Parrotlets in the wild eat a mixture of foods that provide all the nutrients they require. They feed on various fruits and berries, nuts, seeds and seed heads, and even flowers.
Captive birds need the same nutrition and it is their owner’s responsibility to ensure that they receive it.
Parrotlets are very active and also have fast metabolisms. These two factors mean that, despite their small size, they need to eat a lot and regularly.
What To Feed Your Parrotlet
Pet parrotlets may not have access to the food that their wild counterparts have, but they can still have a varied and interesting diet. A pure seed menu is not ideal for these birds.
There are now foods specifically formulated to meet the needs of this species. These pellets would be enough but on their own, they would make a very boring diet for birds that enjoy the variety.
You should also give your parrotlet a selection of fruits and vegetables. Include some seeds like millet, fruits like apples, mangoes, cherries, peaches, pears, melons, grapes, kiwis, and rowan and hawthorn berries.
Good vegetables include peas, spinach, dried or cooked (and rinsed) lentils, carrots, kale, broccoli, and sweet bell peppers. These foods should be cut into small pieces. This allows your Parrotlet to hold it with its feet and manipulate it while eating.
Some breeders also use frozen and thawed mixed vegetables and sprouted lentils and mung beans, in addition to fresh or cooked and chilled vegetables such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and corn.
The cooked egg is sometimes also given to birds.
Calcium and vitamins A and D are important.
Vitamin A is found in dark green and orange vegetables, but the other vitamins and minerals are easier to supply in supplement form for small birds. These are available at specialty pet stores or at a vet. Cuttlefish can also be a useful source of calcium.
It is important not to give your Parrotlet too much sunflower seed or too much protein. Keep sunflower seeds to a minimum. Too much protein can precipitate a non-seasonal reproductive condition, which can lead to health problems.
Some breeders claim that the seeds are better if they have been soaked or even sprouted rather than just dried. However, it is crucial not to leave them on for more than 24 hours or they will get moldy.
Regardless of which food you choose and how you prepare it, it is essential to ensure that your Parrotlet has a balanced and nutritional diet to prevent it from developing health problems. It may also be helpful to increase the amount of feed when your bird is molting or breeding and therefore has higher nutritional needs.
If you are unsure about the diet, consult your vet or the breeder from whom you purchased your Parrotlet.
Keep in mind that high-quality diets also strengthen the immune system, allowing your Parrotlet to resist infections much more easily.
Diet In Breeding Parrotlets
Diet is always important, but laying parrotlets have additional requirements to keep them and eggs healthy and strong. The main reason for this is that the female loses a large amount of calcium because the mineral is used to produce the eggs.
Although cuttlefish provides calcium, breeders recommend that you use a special feed mix formulated to raise female birds. This food meets its requirements before, during, and after laying.
You can start giving the mix several times a week when your parrotlet shows signs of being broody and before it lays its eggs.
Once babies hatch, they should be given special food every day to replace the minerals and fats that they lost during the laying and reproducing process and while feeding the babies.
You need to make sure that your bird has constant access to clean, freshwater. The water bowls should be cleaned every day. If your pet likes to bathe, you need a second plate to splash on.
Water bowls should never be placed under hangers, as this increases the likelihood that the water will be contaminated with feces.
What Not To Feed Your Parrotlet
There are many things that are bad for your Parrotlet, just like there are for pets like domestic cats and dogs. These guidelines and rules should help you avoid unhealthy or toxic foods and keep your pet healthy.
While you may not deliberately feed any of these foods to your feathered relative, some may be found and eaten, perhaps without your knowledge. You should be careful when leaving food where it is accessible.
While not a complete list, the following foods are potentially lethal to your bird: foods that are high in fat, sugar, or salt, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, carbonated drinks, nuts containing sulfates or sulfides; milk or cream, apricot, nectarine, cherry, peach, and plum; apple and pear seeds, peanuts; citric fruit, lime, kidney, and dried beans, chocolate, olives. raw and cooked onion and garlic, asparagus, avocado, butter, parsley, tomato, eggplant, potato, and rhubarb.