When you think of a pet parrot, you probably picture a giant colorful macaw or a talking African Grey. The truth is, however, that there are hundreds of different species of parrot and many of them make great pets. The more you learn about parrots, the more you will be amazed by them, and that doesn’t even compare to the joy of keeping one for yourself!
When it comes to caring for your pet parrot, you’ll need to consider its needs for space, enrichment, and nutrition. Keep reading to learn the basics about choosing a healthy diet for parrots and to see our top picks for the best bird food for parrots.
Quick Links: The 5 Best Food for Parrots
- Dr. Harvey’s Perfect Blend Natural Food for Large Parrots
- Lafeber Original Avi Cakes for Parrots
- ZuPreem Natural Medium/Large Bird Food
- Kaytee Fiesta Bird Food for Parrots
- ZuPreem Pure Fun Enriching Variety Parrot Food
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What Do You Need to Know About Parrots?
There are more than 350 different species of parrots on Earth, and they come in all sizes and colors. When it comes to companion parrots – parrots kept as pets – sizes generally range from 5-inch lovebirds all the way up to 40-inch macaws.
When it comes to the ideal diet for parrots, it depends to some degree on the species.
Another option is to choose a commercial pellet that is nutritionally complete and balanced in each bite, then supplement it with small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as seeds.
In addition to providing for your parrot’s nutritional needs, you also need to make sure he has plenty of space and an enriching environment. Because parrots range in size, you’ll need to do some research on your parrot’s species to see how much space it needs and what kind of toys are best.
How to Choose the Best Bird Food for Parrots
Because there are many different species of parrots, you need to be careful about choosing the diet that is right for your bird.
Be sure to do some research about your parrot to see which type of diet is recommended by veterinarians.
To help you get started in looking for a good parrot food, here are some general things to look for:
- Species-Specific Recipe – If you want to make sure that your parrot is getting the best nutrition possible, choose a species-specific recipe rather than a bird food designed for a certain size bird.
- Variety of Ingredients – Parrots eat a widely varied diet of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts in the wild so you should look for a bird food that is made with a variety of different ingredients.
- Complete and Balanced – An alternative to a varied blend of seed and other ingredients would be a commercial pellet that is complete and balanced for parrots.
- No Artificial Additives – In addition to checking that your parrot food contains healthy ingredients, you should also make sure it does NOT contain artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives or other chemical additives.
Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best bird food for parrots.
The Top 5 Best Bird Food for Parrots
The ideal diet for your parrot will depend on the type or size of parrot you have. All bird foods are not created equal, and you have to choose the one that is best for your bird.
You may have to try several options before you find one your parrot likes.
Here are our top picks for the best bird food for parrots you should consider:
- Contains a wide variety of ingredients your parrot would eat in the wild
- Loaded with fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts to provide varied nutrition
- No added chemicals, dyes, or preservatives
- Not intended for small parrots like conures and parrotlets
- Fairly expensive compared to other brands
If you have a large parrot, this Dr. Harvey’s Perfect Blend Natural Food for Large Parrots is a great choice. It features a varied blend of fruits and vegetables as well as seeds and nuts to provide balanced nutrition as well as enrichment for your parrot. It contains no chemicals, dyes, or artificial preservatives and is optimally balanced for daily nutrition. This formula contains foods your parrot would naturally find in the wild, so it is close to its natural diet as well.
- Complete and nutritionally balanced but more enriching then regular pellets
- Nutritious blend of natural ingredients for daily use or treats
- Encourages the bird to forage and play
- Specifically formulated for conures, may not be ideal for other parrots
- Some shipments may come with clusters stuck together
Uniquely formulated for conures, this bird food is a nutritionally complete daily diet. This Lafeber’s Classic Nutri-Berries Bird Food and Treat for Conures offers the balanced nutrition of commercial pellets but comes in an inventive cluster design to appeal to your conure’s desire to forage and play. It contains a nutritious blend of natural ingredients to provide balanced nutrition like traditional pellets but in a more enriching form. You can offer it as a complete daily diet or as an occasional treat for conures.
- Complete and nutritionally balanced in every bite
- Enriched with added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
- Easily digestible in extruded pellet form
- Some parrots simply don’t like eating pellets versus seed
- Pellets may be too small for larger birds
If you’re looking for a healthy and balanced diet for medium-to-large parrots like conures, Amazons, and African greys, try this ZuPreem Natural Medium/Large Bird Food. This formula features all-natural ingredients in a complete and balanced recipe to ensure optimal nutrition in every bite. It contains added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to support your parrot’s whole-body health as well as vibrant plumage. It is highly nutritious, full of delicious flavor, and easily digestible because it comes in the form of extruded pellets. Simply put, it makes for an excellent daily diet you can easily supplement with treats.
- Complete and nutritionally balanced with added nutrients
- Enriching blend of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds
- Prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion
- Contains some artificial coloring
- Some parrots will only pick out the pieces they like
If you want to provide your parrot with an enriching variety of flavors and textures, try this Kaytee Fiesta Bird Food for Parrots. This bird food consists of a wide variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, and veggies that will appeal to many different parrots. It is complete and nutritionally balanced for daily feeding but provides more enrichment than a commercial pellet. Plus, it contains prebiotics and probiotics to ensure healthy digestion with omega-3s for vibrant plumage.
- Uniquely formulated for parrots to deliver balanced nutrition and enrichment
- Fortified with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for optimal health
- Comes in engaging shapes, colors, and flavors
- Some birds will only pick out the pieces they like, avoiding the pellets
- Intended only for enrichment, up to 30% of the parrot’s diet
Parrots tend to be active and intelligent birds, so you should provide a diet that is complete and balanced but also enriching. This ZuPreem Pure Fun Enriching Variety Parrot Food is a great choice because it is uniquely formulated for parrots but also provides the bird with fun and exercise.
This particular product includes a varied blend of fruit, smart pellets, vegetables, and nuts to ensure complete and balanced nutrition while also appealing to your bird’s foraging desire. Plus, is it fortified with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for optimal health.
How Much Should You Feed Your Parrots?
The amount you feed your parrot varies depending on the type of parrot you have and its size. Small parrots may eat up to ¼ cup of pellets per day supplemented with 1 to 2 teaspoons of seed. If you’re not sure how much to feed your parrot, purchase a bird food designed for the size of parrot you have and refer to the feeding instructions.
How Many Times a Day Should You Feed Your Parrots?
Most birds tend to eat small amounts throughout the day, so plan to provide a day’s worth of food for your parrot about once a day.
If you have more than one parrot, you may need to refill the food dish during the day or provide two dishes.
The perfect bird food for one parrot may not be the right choice for another parrot.
You’ll need to think about the type or size of parrot you have and choose a bird food accordingly.
Remember, you also need to take your bird’s preferences into account – you may have to try several options before you find one your parrot likes. If you’re not sure where to start shopping for parrot food, try one of our top 5 picks reviewed above!