Feeding a Parrotlet is not much different than feeding a larger parrot, only on a much smaller scale. They like very small pieces of fresh fruits, beans and rice, greens and veggies and require these in their daily diet. As a matter of fact I actually chop up a variety of greens, veggies and fruit in a chopper that was meant to make home made salsa. And that is about the size they like it. My pet Zoe also gets some people food since she is quite the beggar for food. If we are having pasta, rice, steamed veggies or foods such as this….she begs and begs until she gets a little served warm in her crock on her play gym or eats it right off my plate! Another favorite is birdie bread. A good bread mix can be purchased at Tabbi’s Bird Bread. Some good small bird cooked breakfasts is Beak Appetite’s. They have a nice natural line specially formulated for small birds.
Parrotlets also require a good quality cockatiel seed mix every day. The seed mix I use is called “Georges Tiel Cage Mix from Avian Naturals.. This mix is all natural, no pesticides, preservatives, chemicals of any kind or fruit that has been dried using sulfur in the process. I find my Parrotlets devour the seeds very quickly so you may want to add the seed mix after your Parrotlet has eaten his/her breakfast or fresh foods. It is important to change their seed mix everyday for freshness.
Sprouting is a very good way to get some extremely nutritious foods into your Parrotlet. This is the only food that is a “live food” and is closest to what they would eat in nature. The following are some good links on how to sprout seeds and legumes for your Parrotlet. Sprouting seeds and Sprouting for Healthier Birds.
There has been some controversy in feeding some of the color mutations of Pacific Parrotlets pellets. For several years now, there have been numerous reports of mutation Parrotlets, particularly the "red eyed" birds, of developing high uric acid levels and/or kidney problems including calcification of the kidneys. This problem has also been reported in some of the color mutation cockatiels and budgies as well. Veterinarians have seen these problems in their own practices and it has been reported by veterinarians doing research and pathology. You can read more about this topic here.
Calcium or Cuttlebone and minerals blocks should be available in their cage at all times.
Below is what a typical breakfast feeding looks like here at KTA—in these dishes on the morning I took these pictures the menu included:
Layered Breakfast—The first picture below is of the base..or bottom of their fresh foods dish – all organic and fresh. (ignore the bigger dishes, they are for my Amazon and Eclectus)
Sugar snap peas
The second picture below is the next layer – which is birdie bread that I bake for them – it has in it:
palm oil, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, Apples, whole wheat flour, corn meal, oats, wheat berries, hemp seed, flax seed. This gets sprinkled over top of the fresh fruits and veggies.
The final picture and layer is of frozen organic mixed veggies. This is the top layer added to each “fresh food dish”.
In their cage at all times they have:
Avian Naturals cockatiel mix – mixed with Parrotlet Super from Avian Science, also added in is Roudybush crumble pellets.
Avian Naturals Herbal supreme – in a separate dish
Egg food – protein 25 – in a separate dish
Cuttlebone, and a mineral block at all times
Millet spray at all times
They all get bottled spring water everyday.
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This is just an example of what a typical morning looks like in my house. Fruits, greens, sprouts and veggies given are changed on a regular basis.
When picking out your organic fruits and vegetables, make sure they look just as fresh and plump as if you were going eat them.
Have fun with some of these items and rather than cutting them up and serving them in a dish, be creative. Take some nice freshly washed kale still dripping wet and weave some in-between the bars of the cage. You would be surprised the imagination a Parrotlet will have with it. A nice bath, a toy, and food! This is a nice foraging trick I use.
Some other ideas to get your Parrotlet to eat his/her fruit and veggies:
¨ Take a nice plump sugar snap pea or similar fruit or veggie and clip it to the cage bars or playgym with a clothes pin or millet clip. Sometimes food hung around in this manner is more appetizing than just diced up and placed in a dish.
¨ If your baby likes pieces of nut meats like shelled, unsalted, roasted pistachios', then take a few pieces of nuts and a small piece of coffee filter, lay the piece of filter flat and put the nuts in the middle. Bring the sides up and give it a nice twist on top to make a little wrapped surprise for your bird to tear into to get at the nuts. Clip this somewhere or hide it in a nook or cranny in their cage before you leave for work.
¨ Cube up big pieces of whatever you are serving and fill a nice shish kabob full of colorful fruits and veggies. This will give your little baby hours of foraging fun while you are away and he/she is in their cage.
¨ If you already dehydrate veggies or fruit, make cute little 1 day toys with them! One thin strip of leather is all it takes. If you have diced and dehydrated wonderful things like bananas, peppers, carrots, green beans etc...you can poke a hole through the dehydrated item, thread the thin piece of leather through a few pieces and knot it to a cage bar! Simple, easy nutritious toy!
Simple creative ideas such as this will keep your little bird happy and active...as well as get those oh so important fruits, veggies and fresh greens into them!
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