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What Do Parrots Eat and Why? Best Foods For parrots (explained)

Parrots are beloved pets worldwide, known for their intelligence, beauty, and sociability. But many bird owners must learn that proper nutrition is essential to a parrot’s health and happiness. A parrot’s diet can impact everything from feather quality to behavior.

However, figuring out what to feed a parrot can be challenging, as different species have different nutritional needs, and a lot of conflicting information is available online. But parrots generally eat various fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. A balanced diet is essential to ensure they receive all the nutrients for their health and well-being.

In this blog, we’ll explore the secrets of parrot nutrition, including what parrots eat in the wild, the nutritional needs of different parrot species, and the benefits of a balanced and varied diet.

Table: What Do Parrots Eat?- At A Glance

SpeciesFavorite Foods
African GreyNuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables
AmazonFruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds
BudgerigarSeeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables
CockatielSeeds, fruits, and vegetables
CockatooNuts, fruits, vegetables, and pellets
ConureFruits, vegetables, and seeds
EclectusFruits, vegetables, and nuts
LovebirdSeeds, fruits, and vegetables
MacawNuts, fruits, vegetables, and pellets
ParakeetSeeds, fruits, and vegetables
PionusSeeds, fruits, and vegetables
Quaker ParrotFruits, vegetables, and seeds
Ring-necked ParakeetFruits, vegetables, and seeds
Senegal ParrotNuts, fruits, and vegetables
Yellow-naped AmazonFruits, vegetables, and nuts

See Also: Quaker Parrot Facts

Best Foods To Keep Your Pet Healthy And Well

what does parrots eat

Each pet owner is responsible for ensuring their animal companions remain in good health. You can keep your pet healthy by feeding it a well-rounded diet. There is plenty of commercial pet feeds, but picking the one that’s best for your pet might take time and effort. But offering them only a complete, natural meal is an excellent way to maintain your pet’s health.

First and foremost, a Premium Mix

The foundation of a healthy diet for your pet should be an excellent food combination. The vitamins and minerals in this mixture should be sufficient for your pet’s needs. Most importantly, it must have suitable lipids, proteins, and carbs proportions. Choose companies that don’t add unnecessary chemicals or flavors by sticking to natural and whole foods. Avoid pet meals that include fillers like maize, soy, wheat, and animal by-products.

Specific Food for Your Parrot’s Species

Parrots are unique pets with particular dietary needs depending on the species. Each parrot species has individual nutritional requirements in contrast to Amazon parrots; like fruits and vegetables, macaws need a diet higher in nuts and seeds. Ask a physician or a bird specialist to know what food is ideal for your parrot.

Protein-Rich Beans and Sprouts

Beans and other legumes are very nutritious. These are excellent supplements for your pet’s diet since they contain very little fat. Protein, fiber, and vitamins may all be found in alfalfa and mung bean sprouts.


Include plenty of vegetables in your pet’s diet. They’re an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eating veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and green beans will benefit your pet the most.


Because of their high antioxidants, berries are an excellent food choice for your pet. Vitamins C and K, both abundant in these foods, are crucial to the health of your pet’s immune system. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of the finest berries for your pet.

Leafy Greens

Provide plenty of dark, leafy greens in your pet’s daily food. Moreover, your pet needs these greens for the vitamins A, C, and K and the calcium they provide. Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are excellent options for your pet’s diet.


Adding fruits to your pet’s food is a beautiful way to spice things up and provide variety. In addition to being delicious, they are nutritional powerhouses. Apples, bananas, mangos, and papayas are some of the most significant fruits to give your pet.

Nuts and Seeds

Many need to realize seeds and nuts contain beneficial nutrients, including fibre, protein, and healthy fats. They should be fed, but only in moderation. Pumpkin seeds, almonds, and walnuts are some of the most excellent options for your pet’s diet.

Moderation and dietary variety

Moderation and diversity in your pet’s diet are necessary. If you constantly feed your pet the same thing, it will become bored and need more nutrients. Provide your pet with a balanced diet that includes fresh produce, grains, proteins, and healthy fats. You should also limit your pet’s food to prevent obesity and related health issues.

Feeding your pet healthy and varied food is the first step in maintaining good health. You can ensure your pet gets all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs by feeding it only natural, whole foods. The optimum food for your pet will depend on its species. Therefore, you should check with a doctor or an expert for advice. Your pet may live a long, happy life with the appropriate nutrition and care.

Important Nutrients For Your Parrot’s Diet

healthy diet for parrots

Consuming a varied and complete diet is essential to your parrot’s health and happiness. Knowing which nutrients are crucial to include in your feathery friend’s diet will help you keep them healthy and happy.

Vitamin D

Bone and beak formation, connective tissue, and feather structure all need calcium, and vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption. Inadequate vitamin D levels have been linked to decreased egg production, seizures, increased risk of fractures, and softer beaks. While wild parrots may obtain enough vitamin D from spending time in the sun, domesticated birds may need supplemental vitamin D. Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, egg yolks, and liver.

Vitamin B

The B vitamin family is essential for proper digestion and nutrition absorption, especially B6, B9, and B12. Also, your parrot will benefit from them even more during the more stressful molting and breeding times. Vitamin B is abundant in whole grains, greens, beans, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin A

Tissues, vision, hearing, and bones need vitamin A to grow normally. Scaly feet, fading feathers, respiratory difficulties, and even death may result from a lack of this essential mineral. Include vitamin A-rich foods like dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, and red peppers in your parrot’s diet to keep it healthy and prevent disease.


For muscles and tissues to grow, protein is essential. Muscle atrophy, inactivity, and, ultimately, sadness and boredom may result from not getting enough protein. The cooked beans, lentils, chicken, and eggs may provide the variety of proteins and amino acids that birds need to thrive.


Your parrot’s bones, beak, and disposition all need calcium. Anxiety is also affected by it. Muscle tone and bone density might suffer from insufficient calcium intake. Foods like broccoli, cheese, yogurt, and dark leafy greens are all good sources of calcium.

Including these foods in your parrot’s diet may increase the length and quality of their lives. Provide a wide selection of meals to ensure your feathery buddy gets all the nutrients it needs.

See Also: How long do parrots live

Steel Worried For Your Pet! Here’s The Steve Hartman’s Circus Diet

what does a parrot eat

Steve Hartman’s Circus Diet for Parrots includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and grains. It is designed to provide a well-rounded diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Some key components of the Circus Diet for Parrots include

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Parrots should be offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, and berries.
  2. Nuts and seeds: Parrots love nuts and seeds, which are a great source of protein and healthy fats. Nuts and seeds that can be included in the Circus Diet include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
  3. Grains and legumes: Whole grains and legumes, such as brown rice, quinoa, and lentils, are also an important part of the Circus Diet for Parrots.

Table: Daily Amount Of Food For The Parrots

Parrot SpeciesPelletsSeeds and NutsFruitsVegetablesTotal Daily Amount
African Grey20-30g5-10g10-20g10-20g45-80g
Quaker Parrot10-20g5-10g10-20g10-20g35-70g
Ring-necked Parakeet5-10g5-10g5-10g5-10g20-40g
Senegal Parrot10-20g5-10g10-20g10-20g35-70g
Yellow-naped Amazon20-30g10-15g15-25g15-25g60-95g

The Benefits of The Circus Diet for Parrots

The Circus Diet for Parrots offers a range of benefits for parrots, including

  1. Improved health: The Circus Diet provides parrots with a diverse range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which can help to improve their overall health.
  2. Increased energy: Parrots on the Circus Diet often have increased energy levels, which can improve their activity and playfulness.
  3. Reduced risk of disease: A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of disease and illness in parrots, allowing them to live longer and healthier lives.

What do Parrots Eat in the Wild?

what do parrots eat in the wild

Parrots in the wild eat various foods depending on their species, location, and season. They primarily feed on fruits, seeds, nuts, and sometimes insects and small animals. Some parrot species, such as macaws and cockatoos, also feed on clay and mineral-rich soil to aid digestion. In the wild, parrots have access to diverse foods and nutrients, which helps them maintain a healthy diet.

Here are some examples of foods that wild parrots might eat:

  • Fruits such as berries, apples, figs, and papayas
  • Seeds from grasses, trees, and shrubs
  • Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews
  • Flowers and nectar
  • Insects and other small animals, such as snails, caterpillars, and lizards
  • Bark and leaves from trees and shrubs
  • Clay and mineral-rich soil (some species of parrots, such as macaws and cockatoos, eat clay to aid digestion)

It’s worth noting that the specific diet of a parrot in the wild will depend on the species, location, and season. Some parrot species have highly specialized diets, while others are more generalist feeders.

What Do Baby Parrots Eat?

Chicks are young parrots, and like humans, they have specific dietary requirements that vary from those of adult birds. The offspring of wild animals depend on their parents to give them well-planned and carefully balanced food that will allow them to develop normally.

Crop milk is a fluid that both parents of a parrot must make to feed their young. It has all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins a chick needs to grow and thrive. Chicks are typically given crop milk for the first two weeks of their lives before transitioning to solid diets.

The parents will regurgitate partly digested food for the chick to ingest whenever it is ready to start eating solid meals. The chick’s palate and interest in food will expand as it is exposed to new tastes and textures during this process.

The chick’s diet will incorporate more plant foods as it develops into adulthood. It’s crucial to provide them with a diet supporting their growth and development by providing all the required nutrients. Food made especially for newborn parrots is available at many pet shops. But if you want to be sure your young parrot is getting the right food, it’s best to go to a vet.

How To Feed A Parrot As A Pet?

Feeding a parrot requires careful consideration of its nutritional needs and preferences. Here are some tips to ensure your parrot is getting a healthy and balanced diet:

  1. Offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables: Parrots need a variety of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy. Offer them different options like broccoli, carrots, apples, berries, and leafy greens.
  2. Provide high-quality pellets: Pellets are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals for parrots. Look for high-quality pellets that are free of artificial preservatives and flavors.
  3. Limit seed intake: While seeds are a popular snack for parrots, they are high in fat and low in nutrients. Limit seed intake to no more than 10% of their daily diet.
  4. Offer treats in moderation: Parrots love treats like nuts and seeds, but these should be offered in moderation as they are high in fat and calories.
  5. Ensure access to clean water: Always provide fresh, clean water to your parrot. Change the water daily to ensure it stays clean and fresh.

List Of Foods A Parrot Can’t Eat

what can parrots not eat

Here are some foods parrots should not eat:

  1. Avocado – contains persin, which can be toxic to birds.
  2. Chocolate – contains theobromine, which can be deadly to birds.
  3. Caffeine – can be toxic and cause cardiac issues.
  4. Alcohol – can lead to liver damage and other health problems.
  5. Apple seeds – contain cyanide, which can be toxic to birds.
  6. Rhubarb leaves – contain oxalic acid, which can be harmful.
  7. Onions and garlic – contain compounds that can damage red blood cells in birds.
  8. Mushrooms – some types of mushrooms can be toxic to birds.
  9. Salt – can cause dehydration and other health issues.
  10. Sugar – can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Remember that parrots have sensitive digestive systems and their dietary needs differ from humans. Providing a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are safe for parrots can help keep them healthy and happy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the primary diet of parrots?

The primary diet of parrots typically consists of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. The exact balance of these items varies depending on the species of parrot and their individual needs.

2. Can parrots eat meat?

While parrots are primarily herbivores, some species eat insects and small amounts of meat in the wild. However, feeding pet parrots meat is generally not recommended as it can be difficult for them to digest and may cause health problems.

3. What fruits and vegetables can parrots eat?

Parrots can eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including but not limited to apples, grapes, bananas, carrots, broccoli, kale, and spinach. It’s important to offer a variety of colors and textures to ensure a balanced diet.

4. Can parrots eat chocolate?

No, chocolate is toxic to parrots and should never be given to them.

5. Should I give my parrot supplements or vitamins?

Giving parrots supplements or vitamins is generally unnecessary if fed a balanced diet. However, your vet may recommend supplements if your parrot has a specific health condition.

6. How much should I feed my parrot?

Your parrot’s food needs vary depending on size, age, and activity level. Generally, offer enough food so your parrot can eat as much as they want without becoming overweight. Observe their behavior and adjust their portions accordingly. Additionally, make sure to remove any uneaten food to prevent spoilage.

Finally, Learn About The Environmental Factors That Impact A Parrot’s Diet

As important as knowing what your parrot needs nutritionally, you must also be aware of the outside elements that might affect their diet. A parrot’s appetite and metabolic rate may be influenced by environmental factors like as temperature, humidity, and sunshine. A parrot’s health can be negatively affected by exposure to chemicals such as those found in pesticides and home cleansers.

Also, parrots are highly social creatures, and their environment can impact their emotional well-being, which, in turn, can affect their appetite and overall health. Ensuring your parrot has a safe, stimulating, and comfortable environment can help support their physical and mental health and ensure they are more likely to maintain a healthy diet.

Your feathery companion will benefit from the finest care if you consider their dietary requirements and any environmental conditions that may affect them.