Parrots can be picky animals, and it’s not always easy to find suitable food for them that’s both healthy and tastes great. Pellets can make a great addition to their diet to help balance out their nutrients and provide a complete meal.
We’ve chosen eight different brands of parrot pellets to review for you so you can see how they stack up when presented next to each other. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each and tell you about our bird’s reaction to it as well. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we take a closer look at the ingredients list to see what your parrot pellets should contain. That way, you know what to look for while you shop.
Join us while we look at vitamins, minerals, preservatives, food coloring, and much more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||TOP's 04 Parrot Food Pellets – Best Overall||
|Best Value||Higgins 144961 InTune Natural Parrot Bird Food – Best Value||
|Premium Choice||ZuPreem Natural Bird Food – Premium Choice||
|Harrison's Organic Pepper Lifetime Coarse Bird Pellets||
|Roudybush Daily Maintenance Bird Food||
The 8 Best Parrot Pellets
1. TOP’s Parrot Food Pellets – Best Overall
TOP’s Parrot Food Pellets is our pick for the best overall parrot pellets. It’s the only non-corn-based USDA certified bird food made right now, and when combined with parrot-safe seeds, fruits, and vegetables can provide enough daily vitamins, minerals, and important amino acids your bird needs to grow. There are no chemical preservatives, with only rosemary to keep things fresh, and they cold-press the pellets to help preserve nutrition and reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. There are plenty of certified organic natural ingredients, like alfalfa, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, and quinoa.
The only downside we experienced while reviewing TOP’s was that a few of our parrots didn’t like it and preferred some of the less healthy brands.
2. Higgins InTune Natural Parrot Bird Food – Best Value
Higgins InTune Natural Parrot Bird Food is our pick for the best parrot pellets for the money. It uses all-natural preservatives and colorings to present your parrot with an attractive dish that smells natural. It contains fatty acids, an important source of calories for birds that also helps reduce the prevalence of atherosclerosis disease. Pineapple and banana ingredients create an enticing aroma, and there are other real fruits and vegetables, including flaxseed, blueberries, apples, celery, parsley, and many more. It also includes probiotic fortification to help with your parrot’s digestive system.
The only problem we had with Higgins was that some of our birds wouldn’t eat in and would hold out for a less healthy brand similar to the top pick. With that being said, we think these are the best parrotlet pellets for the money on the market.
3. ZuPreem Natural Bird Food – Premium Choice
ZuPreem Natural Bird Food is our premium choice for parrot pellets. This well-balanced food contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, including flaxseed, carrots, celery, cranberries, blueberries, and more that will help supply all of the vitamins and nutrients your bird needs to stay healthy and live a long life. There are no chemical preservatives or food coloring.
What we didn’t like about ZuPreem Natural Bird Food was that it contains sugar, which can only serve to add weight to your pet. Also, a few of our birds refused to eat it.
4. Harrison’s Organic Pepper Lifetime Coarse Bird Pellets
Harrison’s Organic Pepper Lifetime Coarse Bird Pellets is another popular brand that includes no harmful chemical preservatives, artificial food colorings, or sugar. It offers your parrot a spicy alternative to their normal food, but don’t worry; birds are not affected by the substance in pepper, capsaicin, that causes the burning sensation, so they can eat straight habanero peppers without flinching. There are plenty of other high-quality, organic ingredients as well, including peas, lentils, sunflower kernels, and more.
We didn’t like that Harrison’s is only available in small packages and is a little expensive. Like many other healthier foods, some of our birds wouldn’t eat this brand.
5. Roudybush Daily Maintenance Bird Food
Roudybush Daily Maintenance Bird Food is a brand that our birds all seem to enjoy. It’s high in several vitamins, including vitamins A, E, B12, and D3. There are no added colors, sugars, or byproducts, and there are no chemical preservatives or dyes.
Unfortunately, there are no real fruits or vegetables in Roudybush to make us feel good about feeding it to our pets even though they seem to enjoy it. We also thought that the pellets were a little too small for a full-grown parrot.
6. Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Parrot Bird Food
Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Parrot Bird Food is another brand that contains no chemical preservatives or dyes, which can lead to skin irritation and feather plucking. It’s also high in vitamins and minerals to help provide energy and keep your bird’s immune system strong. We also found this food a bit less messy than many of the others.
The downside to the Lafeber is that it contains molasses, which is very high in sugar. There are also no real fruits or vegetables in this band, and the packages are quite small, so regular feeding can get expensive.
7. Kaytee Exact Rainbow Chunky Premium Daily Nutrition for Large Parrots
Kaytee Exact Rainbow Chunky Premium Daily Nutrition for Large Parrots is an extremely colorful food that will attract your birds to their dinner. It contains essential omega fats along with prebiotics as well as probiotics and prebiotics. There are plenty of other vitamins and minerals as well to help keep your bird healthy.
The downside to the Kaytee food is that it contains plenty of artificial colors that may cause allergic reactions or other health problems in some birds. Several corn ingredients, including corn sugar, can add unnecessary weight to your bird, causing premature aging and other health problems often attributed to obesity.
8. ZuPreem FruitBlend Flavor Parrot Food
ZuPreem FruitBlend Flavor Parrot Food features low-fat pellets that are highly colorful and come in various shapes and sizes to help entice your bird into eating. It’s fortified with vitamins, minerals, and important amino acids. It also includes plenty of real fruits and vegetables like grapes, bananas, apples, and oranges. There are no chemical preservatives, and it comes in a resealable bag to help keep the food fresher, longer.
The downside to ZuPreem FruitBlend is that it contains several ingredients that aren’t the best for your bird. It has a lot of sugar that your birds don’t need and can lead to obesity and also contains plenty of artificial dyes that can cause allergic reactions or other health problems. The birds do like it, but we can only feel comfortable providing it as an occasional treat.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose The Best Parrotlet Pellets
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in most parrot pellets to help you choose a brand suitable for your bird.
What Should My Bird Eat?
Wild parrots can live up to 70 years in the wild but average only 15 in captivity, so there is still plenty of work needed to improve the parrot’s quality of life.
Your parrot will eat plenty of nuts and seeds in the wild, but these foods are very high in fat and calories. Wild birds can burn off the excess energy through flight and hunter-gather activities, but a captive bird doesn’t have the means to burn off the energy, and they can put on weight.
Most experts recommend limiting seeds and nuts to no more than 20% of their total diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Real fruits and vegetables should be the main source of food for your parrot, and some experts claim that it should make up about 80% of their daily food intake. You should provide the fruits and vegetables as 80% vegetable and 20% fruit because the fruit is high in sugar. Vegetables you should feed your pet include kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli, peppers, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, and more.
Corn, Wheat, and Soy
Corn, wheat, and soy are the most genetically modified foods on earth. There is very little nutrition in these foods that can benefit your bird, so they are just fillers. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of bird food has these ingredients in large quantities. As a pet owner, the best you can do is to provide plenty of vegetables to offset it and provide the nutrients required.
Food Dye and Chemical Preservative
Parrots like to eat colorful food, so many brands attempt to make their food more appetizing by adding food color to make the colors brighter. Unfortunately, some studies in dogs and cats show there could be some side effects to eating certain colors, and while there hasn’t been much research done on birds, we recommend avoiding food colorings when possible.
You should also avoid chemical preservatives like BHA, BHT, and others. While more studies are needed, there have been plenty performed on dogs, cats, and humans to show that these chemicals can endanger your pet’s health, and you should avoid them.
Peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin that is responsible for the “hot” sensation in humans. Birds are not affected by capsaicin and can eat peppers that would send most mammals running for the hills. Birds like all types of peppers, and they are a great way to add bright colors to your pet’s food, so they are more attracted to it.
Feather Plucking Disorder
Your parrot can start plucking out its feathers for several reasons, including disease, boredom, stress, cancer, and malnutrition. If you notice your bird plucking its feathers, review the food you have been feeding to make sure it’s getting plenty of vegetables and not many corn products or artificial food colorings. If you’re sure the food is not the problem, check that they have enough room to move around and plenty to do. There are plenty of toys available to keep your parrot entertained, and they will also enjoy some time outside the cage if you can safely arrange it.
Make sure that none of your other pets are giving the bird a hard time, causing anxiety. Loud noises can also upset the bird and increase its stress level. The more relaxed the parrot is, the less likely It is to pluck out its feathers.
When choosing a brand of bird pellets for your parrot, we highly recommend our top choice. TOP’s 04 Parrot Food Pellets are the only brand not based on corn and provide your pet with the best possible nutrition. It’s cold-pressed to lock in nutrition, and it’s certified organic. Another great choice is our pick for the best value. Higgins 144961 InTune Natural Parrot Bird Food provides your bird with omega fats as well as probiotics to help regulate the digestive system and boost overall health. It contains real fruits and vegetables and has a citrus scent your parrot will love.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews, and that they have helped you choose a pellet for your pet. It should be noted that all parrots require a full and balanced diet and pellets alone do not provide adequate nutrition for your pet to thrive. If you plan to continue to shop, keep our buyer’s guide handy to help compare ingredients on the label to make sure you get a high-quality brand. If you think it can help others, please share this guide to the best parrot pellets on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image credit: Haris Mm, Shutterstock