Nutrition for your Asiatic Parrot (Ringneck, Alexandrines)

Posted by Susan Lenz on

Basics for Asiatic Parrots {Ringnecks, Alexandrines}

Parrots are flock animals and in the wild, young birds learn what is good to eat by following the flock.

In captivity, hand-raised birds identify with humans as their 'flock'. This is why your birds will want to eat what you are eating, whether it is healthy or not.

It is your responsibility, as a bird owner, to teach your bird how to eat healthily. The majority of health problems in pet birds originate from dietary excesses (fats) and deficiencies (vitamin and minerals).

Indian Ringneck and Alexandrine parrots originate from the forests of Asia - they are accustomed to a richer diet than Australian desert parrots. They are canopy feeders and their diets include more fats and fruits.

Pellets (formulated diets)

pelleted diets are nutritionally balanced. Many brands are commercial available (both Australian made and foreign).

Birds need to be converted to pelleted diets, under supervision. To be effective, pellets need to comprise 80% of their total diet.

Birds on pelleted diets still need fruit, vegetables, green grass seed and green leafy browse for behavioral enrichment.


Asiatic parrots can have sunflower seed in their mix - never excessive. We recommend either our Green Valley Grains Small Parrot Mix or Forage Gourmet Blends-  which contains an acceptable level of sunflower. These parrots can also be offered nuts (preferably not peanuts) e.g. Hazel, almond & walnuts.

Seed and nuts should be kept in sealed containers and refrigerated/frozen to maintain freshness.

Wild Food

Milk thistle, green grass seeds, chick weed, dock, dandelion can be offered


Provide green leafy branches from Australian native trees for your birds to chew. This provides behavioral enrichment and occupational therapy for your pet.

Wattle, bottle brush, melaleuca, grevillea, tea-tree, gum, lilly pilly, banksias, acacia provide necessary opportunities for the birds' instinctive chewing and foraging behavior.


Parrots on seed based diets need vitamin supplementation (pelleted diets should contain the necessary vitamins).

We use Vetafarm Soluvite. This can be added to the water or sprinkled on the fruit and vegetables as per label.


Mineral supplement in the form of shell grit, oyster shell, cuttle fish is beneficial.

Fresh fruit and vegetables should be fed daily. Uneaten portions should be removed


A wide variety of seasonal fruits should be provided - apple, orange, banana, grapes, melons, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pawpaw, mango, lychee, stone fruit etc.


Sweet corn, silver beet spinach, beans, peas, lettuce, celery, sprouted seeds (bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts).

The following deep green and orange vegetables need to be lightly steamed to break down the cellulose and make them more digestible:- sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, broccoli, brussel sprouts. These can be offered warm first time around to encourage the birds to try it.

Find fun and exciting ways to feed your bird to enrich its life and prevent boredom.

Creative Foraging have a fantastic range of refillable products to make your bird work for their food and forage to prevent boredom and allow mental stimulation


The daily routine must provide foraging opportunities that are both time consuming and challenging to ensure they remain occupied throughout the day and are not idle.

Because Alexandrines and Ring neck parrots are naturally destructive, they should be encouraged to use their beak, tongue, foot and brain during foraging and during their leisure time.

Asiatic parrots have extremely strong feet and should be encouraged to become highly dexterous with their feet by providing uncooked fruits and vegetables as foot toys. Long carrots, whole beans, pieces of apple in squares are ideal foot toy foods that they hand up to beak rather than just eat it out of a dish.

Foraging dexterity builds confidence and inquisitiveness in young birds, creating a strong foundation for life long learning as a companion bird. These items can be served on a stainless skewer, mashed, chopped, diced, cooked, soaked or sprouted to add variety and to suit the textures contained in the natural foods of the different species.

Human fruits and vegetables as well as agricultural grains and pulses however do not provide a complete nutritional balance for pet birds and for this reason an ongoing health program of added nutritional supplements is essential to vitality and longevity of the Asiatic parrots in captivity. Without provision of all the essential nutrients pet birds are prone to over-engorging on foodstuffs and ingesting foreign bodies while searching for depleted nutrients in carpets, power cords etc. Alexandrines are especially prone to ingesting soft foreign bodies and toys because of their extreme need to chew. Other examples of diet related problems include undesirable behaviors such as feather picking, excessive screaming and aggression, poor feather quality and a lack of energy.


· Avocado

· Alcohol

· Caffeine

· Chocolate

· Dairy Products

· Dried / Uncooked Beans

· Fried, Greasy or Junk Food

· Fruit Seeds

· Stone Fruit Pits or Pips

· Mushrooms

· Nutmeg

· Onion

· Peanuts

· Rhubarb

· Salty or Sugary Foods

· Tomato Leaves, Vines or Stems

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