Pineapple conure eating oranges and cooked beans.

The Parrot's Opinion on Dinner

The Parrot's Opinion on Dinner

Evolution did not create birds that eat pellets out of bowls.

That's not the biological or physiological plan. Humans look at food through mandates, checklists, and bias (sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly) opinion on brands. We look at the latest fad foods and preparation from our perspective of satisfaction. We look at conveniences. It's time for a new view.

The Parrot's Opinion on Dinner.

  • Parrots need to forage,
  • store,
  • inspect,
  • collect,
  • and share.
  • A companion with a healthy level of food stuffs, locations, and knowledge of same is a calmer more confident parrot.

Their opinion includes a drive for certain nutrition via their body/brain chemistry signals. Their opinion is reasonable. If our birds are omnivores, then meal worms and protein meat cravings aren't unreasonable. If they steal eggs from other birds (and some do in the wild) to eat, then their wanting eggs is not unreasonable. If the general science supports the truth that most parrots eat nuts, flowers, fruit, buds, seeds, and insects then the desire to eat seeds and nuts is not unreasonable. Companion parrots will eat flowers, buds, fruiting and fruited flowers. More strongly stated; Companion parrots need to eat these things.

Take all that into a conversation about pellets, any brand any ingredient list, and ask yourself this; how reasonable is it to consider a pellet a good food source holistically? Yes, they are convenient. Yes, they fill nutritional gaps by delivering vitamins (synthetic or naturally derived). And yes, they are a measurable item. Making the human's life easier. But no. Holistically they aren't the answer.

I'm on the parrot's perspective side with this subject. I'm not preaching against any one thing; I am evangelizing toward conversation to provide a whole lifestyle answer for the betterment of all companion parrots. Humans get tunnel vision. One simple idea of transitioning a parrot off "seeds" onto pellets and the next thing you read all seeds are evil. When in reality seeds are a stage of growth, there are seeds that contain Omegas, there are seeds that deliver very important health support. But somewhere down the human conversation on this matter we end up with a food bowl full of pellets. Which then forks off to the next tunnel. Which pellets and why?

I ask why just pellets?

I asked that here in our flock and waited for my companions to answer. Their answers were found on the floor. I counted those answers. I measured those answers. I paid close attention to those answers. I modified our world for those answers. I have one brand of pellets that make it into our home. They add nutritional mortar to a strong foundation of raw nuts, flax, hemp, safflower, pumpkin, sunflower and squash seeds, chopped green and orange veggies, apples, pineapple, squash, oranges, and other seasonal raw foods.

Butters and Kirby LOVE large mealworms. When I feed our leopard geckos, those two birds come flying in knowing they get their share. Kirby only eats the heads. He likes mealworm brains. Butters, only the body. She's more a fillet minion le mealworm. The floor is littered with casualties. These are live mealworms. No one wants a dead mealworm. No one likes dead food. 

I will stew bone broth and whole local farmed chicken to create bone broth for myself and our dog's achy joints. I buy a whole baked chicken once in a while to tear down and serve to every birdy. Cartilage, bones, meat, and tendon. Snickers is a surgeon at cracking bones to get to the marrow. Butters is a pro at removing all signs of meat and cartilage from hers. And Felix, he will turn chicken bone and meat into bone meal with great joy. Kirby and the cockatiels gorge on the meat and tender bits. 

Sprouting beans is a great method of offering the tender shoots and living plant nutrition.

Orchard grasses (dried or if you are lucky, local) are a magnificent way to deliver foraging and food to your grass/ground foraging parakeets, budgies, and cockatiel companions.

Every flock has their own story and lifestyle. Pellets may be the only answer you have due to economics or location. Pellets may allow you to deliver your best nutrition inside your personal schedule of work and the like. I am an agent of balance. I am also an evangelist for wider views, open minds, and creative logic. I am first and foremost the parrot's advocate. 

An avian vet was proud to proclaim to me that a companion parrot could successfully subsist on pellets alone. I thought a moment on that word subsist. Subsist means to support oneself at a minimal level. I responded that I am more interested in making sure our companions flourish.

I feel confident in saying that's the parrot's position as well.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  • Have a Quaker; would love info

    Carol Greenberg on

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