Harry eating a lamb bone

Offering Cooked Food (and proteins)

Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Egg (animal/complete protein)

A lot of people like to offer their birds cooked mash or food made from boiled, steamed, microwaved or baked vegetables, and most birds thoroughly enjoy having this as an evening meal and lets face it, us bird nutters do enjoy spoiling our  birds by doing all this for them. But cooked mash is not a highly nutritious food. Once the veggies are boiled, microwaved, steamed or cooked in any other way they can lose a lot of their nutritional value, even if they’re steamed only slightly or blanched. Carrots are an exception. You need to cook carrot to release the carotenes. Carrots block cancer and lowers cholesterol. Raw carrot is very high in vitamin A however, don’t over cook the carrots or you will lose that nutrition. The carrots should only just be slightly steamed or blanched in hot water to release carotene.

Parrots who are hormonal or any adult/maturing parrot should not be offered mash or cooked foods. Offering this could encourage hormonal behaviours as well as destructive and behavioural problems. When they’re breeding they offer each other regurgitated food which is warm and mushy. Offering mash or warmed foods is similar to this so it can cause problems. As an alternative to cooking the veggies you can grate them. This will retain the nutritional value and it won’t be a mash, there will still be the crunch to it. You can also add a cooked egg and shell to it every now and then.

You can also make bird friendly fresh food recipes every now and then. Most birds do enjoy this & recipes can be found anywhere on the internet.

Cooked food or mash is not a natural food for them and it won’t hurt them to never have it. If you do offer it try and make it on an occasion only rather than on a regular basis. Cooking food however can benefit the fussy eater. Although the nutrition content is altered, the old saying cooking the vegetables to get them to eat it is better than them not eating any vegetables at all.

Here is more information on cooked food and why I don’t recommend you do it all the time.

These foods are very high in carbohydrates so should be fed as an occasional treat. Foods high in carbs also have the same effect as cooked, soft,mushy food in Eclectus Parrots have n=been known to display hormonal behaviour, so try to avoid these foods all together. If you have to offer, only as an occasional treat.

Proteins, Complete and Incomplete

Pasta, Bread and Rice (carbohydrates)

These foods are animal or complete proteins. Some parrot species need them more than others. Eclectus Parrots don’t need a great deal of this sort of protein. However, some complete protein is essential for them. In a single adult you can offer some about once a month. In fledging young, egg laying hens, breeders, moulting Eclectus parrots you can offer more as these are the times they require a little more than usual.

All meat, eggs and seafood should be well cooked and have nothing added to them. Pan fry with no oil or boiled.

You can read more about Complete and Incomplete Proteins at the bottom of the page

There is some controversy over fish. Fish contains mercury, both naturally and from pollutants and there are many people who refuse to offer fish for fear of heavy metal poisoning.

The largest fish are the ones who contain high levels of mercury. the smaller the fish, the less mercury in them and not ever fish will have mercury. Fish contains  high levels of Calcium, vit D, omega 3, phosphorus as well as other minerals, protein, is excellent for the heart (in both parrots and humans) and lowers the blood pressure. These compared to small amounts of mercury in my opinion out way the risks. The mercury content of portions sizes of fish are very slim, we’re talking about a piece of fish, not a whole fish. The bigger the fish, the more mercury content it will have, so go for the small fish when buying them. Crustaceans have the very least mercury content of all seafood and these are perfectly fine to offer your parrot as well. And shop for local fish. Local is usually at it’s freshest and less likely to be contaminated in any way.

There are two kinds of proteins, Complete (Animal) and Incomplete (Plant/Vegetable)

Vegetables, plants, sprouts, seeds, grains and legumes are an incomplete protein. Incomplete proteins lack in amino acids and are generally found in plant foods only.

Eggs, red meat, white meat, fish and chicken are animal proteins and are a complete protein. Complete proteins are a 'whole' protein, which is what parrots require. 

Quinoa Super food is said to be the only complete protein source from a plant. It is a food you can offer if you’re not comfortable offering your bird meats.

You can give any one Complete protein food to your parrot for their protein requirements, or you can combine some specific Incomplete proteins to make a whole or complete protein.

Quinoa is known commonly as a seed. It is a cereal and whole grain and is related to the Spinach and a food you can offer your parrots for whole or complete proteins instead of animal proteins such as meat. Meat certainly won’t hurt them but if you like to offer it then you do have another way of getting complete proteins into them. Quinoa has the 9 essential amino acids required to make the seed a complete protein.