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Sandra November 14, 2023

Why And How To Use Flaxseed In Your Parrot's Diet

Parrots require a balanced and nutritious diet to lead a happy and healthy life. While veggies, fruits, grains, legumes and high-quality pellets are staples in their diet, incorporating certain superfoods can elevate their nutritional intake. One such superfood that has gained recognition is flaxseed!

Why Flaxseed?

Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. These essential fatty acids are crucial in maintaining a healthy heart, brain, and immune system in parrots, just as they do in humans.

High in Fibre:
Fibre is essential for good digestion, and flaxseeds are packed with it. Including flaxseed in your parrot's diet can promote a healthy digestive system, preventing common avian digestive issues.

Protein Powerhouse:
Proteins are the building blocks of life. Flaxseeds are a great plant-based protein source, providing your parrot with the necessary amino acids.

Rich in Antioxidants:
Flaxseeds contain antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. This can contribute to your parrot's overall well-being and may even boost their immune system.

Supports Feather Health:
The essential fatty acids found in flaxseeds are known to promote healthy feather growth and improve the quality of the feathers. This can result in a shinier and more vibrant plumage, making your parrot healthy and visually stunning.

B vitamins: Flaxseeds are rich in B vitamins that help with energy, brain function, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.

How to Incorporate Flaxseed into Your Parrot's Diet:

Ground Flaxseeds:
Grind flaxseeds into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or blender (get a grinder dedicated to this, and don't use a grinder that was used for coffee!!). You can sprinkle this powder onto your bird's morning chop, fruit/veggie kabob, etc. Start with a small amount and observe how your parrot responds to it. Most parrots enjoy it as it has a nutty taste!

Because flaxseeds are so small and have a hard shell, it has to be ground to be effective or it will just pass through the digestive system whole and unutilized!

Flaxseed Treats:
Consider making homemade treats using flaxseeds. Various bird-friendly recipes that incorporate flaxseeds into biscuits, bars or birdie bread are available online. These treats can be a delightful addition to your parrot's diet while providing essential nutrients.

Incorporating flaxseed into your parrot's diet can enhance their overall health and well-being. However, it's important to consult with an avian veterinarian or an avian nutritionist before significantly changing your bird's diet. Every parrot is different, and their dietary needs might vary based on their species, age, and health condition.


Feed flaxseeds in moderation, as excessive amounts can lead to weight gain because these seeds contain lipids. Additionally, you should be concerned about cyanogen if your bird consumes excessive amounts. This chemical is present in flaxseeds but at low concentrations. Cyanogenic glycoside can become toxic, so it's always wise to feed your parrot small amounts of flax seeds and observe how they react.

Ensure the flaxseeds given to your parrot are fresh and without any rancid odour before offering them. Avoid spoiled flaxseeds, as they can pose a health risk. 

Adding flaxseed to your parrot's diet provides them with a delicious treat and invests in their long-term health and happiness. So introduce this superfood to your feathered friend, and watch them thrive!