. This is when willpower plays a huge role for the health of our companions. They can’t burn off the calories/fat and so even if unhealthy food is given “once in awhile” it builds up overtime and takes years off their lives and weakens their health in the long run. It doesn’t matter how cute they may look or how much ruckus they make you need to be strong for their sake. A good solution would be to only eat healthy appropriate foods (fruits, vegetables, etc) you can share with them or/and eat unhealthy foods out of their view. Any foods high in sodium (salt), fats, and generally low in nutrition have no place in a parrot's diet.

Dairy:
Many people love offering their feathered companions dairy products. This however shouldn't be done! Birds physically can’t digest dairy (don’t consume it naturally) so it can cause blockages, stomach discomfort, inflammation, diarrhea, death and so on. All birds are individuals and some are more sensitive than others. 
Pellet:

These are formulated to provide a proper base of any parrot's diet. They provide nutrients seed, fresh foods and so on simply can’t provide alone. Any pellet is better than no pellet. However some are better than others. For example Zupreem natural (no dyes/artificial coloring) is better than the fruity pellet mixes. Some more examples of pellets are Harrison and Roudybush. Remember a proper pellet provides proper nutrients for a good base of a companion parrot’s diet. (There are many different brands of parrot pellet) Some parrots can only have a specific type of pellet/foods such as the Eclectus. (Best to know the specific dietary needs of your feathered companion.)

Fresh Foods: 

Parrots do need their fruits and veggies! Fresh foods are full of amazing nutrients for parrots and people alike. Fresh foods also can be used as enrichment and means of foraging. (Like in the wild) Some birds will develop quite a taste for fruit and ignore their veggies. Moderation is key (To much fruit can actually be a bad thing overtime). Parrots should have fresh foods on a weekly basis or as much as possible. 

Clean Water and Clean Food Bowls: 

Birds use their water dishes for eating, drinking, bathing and sometimes as toilets! They must be changed 2-3 times a day or whenever they are soiled. Bacteria also may grow in the dish which can lead to illness so it's important to consistently offer fresh clean water. If you run your fingers along the interior of the dish and feel a slimy smooth texture that is bio-film. Bio-film is a layer of bacterial growth, old food, and any other debris. Same goes for food dishes. Don’t leave fresh foods in there too long or they go bad. Remove them after a few hours so they stay fresh for your feathered companion.

Important things to consider!

No fruit pits or apple seeds. They’re toxic. Always research a food to make sure it's safe. A few examples of foods toxic to parrots are Avocados, Chocolate, Alcohol, Onions, any moldy foods, Salt and many others. Never take unnecessary risks and always play it safe!

Sprouts:

This is truly the best way parrots should be getting seed and is closest to how they’d get it in the wild! Its a very simple process that turns plain old seed into a nutritious part of a companion bird’s diet. First off you will need human grade or high grade seed, lentils or so on. Place them in a container that can be easily rinsed out with out the seeds falling out. (Screen mesh can help) Let them soak overnight and rinse a lot the next day. Once the waters gone let them sit for a bit and you will have sprouts! Time mainly depends on the type of plant. Personally we usually use lentils and other prepared sprout mixes. Many places online have sprouts for sale or local health food stores. Below is a very helpful video introduction.