If you have a pet parrot, you may be confused about their diet because there is misleading information, and you want the best for your pet. It is also likely that you have read a few more articles regarding this, but worry not because we will tell you all there is to know about it. A simple yes or no question is not enough because the issue is a bit deeper for understanding.
Worms are not always on the shopping list unless you go fishing; however, if you own some birds, you may be feeding them. But you may wonder if that also applies to the parrots, are they also the same as others, or do they use their beaks for seeds and fruits? Well, some can, and others can’t.
Worms are indeed unpalatable for you, but they are filled with some nutrients which many birds require for their flight and other energetic activities. Some of them can be poisonous, so you need to distinguish between them and not feed anything you find in your backyard. But are their nutrients right for parrots, and should you feed them, even if it’s on some occasions?
Parrots Don’t Eat Worms as Much as Other Birds.
Parrots aren’t gallinaceous like most ground eating birds, and they only eat insects from trees in the wild. Worms are not part of their regular diet; however, some do love to feast on them because they have the proteins. But there are other ways of getting those nutrients, so is feeding them worms a good option? Most protein sources are either fruits or dairy products; you can’t feed the parrots any dairy product because most of them are lactose intolerant, and they love feasting on fruits or seeds. Having an occasional worm meal is not a bad thing for your parrot, but it also depends on your parrot’s nature and what they usually eat.
If the parrot is active and flies around all the time, then it’s safe to feed it worms often; however, if it’s not an active or energetic bird, then you don’t need to worry because it’s already good enough with its fruit and seed diet. Still, to understand this further, we need to understand a parrot’s diet typically.
A Regular Diet for A Parrot
Since parrots are omnivores, they eat both meat and vegetables, but their diet can extend to many things, and some of which are:
- Seeds and nuts – Birds love seeds as part of their diet. They have strong and hard beaks made for opening up and eating most seeds and even nuts. Some nuts include almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, shelled peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and much more. However, they still can’t eat many seeds because they have many fat contents for a parrot. Seeds can be given as a treatment for certain occasions because they love seeds, and you can fill most of their diet with other things.
- Fruits – Fruits are the primary source of nutrition for the parrots, so make sure you get fresh fruits and wash them thoroughly before feeding them to the parrot. Some of the favorite foods include apples, mangoes, and peaches. Avocadoes shouldn’t be given to these birds because they are poisonous to them.
- Grains – Many pet shop owners can sell you lots of grains specifically for your parrot’s species. However, you can also feed them barley, brown rice, and quinoa, all cooked. Some parrots also love oatmeal.
- Vegetables – Just like fruits, vegetables are a great source of nutrients for the parrot’s diet, so make sure you wash them thoroughly and buy fresh for your bird. There are a lot of vegetables that you can feed to your parrot; some of them include tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, butternut, carrots, etc. Some vegetables like iceberg lettuce are safe for parrots, but they shouldn’t be given often because they don’t provide many vital nutrients.
What Not to Feed
Even though we love eating certain vegetables or fruits, it does not mean they are okay for the parrots because some can be poisonous. As we mentioned above, avocado is just one, but you also can’t feed them chocolate because they can’t digest it. Not only that, but you need to make sure they don’t eat even a small amount because it can cause poisoning and be lethal.
Food that contains salt should be avoided. Remember that this does not apply to all parrot breeds because some can have these, while others can’t.
When Should You Usually Feed Them?
You can feed them on schedule or whenever you want to treat them, but the typical timing goes like this:
- You should give them fresh fruits or veggies along with seeds in the morning and evening.
- If they don’t eat these, then remove them within an hour because they can get spoiled.
- Pellets are also useful to give after the first meal in the morning but before the evening.
- Make sure that your parrot is provided with water throughout the day because they need to stay hydrated and need water to digest sometimes.
How and When to Feed Worms If Needed
Most parrots eat insects and worms in the wild because they fly around and need the proteins for energy. Many of their diet food already have a fair amount of nutrients, but you should do as following if your parrot requires more.
- Feed them birds when they are out of the cage and ready for an energetic day. They can eat them before you train them or teach them a trick in flight. In which case, the worms serve as treats as well.
- Some people also prefer to feed bag-o-bugs or freeze-dried mealworms, both of which are very safe for the parrots.
Although worms aren’t part of their regular diet, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t eat them. Some parrots are fond of mealworms and can be given as a treat, especially if they engage in flight most of the time. But if you own smaller breeds of parrots that don’t fly anywhere outside their cages, then you don’t need to feed them insects specifically.
Parrots are given enough nutritious foods in their diets, so adding more as a precaution may end up being bad for the bird itself. If your parrot is used to eating fruits and other things, then perhaps it doesn’t need worms every day because you can feed them on certain occasions.