Healthy Nutrition for Large Birds
Parrots should be provided a parrot / bird mix supplemented with various fruits, green foods, millet spray, and occasionally some mealworms is generally regarded as suitable.
I would look for preferably "organic" or at least "all-natural" dry bird mixes. "Fortified diets" are not necessarily good as often inferior, artificial additives are used, which may have no health benefit at all or indeed may even be harmful. It is far better to buy unfortified mixes and add a good quality bird supplement instead.
Dr. Harvey's Bird Food Mixes are convenient options that lack many of the harmful additives that are commonly found in commercial mixes and have a great variety of quality ingredients (including dried fruits, veggies, herbs / greens and even superfoods, such as bee pollen!) - in short: myriad nourishing ingredients that are not found in other commercially available bird mixes.
However, our biggest grievance with their products is that they use sulphurated dried produce (a process which also requires chemicals), but it is very difficult to find mixes with unsulphurated fruits and veggies. You could just buy the seeds, nuts and grain mix and buy human-grade unsulphurated dried produce / greens as well as bee pollen and mix them in. Even organic trail mixes (WITHOUT CHOCOLATE!) work great. With a little creativity you can put a mix together that offers superior nutrition without the chemicals typically found in commercial brands.
A quality mix may contain the following ingredients:
- Safflower Seeds ... Sunflower Seeds ... Pumpkin Seeds in Shell ... Fennel Seeds
- Macadamia Nuts .. Pine Nuts ... Walnuts ... Filberts ... Cashews ... Brazil Nuts ... Pistachios ... Pecans ... Almonds ... Peanuts in Shell (some bird owners remove peanuts from their bird's diet because of potential aflatoxin contamination)
Dried Fruits / Veggies / Greens
- Papaya & Papaya Leaf ... Soy Beans ... Whole Corn ... Apricots / Pineapple ... Carrot Dices / Apple Dices ... Banana Chips ... Orange Peel Strips ... Cranberries / Mango Dices ... Peaches/ Pears ... Nectarines ... Garden Peas / Green Beans ... Broccoli / Zucchini ... Green & Red Bell Pepper ... Spinach / Parsley Flakes ... Celery Stalk & Leaf Flakes ... Red Clover Blossoms ... Dandelion Leaf ... Calendula Flowers ... Echinacea ... Angustifolia Herb ... Alfalfa Leaf / Thyme Leaf ... Oat Straw / Rose Hips ... Rosemary Leaf / Peppermint Leaf ... Basil Leaf / Red Raspberry Leaf ... Raisins (small quantity only!)
Other Healthy Ingredients
- Bee Pollen ... Coconut Chips
Vegetables and fruits should be part of a parrot's daily diet. This includes apples, grapes, many garden vegetables such as spinach, watercress, field lettuce, poppy, chickweed, dandelions, carrots, corn on the cob, peas, endives and sweet potatoes.
- Sprouting is an excellent way to provide nutrient-dense foods to birds who are less cooperative in eating its daily portions of fresh foods.
- Sprouting is Easy: Step-by-step Instructions
- You can also germinate the sprouting mix - rather than going through the process of sprouting, which may be somewhat intimidating initially. Germinated seeds offer its own unique set of valuable nutrition and are quicker to obtain and less likely to spoil.
- Sprouting: The Easy Way
Additional proteins should be offered such as cottage cheese, hardboiled eggs or monkey chow.
Peanuts are also a valuable source of protein -- however, peanuts are often contaminated with aflatoxin, a fungal toxin. Aflatoxin is carcinogenic and causes liver damage in birds and other animals. Roasting reduces aflatoxin but does not eliminate it entirely. North American peanut producers are currently working on eliminating contaminated peanuts from their products. Caution is advised when feeding peanuts. Some bird owners, opting to be on the safe side, are eliminating peanuts from their pets' diet.
A cuttlebone, mineral block, gravel and oyster shell can be provided to provide the necessary calcium & minerals
Fresh water should be provided daily.