Parrot Recipes and Nutrition

Home cooking for our birds can be so healthy and so easy and so many of us do this.  Preparing nutrition and love with a great bird recipe.  Nothing beats a freshly prepared home cooked meal, and nothing beats the great creative food creations of our wonderful customers.

If you have a bird recipe that your bird really likes, we would love for you to share your favorite bird recipe with us.

Sometimes getting our birds to eat good nutritious meals can be a real challenge, but by sharing recipes, we can all have a great resource to draw from to help feeding our birds the right stuff, much easier.

And don't worry if you are someone who doesn't really like to cook, because there is sure to be a recipe for experienced cooks, as well as those who can barely boil water (or prefer not to).

Browse our nutrition and recipe collection by clicking below.

Nutrition Information

Foods Rich in Calcium

Foods high in Calcium

Many of us love putting together a "salad" for our birds. To help you choose good greens, here is a list of some of the greens that are highest in calcium.

Broccoli: A great dark green vegie rich in calcium. Can be given raw, juiced, or lightly steamed.

Cabbage: Cabbage is an inexpensive vegetable very rich in calcium and other alkaline minerals. Small amounts of cabbage can be added to juices, served raw in a birdie slaw salad or even slightly cooked.

Celery: Celery is often thought of as a not so important food but it is very pleasing to the palate, easy to eat raw, and rich in calcium and sodium.

Chinese cabbage (Bok Choy): There are many varieties of Chinese cabbage. Most people are more familiar with bok choy, for example. They are all extremely rich in calcium, and enjoyable to eat raw. Bok choy is especially good chopped in salads.

Collard greens: Collard greens are very rich in minerals, and can be added to juices, lightly steamed, or served raw in a birdie salad.

Kale: Kale is extremely rich in calcium. It can be steamed or served raw in a birdie salad.

Arugula: Arugula, also called roquette, is fairly strong but is a nice addition to fresh salads and is very rich in calcium.

Turnip greens: Turnip greens are extremely rich in calcium. They can be juiced, or added to salads, or steamed.

Mustard greens: This is one of the most alkaline greens. It can be added to salads and juices, or lightly steamed.

Spinach: Spinach is rich in calcium and very enjoyable to eat raw, especially when the leaves are young, juiced, or lightly steamed. However spinach also contains oxalic acid which interferes with calcium being absorbed. For that reason it is not recommended for every day feeding.

Nut Nutrition

Fat Content of Nuts

Nuts have varying amounts of fat and nutrition so here is some helpful information about the nuts you may be serving your bird, or help in deciding which nuts are best.

Pistachio Nuts - contain approximately 44% fat and 20% protein;

Cashew Nuts - contain approximately 46% fat and 15% protein;

Almonds - contain approximately 50% fat and 21% protein;

Hazelnuts or Filberts - contain approximately 61% fat and 15% protein;

Walnuts - contain approximately 65% fat and 15% protein;

Brazil Nuts - contain approximately 67% fat and 14% protein;

Pine Nuts - contain approximately 68% fat and 16% protein;

Pecans contain approximately 71% fat and 10% protein;

Macadamia Nuts - contain approximately 75% fat and 9% protein;

Peanuts - are not actually a nut at all, but rather a legume. Some people consider them as a "good fat". Peanuts do contain approximately 22% fat and 6% protein.

Sunflower Seed Facts

Natural Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds have really gotten a bad rap over the years as the evil junk food to not be given to your bird. In reality though, sunflower seeds can be a nutritious snack for many birds.

Sunflower Seeds are a seed full of nutrition and they deliver many powerful nutrients in a naturally small, flavorful morsel. Almost all birds really love them too. Sunflower seeds are the richest source of vitamin E, and unknown to many people, actually also contain calcium. Although some people consider sunflower seeds to be a fattening food for parrots, they are actually no more fattening than safflower seeds.

Any parrot food fed in excess can be fattening. There are parrots who have never eaten a single sunflower in their life, yet they are still overweight. We have even seen parrots who have been fed only pellets, who are are overweight.

So if you are looking for a tasty nutritious snack that your bird is sure to enjoy, try 2 or 3 sunflower seeds for that birdie snack. Sunflower seeds make a great training food reward too.

Vitamin A Deficiency

Nutrition - Vitamin A Deficiency in Pet Birds

According to many avian veterinarians, Vitamin A deficiency is the most common health problem in pet birds. Vitamin A is one of the essential nutrients for our birds. Vitamin A can be found in red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits. Vitamin A is necessary for the health of tissues such as skin, the digestive system, the respiratory system and all the vital organs. Without sufficient Vitamin A, our pets can develop unhealthy skin and feathers also. They become more susceptible to sinus infections and may suffer from liver and kidney dysfunction. Vitamin A deficiency can cause feather discoloration, motor disturbances, reproductive problems and many other health problems.

A seed only diet is often a poor source of Vitamin A. Adding pellets may help, but then how do you know for sure your bird is eating enough pellets? Some healthy food sources for Vitamin A are carrots, yams and sweet potatoes, peppers, broccoli, mangoes, kale, spinach and dandelion greens.

A recommended blended diet for feeding your bird might consist of a really top-notch seed blend, a good pelleted food, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to round it all out. Our birds need a nutritious healthy diet just as we do.

[Editor's Note: This article is not intended to cure any vitamin related medical problems your bird may have. If unsure about your bird's diet or health, talk with your avian veterinarian.]

Tips for Addng Pellets to the Diet

If your parrot has never eaten pellets before you will need to make absolutely sure your bird knows the new pellets are real food. After all, they may look rather strange and how would he or she really know they are edible. Have you ever tasted a pellet? Most of them taste a lot like cardboard.

Be sure your bird is actually eating the new pellets before you discontinue the old seed diet. If you are just adding some pellets into the diet, along with the current diet, you may need to cut back "some" of any seed mix, to help encourage your bird to eat both seeds and pellets. We do not personally recommend cutting foods such as healthy vegetables and fruits, as these are nutritious and usually a lot of fun for the bird. What parrot doesn't just love to fling a strawberry across the room after he is finished with it?

There is no "one right way" to convince your bird to eat pellets, so here are a few tips that might make it easier for both you and your bird.


Bird Recipes

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Summer Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Not just for holidays, Ambrosia can be a great summer treat for your bird.

Ingredients needed:
2 medium size oranges(peeled and cut into small pieces)
1 medium size peeled banana cut into slices
20-30 rinsed seedless grapes (green or purple or some of both)
1 cup rinsed strawberries that have been cut in half
1 large size peeled apple cut into bird size pieces

Combine all fruit ingredients into a large bowl and mix together. Once they have been mixed they are ready to serve. If you want more juice in the mixture you can squeeze some extra fresh orange juice or pineapple juice for an additional fruit taste.

This summer fruit treat is so yummy, you may want to share some with your bird.

This fruit mixture can also be frozen and served in smaller amounts daily to your bird. Freeze in small plastic container or freezer bag. You can also freeze in a plastic ice cube tray and once frozen remove and place frozen cubes into a larger plastic freezer bag.

Apple Bran Muffins


Apple Bran Muffins

A yummy fall time recipe. In fact what a tasty treat any time of year.

1/2 cup bran
1/2 cup un-toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup Fruit and Nut Goodies
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 and 1/2 cup unsweetened natural apple juice
1 large size apple chopped
**(peel & core apple before chopping - apple seeds are toxic and peels may contain wax and pesticide residues)**

(*A small food processor can make chopping the Fruit and Nut mix and the fresh apple quick and easy. Chop into the size pieces you think your bird(s) will like best. Doesn't matter if it is chunky size, or finely diced.)

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well with large spoon.

Then add eggs, chopped apple, oil, and apple juice into mixture and stir until well blended.

Spoon into cupcake pan or bread loaf pan and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 25-30 minutes for muffins, or approximately 50 minutes for a loaf of bread. Ovens vary and bread should be done when toothpick or butter knife is inserted and comes out clean without any batter clinging.

Thoroughly cool before serving. Can be frozen in freezer bags and thawed as need each day.

Makes about 12 large size muffins or one loaf of bread.

Recipe can easily be doubled.

Apple Pumpkin Harvest

This yummy fall bird muffin is healthy and delicious.

Apple Pumpkin Harvest Muffins:

1 package of any Bird Bread Mix
1 large apple chopped into small pieces
**(peel apple & remove seeds before chopping)
1 16 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 cup water (or can use unsweetened apple juice)
1/2 extra cup water (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil or Red Palm Oil
paper cupcake or muffin liners

In large mixing bowl pour the package of Bird Bread. Add the 2 eggs and oil and stir.

Add can of pumpkin to mixture and mix well.

Chop up the apple into small pieces. We use our food processor for just a few seconds for quick small pieces. You just need to cut apples into smaller pieces so they are distributed through the muffins more evenly.

Add apple pieces to mixture and stir well.

Add water or juice to mix until mixture is blended well. Although the pumpkin will add some moisture to the mixture, the apples will soak up some of moisture. Add enough water to make a cupcake-batter consistency. (The thicker the mixture, the longer it will need to bake).

Pour mixture into mini muffin or cupcake pans and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Oven temperatures can vary so be sure muffins are done.

Thoroughly cool muffins before serving to your bird.

Cooked muffins can be placed into freezer bags and removed daily for a fun treat each day until gone.

Use fall or Halloween cupcake/muffin paper baking cup holders to add extra fun for your bird. Hand your bird the complete muffin and watch him or her peel away the muffin paper and relish the yummy fall muffin inside.

Bird Bread

B.T.'s Birdie Bread


2 cups corn meal
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup Flax Seed
1/2 cup Harrison's Fine
1/4 cup Zupreem Cockatiel FruitBlend
2 eggs including the shells
2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 jars of Sweet Potatoes baby food
1 cup unflavored plain whole yogurt (not fat free)
1/4 cup peanut butter

Mix all the dry ingredients (corn meal, flour, flax seed, pellets, baking powder) very well with whisk. Mix all the wet ingredients (eggs, baby food, yogurt, peanut butter) very well in a separate bowl with wire whisk.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them with a spoon. Then put everything into an 8 inch cake pan or bread loaf pan and spray lightly with a non-stick cooking spray and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean).

Bird Salad


I like layering my salad to help keep it fresher for longer. I start on the bottom of a large plastic container with some chopped greens such as spinach or collard greens. I vary the greens each time I make a salad up so experiement and see which greens your bird likes best. Some good greens to try are spinach, chard, parsley, dandelion, kale, or collard greens.

For my next layer of foods I add two of the following chopped up foods: zucchini and another summer squash, red or green bell peppers, fresh hot peppers, fresh green beans or peas, cucumber, or celery.

Next comes a layer of finely chopped carrots or sweet potatoes for some vitamin A.
A food processor makes chopping carrots or sweet potatoes much easier.

An optional layer is a cooked bean miture. The beans will make your salad higher in protein which may be good for some birds, and not necessary for others.

Next I add some chopped fruits such as apples, a few grapes, and at least one fruit such as oranages for the acid that helps to keep the salad fresh longer.

Then I cover the top of the salad with fozen mixed vegetables right from the bag and cover with a lid and place immediately into the refrigerator.

Each morning I scoop out a serving size bowl of the salad straight from the container without mixing the original salad up. I then mix up the salad in the smaller serving bowl and it's ready to serve. It takes a while to cup and chop all the vegetables and fruit up when you make the salad, but it is one of my birds' favorite foods. You can also add some cooked pasta or cooked rice to the smaller servings for a change during the week. The salad keeps well in the refriferator for several days.


Bird Slaw

Bird Slaw

1 small head of cabbage
1 pound fresh carrots
1 large bunch of fresh broccoli heads with partial stems
4 summer squash with the ends cut off
1 large green or red bell pepper
1 apple chopped (removed apples seeds)
Apple Cider Vinegar (see below)

Remove outer leaves of cabbage and thoroughly rinse all fresh foods to remove any contaminants.

Cut cabbage into sections and finely chop. A food processor helps make this an easy task. Layer cabbage in large plastic container. I use a sheet cake container upside down so that the bottom becomes the lid, and it holds this slaw perfectly.
Next chop broccoli and spread evenly over the cabbage.
Then finely chop the carrots and spread evenly over the broccoli.
Next chop squash and layer on top of the broccoli.
Finely chop the peppers and layer next.
When finished layering the slaw, add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar sprinkled over the top of the slaw.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, take a large serving spoon and scoop out ever how much you need to feed your flock, and place into a bowl. Stir mixture thoroughly and add a fresh chopped apple to the mixture.

This birdie slaw can be fed to all birds, from finches and canaries to the large macaws. A great recipe for adding Vitamin A and calcium to your bird's diet. A great favorite.

Blueberry Carrot Cake

Bert's Blueberry-Carrot Bird Bread Cake

This yummy Blueberry Carrot Cake is actually not a cake at all, but instead, bird bread baked in a round cake pan and decorated to look like a scrumptious cake.

Ingredients for a one layer cake:
Harrisons Bird Bread mix
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Sunshine Factor or Olive Oil
1 Pint fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
About 1-1/2 cups of Cauliflower florets (similar sized pieces) rinsed and drained and stems cut very short
2 cups of shredded carrots

In large bowl mix Harrison's Bird Bread mix, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon oil, 1-1/4 cups of water, and about 1 cup of the blueberries. Mix gently until blended.

Lightly spray pan with non-stick spray and pour mixture into pan. Bake in 350-degree oven approximately 30 minutes. Oven temperatures vary so keep an eye on bread as it bakes. When toothpick comes out clean, bread should be done.

Let cool about 5 minutes, and then placing a serving dish on top of the pan, gently turn over and tap the bottom of the pan gently until baked bread comes loose from pan. Bread should come out onto the plate.

Spread shredded carrots over top of cake as if they were icing, and with fingers gently press extra carrots into the sides of the cake. Then place cauliflower pieces on the cake for decoration tucking any short stems inside the shredded carrot or the cake. Add more of the remaining blueberries in any design you wish on top of the cake.

Pictured is a double layer Blueberry Carrot Cake with a layer of shredded carrots between cake layers. To make the two-layer cake, simply double ingredients above and pour bread mixture into two round cake pans.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

July is national blueberry month so why not bake up some yummy blueberry muffins for your bird.

Blueberry Birdie Muffins:

1 package Harrison's Bird Bread
1 package fresh blueberries
2 eggs
1 to 2 cups water
2 T olive oil or Sunshine Factor
paper cupcake or muffin liners

Follow directions on the Harrison's Bird Bread package for preparing your birdie bread. Then gently add the fresh blueberries into the mixture and stir slow and easy until well mixed.

Pour mixture into mini muffin or cupcake paper liners in baking pan (non-teflon only) and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Oven temperatures can vary so be sure muffins are done.

Thoroughly cool muffins before serving to your bird. Cooked muffins can be placed into freezer bags and removed daily for a fun treat each day until gone.

Easter Fruit Bread

Click to enlarge

Recipe is also a great summer bread using a variety of available fresh fruits

This spring inspired fruity birdie bread was a big hit with all our birds!

Easter Fruit Bread:

1 package Harrison's Bird Bread
1 package Tropical Fruit
1 large size egg
1/2 cup extra water
1 tablespoon olive oil or Red Palm Oil
About 10 large fresh strawberries for slicing
paper cupcake liners
(You can also add any fresh fruit your bird enjoys to the mix)

Follow directions on the Harrison's Bird Bread package for preparing your birdie bread with water, egg, and oil. Pour in the extra 1/2 cup of water to the mixture. The fruit will absorb the extra moisture.
Then stir in the package of True Fruit (add as much or as little fruit mix as your bird prefers).
Mix well coating all fruit with the bread mixture.
Pour mixture into mini muffin or cupcake pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Oven temperatures can vary so be sure muffins are done.
Thoroughly cool muffins before serving to your bird. Sprinkle top with slices of fresh strawberries or strawberry pieces.

Ready to serve to your bird when cooled.

Cooked muffins can also be placed into freezer bags and removed daily for a fun treat each day until gone.

This fruity smelling bird bread is springtime in a muffin. Watch your bird enjoy the chunks of mango, pineapple, tangy strawberries, banana, and the sweet coconut in this healthy bird bread mix.

Fruity Pineapple Cornbread

Debra's quick and easy fruity cornbread.

6 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 package True Fruit
3 eggs
1 small can crushed pineapple (optional)
Paper Cupcake liners if baking as cupcakes

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl, including the juice of the pineapple. Add water while stirring until mixture is a soupy consistency, and ingredients are well blended.

Fill paper cupcake liners 3/4 full, or pour mixture into cake pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Ovens may vary so check after 45 minutes. Cornbread is done when inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean.

Cut into small pieces and place in airtight baggies. Can be kept in refrigerator for several days, or can be frozen in smaller baggies and removed when needed.

Cupcakes or cake pieces can be frozen and taken out daily for feeding.

Holiday Fruit Cake

Holiday Fruit Cake

Even if you are not a fruitcake lover, we think your bird will love this wonderful holiday fruit cake with loads of fruit goodness.

1 package Harrison's Millet Flax Bird Bread (or any Bird Bread you have on hand)
one package Zupreem Tropical Mix
Or some of Dr. Harvey's Exotic Parrot Blend
2 large eggs
1 small size bag of fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons olive oil or Sunshine Factor
2 cups water

In large mixing bowl pour in Original Bird Bread and add the 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of oil. Mix well.

Add 1 to 2 cups of the fruit mix and then stir and mix all ingredients together.

Rinse cranberries and add to mixture and stir.

Then add 2 cups of water to the mixture and mix thoroughly.

Lightly spray round aluminum or other cake or bundt pan (or any shape pan you prefer)

Pour mixture into the pan and smooth top with a spoon.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for approximately 50 minutes. Ovens vary in cooking time, so check with toothpick or butter knife that inserts and removes cleanly.

Cool for approximately 10 minutes and place a large plate on the top of the cake. Gently flip cake pan and plate upside down, gently tapping the bottom of the pan to help cake slide out onto the plate.

Serve and watch your bird thoroughly enjoy all the holiday yummy goodness.

Cake can also be frozen in small serving sizes that can be thawed out as needed for feeding portions to your bird.

NOTE: the holiday decorations shown in the picture above with the fruitcake, were for decoration only, and should be removed before serving the fruitcake to your bird.

Pumpkin Cake

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Halloween Pumpkin Cake

Halloween Pumpkin Bird Cake

This fun Halloween Pumpkin is a yummy Bird Bread cake.

You will need the following:
1 pkg. any Bird Bread Mix
1 16-ounce can of 100% pure pumpkin
1 cup of water
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Red Palm Oil (Olive Oil can be substituted for Palm Oil if necessary)
1 yellow squash
2 pounds carrots
1 small container of fresh blackberries.
The end stem of one banana

In a large mixing bowl add pre-packaged bread mix, 2 whole eggs, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 can of pure pumpkin, and 1 cup water. Mix all ingredients well.

Pour mixture into one round baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with a non-stick food spray.

Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees. Ovens vary, so begin checking for doneness after 45 minutes. Done when a knife or toothpick inserts and comes out clean with no batter. Because of the extra moisture and density of the added pumpkin.

Peel the 2 pounds of carrots and put through a food processor or blender to chop finely. This will be your frosting.

After the cake has cooled, remove from the pan and place on a cake dish or plate for decorating. Once the cake is cool, begin putting the finely chopped carrot all over the top of the cake and then gently mold the carrot frosting along the sides pressing gently into the sides of the cake as needed to hold it in place.

Rinse squash well, and cut two slices for the eyes. Cut a third piece that will be cut in half with a small section cut out for the eyebrows. Take the end of the squash and create the nose.

Rinse blackberries well and drain. Place a blackberry in each eye, and then create the smiling mouth with blackberries.

Remove the stem from a banana to create the pumpkin stem at the top.

You can be as creative as you want with this fun birdie cake. Use other vegetables and fruits for decorating as you wish. The end result is a Halloween bird-cake that is not only creative and fun, but nutritious and yummy as well.

St. Patrick's Bird Muffins

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St. Patty's Day Bird Muffins

St. Patrick Day Bird Muffins

These really easy, yummy and quick St. Patrick's Day bird muffins with broccoli toppings, are a fun healthy green treat for your bird.

1 package Bird Bread Mix
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil or Red Palm Oil
1 and 1/2 cups water
large head of fresh broccoli
St. Patrick Day cupcake paper holders

In medium size mixing bowl add Harrison's bird bread contents, 2 large eggs (no shells), 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 cup water. Stir well. (As mixture thickens you can add the remaining 1/2 cup of water to keep mixture a little thinner.

Place cupcake holders into cupcake pan and fill each about 1/2 full or about 1 tablespoon each. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. Done when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While muffins bake, wash and rinse broccoli and drain well. Use only broccoli flower tops. Cut finely, or place flowers in food processor for quick fine chopping.

Once cooked muffins have cooled, fill remaining space in cupcake holder with chopped broccoli for a topping.

Makes approximately 18 muffins.

Strawberry Coconut Cake

Valentine Strawberry Coconut Bird Cake

Your parrot is going to be your very special Valentine when you serve up this yummy Valentine Bird Cake.

1 package of your favorite Bird Bread Mix
2 large eggs
1 and 1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil or Red Palm Oil
One 5 ounce size packages of unsweetened flaked coconut
1 large container fresh strawberries

One round, or heart shaped, pan for baking.

Wash strawberries and cut stems and set aside.(Remove leaves before serving to bird)

Remove 1/2 cup coconut from bag and set aside.

In large mixing bowl add package of Bird Bread mix, eggs, oil, and the 1/2 cup coconut, and water, and mix together all ingredients until well blended.

Pour mixture into round lightly sprayed cake pan and bake at 375 for approximately 40 minutes. Ovens vary so check for doneness with toothpick or butter knife that comes out clean when inserted into cake.

Allow cake to cool some on cake rack or plate.

Once cake is only warm to the touch, take remaining coconut and begin applying on the sides and top of cake. Press into sides of cake lightly. Once coconut decorates cake, add whole strawberries or strawberry slices to decorate as you wish.

Makes a yummy fruity bird cake for any size bird or parrot. Cake can also be frozen in serving size baggies or containers for daily use if you wish.