In the wild, African Greys feed in a variety of fruits, nuts, leafy materials and the occasional meat meal. This is a far cry from the traditional sunflower and groundnut based “Parrot” mixes available in most pet shops. PLEASE DO NOT FEED THESE DIETS TO AFRICAN GREYS! African Greys, given the choice, will selectively eat sunflower seeds and ground nuts. This creates an unhealthy and unbalanced dietary intake which, in the long term can be fatal.
Instead, we recommend that the basic diet should be a good quality kibble diet.
In addition, you should offer a variety of fruit (e.g. apples, oranges, lemons, grapes, bananas, mango, melon, pineapple) and vegetables (e.g. carrots, potato, celery, green beans, corn on the cob, peas, peppers, broccoli, spinach, spring greens, kale) and nuts (unsalted!). Once a week, you can offer cooked chicken leg bones (they crack the bones and eat the marrow), yoghurt and scrambled egg.
African Greys will essentially eat most foodstuffs. Variety is definitely important but as with humans, the unhealthy stuff (fatty, salty, high preservative) needs to be given in strict moderation or you may do harm.
Foods to avoid are chocolate, avocados, alcohol, raw meat, raw eggs and any mouldy or poorly stored foodstuffs as these can be toxic and could prove fatal.
Hiding food and working for it
OK, so you have your caged parrot with his various toys and he gets his food and water in little trays provided for him/her. So what do they do for the rest of the day. You can only play with toys for so long!
In the wild, African Greys are foragers. Like most birds, they spend a good proportion of their day looking for food and we just provide it to them literally on a plate.
As intelligent animals, we need to stimulate their brains. We need to get them to work for their food. Hiding food in and under objects means they have to do something for that food, both physically (exercise) and mentally. There is a variety of foraging toys available to hide food in for parrots, but simply hiding food around your room under plastic cups and plates can work just as well. YOUR imagination is the only limit to this!