Do you still think seeds when it comes to feeding your parrot? Most people do. Unfortunately, research demonstrates that a seed only diet is terribly deficient in important vitamins and minerals. Even worse, most parrots pick and choose only a few favorite seeds, usually fatty sunflower seeds and peanuts, and therefore, they don’t receive the benefits of the seed variety. Birds toss the vitamin coated hulls on the floor as well as the seeds they don’t care for.
The most notable deficits in a seed based diet are Vitamin A, iodine and Calcium. Seed only fed birds die at an early age of malnutrition, fatty liver disease and a host of other illnesses due to a compromised immune system. An experienced eye can easily spot a seed fed or malnourished bird. Their feathers are dull and brittle and often streaked with stress bars. Their skin is dry and flakey. Their toenails and beaks seem to grow way too fast and are brittle and flakey, too. Often, these birds are obese and may be suffering from fatty liver disease. Avian veterinarians generally recommend that 70 percent or more of parrot’s diet be a premium pelleted diet, and the remaining be made up of healthy table foods, fruits and vegetables, and seeds or nuts.
Harrison’s Bird Food is often the food of choice for experienced Avian Vets. These organic pellets come in two varieties, Adult Lifetime Formula and High Potency and several pellet sizes to reduce waste. Developed by certified Avian Vet Dr. Greg Harrison and his team of nutritionists, Harrison’s Bird Foods need little supplementation since it is a well-balanced diet that includes all the essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and protein that parrots need. Harrison’s is made from organic ingredients and it contains chunks of whole grains and legumes.
If just starting out with Harrison’s, use the High Potency Formula for six months, unless your avian vet tells you otherwise. The premise is to repair any early damage caused by dietary deficiencies and get all of your birds systems in optimum condition. After six months, Harrison’s advises switching most species to the Adult Lifetime Formula.