Parrot Nutrition

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Experienced avian veterinarians the world over will agree that the primary cause of disease problems in captive parrots is the result of faulty nutrition. Poor quality food, inappropriate food, too much of the wrong components and not enough of the essential ingredients will all result in a failure to grow, thrive, or breed, as well as predisposing to secondary infections, obesity, cancers, deficiency diseases, and damage to various organs – including skin and plumage. It is therefore of paramount importance that parrot-keepers understand the need for proper feeding in their charges, both so that they can enjoy and perhaps breed from fit and healthy birds, and as a responsibility for the welfare of the birds themselves. The following two articles are taken largely from my book ‘Keeping Parrots – Understanding their Care and Breeding’, published by the Crowood Press in 2011, with additional information written by my colleague Brian Stockdale BVM&S, MRCVS, in the BSAVA Manual of Avian Practice, and reproduced with permission from both the author and The British Small Animal Veterinary Association. These comments are referenced in the text with his initials (BS).

Scarlet macaw in flight

A visibly fit and healthy Scarlet Macaw in flight

© A K Jones BVetMed MRCVS, Chairman PSUK

Part One - Dietary Needs of Parrots

Part Two - Feeding a Balanced Diet in Practice