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Get Your Bird To Eat Healthy Foods

If you want your bird to eat a healthy food, you have to show her how to eat them.

Sally Blanchard

blue-and-gold macaw on vegetables
Companion parrots should not be in control of what they eat. The idea that they will instinctively eat what is good for them is a myth. You'll need to teach your bird how to eat healthy.

Parrots are social eaters, so sample nutritious foods as you feed them to your bird. Smile and act like you genuinely love the food, even if you don’t. A good actor can pull this off, but parrots can tell if you are not sincere. If a parrot is bonded to you, she will often eat what you eat or what someone feeds you in front of it. Use the Model/Rival technique — have another person feed you in front of your bird to intrigue her into eating nutritious foods.

Some parrots are more likely to eat new foods if they are fed away from the cage in a social eating situation. A T-stand by the table works great. Some parrots are very well-behaved if they are given their own plate at the table.

Pay attention to your parrot’s preferences and habits. Feed the most nutritious foods when it is the hungriest — some parrots eat best in the morning; others eat best in the early evening. Most are likely to try new foods when you are eating with them.

Be creative. It might take weeks or even months for your parrot to eat a nutritious diet with a variety of fresh foods. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Want to learn more?

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Posted: November 22, 2013, 11:45 a.m. PDT

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