Come on in, grab a seat, and let's have a talk about the proper diet basics for all companion parrots. Once you have the basics down then start your menu planning. Don't worry we have chop, foraging cups and shopping lists all available at the tip of your fingers.
We advocate a balanced LOW ENERGY diet for your companion bird including healthy variety feedings of 70% low energy dark green leafy and Vitamin A packed red and yellow veggies; 20% LOW ENERGY, quality pellet like ZuPreem or Roudybush; and finally 10% fruit and tree nuts for the treats.
NOTE: Not applicable for Eclectus or Lorikeets parrots.
We recommend Roudybush for the dusty (old world) birds, and ZuPreem (Daily maintenance only ) for the (new world) Macaws and Asiatics. When in doubt READ the ingredients if you see seeds or peanuts or potato then it is not recommended.
Chop is the best way to give your companion bird this 100% daily diet.
Chop is a finely-chopped or processed mix of fresh and cooked foods prepared for birds. Breeders have been making mixes like this for many years but popularity has recently increased in pet birds because it's a sure-fire way to get them to try (and even learn to enjoy) their veggies. Chop mixes are a great way to introduce new foods to birds who are fussy about what they eat. It is an easy way to offer a wide variety of foods daily, as mixes can be made in a big batch and frozen, thawing a daily amount as needed.
Chop may look foreign to your bird so he will need to be taught to eat it. Find a favorite and mix it in with what you want them to eat. This could be nut flour, almond butter or organic unsweetened applesauce. As they forage out the chosen pieces, they will learn that indeed it is all food and eventually eat it all.
Ok so you have your determination in hand and are ready to do this!
Purchase the correct recommended pellets for your birds as described above. If you are feeding commercial seeds, sunflower seeds or peanuts TOSS THEM AND DON'T LOOK BACK! No animal proteins!
At 6pm remove all food, leaving the water (including pellets).
In the morning, you will have a very hungry bird, give a SMALL serving (the size of the head) of chop. This is where we find out if your bird recognizes this as food and jumps right in or if she will need to be taught.
(if your bird doesn't dig in)
If your bird does not eat it right away, wait an hour and remove the food and wait 20 minutes then put it back. Try this a few times. Here are some examples of things to do to encourage them to eat it
- Add their favorite enticing food.
- Eat it with them showing them it is not poison.
- Dress it up! We have a full section on this for you.
By afternoon, feed a normal helping of pellets (about the size of your bird's head). At 6 p.m. remove all so you can start again the next day.
When you are assured your bird is eating, this will not be necessary.
To start they will pick and choose , but over time they will grow brave enough to try it all. This can be a harrowing time but I assure you a hungry healthy bird will eat and NOT starve. You are the flock leader and you can teach them to eat.
Do not leave uneaten chop in the cage for more than 6 hours, toss it!
This is a rough guide to serving size:
- Very small birds like budgies should be fed 1-2 tsps;
- Small birds like Cockatiel/Conure/Ringneck,1–2 Tbsp
- Medium sized birds like Eclectus/Galah/Cockatoo/Amazon, 2-4 Tbsps;
- Large birds like Macaws 4-6 Tbsps.
If they eat it all, give them more. They can have as much Chop as they will eat.