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Dear Parrots magazine,

Stop knocking seed

We seem to hear so much criticism against seed diets, or even partial seed diets, but always condemning seeds as non-nutritious and not very good for our birds. On the other side of the argument, there seems to be a lot of promotion of pellets, or should we really say extruded, processed diets. I am sure lots of these processed, complete diets may well be ‘scientifically’ good on paper, but do they take into account foraging and the natural appeal for birds.

In the wild, most psittacines will eat a certain amount of seeds and have great fun in foraging for them, shelling them and enjoying the kernels. Foraging and shelling seeds also has a therapeutic value, which complete diets do not.

I have two African Greys and have fed them on a good quality seed mix together with a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and they have always been in excellent health, active and happy – one has just reached 37 years old, the other, I believe, is a couple of years younger as was a rescue. I have tried them on some extruded complete diets with very little success. So can we please refrain from condemning seeds which do have a nutritional and therapeutic value, and have always been very successful if fed with a good variety of other fresh foods.

Madelaine Roberts, by email




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