Dietary Facts of Psittacine Birds (Parrots)

birds parrot pet diet

Parrots belong to Psittacine family, which is the most common type of bird species owned by most pet owners. Everyone is attracted by their large bill, colorful feather, charismatic behavior, and friendliness.

Each bird species has a unique dietary requirement. Even among the same species, the diet may differ from one bird to another. Parrots are one of the 393 species that make up the Psittaciformes family. Macaws, Conures, Cockatiels, and Budgies are few of the other common species from this family. They are common birds which are mostly found in the homes of southern states.

Domesticated birds have a unique diet than the wild species.

Dietary Requirement of Parrots

Parrots cannot pick their own diet. They may eat whatever they can forage. It’s up to the pet owner to provide a nutritious meal.

For most species, pelleted food should be 65-80% of the diet. Vegetables should make up 15-30%, and the remainder can be seeds and fruits.

Bird diet chart


Although we may have seen many birds eating seeds, a diet based primarily on seeds tends to be deficient in many nutrients, including vitamin A and Calcium and is too high in fat. For most species of parrot, seeds should only make up about 10 percent of the diet.

For picky eaters like parrots, offering a seed-only diet won’t be enough as it lacks nutrition. Even when multiple types of seed are offered, the seed-only diet will not supply the necessary array of vitamins and minerals that are needed for optimal health.

Formulated Diets

Formulated foods are a readymade meal available from many reputable pet food manufacturers, pet stores, and veterinarians. It is a blend of grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and various types of proteins, as well as additional vitamins and minerals.

Vegetables, fruits, and other assorted food items are equally essential for birds.

Toxic Foods for Parrots

Some of the toxic food that you can feed your parrot includes;

  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Salt
  • Fat
  • Fruit pits and apple seeds
  • Onions and garlic
  • Xylitol
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