An incomplete or imbalanced diet is the main problem for your pet bird’s illness. Therefore, your parrot needs to have a specialized diet with a variety of other food items. Every parrot breed has special needs, and a caretaker must fulfill their nutritional requirements. We are going to cover some best seeds for parrots, as well as their nutritional value and fat content.
Seeds for Parrots
For most parrots, a diet fully based on only seeds lacks many vital nutrients, which include calcium, Vitamin A, and a seed-based diet that has high-fat content. However, that does not mean that seeds are unhealthy or bad for parrots. Many parrots prefer to stay on a seed diet only, and it gets difficult for their caretakers to switch their diet. A few parrots might not even like all the seeds and would pick up their favorites, which further decreases the nutritional value of the seed mixture. When talking about parrots, a seed-based diet is often categorized under junk food: parrots love eating seeds, but they are unhealthy for them. You must try to eliminate or at least limit the amount of seed content in their diet. For instance, cockatiels and budgerigars have a high amount of seed tolerance, but they should not be provided many seeds for their optimal health.
Every parrot species requires a different amount of seeds in their diet. You can easily tell that by checking a bird’s beak whether it has adapted specifically to open grains, nuts, and seeds. Seed can form from 10-40% of their diet, depending on the breed of parrot.
If you are thinking to buy formulated parrot seeds, then they should be fresh and organic, and good for human consumption. Even if you are sure about the seeds you generally buy from a store, do not get fooled and give it a test. Leave them sprinkled or tie them in a soaked cotton cloth in a bowl for a few days. If they are fresh, then the seeds will start sprouting, and you will know their real freshness. If they fail to sprout, then it is a big NO, as the seeds are probably old, and all the nutrients have also died inside them.
A few parrot seeds mix displays a full ingredients list. They come as a pre-mixed diet with vegetables and dried fruits inside them. It is an acceptable diet, although prefer giving them freshly cut vegetables and fruits in their meals and try not to stick to these packed diets every time.
If you have decided to create your own mix, then try the following best seeds for parrots:
- Flax seeds
- Millet (yellow, red, and white)
- Oats (whole)
- Wheat groats
- Corn (dried)
- Hemp seeds
Safe Seeds with Their Nutritional Content
- Broccoli raab seeds
- Canary seeds [low-fat content (8%), contains carbohydrates (61%), and does not provide other nutrients]
- Caraway seeds (consists of 37% of fat)
- Chia seeds (consists of 40% of fat)
- Clover seeds
- Cumin seeds (consists of 22% of fat)
- Fenugreek seeds (consists of 6.5% of fat)
- Flax seeds or Linseeds (consists high-fat content of about 54%)
- Hemp seeds (consists high-fat content of about 63%)
- Milk thistle seeds (consists of 26% of fat)
- Yellow and red millets [low-fat content (4.3%), contains carbohydrates (72.8%), and does not provide other nutrients]
- Mustard seeds (consists of 36% of fat)
- Niger seeds (consists of 39% of fat)
- Perilla seeds (consists high-fat content of about 61.5%)
- Poppy seeds (consists of 19% of fat)
- Pumpkin seeds (consists high-fat content of about 50%)
- Rape seeds (consists extremely high-fat content of about 100%)
- Safflower seeds (consists high-fat content of about 49%)
- Unhulled Sesame seeds (consists high-fat content of about 50%)
- Sorghum or Milo seeds (often added to less expensive seed mix, but parrots usually avoid them)
- Black oil and Striped Sunflower seeds (consists high-fat content of about 52%)
- Watercress seeds
Why Is It Important to Include Seeds in Your Parrot’s Diet?
In the natural habitat of parrots, from grasslands of Australia to rain forests of South America, almost every parrot breed includes seeds in their diet. Seeds are rich in magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, fiber, and omega-3 fats. Seeds also help in maintaining their brain functions, fights inflammation, and nourish red blood cells. Therefore, you must include seeds to keep your bird’s skin, eyes, and feathers healthy.
While these were the benefits that your parrot will get from the seeds, but a few essential vitamins like D3 and A, iodine, sodium, protein, manganese, zinc, and calcium are still missing. So, a seed diet is not sufficient for your parrot, and you need to add fresh veggies and fruits to their diet as well.
Due to the high amount of fat present in the seeds, you might need to indulge your parrot in some exercises. Eating excessive seeds that contain a high amount of fat content could lead to obesity in parrots.
You need to avoid giving the pre-mix seeds that contain artificial flavors, as they have synthetic vitamins and low nutritional value. Also, your parrot must not be fed only a seed diet, as they can cause severe health issues, and as a result, would shorten their lifespan.
What Are the Best Seeds For Parrots?
Whether you have a single bird pet or multiple birds, you need to take care of every bird. Now that you know a lot about your pet bird’s nutritional requirements, you need to work hard on fulfilling their dietary needs. Parrots can only eat the food we give them, so as their caretaker, you need to think of them as your child and feed them a balanced diet that has complete nutrients in it.
Let us know what seeds your parrot enjoys the most. Help us by suggesting more beneficial seeds for parrots if we have missed out any.