Small parrots are avian friends that are similar to a large parrot, but you don’t need large muscles to hold them. Small parrots need nutrients other than bird pellets to thrive. It's a delight to feed them table food and watch their reactions to new tastes and textures.
Types of Small Parrots
Several species of small birds belong to the parrot family. Small parrots include parakeets, whose name actually translates into “small parrots.” Cockatiels, parrolets and conures are all part of the small parrot family, as are lovebirds, lorries, small macaws, cockatoos, ciaques and poicephalus parrots.
Bird pellets are preferable to birdseed for small parrots because they are more nutritionally complete for a bird’s diet. Choose a bird pellet that is formulated for your specific type of small parrot. Some of the pellets are larger for different birds. Feed your small parrot a diet of bird pellets to equal about 60 to 80 percent of his diet. The remaining 20 to 40 percent of his diet should consist of table food.
Birds enjoy a nice breakfast cereal in the mornings with their owners. You can feed a small parrot dry, unsweetened cereals or even oatmeal; just leave out the milk as it can cause digestive upset. Whole-grain cereals are a good choice for small parrots.
Having spaghetti for dinner? Set aside a few cooked noodles and try your feathered friend on them. Small parrots can slurp them up just as kids do. Birds generally love rice and whole-wheat breads, also. Skip the white, processed breads, though. Your friend may also enjoy some low-fat crackers for a snack.
Vegetables of all kinds are nutritious for small parrots. Try some broccoli tips by cutting them off and offering them in your hand. They may appear as small green nuts to your bird's delight. Cut other veggies in very small pieces to offer. Add carrots, leafy greens and any vegetable in small pieces to start and then enlarge them as your parrot gets the hang of things. Offer your pet some tomato, squash, zucchini, beets, peas, green beans and peppers in small servings on the nights you have these for dinner.
Offer meats or proteins in small amounts about twice a week. Lean chicken breast and other lean meats are a good choice. If you are planning fried chicken for the family, leave one piece of chicken out and just boil it thoroughly before giving it to your parrot. You can also feed a small parrot portions of a hard-boiled egg to supplement his diet.
Only give bird’s small amounts of fruits as a treat. Fruits contain a lot of sugar and water and can lead to a fat bird that needs to diet. Any type of fruit is good for small parrots as long as it is small enough or soft enough for him to pull pieces off.
Remove all table food from the birdcage if your pal is finished eating and the veggies are becoming limp. You wouldn’t want a limp vegetable on your plate, and the decomposition can cause stomach upset.
Supply your feathered friend with a fresh supply of clean water daily.
Remove eaten birdseeds from the pelleted food daily. Some tiny seeds appear as food to us, but they have already been opening and eaten. A small parrot needs an endless supply of pellets in his bowl.
Play games with your bird to introduce table food, preferably when he is young. Stand by his cage chomping on a vegetable and saying “Mmmm” until he takes interest in it. Then offer him a tiny piece to get started.
Don’t be surprised if your small parrot plays with his food before eating it. Parrots sometimes want to explore a new item by holding it in one foot, pecking at it and then tossing it. Let the fun begin.
Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.