What food should be given to African Grey Parrot? African Grey Parrot food needs and important diets are discussed in this post.
There are no hard and fast rules for feeding African Grey Parrot but important guidelines must be followed to ensure that your parrot is receiving a well balanced diet and is safe from any hazards. A proper and balanced diet is important as it will affect the parrot positively. A perfect diet should include seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals.
The diet schedule depends on the eating habits of every individual parrot. Fresh food can be given in any quantity, but the dry food should be measured carefully. The owners should experiment that how much food is consumed daily by the bird and if some food is left in the bowl after a day, it means the quantity should be reduced. The quantity of mix seeds should not exceed 1 ounce per day.
(Read: African Grey Parrot Breeding)
What food items to feed?
Fruits are highly nutritious food items enriched with vitamins. Their skins should be removed but seeds are not necessary since African Grey’s have sharp beaks and are very much enjoyed. For further enjoyment a variety of fruits must be offered and a combination of sweet and sour foods will greatly add to the taste.
Fruits should be cut up, but in normal sized pieces as too small will take away the excitement and turn into puree.
Some favorite fruit items are apples, kiwi, melons, grapes, oranges, mango, papaya, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Parrots also enjoy eating vegetables. With vegetables you can do experiments because there aren’t any hard and fast rules.
They enjoy eating sweet potatoes, celery, collard greens, broccoli, zucchini, leaf lettuce, yellow and butternut squashes, carrots, peppers, chili and peas.
Dried fruits are another excellent addition to foods and their hard nature makes them a favourite as parrots like to chew. These includes variety of nuts which are an immense favourite. Researchers have proved that nuts provide parrots iron and vitamin B. Since the parrot is considered as one of the most intelligent birds, it requires a special diet.
There are a number of good brands that sell formulated diets. The diet of the bird should be balanced and nutritious. It is not easy to give them a balanced diet. One has to experiment and be patient with the African Grey Parrot.
Now although the variety of food items is clear, people still make mistakes. When you are planning to make a food platter, make sure that the vegetables portion is more than the fruits. Fruits are sweet and this will disturb the parrot’s immune system in the body. When serving the vegetables, make sure that they are fresh so that the parrot gets its due dose of enzymes.
Experimentation is the key, however only experiment with the food items that a parrot is recommended to eat. Carelessness in feeding the parrot can have one visiting the veteran many times.
Vitamin and Mineral Requirements
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for all animals. All these important vitamins must be included in the Parrots diet; deficiencies can lead to serious sickness.
Vitamin A/Beta Carotene is necessary for the respiratory and digestive system of the Parrots. This is a common deficiency in parrots and for prevention fresh vegetables must be offered daily.
Vitamin A can be found in Carrots, Alfalfa Sprouts, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Yolks, Endive, Kale, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, and Broccoli.
Vitamin D3 is very important for the promotion of proper Calcium, Phosphorous absorption and their utilization, lack of vitamin D can lead to calcium deficiency which will lead to a weak bone structure.
Vitamin D can be found in the Egg yolk (boiled at least 15-20 minutes), Sardines, sunlight, Fish-liver oil, cold water Fish, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, dark leafy vegetables.
Vitamin K is very important for the Parrot as its deficiency can lead to diseases. It is essential for blood clotting and deficiencies can occur after long-term antibiotic treatments.
Vitamin K can be found in the Green leafy vegetables, Eggs, Soybeans and Beet.
Phosphorus is also very important for the Parrot. It is important for the RNA/DNA synthesis, heart/muscle contraction, nerve health, kidneys and other organs.
Phosphorus can be found in well-cooked chicken, yogurt, cheese, legumes, and brown rice.
Calcium is also very important. Always give food items that are rich in calcium and minerals. Calcium is very important for strong bones, proper heart functioning and nerves.
Calcium rich foods are dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, yogurt, cheese etc.
Water is extremely important and must be present at all times. Give the African Parrot fresh and clean water on a daily basis. Water should be given in a clean bowl or container. The water should be boiled or mineral water should be used.
House wives need to take these things into considerations. Many of them keep the pet in the kitchen and give it almost anything that they are cooking with. Do not give the parrot any food item that you are unsure about. It can harm the parrot. Stay away from giving it cooked things and only give what one knows is healthy for the parrot.
Foods to Avoid
Caffeine! Never offer that to your birds since it is not healthy. Chocolates have toxic and parrots will find it hard to digest it. Yes, there are birds which eat chocolates easily but grey parrots find it hard to.
Salt food items increase thirst which leads to water consumption, urination, neurological excitement and tremors. This proves that if the salt consumption is too much then there are chances that the bird may die.
There are cases of parrot owners who gave alcohol to their African Grey Parrot. Please do not be one of them. These beverages are by no means recommended for the parrots and can kill them. This needs to be taken very seriously since the responsibility of keeping the parrot healthy is entirely in the hands of the owner.
Milk products which contain lactose are also not recommended for the parrot since it cannot digest it properly. Their digestive system is not strong enough to digest milk products.
( Read: Housing and Cage)