How to Get my bird to eat Vegetables

Many people ask me How to Get my bird to eat Vegetables. Or more often say my birds doesn’t like vegetables. If your bird is full he will not try anything new. If your bird has eaten mostly all Seed or all Pellet, that is not a complete diet. Disclaimer, not a vet, or an animal dietician, though I  have read many books and articles on nutrition, and I am still learning and more infor is still coming out. Some of this info is going to be in contradiction to what you have heard elsewhere. First of all, this article Food Pyramid for Parrots here has a lot of Great info CLICK this link PLEASE! Food Pyramid for Parrots.  Now If you have an eclectus this article is better for you CLICK ON LINK Eclectus Food List.

If your bird is not used to eating new foods, CUT BACK ON WHATEVER YOU ARE FEEDING NOW. If your bird is full he will not try anything new. It may not be that doesn’t like vegetables he just hasn’t given them a chance. Seeds have a lot of fat and they like those and won’t try anything new. Some people have turned there birds into junk food junkies where they prefer Pizza, Chips, Crackers, Toast, Pasta, Cookies ect.. In the morning birds are hungry and start looking for food so TAKE ALL THE FOOD OUT AT NIGHT, Leave the water bowl. THE BIRDS WILL WAKE UP HUNGRY, THERE IS NO FOOD, SO YOUR BIRD WILL HAVE TO WAIT TILL YOU FEED HIM/HER. NOW ONLY PUT IN THE NEW FOOD, whether it be pellets, vegetables ect… (Always have clean water for your bird, PLEASE CHANGE IT DAILY). 

We bird owners know birds are stubborn and they will starve themselves before they try something new. So after an hour or two, put back in the birds favorite food. I leave the other food in there for a while. So they have 3 bowls, Fresh Clean Water, (filtered or RO with minerals mixed back in), Seed and Pellet Mixture (again not so much, if I give my birds a bowl filled with Peanuts or Sunflower/Safflower seed he will only eat that)  and Fresh Food.  We do not want to starve our stubborn birds. How long do I do this for? It depends on your bird a couple weeks, a month, two months and the bird will start to look in the the bowl with the food you want him to eat. After he starts eating the other food, I will give all 3 bowls in the morning. Again, making sure I am not giving a lot of seeds.

  NOT A BIG FAN OF PELLETS, yes I give my bird pellets, and I also give them lots of other food but not a lot of just one type. Feed a variety of foods and your bird will benefit, rotate the foods try to keep in season. I GIVE ALL ORGANIC FOOD TO MY BIRDS and I EAT ORGANIC SO WE ALL CAN SHARE THE FOOD. If they are not only getting 3 fruits or 3 veggies they are only getting a couple vitamins and minerals, make sure there are all different colors in that bowl, we want to give our birds different vitamins and minerals and if they only get the same type of Fruit or Veggie that is not healthy either.

The best greens to feed are dark leafy greens such as endive, kale, spinach, arugula, radicchio, mustard, beet, dandelion, Swiss chard, water cress, turnip, collard and romaine

Squashes, like Butternut, Spaghetti, Acorn, Pumpkins, are all good Carrots and Sweet Potatoes are also good. I give beans all kinds always cook the beans, very important beans can be toxic so please cook and the beans.

Do not limit the diet to one type of food. Rotate many foods to provide a variety of nutrients and to avoid food sensitivities.

Above Ground Vegetables Among them are pumpkin, squash, peppers, tomatoes, and okra. Birds often enjoy eating the seeds as well as the pulp of these vegetables.

Flower Vegetables are vegetable flower heads that are consumed before they open into their flower form. Among these are broccoli, artichoke, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Edible Flower Blossoms include squash, pumpkin, nasturtium, chamomile, dandelion, hibiscus, lilac, thistle, apple.

Raw Veggies and a Little Fruit in the AM and cooked in the PM for Dinner. I often season there dinner with maybe some Garlic (its Ok for birds, cleans the liver) Turmeric with some Black Pepper (Black Pepper) makes it more effective, sprinkle a little Celtic Sea Salt,  NOT REGULAR TABLE SALT. Just like us, birds need salt to live. Just check any commercial bird diet. It will list salt as an ingredient. They need some, but not too much. and sometimes Oregano, has many health benefits for birds. Not only can parrots consume Basil, but it can be very beneficial to their overall health. There are numerous benefits tied to basil, and it can undoubtedly help a parrot live a healthy and happy life. However, it’s always important to monitor how your parrot reacts to basil since every parrot is different. Rosemary is generally safe when it comes to feeding your parrot, usually as a snack rather than the main course as they tend to lack the robust amount of nutrients that are found more often in seed or special food purchased from a pet store. If I am trying a new food item, I will look it up to check toxicity of food for myself or my pets Dogs, Cats and Birds.  If you feed a good variety your bird should be healthier.

  For example let’s take Spinach  can result in either decreased absorption and/or urinary excretion of calcium (which is why they are sometimes associated with calcium oxalate kidney or urinary bladder stones). On one hand, but also Spinach Fresh, raw spinach is a ‘must feed’, essential food for every parrot. Because there are synergistic essential nutrients in spinach. So Spinach in moderation.

The Seed mix I use for my African Greys, Conure and Cockatiels. I’ll start with the African Grey’s and Conures Food, Top’s Seed Mix and Top’s Pellets Those are Non GMO and Organic. Then I add  Organic Safflower Seeds,  Organic Hemp Seeds  and Organic Milk Thistle.

For the Cockatiels Food  Top’s Napoleon Seed Mix and Tops Mini Pellets Those are Non GMO and Organic. Then I add  Organic Safflower Seeds,  Organic Hemp Seeds  and Organic Milk Thistle. That is the main Base. They only get about 2 Tablespoons to a 1/5 a cup. If your bird is full he will not try anything new so don’t fill the bowl. It will be healthier for the birds and and they you won’t have so much mess. As the birds only eat what they want and normally throw the the rest on the floor. The cockatiels get less. I mix about 3 weeks worth at a time. 

Organic African Grey Bird Seed Mix

Now the Veggie mix is Varied. Today I used Organic Micro Greens, Organic Biologique (like a Collard Green), and Organic Cilantro, Celery, Red Bell Pepper and Sugar Snap Peas. Put it all in the food processor. I use all Organic for the birds and myself.  I also like to use sweet potatoes, Pepper all kinds not so hot my birds don’t like the hot ones and I am still on the fence with those. (I was told hot peppers are ok, then one of my clients gave them to his parrot he started to pluck his neck so it may be burning his esophagus). Since mine don’t eat them anyways, I leave them out. There is some Cayenne Pepper in the Top’s Pellets but again they only get a little and they have other choices.

Now that mix will last at least 5 days maybe a week, so I don’t have make it daily. Often most of the veggies go in the food processor so it doesn’t take too long to make.

Fresh bird chop

I will mix in Bird Street Bistro I made ahead of time.

Bird Street Bistro

Almost done it really doesn’t take that much time if it’s all made ahead of time. And again this is what I do, you do what works best for you. Now I will cut daily one or 2 kinds of Fruit, Today they did get 3 kinds I try to use Bananas ASAP as they go bad so fast. Normally Birds like food that is not necessary ripe so green bananas are great. Today they got Pomegranates, Mango and Bananas.

Now I add in a Vitamin one whether it be NEKTON-Biotin For Feather Destruction or NEKTON-BIOTIC-BIRD Probiotic Supplement for birds I also use Nekton MSA for Calcium. I will sprinkle one type only per day, so I don’t over vitamine my birdies.

Nekton Bird Vitamins

The finished Product

My Greys and Conure all get 1 nut a day, rotated between Almond, Cashew, Pistachio, Brasil, Walnut, or Pecan. This is still a work in progress. If you have new info on food I will be happy to look at the information. Have a Great Day and I hope this helps you. Jodi

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