The Quaker parakeet, also referred to as the monk parakeet, is a small, speaking member of the parrot family who enjoys pleasant conversations, long walks on the beach and fresh healthy meals. This talented bird requires a balanced diet of quality commercial feed and plenty of fresh produce.
Quality Seed Mix
Quality premixed birdseed is an important part of your Quaker parakeet's healthy diet. Look for a mix that offers a nice variety of seeds that are correctly sized for your bird's beak (conure or cockatiel size is a good fit). Check out the bag to determine that the seed mix is fresh, void of bugs and rodent droppings, and try to go with a mix that is light on high-calorie sunflower seeds.
Pellets are a mix of mostly nutritious ingredients baked into tasty beak-sized nuggets—like cat or dog kibble. Although not nutritionally complete, pellets can be an important addition to your Quaker's overall diet. Many shapes, sizes, flavors and qualities of pellets are out there to choose from. Some pellets contain more preservatives than nutritious ingredients—so read the ingredients or ask an avian veterinarian to recommend a quality pellet brand for your monk buddy.
Grains, Legumes, and Nuts
Grains, legumes and nuts—oh my! This tasty triple play offers your Quaker many of the minerals, proteins, vitamins and fiber he needs. The grains should be cooked whole-grain batches of healthy varieties like brown rice, millet, or barley. Black beans, navy beans, and kidney beans, along with lentils, peas and chickpeas are favorite legumes for many domestic Quaker parakeets. Nuts provide your Quaker pal with protein, but go easy on the portions because these tasty treats are also high in fat and can move your feathered friend into a whole new weight class. Nuts your boy may enjoy include almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews. These nuts should all be salt-free and most will need to be shelled and chopped to fit your Quaker's petite beak.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
A huge assortment of vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies should be a primary part of your bird's daily meal plan. Pretty much anything available in your grocer's produce department is appropriate for your Quaker—with the exception of avocados, which are toxic (so no guacamole). Parrot fruit favorites include apples, bananas, mango, pears, oranges and strawberries; popular vegetable choices are lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, kale and carrots. Try new fruits and vegetables each week to determine your Quaker's favorites—and consider locally grown organic produce to avoid potentially harmful pesticides.