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The diet of the Douglas parakeets is unbalanced. As a result, as much as 70% of parrot diseases are caused by inadequate nutrition. The biggest and most common mistake parrot owners make is feeding seed or unbalanced food.

Why are seed and nut mixtures unsuitable for parrots?

All parrots fed mainly on seeds for a long time will inevitably get sick sooner or later. This is because the seed and nut diet, although favoured by all parrots, is unbalanced. Some substances are too much, others too little, others not at all. Feeding a parrot a mixture of seeds is the equivalent of feeding itself only fried potatoes, tasty but unhealthy.

The most popular seeds fed to parrots (sunflower, oats, millet, wheat) are deficient in: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fibre and omega-3 acids. Seeds contain too many calories, which cause parrots to become obese, atherosclerosis and liver disease. Therefore, a seed diet is not suitable for all parrots, but especially for hatching, brooding females and during feather changes. It has been shown that the more seeds in the diet, the shorter the parrot’s lifespan.

Most seed mixes are advertised as balanced, premium or complete. Be critical of such claims as a seed/nut mix can never be complete. Many people think that feeding seeds to parrots is natural because that is what they eat in nature. However, in nature they feed on a wide variety of seeds from wild plants. Commercial seed mixes contain only a few species of cultivated seeds, which naturally form only a small part of the parrot’s diet in the wild.

In addition, parrots tend to choose the tastiest morsels from the seed mix, i.e. sunflower or millet. And a sunflower diet is a direct route to many diseases. It is therefore important to pay attention not only to what the parrot is fed, but also to which parts of the food it eats and which parts it leaves behind.

Seed mixtures often contain palm seeds. They are rich in fats and vitamins, and palm oil is essential for some parrot species.The husk of the seeds is the hardest of all the seeds. Therefore, only macaws are able to hull them. Despite this fact, producers include palm seeds in seed mixes for medium-sized and all large parrots. And they state on the labels that the seed mix contains sufficient fat-soluble vitamins, even though most parrots do not get these vitamins from the seed mix because they do not eat palm seeds. Ignorance of this basic fact about the nutritional requirements of parrots in terms of species only shows the unprofessionalism of the producers and their desire to artificially improve the quality of the product.

Why choose pellets?

In the wild, Pionus parrots eat 62 different products, Amazon parrots 65 and Aratingos 30. These include fruits, seeds, nuts, leaves, bark, flowers and insects. It is impossible to provide such a variety and reproduce a natural diet at home.

Parrots ingest a small amount of food per day, so it is essential to ensure that this small amount contains everything they need in the right proportion.

It is therefore best to give the parrots special granules and giving fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts as treats.

The pellets are made up of a variety of vegetables, seeds, fruits and contain the right amount of essential supplements. It is best if all pellets are uniform in shape and free of colouring agents. Remember that if you mix pellets with seeds, there is a good chance that the parrot will only pick out the seeds and leave the pellets.

When feeding pellets, it is very convenient to use the seeds and nuts for dressing and baiting. Give the treats one at a time straight from the hand. Since parrots like seeds and nuts, it is easy to get even an untamed bird used to hand feeding. This advantage is not lost if the parrot is fed only sunflower seeds all the time. By the way, do not forget that treats should be rationed.

It is often assumed that by sprinkling supplements on the seeds, the parrot gets all the elements it needs. However, this is ineffective because parrots do not eat the seed husk that is coated with the supplements. Such supplements are only absorbed when they are sprinkled on pellets. More on extra – here.

Pellets are convenient to feed because no part of the food is thrown away and the parrot can eat it all. There is less rubbish in the house, no shedding of shells and less dust. Pellets also do not spoil as quickly as homemade food or sprouted seeds.

A complete parrot diet includes:

70-100% high quality pellets; the rest is vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts. An exception is the Eclectus parrot, whose diet should consist of 50% vegetables and fruit rich in vitamin A and only the rest pellets. Also, due to their different anatomy, lories and lorikeets feed mainly on LORI NECTAR and LORI GEL or LORI DIET.

How to choose the right pellets? Pellets must be differentiated according to the type of parrot. All parrots in the wild eat different foods and have different needs, so there cannot be one pellet for all parrot species. A table to help you choose the right pellets can be found here.

It is very important that the parrots have the opportunity to engage with a smallexplore it, taste new flavours, textures, shapes and even play with food. That is why you do not chop up the fruit and vegetables you give the parrots, you give them whole ones, so that they take longer to explore and eat that food. A great toy is a pear or apple nibble, a mango bone, large lettuce leaves, etc.

Some people feed parrots a very finely grated mixture of different vegetables and supplements. In this way, the parrot cannot choose only the tastiest morsels and eats everything that is fed. But such a mixture can only be balanced by specialists.

Sprouted seeds are also very suitable for parrots. Sprouted seeds contain more useful nutrients than unsprouted seeds. In addition, supplements can be sprinkled on sprouted seeds.

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