Complete Psittacine Subtle Secrets for Feeding Psittacines – and Getting them to Eat
Parrots magazine|November 2020
I have been daily feeding psittacines for 40 years now and there have been times in the past when I felt that was all I did each day – pets, breeders, babies, the birds at the shoppe in Santa Fe. The good news is this has taught me a whole lot about how to do it. And across all species groups, there are some really good guidelines for what to feed, when to feed, and how to make sure your parrots are actually consuming what you are giving them.
EB Cravens
First of all, within nutritional reason, when you find something good that your parrots like, continue to feed it. Crunchy apple, pomegranate seeds, and green veggie tops this category for us. Every bird does not eat everything every day, of course, but bird feeding is never about being absolutely perfect.

Use your imagination. This morning my flock received some pieces of cut up organic limes. I was bereft of any regular citrus, being in between season on the farm, and when I tried limes last week all but one portion were masticated and eaten. I always remember that human tastes and psittacine tastes are quite different. Birds do not mind sour, or bitter, or unripe as much as we do, in fact, sometimes they prefer it. In the constant search for variety, I like to substitute grapenuts cereal for pellets, offer sprinkled rolled oats or bee pollen, even on the side add a few toasted seaweed morsels or dried juniper berries from the health food isle.

Try to avoid large chunks of fruits and vegetables. These give hookbills the opportunity to throw them out of the bowl. Also parrots are renowned for taking a small bite out of something, then dropping it and going on to something else without any more chewing. That is why wild birds make so much mess of the greenery in which they feed. Small chunks mixed in for a foraging experience are best. Grating and shredding vegetables and root stock make it even harder to throw pieces away, and they release nutritious juices into the foods which coats everything and gets consumed.

On the same topic, avoid the old myth of denying your flock the seeds in all the ripe fruits you purchase. Apples, pears, watermelons, oranges, guavas, papayas, grapes, and many more fruits offer nutritious pips that our psittacines love to seek out. They are not dangerous, and they offer nutritional benefits not found in the fruit pulp itself.

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