African Grey Parrot Diet [Nutrition and Health]

Today you will learn about the African Grey Parrot Diet and Nutrition.

Are you planning to get the African Gray parrot, as a pet and you would like to know more about its diet and feeding habits?

We are here for you. Being experts in the field of veterinary services. We are more than happy to let you know all that you need to know about the African Gray parrot nutritional needs.

To ensure that your African Gray stay’s happy and healthy life you will need to give it a variety of foods to cater for its nutritional needs.

Having seen a number of foods that have been formulated for these parrots we cannot recommend any of them as the best a hundred percent. For you to meet the balanced feeding requirements for these parrots. You really need to mix the various feeds available.

African Grey Parrot Diet in Captivity

Should I worry about the African grey parrot diet? Most African Grey parrot owners neglect the nutrition when it comes to choosing what their parrots eat. However, just like any other pet in your home, you should take time to discuss your parrot’s nutrition with a veterinarian. Most owners will assume that any diet that works for other birds will be enough for their African Grey Parrot (AGP) but this is not always the case.

Remember, poor nutrition is the main cause of many health problems. To avoid these health issues, the AGP owners should strive to improve the diets of their parrots. This means that they need to educate themselves continually on the latest recommended diets that foster good nutrition. Similar to humans, your bird’s health will depend on how well it’s fed.

What do we recommend?

We recommend a bowl of chopped natural and fresh fruits as the base feed. If you do not have the fruits, you can give your parrot a pelleted diet. However make sure that these pelleted diet doesn’t contain any additives such as artificial colours or flavors. Seeds will give your parrot the needed fat but you should use them in moderation as too much of it is not healthy for your parrot.

You should also offer your parrot an assortment of fresh, organic, and wholesome veggies. Just like babies, it might be hard to have the parrot eat the vegetables. Take your time to encourage your bird to eat the vegetables. Remember, these veggies contain useful nutrients that promote good health more than any other diet.

Here are some of the good vegetable choices for your African Gray parrot:

  • Carrots

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Broccoli

  • Collard greens

  • Kale

  • Celery

  • Peppers; red and green

  • Cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Peas both garden and snow

  • Green beans

  • Leaf lettuce but not or iceberg or head lettuce

Fresh fruits given daily add nutrition, these fruits should be part of your African Grey Feeding Schedule:

  • Kiwi

  • Melons

  • Oranges

  • Papaya and Mango with skins removed

  • Apples

  • Grapes

  • Berries – strawberries, blackberries

  • Blueberries, and raspberries

African Grey Diet in the Wild

African Grey in the Wild

African Grey Wild

What does the wild AGP eat? Wild African Grey parrots eat a variety of seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetation. Instead of flying, these parrots are mostly seen clambering from one branch to other while feeding.

These birds love the African oil palm fruits, which are native to their environment. If you happen to get hold of these fruits while travelling, you can carry them and take them to your pet as a treat.

What Do Experts Recommend as the Best Diet for AGP?

The AGP is vulnerable to both vitamin A and calcium deficiency as well as obesity. For this reason, it is crucial to feed your bird with a balanced diet to avoid these conditions.


It is true that the wild AGP have access to seeds all the year. But you should note that the types of seed would change from one season to the other. However, the commercial seed mixes given to pet parrots have high fat concentration and lack some crucial nutrients. If you use these seed mixes as the main source of food. Then your parrot may become weak and ill since it is not getting all the nutrients it needs.

Additionally, these birds love natural seeds. While the commercial seeds have undergone processing to make them last longer. When you give these seeds to the bird, it will pick only a handful and leave the rest. This will further minimize the nutrients they get from the food. As mentioned earlier, you should only offer your parrot seeds as part of the balanced diet and never a source of the main diet.

African Grey Pellet Food

The commercially available pelleted diets are formulated in a way that it meets the nutritional needs of all birds. These diets are available in different formulations for different life stages of the birds and for managing certain diseases. Although there are many pelleted diets on the market. You should pick the ones that contain natural ingredients and those which have no artificial colors or additives.

Pellets are the best food for your parrot, and it should represent about 75 to 80 percent of your parrot’s diet. You should supplement the remainder with fresh fruits, veggies, and limited seeds if need be. One of the main problems that faced by parrot owners is to transition a seed eating bird to a pelleted diet. This can take several weeks to months. However with patience, your bird will start enjoying the pelleted diet.

Fruits and Veggies

As mentioned earlier your AGP diet should contain 20 to 25 percent of the daily diet. You should minimize the content of pale veggies such as iceberg, celery, or head lettuces. This is because they offer minimal nutritional value to your bird. You should never also feed the bird’s avocado as it reported to be potentially toxic.

You can offer the previously mentioned fruits and veggies to improve the health of your parrot. Before giving the parrot the veggies and fruits, you should wash them thoroughly to remove any chemicals. Although it is not always to take the skin off, you should cut them into manageable sizes to make it easy for the bird to swallow. You should also not mix the fruits with the pelleted diet.

If you find that your bird fancies only one food item, you should reduce the food item to promote consumption of other foods.

You should treat the African Grey parrot as a child. Ensure that you offer it with a variety of food items daily. If you find that it doesn’t eat it, you should not give up. Encourage the bird to eat the food and eventually it will like it. Remember you must always ensure a well-balanced diet to promote the health and longevity of your bird.

What About Water?

Although our topic mainly concentrates on the best diet for the AGP, you should never neglect the importance of water. You should always provide the bird with fresh and cool water. Wild parrots usually take water after every meal.

For this reason, you should make it a habit of providing it with fresh water after every meal. You should also provide plenty of water all the time to avoid dehydration. Additionally, you should always keep the water away from heavy metals as the water might get contaminated with toxic chemicals. Which might be harmful to these parrots.

Things to Remember when Feeding my African Gray

• Monitor the amount of food that your parrot eats every day
• Supply fresh water all the tome
• Ensure that your parrot’s diets contain 75 to 80 percent of pelleted food
• The diet should also contain 25 percent of fresh veggies and fruits
• Clean the water and food dishes thoroughly and dry them well before use

What about people food?

Similar to other pets any nutritious and wholesome food that you eat together with your family. Then giving it to your African Gray’s in small quality will not harm them. However, you should follow the guidelines listed above. For instance, some birds will love small quantities of cooked fish, lean meat, cheese, or egg occasionally.

However, since birds are not tolerant to lactose, you should offer them with minimal dairy products. You should also avoid giving your bird high-fat junk foods, chocolate, caffeinated products, excessively salty items, and alcoholic beverages.

What other Extra Vitamins and Minerals Does my Bird need?

Giving your bird fruits and veggies will help to supply all the Vitamins they need. For this reason, instead of offering them vitamins supplements, for them with fresh vegetables and fruits as required. Your parrot requires sufficient vitamin A. Thus the need of providing it with beta-carotene vegetables.

Additionally, the African Gray parrot diet should contain enough calcium, as they need it more than other birds. You can provide a calcium block inside the bird’s cage. Adding dry bone powder block in the cage may also help in providing calcium. This is essential for healthy bone, muscle contraction, nerve, and heart function as well as blood clotting.


Providing your African gray parrot with a balanced diet is crucial to ensure a disease free, healthy, and happy pet. Keeping this pet is not hard especially if you ensure proper diet and regular exercise.

Although it might be hard to get them to eat veggies and fruits, encouraging them to do so will yield positive results. Additionally, you should always ensure that your bird gets fresh and cool water all the time.