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Sandra July 13, 2023

Healthy Seeds for Parrots

Seeds can be a part of a healthy diet for parrots when offered in moderation. While seeds are a natural component of a parrot's diet in the wild, relying solely on seeds can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Seeds are often high in fat and low in essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. It is important to provide a balanced diet for parrots that includes a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and pellets, along with seeds as a treat or supplement. Offering a diverse range of foods ensures that parrots receive the necessary nutrients for optimal health and well-being. Consulting with an avian veterinarian or an avian nutritionist can help create a suitable diet plan for your parrot's specific needs.

Safe, Nutritious Seeds for Parrots:

  1. Pumpkin seeds: These are packed with essential nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Flaxseeds: These tiny seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and lignans, which have antioxidant properties.
  3. Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats (including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids), and essential minerals.
  4. Chia seeds: Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein, and various minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and manganese.
  5. Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds contain healthy fats, fibre, and a good amount of calcium. They are also rich in antioxidants and various minerals.
  6. Millet: Millet is a small grain-like seed that is high in fibre and offers beneficial nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  7. Coriander seeds: Coriander seeds can support digestion and alleviate digestive issues in parrots. These seeds contain antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage, promoting overall health in parrots. And they are a good source of dietary fibre, iron, and magnesium. 
  8. Oat groats: Oat groats can be a healthy and nutritious addition to a parrot's diet. Oat groats are the whole, minimally processed form of oats, consisting of the oat kernel with the hull removed. They are rich in fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Parrots can enjoy oat groats cooked or sprouted, offering them a variety of textures and flavours. They can be beneficial for promoting digestive health and providing energy. 
  9. Caraway seeds: Caraway seeds are generally safe for parrots to consume in moderation. These seeds can be a flavourful addition. 
  10. Milk Thistle seeds: Milk thistle seeds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese and are high in dietary fibre. They are known to support liver health.
However, it's important to note that while parrots can eat these seeds, they should not be a significant portion of their diet. These are great to use when you want to make a healthy seed mix at home. 

Sunflower and safflower seeds are also safe for parrots when offered in moderation as treats. These seeds are high in fat and can be an excellent source of energy for parrots. However, they should not be the primary staple of a parrot's diet due to their imbalanced nutritional profile. Overconsumption of sunflower and safflower seeds can lead to obesity and other health issues in parrots. Therefore, it is important to provide a varied and balanced diet that includes a mix of fresh vegetables, high-quality pellets, fruits, grains, legumes and occasional treats. Moderation is key to ensuring that parrots receive a well-rounded diet that meets their nutritional requirements and supports their overall health and well-being.  

When offering seeds to parrots, remember to do so in moderation, as they should form only a part of their overall diet, no more than 10%. Some seeds should also be fed only once in a while or depending on your bird's health. You never want to overdo anything; for example, if my bird doesn't have any liver issues, I wouldn't offer milk thistle every day. Consult with an avian veterinarian to determine the specific dietary needs of your parrot based on its species and individual requirements.

We talk about seeds in this podcast episode! ⬇️