Diet of the Gray of Gabon

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A good basic diet will contribute to the good health of your Gray

No bird should be fed exclusively on dry seeds. Indeed the seeds are poor in amino acids (proteins) as well as vitamins and minerals. In addition, your parrot will tend to favor the more oleaginous seeds and will leave the others aside, leading irreparably to serious deficiencies. I am thinking in particular of the vitamin A and beta-carotene, which if lacking will cause your Gray to hypovitaminosis A, affecting the lungs and digestive system.

Your gray will also be sensitive to the lack of vitamin D.3 and calcium, which associated with a lack of sunlight, will lead to hypocalcemia.

It is therefore very important to cover its nutritional needs and keep your Gray in good health, to add protein and other nutritious foods.

Personally, I strongly advise against giving it human food. Even if the latter would appreciate it without complaining, his body is not made for this kind of food. Fats, salt, vinegar etc., could be harmful to it in the longer or shorter term.

It is also useful for me to remind you that our Gray from Gabon has more than 400 taste buds. Clear importance of his tongue, therefore, to taste the food before its approval.

I will detail in 3 chapters, their main diets, always livened up of course with fruits and seasonal greens because they are foods rich in manganese and vitamins, useful in the formation of feathers and growth of young birds.

Note that it is your Parrot who will choose his food, and not you who will impose it.

Basic plan
Store-bought seed mix

Oil seeds : Peanuts, teasel, safflower, hemp seed, rapeseed, poppy seeds, flax, niger, perilla, pumpkin, sunflower.

Cereals : Canary seed, shelled oats, maize, wheat, millet, paddy.

A well-balanced seed mix for your Parrot will consist of the following:

About 20% canary seed, 15% shelled oats, 20% Bordeaux millet, Japanese etc., 30% black and white sunflowers, 1% peanuts

It will be important to choose a recognized and reliable supplier, thus minimizing the risk of introducing into your breeding, a very harmful and relatively common mold “Aspergillus” (Aspergillosis).

Whole foods


Extruded pellets
Extruded granules are generally made from a mixture of grains and oilseeds (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, peanuts), carrots, vegetable oils, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fruit flavor. They do not contain animal proteins or dyes. They are also enriched with fructooligosaccharides, soluble dietary fibers that only certain bacteria such as lactobacilli can metabolize. These germs which live naturally in the intestine produce volatile fatty acids which acidify the intestinal environment, limiting the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria, thus making birds more resistant to disease. In addition, this flora plays an important role in the assimilation of certain nutrients.

They are made using extrusion processes, which cooks the ingredients at a very high temperature for a very short time. The advantages of this technique are numerous:
– Cooking makes food more digestible
– The food is free from pathogenic germs and fungi
– The granules hold together very well, so less waste.
vitamin A 12000 IU / kg
Vitamin D3 1200 IU / kg
– Calcium 1% per kg

They are therefore complete foods that provide healthy and balanced food.
Extruded pellets Trophivet

This is the food that I have used personally for several years, and especially the food that my Parrots have chosen as a priority (for better palatability it is now enriched with crushed sunflowers). Be sure to leave them fresh water available. Indeed, the water consumption will be around 40 ml / day / bird with the consumption of granules, against 25 ml with the seeds.

These extrudates are now available for sale at Trophivet

We also find on the market, an extruded granule called Graine’ailes. Its manufacturing process follows the same process mentioned above, with the only difference that they are of all colors and flavored with honey / fruit for more palatability.

– The granules hold together very well, so less waste.
vitamin A 12000 IU / kg
Vitamin D3 2000 IU / kg
Calcium 0.9% per kg

At the sight of the photo opposite, many of us will certainly say to ourselves, “but I know this granules!”

Indeed, you have already seen it, or certainly bought it under another name. It is even sold under another name in pet stores, at exorbitant prices.


But know that it is exactly the same as I present to you above, except that each intermediary will add his little extra to him.
Whatever its name, don’t forget that this granule comes from one and the same factory.
My birds have also adopted this pellet perfectly, and their plumage proves it to me. (brighter colors)
Several French Zoological parks have also adopted this granule.

This granule is available from Topduck.

Compressed pellets
Compressed (or cold pressed) pellets are, unlike extrudates, made with very little heat. They look rougher and less dense, more rudimentary and natural: no pretty little shapes or colors

This manufacturing process does not remove natural enzymes or vitamins, so the compressed granules are not loaded with additives such as fats, oils, artificial flavors and colors.

It is always important to carefully read the list of ingredients that make up a food and decide which formula will work best for your parrot.
For a few years now, BIO compressed granules have been found on the French market that do not contain dyes, BTA and Ethoxyquin.
You can get it at Psitta’food

The digestive system of grain-eating birds is made to crush seeds, and for thousands of years, compression respects this digestive system by allowing it to “work” normally. Relatively large pieces of cereal are found in the PSITTA’FOOD granule which requires the intervention of gastric juices and the gizzard (the stomach of birds) to be assimilated.
vitamin D3 1500IU / kg
vitamin A 8000 to 12000 IU / kg
– calcium metabolizable 0.7% / kg
Usually American brands will be based on Soy, but some birds may be allergic to it.

European brands often contain a large amount of peanuts.

In summary

By reading the list of elements contained in the granules, it becomes obvious that they provide nutrients that are often lacking in industrial avian foods.
Ex: Spirulina delivers a powerful dose of protein and vitamin A. Psyllium helps digestion (by removing toxins along the digestive tract). Wheat sprouts provide vitamin E, an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent used by parrots in several ways. Alfalfa, “the miracle product” of herbalists, contains essential nutrients. Selenium, a vital ingredient often overlooked in parrot food, works like vitamin E as a powerful anti-oxidant and mood stabilizer. Together they play an essential role in the “manufacture” of feathers, the formation of bones and fertility.

But never forget that it is your parrot who will decide on his food and not you who should decide for him. So do not hesitate to try several kinds of granules, or even mix several. Without forgetting of course the essential daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

Additional contribution
My Grays from Gabon regularly have at their disposal a mixture of pigeon seeds previously soaked for 24 hours in water, thus promoting the tenfold increase of vitamins during the germination phase.

(you can see in the photo below, rosehip seeds, rich in vitamins C offered with pigeon seeds)

– Cuttlefish bone and iodine block which will contribute to the supply of minerals and calcium and iodine. A deficiency of iodine can cause in some Psittacidae an obvious slowing down of moult.

– The most commonly given fruits and vegetables will be: Apples, pears, apricots (rich in vitamin A) grapes, pomegranates, melon, carrot, cruciferous, dandelion, cabbage leaf, cucumber etc.

This list is of course not exhaustive, but only spinach, avocados and citrus fruits should be avoided.

– A supply of vitamins in the form of powder to add to the daily ration, can be brought during the moulting period or to a convalescent bird. (give preference to powdered vitamins which will keep for about 2 years, in a compartment in your fridge, protected from light, with soluble powder active for a maximum of 6 months)

Different brands currently on the market: Perrotonic, Tonivit, vitinocholine, Nekton S etc…

Storage of Granules

My granules and seeds are kept in hermetically sealed 5 liter buckets after each use. Thus limiting the risk of mold, and proliferation of rodents.

Note: This article engages only me, I am neither a nutritionist nor a veterinarian, but simply an individual passionate about hooked beaks and in particular Gray from Gabon. This article has been written without any pretense, but simply with the aim of helping you better feed your Gabonese Gray Parrot. At the same time, prolonging his life expectancy.

The brands of Granules cited (1 paragraph taken from the original site, with authorization from the manufacturer for each granule) are either the result of my personal experience or to help promote a complete food developed by enthusiasts of hooked beaks for our customers. hooked beaks… 😉

Yann Durand

© copyright Parroquet pet

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