My Parrot Won’t Eat Vegetables!

At BirdTricks, we have daily contact with many bird owners and we listen to their complaints and concerns over their bird’s diet: “My parrot won’t eat vegetables!”

When we were putting together our cookbook, Cooking For Parrots, we took these concerns to heart and tried to find solutions to the biggest and most common parrot feeding problems. It became obvious that the list of concerns is neatly divided into two categories: human considerations, and our bird’s determination NOT to cooperate with our efforts.

In the end, it ALL comes down to us because, as caregivers, it is ultimately our responsibility to find a way to get the job done by helping our birds overcome their objections to a great diet.

No More Excuses From The Humans!

Let’s look at some of the things that might interfere with the average bird owner’s ability to provide an optimum diet:

  • “I don’t have time to cook!” – Most of us work and feel time-pressed to whip up a decent meal for our families, let alone our birds. We understand that this is a fact in most homes. But we also understand how imperative it is to offer proper diet to your birds and we came up with many solutions that are workable in any situation: fast and easy to prepare recipes, ways to cook for the family and the birds at the same time, and freezable meals that can be prepared ahead and thawed as needed.
  • “I don’t know what is safe to feed my bird.” – We have included a list of foods that are safe to feed everyday, we give clear explanation as to why some foods need to be offered in moderation, and provide a list of foods which must never be part of a parrot’s diet.
  • “I can’t get my bird to try new foods.” – Do you have one of those birds that has settled into an “okay” diet? He loves a few good foods but when you add something different to the menu he just stares at it like you served him a bowl of rocks? Variety is more than just the spice of life, it is the key to good health. All throughout the book are tips on how to expand your bird’s dietary horizons.
  • “I only have one bird.” – Many of you are aware that we at Birdtricks.com have multiple birds in our individual flocks. We know that many people have only a single, small bird and that you may feel that this book is not designed for your needs. But as we were creating the recipes, we made certain that the they are all easily halved or quartered, and most of the recipes freeze well, should you want to make the full batch. We know that your single cockatiel needs great nutrition just like the big guys, and, yes, this book is meant for your flock of one.

Greenwing macaw by Ben Coulson

No More Opposition From The Parrots Who “Won’t Eat Vegetables”!

So now that we have you fired up and ready to give your kitchen a work out, let’s go over the many ways our birds can derail our best intentions AND how the book will help you to get past it:

  • “My bird will only eat seed!” – This is the most common dietary problem with companion parrots. It is also the most dangerous. Birds that remain on a seed only diet will have years shaved off of their life span. In the book, you will learn the common set backs that people experience when converting birds from an all seed diet and how to use our recipes to give them a push towards the foods we know are best for them.
  • “My bird hates fruit and veggies.” – More likely, your bird has no idea what they are. We know that birds are curious by nature and feel the need explore everything with their beaks – we use this knowledge against them. You will learn how to be such a creative genius in your kitchen that even the most reluctant bird won’t be able to look away with disinterest.
  • “My bird won’t eat pellets.” – Usually, the bird that won’t eat pellets has never actually tried one. We give you many, many tips on how to sneak pellets into the diet of birds that flatly refuse them and how to bring them around to eating them by choice.
  • “My bird only like his food a made a certain way.” – A lot of  birds have texture and/or temperature preferences and there are several recipes in the book to satisfy that want. But since raw produce is the most nutritious (and most natural), we should encourage our birds in that direction. Many of our recipes are designed to do just that.

If you have encountered any of the above, you are exactly the person we had in mind when this book was written. And, of course, even the bird that is already eating like a champ will benefit from the fun variety Cooking For Parrots has to offer. With over 100 recipes, including our holiday recipe edition, even your culinary connoisseur conure will find something new to delight in. There is no such thing as too many options.

Cooking for Parrots

Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987. 

10 comments

Farelia

I have a Conure and parrotlet. Same problems. They won’t east veggies, raw or cooked. I’ve tried so many and to no avail. The only upside right now is that I’m slowly getting them to eat pellets and still some seed. Any other suggestions. They are both 4 1/2 years old.

Farelia
Nancy McShane

I want to thank you Guys for all the hard work, coming up with the NEW Cookbooks! I really enjoyed reading them, and was inspired to try a few recipes immediately! My U2 wouldn’t eat anything except seeds, not even peanuts! I hand fed him formula until he was two, supplementing with veggies and Parrot Mix seeds. He will eat fresh corn, but forget anything else. He still gets the leftovers when I hand feed my babies. I got some medium whole grain shells, and stuffed them with sweet potato, quinoa, couscous, sprouts, broccoli, and mixed in some egg whites. I then cooked them in the toaster oven for a few minutes. (Almond butter is $14., so I didn’t buy it). Anyway, I also made your stuffed zucchini recipe, and lo and behold, my U2 went crazy eating veggies! He even ate the raw zucchini rings. Thanks again! Your fabulous recipes have inspired me to not only cook healthier for my birds, but eat healthier myself!

Nancy McShane
Patty

Ryan, I don’t want to argue either, but you have to understand that NO ONE “invented” the parrot diet. I had parrots in the 80s before there was internet and there were very few books that included the subject of parrot diet – most of that info turned out to be wrong anyways. I had to arrive at the diet that I now feed my birds, through study and research, on my own. Many others have reached the same conclusions about proper diet tat I have over the years.The Birdtricks Diet is something that I have been making for my birds for decades. Unfortunately, there are millions of bird owners that don’t have a clue and are slowly killing their birds with terrible diets. This book is for them.

Patty
ryan

Every thing u listed can easily be found in books including cookbooks for birds in the library & all over the web for free…. if u don’t know most of these common facts then u should stick to a domesticated pet…. it looks cute but if ur welling to do a lil research & don’t wana spend the money its basic info that is out there….. not to mention qualified vets that have made books from long studies at the library, ur killing ur bird if u don’t get any research at all but if u do & still don’t buy the book ur good….. so don’t worry & my vet said she would love to see u curing those desieses before & after & blood work bc they are boldy lying bc sum stuff can even lie dormant in that short period of time…… but other than that I love the site & the really poorly bugeted movie I could dp just as good from my phone but I like it….. I’m gonna work on comming out with recipies to get even the pickiest birds to eat. Post on my web face book for free with a qualified vets recomendations & numbrs to ask them from questions buh if u can’t provide us wit qualifed resources I don’t believe amateurs that prolly stole the facts first & like I said I’m sorry but I can make a birdy perimid & books & sell em for 20$ a pop still make plenty of a profit & look amazing…. sorry buh I just can’t support this one & then u post of someones dog dying right after wich I hope isn’t a marketing scam bc that’s bad karma & a lot o people really feel for her….. I duno I’m sorry just a lil dissapointed that I didn’t get the free trial bc it would have cost just as much to see it pay to ship it hear & back, u even talk about scamming on ur marketing link…. but don’t make me seem like I’m killing my bird cause ur better than my qualified vets & people I know that help do research to save the wild birds….. if u just studied your what we thought healthly flock that had diseases & didn’t get vets advice or get anew vet I just can’t trust that……

ryan
ryan

& those qustions u have on this post were only asked about by a few…. I want the most important who are ur qualified resources? How long was this studied? Ur pellets cause diseases so why would we buy them….. zupreeme does even more studies….. loook at all the research they are doing…….

ryan
Andrea Levac

Ryan, (I hope you get this) I, working for a pet store AND a veterinary clinic, get these questions all the time. I know even breeders that feed only seed and don’t offer veggies AND INFORM THE PEOPLE THEY ARE SELLING THEM TO, TO DO THE SAME. It became popular in the 80s due to how cheap it was and people stuck to it. It’s easy and simple. You brought up a good point: “It can be found online.” Sure with all the studies that are going though it can be found online now (as well as their own diet but most people don’t know about that either). But again, working for a pet store and a vet clinic, people don’t look it up. Another thing is, many sources online are bias (such as your comment, and wikipedia) so they would rather ask me, as associate at a pet store and their vet. Lucky for me, I am a University student that loves to do research on animals since it is exactly my degree, so I can educate people on the matter. However, most associates at pet stores have no idea what they’re talking about. I will also bring up the vet idea. I work for some, and I’m also going to school with several more. Here’s the idea: Vets are excelent at medical questions. They know minimal if not nothing about nutrition unless they research it themselves (which most vets don’t care about so they won’t look it up). There are animal nutritionists out there you just have to look for them. I will NOT rely on my family doctor to tell me how to eat. I’ve seen a dietician myself about my own diet for that exact reason. Most dog trainers know more about dog nutrition than vets because they see it everyday. Vets generally see them once a year and I doubt they remember the details of the last visit. (And this is just talking about SOME vets, surely not all, some sell the crap food so they make a profit and cause issues to have the animals back and paying the vets once again. Vet school in my country and province especially is riddiculously expensive and most vets are in dept until their 40s unless their lucky and scam the industry.) I’m really not sure what you meant about the dog dying or how it’s karma but frankly that’s sinking low. Don’t ever say it’s karma that a dog died because they’re trying to make yout animal live happy and healthy. That made me angry, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. In the end, birdtricks however you want to say it are professionals. I will be the first one to say nutrition for absolutely any animal is CRITICAL for their health. Ps: My parrotlet died from liver failure at the age of 4. She was on Zupreem Fruit Blend her whole life and tests showed it was the food. Switching my coworker’s lovebird from Zupreem to Harrisons saved her life from the exact same thing. Not saying Zupreem is horrible, I will mention that rawhide is still sold for dogs, McDonalds is still sold for people, and Zupreem is still sold for small animals and birds (and wild cats who’s ingredients are hilarious). If you want a bit of an overview about their ingredients let me know, I will be more than happy to talk to you about the company called Zupreem. -Andrea

Andrea Levac
ryan

Sorry its in the sept 2012 birdtalk magizine for the zupreme atricle on making a better formula for baby macaws by studing their wild counterparts but u can get the details in there & be biasis & say no they re terrible bc they do real studies & long term aswell….. & I swear ill stop being neg I just want everyone atleast the same oppertun to give their birds the best poss diet bc some can’t afford expensive birds & if they bought a parakeet for 15 or a cockateil for 30 why would they spend double or triple….. they can’t afford it bu want the same joys…. soo that’s it just saying use ur head & like u said don’t believe everything u hear question things & do research…. that’s how u keep up with the tims & a healthy bird

ryan
Patty

Ryan, It is very clear that you like to go online to do research. It is also clear that you, like many other bird owners, have misinterpreted the information you have found there. The questions in this post are the most pressing for the average bird owner. We want people to be able to feed their birds the best possible diet with confidence and ease. The avian vet that did the blood work diagnosing the conditions of the Womach flock, and studied the retested blood 30 days later, endorses this book for a reason. Regarding the recent death of Mel’s dog, I fail to see the connection here and shame on you for undermining her suffering. Patty

Patty
ryan

I don’t want to argue withyou & I see your point but ur ideas are stolen from those researchers & viet scientist…….. & as far as you would rather listen to you who has a degree at at a university……. which university & what degree? Anyone can get one the other piolets scared me to death that they wiere oing to get degrees & eaither fly or desighn planes… that being said I learned they really couldn’t hack it so became marketing or something minor in the business… but also I get kidney stones really bad like 5 at a time & they don’t move & if I didn’t follow my dr. New diet stratagy I might not be here for this amazing post….. & if ur vet or sources aren’t good enough or know the truth then why go to u & the people that are not going to switch from seed pay 75 for a book bc the other bird food is to much & a shame bc they shouldn’t own a bird then in the first place… this will be my last post about it but u know u guys are wrong & made it seem like a vid was gonna be shown & wow…. & the 2 places you said about gave me the same info I herd in their convo over the phone……

ryan
ryan

& read in bird talk june 2012 to read some of the few scientif studies that atleast zupreme are doing in the wild for macaws….. what research was done here & so many links take you here….. also not that I was proud of it but back then when no one new seed was a bad diet my parents parakeets lived over 15 years no problem tooo but there is other brands & zupreme has other pellets…. besides the sugar ones too……I give mine a alll balanced diet & proportions & it is a pretty set up for those willing to spend a lot of money but my birds never had desieses as I take them to an amazing vet in fl so maybe I should make a book like I said before only mine will say I never were killing my parrots without knowing it lol… I’m sorry I don’t want to fight…. normally I love this blog but just makin ur customers feel guilty or we are bad bird owners for not geting ur product only tested on ur flock that was having problems just kinda bothers me but I swear I’m done…. goday & godbless

ryan

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published