Eckies love fruit and quite literally can't get enough of it. Some prefer vegetables but I know all of ours choose fruits over their veggies any day. Parrots like their fruit ripe, but not overly ripe to the point of being spoilt. Never give your parrot 'seconds' from produce stores or farmers markets. Always buy your Eckie human grade fruit, which you yourself would be happy to eat. Ensure that you thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables to remove potential pesticides or harmful chemicals.
We provide each Eclectus with stainless steel bowls 12.5 cm wide and 6 cm deep. This is filled to the brim with fresh fruit and vegetables every day and it always polished off come nightfall.
We feed our own Eckies the following food ratios
- 60% of their diet is made up of fresh fruit and vegetables
- 20% sprouted seed/legumes/pulses
- The remaining 20% constitutes their hot meal
Always ensure you feed your Eckie more vegetables than fruit. Fruit is high in sugar and if consumed in too larger quantities can lead to unwanted weight gain. We always feed our kids 2/3 vegetables to 1/3 fruit.
Your Eckie's appetite will fluctuate throughout the year. moulting, the onset of winter, growth phases and even hormonal changes will increase your Eckies appetite. I know our feathered kids eat us out of house and home when they are moulting. It is quite normal for juvenile Eckies to eat like teenage boys until they are approximately 8 months old. Their appetite starts to settle down after this time. Our clients are often amazed at just how much their new babies can consume.
When a parrot moults, old feathers fall out and are replaced with new ones. It takes a large amount of energy for parrots to produce pinfeathers, especially if they are heavy moulters. Feathers are made from keratin which is a protein. If a parrot is not provided with protein rich foods to supplement this output, their body will be depleted.
Moulting can make our feathered kids cranky and moody and who can blame them. I would be pretty grumpy if I had pinfeathers sprouting from every direction. From my experience, increasing protein levels in our parrots' diet helps overcome crankiness and eases them through this uncomfortable time.
The following foods are high in protein
- Cooked meat and chicken
- Boiled eggs (cooked right the way through)
- Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
- Lentils and pulses
- Sweet corn
At Parrot Haven, we have our own special moulting diet. We feed our moulting kids a cooked meal 3 times a week
Paw Paw helps restore the natural flora in the bird's crop and gut.
Sweet corn is used when a bird has been sick and lost condition. It helps to put weight on a sick or underweight parrot.
The following should NEVER be fed to your Parrot
- Avocado, both flesh and seed contains toxins deadly to birds
- Apple seeds
- Seeds from stone fruit
- Lettuce, has little nutritional value and can cause diarrhoea and lead to dehydration
- Any raw meat
- Cheese, can cause crop impaction
- Soft drinks
- Milk or dairy products, some birds are lactose intolerant and can also lead to crop impaction
- Fatty foods or takeaway, e.g. Chinese food, beware of additives such as MSG, preservatives and un natural flavours
Parrot safe foods
- Kiwi fruit
- Rock melon
- Paw Paw
- Plum/prune (dried plum)
- Purple Mangosteen
- Star fruit
- Tomato (fruit only not the leaves or stem)
- Watermelon-see melon
- Red chilies (parrots don't have capsaicin receptors. This means they do not feel heat from chilies)
- Sweet potato (raw or cooked)
- Sweet corn
- Asian vegetables
- Snow peas
- Berlotti beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Broad beans
- Common bean
- Green bean
- Lima bean
- Mung bean
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Runner bean - Raw
- Span peas
- Snow peas - Raw
- Amaranth - raw or cooked
- Bok Choy
- Brussels sprout
- Ceylon spinach
- Garden rocket
- Pak Choy
- Pea sprouts/leaves
There is a great deal to learn about the Eclectus diet. Our book 'The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots' provides extensive information about the nutritional requirements of the Eclectus parrot.
This chapter includes information on:
- The Eckie appetite
- Food ratios
- The importance of vitamin A
- Over supplementing
- Dangers of low calcium levels
- Special moulting diet
- Egg and biscuit recipes
- And many more topics!