Amazon Parrots - Feeding | VCA Veterinary Clinic (2023)

General informationAmazon Parrots - Feeding | VCA Veterinary Clinic (1)

Our knowledge of poultry nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due to both increased awareness of the importance of nutrition and increased research into the different needs of birds. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

Should I worry about what my Amazon parrot eats?

Nutrition is commonly overlooked with pet birds. You should discuss your bird's nutrition with your vet. Too often, owners assume they are feeding their Amazon a proper diet when, in fact, they are not. Poor nutrition is a common reason for many health problems in birds. Poultry owners must continually strive to improve the diet of their birds. That means learning about the latest recommendations on proper nutrition, something a veterinarian with experience caring for birds can help with. Like us, birds can survive on poor quality food; the goal, however, should be to help our birds thrive and flourish, not just survive. Like us, the health of a bird depends a lot on how well fed it is.

What does my Amazon parrot eat naturally?

Amazon parrots eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and vegetation in the wild. They will climb from branch to branch while feeding instead of flying. They especially value the fruits of the African palm native to their environment.

What should I feed my Amazon parrot?

Amazons are vulnerable to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies and obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet will help prevent the development of these conditions.

"Amazons are vulnerable to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies and obesity."

Although wild Amazon parrots have access to seeds year-round, the types of seeds they feed on change throughout the year as different plants come into season. The commercial seed mixes offered to many captive parrots tend to be high in fat and lacking in nutrients. If these mixtures are given as the only food source, Amazon parrots can become sick and die prematurely. To make matters worse, birds often choose a large bowl of commercial seed mix and selectively eat 1 or 2 favorite types of seed, further limiting their nutrient intake. They generally prefer peanuts and sunflower seeds, which are particularly high in fat and deficient in calcium, vitamin A, and other nutrients. Their selective appetite can further predispose them to malnutrition.

(Video) White fronted rehab parrots feeding

Amazon Parrots - Feeding | VCA Veterinary Clinic (2)

"Seeds should only be a small part of a balanced diet and shouldNever to bewhole diet

Seeds should be only a small part of a balanced diet and shouldnever bethe whole diet. Also, only a few nuts should be offered daily.

If you gradually offer fewer seeds, replacing them with more nutritious options, your bird will begin to eat other foods.

Pelleted Diets

Commercially available pelleted diets have been developed to meet all the nutritional needs of birds. Different formulations are available for different stages of life and for the treatment of certain diseases. There are many good brands of pelleted food on the market, and to accommodate the preferences of different birds, pellets come in different flavors, colors, shapes, and sizes. Hand-reared babies should be started straight away on a pelleted diet.Pellets are the ideal food and should make up approximately 75-80% of the bird's diet.

The rest of the diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables with very few, if any, seeds. While transitioning a bird from a seed diet to a pelleted diet can take weeks to months and can be difficult at times, owners should slowly transition to pelleted formulations. Talking to a vet well-versed in bird behavior and nutrition can be very helpful in transitioning a stubborn bird from seed to pellet.

(Video) What I’m feeding my parrots *chops*

How do I transition my bird to a pelleted diet?

The transition from seed-fed birds to formulated diets is not always easy. Initially, they do not even identify the pellets as food. Birds should be slowly weaned off seed over a period of 4-8 weeks, while pellets are constantly available in a separate dish. Mixing pellets with seed is generally not an effective way to transition birds to pellets, as they preferentially take out the seeds and leave the pellets behind. It can take days, weeks or months to change a bird's diet.

NEVERremove the seeds completely without first making sure the bird is tasting the pellets and still eating some fruits and vegetables. Monitoring the bird's weight on a digital scale that weighs in one gram increments is also a way for owners to ensure birds maintain their weight during transition. Birds are stubborn, but they can be trained. While the transition from a seed addict to a pelleted diet can be stressful for you and your bird, with proper guidance from an experienced veterinarian, you can improve your bird's nutrition.

"Remember, you train the bird; don't let it train you."
  • Consult your vet if you find any problems with this transition or with the health of the bird.

  • Remember, you train the bird; don't let him train you.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits, vegetables and vegetables should represent around 20 to 25% of the daily diet. Light greens with a high water composition (eg iceberg or lettuce, celery) offer very little nutritional value.Avocados are considered potentially toxic and should never be fed to birds.Orange, red, and yellow vegetables, such as squash, bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes, contain vitamin A, an essential nutrient for the immune system, kidneys, skin, and feathers of birds, and are good choices. ideal for birds.

Fruits and vegetables should be washed well to remove chemicals before feeding. Cut them into manageable pieces appropriate to the size of the bird. It is not necessary to remove the skin. Offer fruits and vegetables on a separate plate. If your bird seems to develop a particular liking for a particular food, reduce its volume or stop feeding it temporarily to encourage consumption of other foods.

(Video) Cockatoo leaves Aussie mum-of-six fighting for life | A Current Affair

Treat your bird like a small child; Offer a small serving of a variety of foods daily and never stop trying.

  • A well-balanced diet should be maintained at all times.


There should always be clean, fresh water available. Depending on the quality of your tap water, you may consider using bottled water. Dishes should be washed thoroughly every day with soap and water.

What about people's food?

As a general rule of thumb, whatever healthy and nutritious food you and your family eat, your bird can eat in very small amounts. Follow the general guidelines discussed above and use your best judgment. Some birds occasionally enjoy a small amount of cooked lean meat, fish, egg, or cheese. Since birds are lactose intolerant, dairy products should only be offered occasionally in very small amounts. Fatty foods (chips, pizza, fatty meats), excessively salty items (chips, pretzels, crackers), chocolate, caffeinated products, and alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

Will my bird have different needs throughout its life?

Birds that are extremely young, stressed, injured, laying eggs or raising chicks may have certain special nutritional needs. There are pelleted foods specially formulated for birds with unique nutritional needs. Consult your vet about these situations.

Does my bird need additional vitamins, minerals or amino acids?

Your vet can help you assess your bird's diet and specific needs. Generally, a bird that eats 75-80% of its diet as pelleted feed does not need supplementation. The pellets must be nutritionally complete. Specific vitamins or minerals may be more important at various times during a bird's life (for example, laying birds may require calcium supplementation).

Birds not yet eating pelleted diets can be supplemented until their nutrition can be improved. Powdered supplements are often considered more stable. These supplements should not be given in the water, as many of them can break down in the water or promote the growth of bacteria or yeast. It can be offered directly on moist food; however, to benefit from these supplements, birds must consume all of the wet feed. Placing these powders on seed or dry food is of little value as it will eventually slide off the dry item or out of the seed when the bird removes the seed shell before consuming it. Ideally, supplements should only be offered for specific health conditions, under the guidance of a veterinarian, or when the bird is on a seed-based diet. They must be removed once the bird is transferred to a nutritionally complete pellet.

(Video) Parrot is holding a spoon and feeding himself

Does my bird need gravel or sand?

Parrots, like Amazons, do not need gravel or sand. Grit helps birds that eat whole seeds (shell and kernel) to grind and digest the seeds in their gizzards (part of the stomach). While birds such as pigeons and pigeons consume the seeds intact, parrots remove the shell from the seed before ingesting the seed. Therefore, they do not require gravel or gravel. In fact, many grit-fed birds will consume excess grit and develop potentially fatal gastrointestinal obstructions. Grit is often found stuck to sandpaper hangers to try to prevent the nails from fraying. Birds can also pick up sand from these perches, causing intestinal impactions.

What tips should I remember about feeding my Amazon?

Always monitor the amount of feed consumed daily by each bird.

Offer fresh water every day.

Offer fresh fruits and vegetables every day, limiting their intake to no more than 25% of the diet.

Make granulated foods the basis of the diet (75-80%).

Wash all food and water dishes daily in hot, soapy water and allow to dry thoroughly before use.

a bird sayingNoto one meal a day does not meanNo forever- keep trying!

(Video) Hand Feeding Parrot Chicks 5: Weaning: Priam Psittaculture Centre

Some suggested foods to offer include:

garbage cherries (not the stone) pera apricots Chinese legumes (bok choy) peas asparagus Coco bell peppers (red/green and hot) banana corn piña beans (cooked) such as: cucumbers plum garbanzo dandelion leaves granada should dates papa lentils endive pumpkin lima figure I was kidnapped mungo uva raspberry Armada pomelo rice (brown) military cabbage lettuce beet kiwi spinach blueberry melons sprouted seeds broccoli manga pumpkin Brussels sprouts nectarines strawberry cabbage orange Sweet potato Cantaloupe papaya tomato carrot pastinaga zucchini carrot tops peaches

Contributors: Rick Axelson, DVM; Updated by Laurie Hess, DVM


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