What do parrots eat?

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Parrots are one of the most popular birds in homes anywhere in the world, being a highly appreciated and respected pet by those who share a home with them. Of course, before adopting a parrot it is advisable consult the CITES convention, to see if keeping it as a pet is legal.

One of the most important aspects of caring for parrots is their diet. ¿Know what do parrots eat? It is difficult to establish a guideline that applies to everyone, given the large number of species that we find in that category of the animal world. But in this AnimalWised article, we will try to resolve all doubts about parrot feeding, both in the wild and at home..

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  1. Parrot care
  2. Are parrots omnivores?
  3. Where do parrots live?
  4. What do baby parrots eat?
  5. Feeding of domestic parrots
  6. What do different types of parrots eat?
  7. Forbidden foods for parrots

Parrot care

If we have a parrot as a pet, we must pay certain attention to it. The first and foremost is to provide them with a clean and neat environment. For this, we recommend a daily cleaning of the cage (which must meet a series of requirements) or space in which we have the animal, in addition to its perches, its toys… In the same way, it is essential to maintain the animal itself, which must be neat and dewormed..

It is essential to monitor the state of the beak of our parrot, as it continues to grow throughout its life. If not enough wear and tear, it may need to be polished and trimmed, preferably by a veterinary professional. To promote wear of a parrot's beak and avoid disproportionate growth, it is recommended to leave items and toys in their cage with which they can file their beak and nails themselves. Some appropriate toys for that are natural woods or cardboard.

For more information, we encourage you to watch the video that we attach below about the nymph care, one of the most popular small parrots.

Are parrots omnivores?

Although it may seem shocking to us, parrots are omnivores, Well, although the feeding of parrots or parrots is fundamentally based on the intake of food of plant origin, they can also eat food of animal origin. It should be noted that when talking about parrots, a large number of species (more than 350) [1], each with its peculiarities that affect, of course, its diet.

But broadly speaking, the vast majority of birds that are categorized as parrots, including lovebirds, cockatoos or macaws, are omnivorous animals, since they consume large amounts of fruits, vegetables and seeds, but also small invertebrates, like insects.

Where do parrots live?

Wild parrots inhabit regions of warm weather spread all over the globe. They are scattered throughout various territories in Central and South America, Australia, South Asia and Africa, where an immense variety of species adapted to various habitats are concentrated. For this reason, the feeding of the wild parrot will depend to a great extent on the resources available in its habitat, as we will see below..

¿What do wild parrots eat in freedom?

A wild parrot feeds by adapting to resources present in the environment in which you live. Fundamentally they survive by ingesting:

  • Fruit.
  • flowers.
  • Fresh vegetables.
  • Grain.
  • Seeds.
  • Insects.
  • Small invertebrates.

However, experts highlight the great preference of parrots for the intake of seeds and nuts, since they are really delicious and are very nutritious, giving them energy to continue looking for food in the wild.

¿What do parrots eat in the jungle?

In the jungle, parrots have at their disposal a great variety of foods, as they can consume a great diversity of plants. There are innumerable species of flowers, fruit trees, insects… so the diet of a jungle parrot stands out for its versatility.

In general, like other parrots, they feed largely on the seeds and plants that they have at their disposal, as well as different species of insects.

What do baby parrots eat?

As with puppies and young of practically any animal species, they need a specific feeding and different from that of an adult of the same species.

In the case of young parrots, they can be occasionally fed based on homemade fruit porridges, but only in an emergency. The most advisable and healthy thing is to resort to specifically prepared preparations to meet the needs of young parrots.

These pastes contain a high percentage of protein, very important for a correct development of the offspring. You can buy them at veterinary centers or stores specializing in animal products. Although the packaging indicates the specific form of preparation, they are prepared by mixing the pasta with previously boiled or purified warm water (thus eliminating chlorine) and the necessary portions must be prepared for each intake, which are produced every 2-3 hours approximately.

To know how often to take them, it is best to guide yourself by your own instinct, since when they feel hungry they will begin to chirp. Pasta it should be creamy, neither too liquid nor too dense, otherwise the little parrot will not be able to swallow it properly. For more details, we recommend you read this article: Feeding and caring for baby food step by step.

Feeding of domestic parrots

In the case of domestic parrots, which do not include all species, since many are protected and their possession is legally prohibited, we have to take into account a series of data. At home, it is best to provide our parrot with a controlled and varied diet.

It is important that it is balanced, because most of them are tending to overeat, so they develop overweight and obesity, which are very harmful to their health. This is especially common when they have a larger quantity of foods that are especially palatable to them, such as certain nuts..

In general, the daily diet of domestic parrots It must be divided as follows: 75% of fruits and vegetables, 20% of feed and only 5% of it must be composed of prizes and rewards, as we see in this complete article on fruits and vegetables for parrots.

What do different types of parrots eat?

Now, depending on the type of parrot, as well as its size, its diet will vary slightly..

¿What do gray parrots eat?

In the case of gray parrots, the proportions change a bit with respect to the generic ones that we provide you in the previous section, since it is estimated that the ideals are:

  • 60% I think.
  • 30% vegetables and fruits.
  • 10% seeds and legumes (preferably cooked or sprouted).

¿What do Australian parrots eat??

Australian parrots, better known as Little Australian parrots, They eat a diet similar to the generic one mentioned above. In captivity, that is, as a pet, experts recommend feed them with seeds (such as canary seed, millet or oats), supplementing this with the intake of vegetables, recommending some specific ones such as carrots, broccoli, cucumber or chard, given the benefits they provide, and fruits, although the latter of more punctual.

In addition, it should be noted that in the case of Australian parakeets, grapefruit is toxic to them. On the contrary, something highly recommended is to administer breeding pasta, being adults, in two moments, such as the times when temperatures become very cold and the breeding season, since in these cases they need more protein and energy intake.

¿What small parrots eat?

This category includes small parrots, such as lovebirds, which are only about 4-7 centimeters from head to tail and weigh approximately 50 grams. Other examples are lorises and parakeets. Loris, for example, feed exclusively on nectar and pollen, having a nectarivorous diet.

In captivity, these animals must be fed (except in the case of lorises, which have specific preparations) with feed specifically designed for small parrots. In this case, the amount to be provided is indicated depending on the size of the animal, since logically a small parrot does not need the same energy intake as a large one. But in essence, the basis of the diet remains exactly the same, seeds and vegetables.

¿What do green parrots eat?

The green parrot is one of the most common parrots in homes, so it is important to know its specific nutritional requirements. In fact, many experts defend that feeding them with quality commercial preparations it is enough, providing an extra mineral and vitamin with supplements of green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage or chard, as well as fruit eventually.

In this way, adequate nutrition is achieved, similar to that which these animals carry out in the wild, although in this case they do so based on roots, seeds and insects.

Forbidden foods for parrots

As we have already mentioned, the diet of parrots is very varied, and can include an immense diversity of foods. However, there are certain foods that should never be given to a parrot because they are potentially harmful and even lethal in certain quantities. The foods strictly prohibited in any type of parrot are:

  • Refreshments.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Juices.
  • Coffee.
  • Salt.
  • Cocoa or chocolate.
  • Sugar and sweets.
  • Dairy products.
  • Fish.
  • Meat.
  • Fried.
  • Foods Containing Flavors or Colors.
  • Preserves and spices.

Perhaps so far, knowing that their diet has to be based on foods that are as natural as possible, it is common sense that the above are harmful for them, but there are others that can appear to be good but are equally harmful are:

  • Garlic.
  • Onion.
  • Eggplant.
  • Avocado.
  • Raw tubers.
  • Fruit seeds, such as pears or apples.

For more information, you can consult this other AnimalWised article on Forbidden foods for parrots, where we talk in more detail about what parrots can and cannot eat, as well as the symptoms of poisoning in parrots..

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