Why does my parrot throw food?

One of the most common behaviors in domestic parrots is that, when they eat, they throw a lot of food out of the bowl, causing dirt in their habitat. We are not talking about food scraps, but whole foods.

Have you ever wondered why your parrot throws food away ? Do you think it’s because he doesn’t like it or because he’s having fun watching his human partner pick him up again and again? In this article from Animal Expert we will talk about the causes that explain why a parrot throws food and possible solutions .

You may also be interested: Why does my cat throw the water out of the trough?


  1. The parrot diet
  2. Causes that cause the parrot to throw food
  3. Frequent mistakes in parrot feeding

The parrot diet

The diet of parrots is a factor to which we must pay special attention, since it is essential for them to stay healthy. An incorrect and deficient feeding can generate problems in the development of the animal, appearance of diseases and even death to your parrot, in addition, inappropriate behaviors can appear .

The correct feeding is that designed in a balanced way, with varied foods and that take into account the needs of the species , age and vital moment of the parrot.

We have two options to feed our parrot:

  • Extruded feed: this type of feed is formulated to provide complete nutrition to our animal. In the market we can find many brands with different formats and choose the one that suits us best. For us it is a very simple way to feed our pet, but it can be difficult for the parrot to accept it if it is not used to it since childhood. Even so, if we decide to give this type of food, veterinarians usually recommend giving an extra contribution of fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Seeds, vegetables and fruits: if we want our pet to follow a diet more similar to what it would have in its natural environment, we must feed it daily with a mix of seeds, either by buying the packages already made or by making our own mix. The seeds represent 50% of the food eaten by the parrot daily, vegetables are 45% of the diet and fruit 2.5%. The other 2.5% will be the food supplements that we must offer our parrot on a rotating basis, such as nuts, calcium (cuttlefish bone or calcium blocks for parrots) and grit (small stones that help digestion become the seeds).

If you want to know more about what parrots eat, you can take a look at the article on fruits and vegetables for parrots from Expert Animal. You can learn, for example, what fruits for parrots you can buy.

Finally, something very important to know is what foods these animals should never take. Food of animal origin (meat, fish, dairy products …), fried foods, sugary foods, spices or alcoholic beverages cannot form part of a parrot’s diet . You will find a lot of information on this subject in the article forbidden food for parrots also from Animal Expert.

Causes that cause the parrot to throw food

Wondering why your parrot wastes so much food ? In general, we could say that parrots are somewhat “messy” at mealtime, but in certain cases, the amount of food discarded is high, enough reason for us to ask why.

One of the reasons parrots throw away their food is because they search for and select the most appetizing foods for him. If we feed it with seeds and vegetables, it will discard what it does not like and eat its favorite ingredients. If you think that this is the reason why your parrot behaves like this, one option is to change the diet to one with extruded feed , although it is really difficult for those animals that are not used to it since they were little.

There are some fun techniques you can try to get your pet to accept and enjoy the pellets, this same technique can be used to introduce any new food. What you should do is treat the new food as a toy and introduce it in the same way that you usually do with these, you can make small rattles that catch your attention and offer it to him to try to get its content.

The boredom is another reason why a parrot exaggerated their food waste. Parrots are animals that constantly need mental challenges and stimuli , they have a highly developed intellect with needs that must be met to have good mental health and be happy. We must ensure that our pet’s habitat has adequate environmental enrichment.

The use of toys, mirrors or practicing small puzzles with them will make our pet feel fulfilled, also, we will develop our relationship with him in a healthy and fun way. If you suspect that your parrot might be bored, feel free to visit our article about parrot stress symptoms .

Another reason why they may have this behavior is monotony in the diet . Always eating the same fruit or vegetables, or the same mixture of seeds can be boring, in the same way, it is not healthy. In addition, it is interesting to encourage foraging behavior or foraging , hiding pieces of their favorite food for their cage.

Frequent mistakes in parrot feeding

Below we will show you 4 frequent mistakes in the feeding of the parrot that you should consider if your partner does not stop throwing the food:

  1. The bowl seems full but no. Some parrots leave the shells in the bowl, giving the feeling that it is full. We must remove these shells and change the food daily since we can fall into the error that we discuss below.
  2. Past meal. Leaving the same food for several days will make it stop being showy and the parrot will stop eating.
  3. “He just wants to eat seeds.” A diet based exclusively on seeds is not correct. Despite being an extremely complicated challenge, it is vitally important to try.
  4. Dirt in the food bowl. Just as we maintain cage hygiene, the feeder should always be clean, free of past food and feces.

Surely your experience with parrots has helped you completely master these mistakes and surely you know many more, do not hesitate to comment and help more people with this problem.


by Abdullah Sam
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