What Do African Grey Parrots Eat at Home (as Pets)

What Do African Grey Parrots Eat at Home (as Pets)

A 8 minute read by Eddie Waithaka

#africangreyparrot #africangreyparrots

African grey parrots are one of the most sought-after avian pets in the world. They are intelligent, excellent talkers, with a personality that'll keep you entertained for days on end.

However, keeping African grey parrots, or any parrot for that, is not a fit for the faint-hearted; it's the furthest thing there is from easy.

They crave interminable attention, can be a tad too loud, and have pretty unique dietary requirements.

Failure to feed your African grey parrot the proper diet will lead to, among other things, weak immunity, reduced lifespan, poor quality of life, and emotional, psychological, and physiological issues.

So, what do African greys eat?

What constitutes a proper diet for these adorable birdies?

Well, ideally, a diet that best mimics an African grey parrot's wild diet is perhaps best for captive-kept birdies. A variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and vegetables, augmented with commercially available staples such as pellets.

African greys are vulnerable to both Calcium and Vitamins, so remember to feed them supplements and offer them mineral things like cuttlebone as well.

Develop an exciting feeding schedule for your African grey that includes home-cooked and occasional treats to make it fun and keep your bird interested.

Get more insight in lengths of this article.

What is The Best Food for African Grey Parrots

Sweet, delightful treats are exciting for birds and readily consumable, but proper nutrition is imperative. Feeding your African greys what they need and a little of what they like is the way to go.

Essentially, the best diet for your Congo greys is a combination of occasional treats with a fresh base staple, plus seeds, nuts, nutritious mineral, and vitamin supplements from time to time.

As base feed (staple), a bowl of perfectly chopped fruits or vegetables is recommended. But if freshly foods are not always available, you can alternate them with a quality, rawly processed, pelleted diet with zero additives.

Seeds and nuts are also advisable as they are a good source of fats but should be fed sparingly as treats.

Supplements are fine, albeit not too necessary, and it's advisable to seek your avian vet's advice before getting them.

To make sure the food is attractive and exciting for your greys, try mixing different colored veggies and fruits, and when possible, offer them a home-cooked recipe of a staple garnished with desirable treats.

Granted that all veggies, seeds, and nuts do not have the same nutritional value, I also recommend you evaluate each meal separately to ensure your greys are not having too much (or little) of one food item.

Veggies and fruits are a good energy boost for African greys and also a natural vitamin source, but you want more beta-carotene vegetables since African greys require plenty of vitamin A.

Parrots glean proteins from nuts, seeds, a few fruits and veggies, and dairy products.

A well-formulated pellet will also provide different proteins for your birdie, so consider any one of the said food items in every meal you offer your African grey.

One last nutritional element to consider is mineral, and calcium in particular.

As such, calcium block, cuttlebone, or dry powdered block is required inside your African grey's cage to provide an adequate intake of calcium.

What Human Food Can African Grey Parrots Eat

Considering African grey parrots are omnivorous and predominantly feed on fruits, nuts, and vegetables, there are many human foods they will consume, even though they accept some more readily than others.

They will even appreciate a few bites of cooked food prepared for humans as long as it's well-constituted and fed correctly.

However, not all human-safe ingredients are ideal for birds.

For instance, your grey parrot will probably not enjoy food prepared with plenty of spices or manufactured condiments such as cheeses, jams, sauces, and margarine.

Suitable vegetable foods for both humans and parrots include broccoli, zucchini, kale, collard greens, leaf lettuce, peas, celery, cucumber, asparagus, beets, corn on the cob, dandelion greens, tomatoes, parsley, and green beans.

Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and peppers (green, red, red, chili) are also good, especially for beta-carotene.

Cooked vegetable recipes are acceptable by parrots as well, but from a nutritional perspective, raw veggies are better than cooked.

A variety of seeds, grains, and nuts, all consumable by humans, can also be fed to African grey parrots either raw, parboiled, or cooked, including safflower, millet, oats, buckwheat, and canary seeds.

Almond, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, shelled peanuts, pistachios, and walnut can be given, albeit in moderation.

This also applies to cooked grains such as barley, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, and beans, including black and green beans, lentils, peas, tofu, and chickpeas.

Almost all fruits safe for human beings are ok for African grey parrots, apart from a few like avocados. Moreover, you don't want to feed your parrot large portions of acidic fruits such as citruses (orange, Lime, Tangerine) and grapes.

The fruits I recommend feeding your African greys include cored apples, peeled mangos, oranges, melons, papaya, kiwi, peaches, grapes, banana, pomegranate, and any type of berry (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry).

As we so at the beginning of this subtopic, most parrots are omnivores meaning they readily accept meaty foods. Only make sure you offer them a few bites of lean, well-cooked meat, like chicken or steak, as occasional treats.

Little bits of bread, cake, muffins, buns, and other baked foods are also not prohibited but compared to veggies, nuts, seeds, and even meat, they are less nutritious.

Plus, you need to make sure you only offer your greys whole-grain bread that is organically produced.

What Foods are Bad for African Grey Parrots

Now that we've established safe foods for African grey parrots, let see what you should not feed them.

But before that, let me mention that not all birds enjoy the same food items even when they are safe to consume. One parrot may like seeds and nuts better than veggies, while another will enjoy meaty treats and cooked recipes more.

That said, there seems to be a consensus against feeding your parrot processed food, including snacky, junky items like chocolates and caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda.

Some fruits like avocado and veggies like those of the onion (chives, spring onions, garlic, scallions, garlic chives, shallots) and rhubarb family (sorrel, rhubarb) are toxic and should also be avoided.

Of course, there is an unwritten rule that you should not offer any of your pets, including parrots, drug items, such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and tobacco products.

One last group of foods you want to avoid are milk items, since the same way some people can't digest lactose products readily, parrots tend to develop complications when offered milk and milky products.

Below is a list of food items to avoid giving you African grey parrots, plus a link to the full article on a primarily African Greys' website.

  • Avocados
  • Apple seeds
  • Tomato leaves and stems
  • Dairy products
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Rhurbarb
  • Parsley
  • Cumin
  • Dried fruits and beans

African Grey Parrots Feeding Schedule

Feeding African grey parrots takes a great deal of time. Plus, offering them too much food or an unbalanced diet can easily make your bird obese.

For that reason, it is crucial to formulate a feeding schedule with different recipes.

Make sure each day your bird gets the allowable amounts of calories from all classes of food, that is, carbs, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Pellet recipes are an ideal staple and should represent about 75 percent of your grey's diet.

Fruits, vegetables, and greens should take up the other 20 percent, making sure it's varied between lesser sweet fruits and pale veggies and more beta-carotene-rich greens.

The remaining five percent should be split between tasty treats like lean meats, mineral supplements, and sweet fruits like berries and citruses such as oranges.

Any mineral or vitamin supplement should also be constituent in the last five percent.

However, it's best to stick to natural, organic sources and only use manufactured additions with advice from an avian vet.

How Many Times Should You Feed Your African Grey Parrot

I tend not to think of my African grey feeding schedule in terms of the number of hours or times I feed my birds, but instead, focus on the amount I allow them to consume daily.

In the morning, I start by offering them a few spoons of fruit and vegetable for an hour or so, then replace them with a quarter to half a cup of store-bought pellets for every bird you own.

Go lesser than a quarter if your greys are too young and closer to half a cup for adult birds.

With that, little, occasional treats throughout the day will keep your parrot going.

Thats all for this post.

Happy Birding 🐦🦜.