Nutrition for Birds

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Google Maps location for Inner South Veterinary Centre

Inner South Veterinary Centre
47 Jerrabomberra Ave
ACT 2604

1800 785 330

Feeding Your Pet Birds

Feeding your birds a complete and balanced diet is essential to their wellbeing, health and longevity. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and health problems are very common in birds fed inadequate diets.  Everyone wants to have a companion bird that is healthy, content and a valuable member of the family.

The most important thing that you can do for your bird is to feed it right...

Seed Diets

A diet of seeds (even if they are vitamin fortified) simply does not meet the basic nutritional requirements of our companion birds. A pet bird who eats a seed diet is not getting all the nutrients it needs to remain healthy. Most seed diets are deficient in vitamins, minerals and amino acids and are often contaminated by pesticides and preservatives. The quality of seed diets varies considerably between producers and retailers, and seasonally.

Parrots in the wild eat many plants, grasses, flowers, tubers, fruits, nuts, grains, grass seed and insects. Wild parrots fly and walk kilometres daily searching for food. Most wild parrots don’t eat much seed, and generally not the same types of seeds you find in commercial parrot mix. They eat a wide variety of foods.

Our companion parrots tend to be sedentary and can become overweight with associated health problems. Most seed mixes are high in fat, and even worse by the time the birds have picked out and eaten their high-fat favourites, the sunflower seeds, which are also quite high in sugar. Diets that regularly include “people food” or leftovers are not just simply lacking in nutrition, they can be extremely bad for birds.

Wild birds compensate for deficiencies by eating a variety of things. However, companion birds need the responsible, guiding hand of their “parent” to make up for what the seeds lack.

Unfortunately, the signs of a bird on a unbalanced free-choice diet can go completely overlooked by the owner. Improper nutrition in the early stages often shows no signs at all. But if it is allowed to continue, you will start seeing signs such as poor feather and beak quality, obesity, feather picking and egg binding.

Harrison’s Bird Food®

We recommend and provide Harrison’s Bird Foods®, specially formulated parrot pellets, an organic, proven, complete diet that yields the best long-term health results of any documented or homemade diet. Inner South Veterinary Centre is Canberra's only retail supplier of Harrison's Bird Foods.

Harrison’s® is a veterinarian designed formula that has a balanced ratio between fat content, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It provides exactly what your pet bird requires to remain healthy or improve health issues such as feather plucking due to malnutrition. Birds on Harrison’s® live longer, have better, more natural colour and feather condition, are healthier and more active then their seed only eating friends.

High Potency and Adult Lifetime Formulas

Small parrots are started on Harrison’s High Potency Fine or Superfine® pellets. Medium to large parrots are started on Harrison’s High Potency Coarse® pellets.

Later on (after about 6 months), they are moved onto Harrison’s Adult Lifetime® pellets, Fine or Superfine® for small parrots and Coarse® for medium to large parrots. If they are breeding of growing  they should stay on the High Potency formula, due to higher energy requirements.

African Greys, Macaws, Cockatoos and Eclectus Parrots should stay on high potency all year round. They are all high energy users and need the extra fat and protein.

For more specific species feeding recommendations see the information sheets below. For hints on converting your parrot to pellets, please read our information sheet “Converting your Bird to Pellets”.


Click on the links below to read more:

Happy, well fed cockatiels