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Stuff your Bird Really Needs

Scientific understanding of avian nutrition has increased exponentially in the last 30 years. Whether you purchased your bird from us or somewhere else, we want to share with you some important nutritional information.

Vitamin A

Absolutely critical for the health and well-being of your bird. It helps maintain a healthy immune system but also aids in emotional health, eyesight, feathering, and body functions.

According to the American Veterinary Association your parrot needs a minimum of 8,000 IU of vitamin A every day— that’s 3,000 IU more than the minimum daily requirement for a human. The number one problem that vets see in pet birds is vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is what gives birds their glow.

Vitamin A deficiencies can appear within two to five months. The first damage occurs to the liver — or, in an egg or chick, damage shows up as birth defects on the limbs.

Adult birds usually exhibit symptoms in the throat, crop, and respiratory tract — including reduced cellular immunity, slow tissue healing, increased rate of infections, and problems with their mucous membranes. Vitamin A malnutrition is nearly always present in birds fed an all-seed diet because seed diets have almost no Vitamin A.

Animal and fish tissues are the best sources, which is why some people advocate using cod liver oil in a bird’s diet. Plants don’t make vitamin A, but they do offer carotenes (provitamins).

Enzymes in a parrot’s gut break carotenes down to vitamin A but not always as efficiently. Beta carotene, for example, retains about 10 percent of its potency. That’s why it’s so important to feed lots of vitamin A-rich foods! Another great solution is a high-quality pelleted diet.


Grows healthy bones and many other body parts, but it can’t do the job without vitamin D3 and the right spectrum of sunlight.


In vegetable form protein is essential for all body functions.