Parrots: Feeding

A suitable feed for parrots is sunflower seed 5 parts, oats 3 parts, plain canary seed 1 part, panicum seed - half part, white millet - half part.

Parrots purchased as youngsters are often fed from a teaspoon on a porridge-like mixture of powdered milk and cornmeal. The new owner must continue with this until the parrot is old enough to dehull its own seed.

For cockatoos an ideal feed is sunflower seed 5 parts, whole oats 3 parts, corn 1 part and wheat 1 part. Canary seed and linseed may be added if the bird enjoys them. Parrots will also eat green foods and peanuts. Smaller parrots may be fed with the mixture recommended for budgerigars. All parrots can handle sunflower seed.

Beaks that are distorted or overgrown need to be ground back with sandpaper. Cuttlefish bone should also be supplied in the cage for the birds to do this naturally.

Parakeets are inquisitive and eat almost anything placed in their cage.

Parakeets need canary seed, millet seed and steel-cut oats in a ratio of 3:1:1 for young birds, and 1:2:1 for adults.

Grit is essential for all caged birds. Pulverized eggshell and 1 per cent iodized salt are also beneficial.