Bird Diet

Our Hookbill Diet

Our typical dish,
loaded with lots of live nutrients

Twenty + years ago, people thought that parrots could be fed a seeds-only diet without any damaging effects. There is now a general understanding that a parrot's diet must contain a wide variety of foods, and that a seeds-only diet will fairly quickly lead to severe malnutrition and illness. A seeds-only diet is deficient in a number of essential nutrients - most notably, Vitamin A; Therefore, Our philosophy regarding diet is to feed as natural a diet as is possible.

Bean mix is soaked for 8 hrs
then cooked on low heat for
1 hr. served cooled.

A nutritious diet filled with fresh vegetables, sprouts, fruits, grains, legumes, and some seeds is what we believe is the single best thing for the bird's well being. We feel that birds should eat as much as a natural diet as possible. In the wild birds forage for a variety of different fresh foods that vary with the seasons. To us this means providing them with a variety of seasonal fresh foods all year long.

At Avian West, all of our breeders and pet birds are fed a variety of mixed fresh foods. Parent birds get additional servings several times during the day as needed to supply for their chicks.

Our bean mix
"Soak then Cook"
We do not feel that a pelleted only diet should be fed as the primary diet as it lacks the phytonutrients fresh foods provide. On a daily basis we sprout a variety of grains and seeds. We acquire our sprout mix from Magnolia Bird Farm. We also add the "Soak then Cook" grains from them as well. This includes: Soybeans, Brown Paddy Rice, Trapper Peas, Pinto Beans, White Northern Beans, Small Red Beans, Baby Green Lima Beans, Blackeye Peas, Red Kidney Beans, Black Turtle Beans, Alaskan Green Peas, Wheat, Popcorn, Oat Groats, Pearl Barley, Small Yellow Corn, White Corn, Buckwheat, Red Lentils, Split Green Peas, Split Yellow Peas and Common Lentils. Another great source for sprouting needs is China Prairie.

Mixture of Sprouts, Soak/Cook, Veggies
To the Sprouts and cooked grains, we then add a variety of fresh chopped and frozen vegetables and fruits - some pellets and seeds are mixed in as well in small amounts. We acquire our mix also from Magnolia Bird farm. We use the "Special Conure Mix." (note, some frozen vegetables contain large amount of sodium/salt. An organic mix is usually best.)

Food that has not been eaten is discarded after 24 hours.

Thawed Out Veggies

Some birds like to bathe or soak food in their water bowls (especially Caiques). Fresh water is offered several times a day.

Kaylee handfeeding a WB Caique
We use Kaytee Exact
Babies are fed Kaytee Exact handfeeding formula and are weaned to a similar diet as the adults with an emphasis on soft foods.

Some excellent vegetables to feed your bird are:
Leafy Greens

carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash, romaine, spinach, red chilis, dandelion greens, mustard greens, kale, various peppers: red, green, orange, collard greens, chard, turnip greens, broccoli, celery, cucumber, peas, zuchini, green beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, corn, sweat potatoes,swiss chard, arugula, beet and turnip tops, yams.

Sprouts ready to feed

Some Fruits to offer your bird:
Melons, oranges, strawberries, mango, papaya, pears, bananas, apples, cherries, figs, berries, grapes, pomegranites

Orange, red and dark green veggies
are a great source of Vitamin A

Grains and legumes to offer:
quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, hulled barley, kamut, sproating peas, mung, alfalfa, fennel, flax seeds, sesame, seed, dill seed, fenugreek, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, corn, lentils. Lugumes need to be cooked or sproated. If cooking soak for at least 8 hours the previous day, then cook for 45 minutes in low heat.

Eclectus Diet

Compared to other parrots, Eclectus have the longest digestive track and require large amounts of fiber, fruits & vegetables in their diet for optimun health. They require a diet high in Beta Carotene and vegetable protein, and reduced fat compared to other parrot species. 80% of an Eclectus diet should consist of soft foods. The Eclectus is often deficient in Vitamin A so offering foods high in vitamin A is essential. These consists of dark leafy greens, and orange-colored veggies and fruits.

Eclectus are prone to Toe Tapping and Wing Flapping. Read more about this here

-ABSOLUTELY NO AVOCADO, CAFFEINE, or CHOCOLATE - These ARE TOXIC AND CAN KILL YOUR BIRD. -Do Not feed grocery store seeds which are poor quality seed.

"Bonnie" and "Clyde" enjoying cantaloupe slices

Great Articles on Feeding: