How to Make Your Bird, Parrot Lose or Gain Weight

How to Make Your Bird, Parrot Lose or Gain Weight

A 8 minute read by Eddie Waithaka

#parrotweight #birdweight

Obesity in birds is a risk for many health issues, including arthritis, fatty liver, heart disease, and cancer, but you also don't want your birdie slimming too much.

You'll want to keep him within an acceptable range, same as in human beings. I'm sure you watch your weight closely 👌🏋️‍♀️ and check your BMI all the time, which is what you need to do with your bird as well.

The average weight of your bird, such as a Cockatiel should be 0.2 lbs, a Sennie 0.24 to 0.29 Lbs, Hyacinth Macaw 2.7 to 3.7 Lbs, Umbrella Cockatoo 1.10 to 1.39 Lbs, and a Fisher's Lovebird 0.11 Lbs, and any extensive departure from this range is undesirable.

Fortunately, to help your bird lose or gain weight is a lot like you do with selves. Allow them enough time for exercise and watch what you offer them closely.

What To Do with An Overweight Bird

There is no magic wand to help your bird lose weight. It all has to do with what and how much you feed him, plus how frequently you let him out to play and exercise.

You'll note parrots are grazers and will keep eating throughout the day if there is food available. So, if you suspect your bird is a little big than he should be, I suggest you start by reducing the amount of food your offer him.

Even so, you do not want to cut down the portion abruptly.

Start by figuring out how much your parrot needs on average.

The appropriate amount is what he will fervently eat before he loses interest or starts throwing what remains around or only nibbling on, then move on to birdly things.

Now, if you need to be more precise, you can weigh his day's food before and after. Measure the food out in the morning and what remains at the end of the day.

The difference should be what your birdie ate and a little waste here and there.

Once you've figured out how much food to feed him, now create a healthy daily ration for him. You'll want to start with a smaller portion than what you decided he consumes daily, considering you want him to lose weight and factor in spilled and wasted portions.

Also, make sure he eats more low-fat foods. Pellets and veggies should be more and seeds, nuts, eggs, and people's food low.

The ideal mix should have:

  • 50 percent pellets, which is about one and a half tablespoons for tiel-sized parrots.
  • 30 percent veggies and sprouts, about a tablespoon each day.
  • 20 percent seeds and treats, about half a tablespoon for tiel-sized parrots.

Combining this (or a similar) healthy meal plan, plus daily exercise inside and outside the cage should help your boy (or girl) lose the extra pounds.

What To Do with An Underweight Bird

To make any bird gain weight, you have to start by making sure it consumes more energy than it is burning daily.

Essentially, it should be the reverse of what you do with an overweight bird, but make sure your birdie only gains healthy-weight.

An ideal place to start is giving your parrot more proteins and fats.

According to The Spruce Pets, some foods like peanuts pack a heavy punch of both calories and nutrition, and birds love them, so they should get the job done.

But in case your bird is not eager to consume whole nuts, you can make nutty- dust using raw unsalted nuts for him.

My trick is to chop up small nut pieces, grind them up into dust, then mix them with soft food like sweet potatoes, rice, mashed banana, or chopped-boiled greens.

Organic almond butter mixed with a variety of nuts is an equally excellent food source for helping birds gain weight.

Now, if you have a picky bird that still won't eat most of what you offer them, perhaps the best way to help them gain or keep weight is to offer them baby bird formula in addition to their regular meal.

Adding the formula into a meal like finely ground pellets or diced veggies ensure your bird eats everything in the bowl, not just the fatty plan or what they prefer.

You can also add peanut butter (another excellent weight gain food for birds) with the baby formula in a regular meal, more so for younger birds.

For older feathered kids with only a slight weight issue, cut a grape in half and put just a tad of peanut butter to make him a grape-peanut butter sandwich birdie style.

You may also have a skinny, sickly bird that won't eat much and is somewhat picky. Baby formula and peanut butter will help.

A warm, boiled sweet potato meal is ideal as well since it'll make your parrot hungry and interested in new food. Besides, your bird will be interested in foods he sees you eat, which is a plus for sweet potatoes.

Try feeding your bird the warm, soft potato meal from a spoon, maybe even combine it with peanut butter or soft pellets to entice him.

Now, another, perhaps the last scenario is for owners with an underweight baby bird.

If you are dealing with a weaned birdie that's only a couple of weeks or months old, he (she) could be picky only because he is yet to figure out what he likes.

As such, I recommend you feed the baby bird formula until he rejects it himself (as you gradually introduced him to other foods), rather than working on a timescale.

Slowly, you can move the formula to feeding him human baby food such as vegetable puree, mashed butternut squash, or sweet potatoes.

You'll note young birds can be fussy about trying new food, so offer the food to him while tasting it. Warm food is also readily acceptable.

The switch will cause your birdie to lose weight for three weeks or so, but towards the end of the fourth week, it should start to come back up.

Now, for a weaning or sick bird that completely won't try anything you offer it, mix baby bird formula with baby food and syringe feed him until he starts to gain weight.

That said, here are a few more foods and treats that can help your birds either feed better, gain weight or both.

  • Pellets made for weaning or fledging babies
  • Fresh con on the cob
  • Plain oatmeal cooked in water
  • Avi cake nutriberries
  • High protein pellets
  • Scrambled egg

Why Your Pet Bird is Too Skinny, Underweight

There certainly might be an issue with your somewhat skinny pet bird, but he might just be a petite bird and naturally smaller.

Of course, a tiny bird will also be lighter, so it's nothing to worry about as long as he remains within the agreeable threshold.

A cockatiel anywhere between 0.15 pounds (70 grams) and 0.26 pounds (120) grams is, for instance, pretty average, but a bird on the lower side of this scale will seem tiny and the one of the other end stocky and heavy.

Now, assuming your bird is slightly (or way) below the 0.5-pound mark, there are several reasons this might be.

The first and most apparent one is your parrot is sick.

See, birds are pretty good at hiding ailments and can be sick for a handsome minute before you realize.

Often, owners will realize their birds are sick when it's too late, so it helps to take your bird to the vet at least once every 3 to 6 months for check-ups.

Another reason pet your bird may be skinny is the diet you give him. As I stated, your feathered pet needs all the basic nutrients (Carbs, Vits, and proteins), plus a decent amount of minerals and fats.

Offering him too much protein and vitamins without a decent amount of carbs and fats will make birdie skinny, though not necessarily unhealthy.

The next thing you should look at, more so when you have a parrot, is how well he is stimulated.

Boredom can be pretty dangerous in birds. Not only could he lose weight, but he might also develop some behavioral and psychological oddities.

This is part of the reason why bird owners insist on having as many toys for their pets as possible.

Human interaction also goes a long way in helping your parrot cope with life because they consider you their family in the absence of the conventional flock.

Even though not as pronounced in pet birds as in dogs and cats, one other thing that might make your bird skinny and underweight is parasites and mites, such as giardiasis in cockatiels, Sarcocystis in larger parrots, and mites in budgerigars and passerines.

That's all for this post. See you in the next one.

All the best an awesome😎😁😎 bird parent🦜.