18 Oct 2020
What Is the Best Diet For Parrots In South Africa?
Posted By : Guest Filed Under : Nutrition | Birds | Roudybush | Bird Food | TOPs Parrot Food
There is a lack of scientific study on avian nutrition, especially as it relates to different bird species, but most experts agree that a good diet for parrots begin with a formulated pellet diet with a variety of other foods added as supplements. A diet based primarily on seeds is deficient in many nutrients, including vitamin A and calcium, and is too high in fat. 

This is not to say that seed do not have a place in avian diets, but many birds come to prefer them to the exclusion of other healthy choices and can be fussy when it comes to trying a varied diet. Some birds will even pick out a couple of favorites from a seed mix, which further reduces the nutritional balance in the diet. When it comes to parrot nutrition, consider seeds to be somewhat like junk food: birds love them, but they are not the healthiest choice.

For most species of parrot, seeds should only make up about 10 percent of the diet. Some species, like budgies and cockatiels are naturally seed eaters and can tolerate a higher percentage of seed in the diet, but even for these birds, seeds should only make up about 25 percent of the diet.

Seeds that are high in fat, such as safflower, sunflower, and peanuts, should be fed sparingly. Beneficial seeds and grains include millet, wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat, rye, and canary seed. You can even choose sprouted seeds like wheat, millet, and oat.

It seems odd that seeds could be responsible for a bird's early demise, since many household birds have wild counterparts that survive predominantly on seed. Dr. Kirk Klasing, professor of comparative nutrition at the University of California, Davis, and author of Comparative Avian Nutrition (CABI Publishing, 1998), sheds some light on the situation.

Dr Klasing says, “First, the types of seeds that we feed in captivity have a markedly different nutrient content from the seeds that birds in the wild eat. The seeds we feed have been domesticated. Since we've bred them for high yields and taste characteristics, they are high in starch, fat, and energy and low in amino acids and vitamins.” That means that while domesticated seeds provide lots of calories, they meet fewer of the avian nutrient requirements.

“Secondly,” Klasing adds, “birds in captivity expend less energy than birds in the wild. Since animals eat to meet their energy requirements, birds in captivity eat much less than those in the wild, which means they have less opportunity to get the nutrients they need.”

A number of years ago, realizing that many parrots were suffering from nutritional deficiencies, companies began producing formulated pellet diets for pet birds. These are made from a variety of foods including grains, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fortified with vitamins and minerals, and are baked into pellet or variety of other extruded shapes. These provide a balanced nutritious diet and prevent birds from picking out their favorite food items and leaving the rest. However, many birds, especially those started on seeds, do not readily take to eating a pellet diet. Pellets, though nutritionally balanced, do not provide the variety and stimulation that many pet birds crave in their diets (after all, eating the same thing day after would be boring for anyone).

Therefore, pellets can be considered the "base" of a bird’s diet, comprising 50-60 percent of what the bird eats.


Not all pellet diets are created equal; we recommend Roudybush and TOPs pellets which are both manufactured in the USA. As these diets grow in acceptance and popularity, manufacturers are producing lines formulated for particular species and also for health management (e.g. lower calorie diets for weight management). As mentioned earlier, these diets come in a variety of shapes from larger chunks down to crumbles, and you may need to experiment to find the type your bird prefers.

Roudybush pellets provide your bird with safe levels of nutrients that are needed for good health. This means not only will your bird receive the right levels of vitamins and minerals but they will also receive the right levels of fat and protein.

Roudybush provides your bird with the best possible nutrition without the added cost or hassle of supplements. Also because Roudybush is a pelleted diet it is 100% edible. You will not be paying for the inedible hulls (shells) of seeds which make up 2070% of most seed mixes, you will have less mess under the bird cage because there are no hulls, there is no risk of feeding seeds that have been contaminated in fields or in storage, and there are no variations in the nutrient composition or quality of the pellets as you often find in seeds.

Pellets are a safer, reliable way to feed your bird. The pelleting process offers the advantage of preserving more of the fiber in the diet than extrusion does, making the diet healthier for your bird’s intestinal tract. Roudybush pellets also do not include any added sugars or sweeteners. Sugars and sweeteners can promote infections, especially yeast infections, in birds.

Roudybush pellets also do not include any added colours, which means that they will not mask the colour of your bird’s droppings allowing you and your veterinarian to better assess your bird’s health. Changes in colour and consistency of droppings can be indicators of potentially serious health problems in birds.


The formulation of TOP's (Totally Organic Pellets) features a unique list of ingredients that are different than any other pellet on the market. A quarter of TOP's key ingredients comprise 95 percent of alfalfa, millet, barley and brown rice. These cornerstone components give TOP's pellets their classic green colour (from the alfalfa) and foundation to deliver healthy nutrition to your flock. The remaining 5 percent is comprised of a special blend of healthy, organic dry ingredients that add the flavours, textures, and fats that your birds love.

What makes TOP's pellets so special? For starters, the pellets are cold-pressed (not extruded or heat baked) to keep more natural enzymes, vitamins, and other nutrients intact. They are free of artificial ingredients, colours or flavours, and do not use any sugars or fillers like corn, peanuts and soy. And of course, the pellets are USDA Organic Certified. This means that when you feed TOP's pellets to your birds you are providing them with all-natural, nutritious food that can make their lives better.

Some birds, especially those used to a seed based diet, may be difficult to switch to a formulated pellet diet. Once your birds are eating pellets, they can be easily switched from one formulation to another. This means that if your bird ever needs a specialized diet, they will easily convert to it. If you are in doubt over which diet would be best for your bird, consult your bird's veterinarian for advice.

Both Roudybush and TOPs pellets is available in South Africa at reputable pet stores, avian vet clinics and from online ecommerce websites.
Tags : Best Diet For Parrots In South Africa , Bird Food South Africa , Parrot Food South Africa , Best Bird Pellet Seed Food Diet South Africa
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