Sophie tells us why Parrots need fats.
Fat is a macronutrient which plays a vital role in keeping your bird healthy. All birds need to have some bioavailable fat in their diet. Including healthy fats in your Parrot’s diet is essential for many bodily functions, these include:
- Source of energy
- Absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K)
- Immune system support
- Maintaining body temperature
- Hormone regulation
- Production of healthy feathers
- Normal organ function
A diet lacking in fat can cause stunted growth in young birds, visual impairment, illness due to a poor immune system, poor feather quality, flaky skin, slow wound healing, and liver and kidney issues.
A diet that is too high in fat can cause obesity, fatty liver disease, heart disease, high cholesterol and joint problems. Every cell in a bird’s body is covered with two layers of fat which shows just how important it is that you offer an appropriate amount of healthy fats in their diet.
Some great sources of Parrot safe protein include:
- Organic red palm oil
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic tree nuts including walnuts, almonds, pecans and Brazil nuts
- Seeds (in moderation and part of a balanced diet) including hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Freeze dried or live mealworms
- Plain scrambled or boiled egg once or twice a week
As with all things in a Parrot’s diet, it’s important that fats aren’t the main component, a nothing should make up the majority – diversity and variety are key!
It’s also important that we offer biologically appropriate fat sources which are plant or insect based with the occasional supplement of egg mentioned above. Animal fats and proteins are not recommended or needed.
Soaking nuts is a great way to offer health fats to your Parrot. Soak tree nuts (not peanuts) in cool water or avian tea, rinse and serve! As with anything, these should be in moderation. Examples of soaking times are:
- Cashews – 2.5 hours
- Almonds – 8-12 hours
- Walnuts – 4 hours
As foods rich in fat are often desirable to birds due to their taste, you can reserve the kinds of foods for foraging, training and bonding!