by Diane Burroughs March 07, 2021 3 min read

Feather plucking birds and sprouting



But, first, 

Feeding birds is not always easy.  Sure, you can open any bird-related page on social media and get tips, but are they scientifically sound? Probably not.  Simply because understanding avian nutrition is fairly new. But, what we do know is that there is a huge range of diverse species of birds, each with slightly different nutritional requirements. And, those nutritional requirements change throughout the birds' lifetime. 

What you can do, though, is feed a diverse range of fresh, whole foods, like sprouts, vegetables, herbs, grains, and more.

Sprouts have amazing health benefits for people and parrots, alike! In fact, they are considered nutritional powerhouses and they hold an important role in your parrots overall health. Read on to learn why you should be including sprouts in your pet's diet.  

Sprouts are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.  However, sprouts have been linked to food poisoning and so some people are afraid to serve them to their birds.  When you know the correct way to produce them and store them though, you can safely sprout for your parrot.


First, let's talk about what sprouts are.

Sprouts are seeds that have germinated and that are in the process of becoming plants. When seeds are exposed to the right combination of temperature and moisture, they sprout!

Think about it. Your bird needs vitamins, minerals, protein, lipids, and carbohydrates in the right combination to thrive. Lipids are healthy fats. 
Think about the huge range of vegetation available in your birds natural habitat.  There is always something sprouting up in the lush jungle.  Your bird has a rich array of plants, seeds, sprouts, fruits, berries, nuts , and more just a short flight away.
How can you replicate this lavish diet? Raw veggies, herbs, fruits, grains, nuts, and, of course, sprouts!
There are  four main types of sprouts that are good for bird: 
Grains:  Like buckwheat, amut, quinoa, amongst others
Vegetables:  Think radishes, broccoli, beets, and fenugreek
Legumes:  Green peas, lentil, soybeans, mung beans, and more
Nuts & Seeds:   Almonds, sunflower seeds, and others
Generally, sprouts will grow without risk of fungal contamination when ordinary safe food handling measures are used. Never the less, to be on the safe side, Grapefruit Seed Extract - GSE - can be used to prevent fungal contamination. Use one tablespoon of GSE per gallon of pure water to so

Sprouting is a fantastic way to improve nutrition in your parrot's diet.

Sprouted seeds are actually a very nutritionally dense live food. A sprout isn’t part of a plant—it IS the plant! Healthy fresh sprouts are full of antioxidants and nutrients that stimulate self-healing.

Sprouts supply your parrot with super-charged nourishment that isn't available in seeds or most pellets. Sprouts contain many of the trace minerals, vitamins, and enzymes necessary for tissue repair and digestive health. But, not all sprouts offer parrot specific nutrients.  You'll want to find a seed blend that balances amino acids for complete protein while offering essential enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and chelated minerals.


If you've been putting off making sprouting for your parrot because of fears that it is a time consuming, rigorous process requiring lots of jars and you worry about contamination, then think again. Download your FREE inforgraphic here.
Sprouting for Parrots Infographic
Sprouting is very easy with a specialized sprouter and fresh, healthy seeds.  There is no need to use lots of jars or worry about contamination if you follow the directions of the sprouter. Rinsing is easy with minimal waste.  And, it's a fast, efficient and convenient way to grow and store sprouted seeds, beans, grains & nuts. 
A specialty sprouter will turn dry seeds into nutrient rich bird food that supplies amino acids for energy, plus, enzymes, anti-oxidant vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.


Avian Safe Seeds / Grains

  • Amaranth 
  • Quinoa 
  • Wheat berries
  • Rye Berries 
  • Oat Groats 
  • Red Clover 
  • Alfalfa 
  • Broccoli 
  • Safflower 
  • Gray Striped Sunflower (not black oil as they are not healthy) 
  • Whole Millet 
  • Sesame Seeds 

Safe Legumes (sprout to 1/4 inch tails)

  • Adzuki Beans 
  • Mung Beans
  • Red lentils 
  • Green Lentils 
  • French Lentils 

Want to learn more about sprouting for parrots? Get my book Sprouting For Parrots here.

Sprouting for parrots


Budai, K. and Pao, S. A Parrot's Fine Cuisine Cookbook & Nutritional Guide.

Crean, J. 

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