What Do Baby Parrots Eat? {In Wild Vs Captivity}

Sometimes, beginners avoid buying or adopting baby parrots, thinking it is going to be hard to care for and feed them, and they prefer the older ones, thinking they’re going to be easy to care for and feed. And honestly, it’s kind of true that caring for older parrots can be easier, especially with food.

But, What Do Baby Parrots Eat?

Baby parrots in captivity eat formulas that are made of ground ingredients like seeds, fruits, and vegetables that comprise the nutrients and are easy to digest after mixing them with water. In the wild, the baby parrots will eat seeds, insects, fruits, vegetables, and anything their parents regurgitate.

However, caring for and feeding a baby parrot from his early days can prevent this behavior, and will make the bird housebroken, with no training or advanced tactics to tame any aggressive old parrot.

But, this skill could be unheard of, especially with the beginners who are just getting their first pet parrot. And for me, with my 18 years of experience, I have only one piece of advice for pet parrot owners, and it is to get the bird and hand feed it as early as possible. And I will Tell Why at the end of this article.

And before you go, I recommend finishing this article to know what is the best brand of formulated baby parrot food is, how to hand feed baby parrots and everything you need to know about hand-feeding baby parrots.

baby parrot looking for food

What Do Baby Parrots Eat in The Wild

In the wild, as mentioned above, baby parrots will eat anything the parents may regurgitate. This includes seeds, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and many more.

Baby parrots can not digest food like the older parrots, or at least the chicks that are still to be weaned. So, they will need to eat foods that are easy to digest. The commercial formulas or the regurgitated food from parents are good for them to feed and thrive.

How do Parrots Feed Their Babies?

There is an organ in every parrot’s digestive system that is called the gizzard. This organ contains the grit that will help the bird to break the seeds as much as possible before the food continues its track down to the other organ to be absorbed and defecated later on.

So, after the parents swallow the food, they fly back to the nest, and the food will get smashed and partly processed, then the parents will regurgitate the food directly into the chicks breaks, and they will repeat the process several times a day.

How Often Should You Feed a Baby Parrot?

If you want to hand feed your baby parrots after you bought them, or after you made your couple of parrots breed successfully, then you should feed the chicks 3 times each day. This routine will continue until the chicks are ready to be weaned.

How Long do You Hand Feed Baby Parrots

If you think about how long the parents will keep feeding their chicks in the wild, you will know how long you will need to hand feed your chicks. And as you know, the baby parrots in the wild will need the help of their parents until they fly, and when they fly, the chicks will go and may never return to the nest ever again.

So, with this being said, we know the chicks will start eating on their own after they grow a full set of feathers and after they fly from the nest.

How Long Does it Take for a Baby Parrot to Get Feathers?

The period before the parrot eats seeds and other food differs from breed to breed, and most breeds of parrots will need a time between 6 and 16 weeks. This doesn’t include the period of 2 weeks that the parrot will need to be hand-fed, while the seeds and nuts are nearby to try to play until they realize its food.

How to Prepare The Food for Baby Parrot

Preparing the food for baby parrots is very easy. You can follow the instructions written in the product, and remember to use warm water, not too hot or cold, warmer than the room temperature, something between 98.5-104 Fahrenheit is always good.

Do not make the fluid (what I call cerelac) very thick and viscous, especially if the bird is younger than 2 weeks, make the cerelac a little bit thicker than the water, and in the second week and the third week, make the texture thicker by adding more powder to the same amount of water.

Remember to mix the food at least for 1 minute after you add the water.

How Do You Syringe Feed a Baby Parrot?

There are 2 ways you can use the syringe to hand feed the baby parrot, the fast method and the slow method.

The fast method is to use the syringe to inject the food directly into the gizzard, and this method is a bit tricky because if the owner did it the wrong way, the baby parrot will suffocate. However, when you open the parrot beak, you can notice 2 tracks. The left track (Right for the parrot) is the one that goes to the gizzard, and you should inject the food into this one.

The right track (Left for the bird) is for breathing, and it goes directly to the lungs.

The slow method, and what I recommend for beginners, is to inject the food into the chick beak and let the bird will swallow the food safely to the gizzard. This method will take longer, because you don’t want to waste the food, and you will have to push the food slowly into the beak.

So, the big gizzard is the sign that the bird is full. The full gizzard will appear under the bird’s throat. Here is a video from Brian Vibert feeding his chicks and he will explain how to know if the bird gizzard is full.

Also, notice how he uses the 2 different methods that I mentioned previously:

What is the Best Baby Parrot Food?

There is no best baby parrot food, but there are multiple brands that produce very good formulas that will be healthy and nutritious for your baby bird. Kaytee, NutriBird, Higgins inTune, and many more.

There are some formulas that are specialized for specific breeds, and you can go for one of those.

Can Baby Parrots Eat Fruits and Vegetables?

No, baby parrots can not digest such food. Even if you decided to it to them as juice, thinking that the fluid will be good for them, then you are wrong, fruits and veggies are not enough to meet up the baby parrot dietary requirement. Formulated baby food is your best choice.

Why You Should Hand Feed Your Baby parrot?

I know it seems like a stupid question, But I actually have 4 reasons you as an owner should hand feed baby parrot. The first one is obvious: the chicks will die if you didn’t feed them. The second reason is that baby parrots can not digest seeds, fruits, veggies, etc. They need food that has a texture just like the cerelac.

The third reason is that you will get a very tamed parrot, that is well-socialized and loyal. It won’t fly away if you just hand-fed it from his early days. Hand-feeding is crucial if you want to have a parrot that can fly around anywhere outside the house and come back to you, without the fear of losing the bird.

The fourth reason is that you will gain new skills and experiences, just by hand-feeding your baby parrot. You will understand the difference between having a very young parrot and an old one. And trust if you did it for once, you will insist that any new pet parrot you are about to get is still as young as possible.


In conclusion, baby parrots can only the formulated commercial baby food or the food that is regurgitated out of the parents’ gizzard. Other than that, baby parrots can not eat normal parrot food like seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.