Sophie tells us why your Parrot needs carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are a macronutrient which plays a vital role in keeping your bird healthy. Including carbohydrates in your Parrot’s diet is essential for many bodily functions, these include:
- Easy to use energy source
- Regulation of blood glucose
- Energy storage for later use
- Protects and preserves muscle
- Promotes digestive health
- Allows the gut microbiome to flourish with dietary fibre
A diet with an imbalance of too much or too little of appropriate carbohydrates can cause digestive health issues, diabetes, poor metabolic health, heart disease, obesity, lethargy, muscle mass loss and weakness.
Some great sources of healthy carbohydrates include:
- Plain popcorn or flavoured with vegetable powder
- Sprouted or soaked grains
- Sunflower seeds
It’s best to avoid offering any ‘human foods’ to birds. Many human foods containing carbohydrates also have high levels of sugar and fat. There are lots of healthier options in the list above which your bird can enjoy.
The easiest and most nutritious way to provide carbohydrates in your bird’s diet is through soaking and sprouting seeds, grains and legumes. These soaked and spouted items are live foods and are comparable to some of the things that Parrots would eat in the wild. They are also a great conversion tool onto a healthy diet for picky eaters as they are a bridge between seeds and vegetables. When seeds are sprouted, the fat reserve is used up during germination which makes them healthier and easier to digest.
Not all seeds, grains and legumes can be sprouted, so check multiple lists before deciding whether to soak or sprout them for your Parrot.
If your bird is a fan of millet, you can sprout it to create a healthier version of their favourite treat which will provide them with a source of carbohydrates.