Parrots love food.
So when they stop eating, this is something that naturally concerns us.
After all, we all need food for proper health and nutrition, and our parrots are no different.
If your parrot stops eating or drinking for long periods, their body will gradually become weaker and weaker.
But if your parrot is experiencing a loss of appetite, don’t panic right away.
There are lots of things that could be causing this behavior.
But what should you do if your parrot stops eating?
The first thing you want to do when your parrot stops eating is to determine the reason. As we just mentioned, there are many reasons that your parrot may stop eating. Some of these reasons may be as simple as the fact that they don’t like the food they are being served. Other reasons may be more serious, like illness or disease. The key is to find out what is causing the behavior and then find the solution to the underlying concern.
But what might make a parrot stop eating?
And at what point should you become concerned?
What do you feed a sick parrot?
And what does it mean if a baby parrot stops eating?
Today we will answer all of these questions and more, so let’s not waste another minute!
Table of Contents
- 1 Why do Parrots Stop Eating? And what to do about it.
- 1.1 They are stressed out
- 1.2 They don’t like a new food
- 1.3 They have a parasite
- 1.4 Illness/Disease
- 2 What should I feed my parrot if they are not eating?
- 3 There are seeds all over the floor of my parrots cage – why aren’t they eating them?
- 4 My baby parrot isn’t eating – what should I do?
Why do Parrots Stop Eating? And what to do about it.
As we mentioned above, there are lots of reasons that parrots may stop eating and some are more serious than others.
Let’s take a look:
They are stressed out
Just like humans, parrots can become stressed out.
There are a lot of things that can bring about stress from illness, to boredom, to depression, to a new environment.
If you have just recently brought your parrot home from the pet store, breeder, or rescue center, there’s a good chance that they will take some time to adapt to their new environment.
During this time, they may be stressed out.
Remember, parrots are used to living in the wild where everything is a threat to them.
They don’t know that your home is a safe place. For the first few days, they may be on guard constantly.
And as you can imagine, this is stressful.
What should you do if your parrot is not eating because of stress?
Stressed out parrots can exhibit a range of behaviors from aggression, to change in vocalizations, to repetitive behaviors, and feather plucking.
If you sense that your parrot may be stressed out, the key is to figure out why this is the case and act accordingly.
If your bird isn’t getting enough stimulation throughout the day, maybe you need to spend more time with them or buy them some more toys.
If they have just moved into your home, there is a good chance that this is the root cause of their stress.
The good news is, most parrots will start to adapt to a new environment within 24-48 hours of being there.
This means that they should start to regain their appetite.
Keep a close eye on your parrot within this time frame to see how much they are eating.
If your parrot is still not eating by day three, it may be a good idea to take them to the veterinarian.
They don’t like a new food
If you have just changed your parrots food or introduced a new food into your parrot’s diet, it could simply be that they don’t like it or that it doesn’t agree with them.
Parrots can be very particular about their food so if you have been feeding them the same diet for quite some time, it can be difficult to get them to change over.
Sometimes parrots will spend more time playing with new food than they will eating it.
If they do eat it, there’s also a chance that it could upset their stomach.
For this reason, veterinarians often recommend that you keep parrots on the same food throughout their life.
What should you do if your parrot is not eating new food?
If you do decide to change up your parrot’s diet or add something new to it, do it gradually.
Giving them too much of a new food all at once can cause them to stop eating, or can create an upset stomach.
Add a little more into their diet each day. If after a few days they still refuse the new food, revert back to their old diet.
It’s better to have your parrot eat something than nothing at all.
They have a parasite
If you have examined your parrot’s environment and feeding routine, and their lack of appetite does not seem to be caused by that, it’s time to take them to the veterinarian.
Sometimes lack of appetite can be due to more serious issues like parasites.
There are a variety of different parasites that can affect parrots.
Included in these are Aspergillosis, Giardia, Sarcocystis, and Scaly Face Mites.
Each of these has its own signs and symptoms, but the one thing that remains true for all of them is that your parrot can lose their appetite.
What should you do if your parrot has stopped eating due to a parasite?
If you suspect your parrot may have a parasite, the only thing to do is take them to the veterinarian.
A veterinarian will be able to confirm what type of parasite your parrot has and will be able to prescribe the proper medication to treat it.
With that being said, the best thing for parasites is prevention.
Feeding your parrot a healthy and nutritious diet, along with ensuring that their cage is kept free of dirt and mold, will go a long way in preventing parasites in the first place.
There are a long list of illnesses and diseases that can affect your parrot, many of which can cause a lack of appetite.
If you have ruled out all other causes for your parrot’s lack of appetite, it could be possible that they are sick, ill, or otherwise in some type of pain.
What should you do if you suspect your parrot is ill because they have stopped eating?
Take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Your veterinarian will be able to run a series of tests to find out what is wrong with your parrot.
From there they can provide the proper course of treatment.
What should I feed my parrot if they are not eating?
If your parrot has stopped eating for any of the reasons above, it’s important that you get some type of nutrition into them.
Within a few days of not eating you can quickly see your parrot’s energy levels drop.
You don’t want them to get to the point of malnutrition.
So if your parrot has stopped eating, stick to their favorite foods.
There is a higher likelihood that they will eat their favorite snack as opposed to a food that they just tolerate.
At this point in time, any amount of nutrition will help.
Also, be sure that your parrot is staying hydrated.
Without water your parrot can become ill very quickly.
If they have stopped drinking too, don’t wait, take them to the veterinarian immediately.
In terms of food, a veterinarian visit is recommended after 2-3 days of not eating.
There are seeds all over the floor of my parrots cage – why aren’t they eating them?
If you see seed mix all over the floor of your parrot’s cage, you may think that they aren’t eating.
But before you jump to this conclusion, take a good look at the seed mix.
There’s a good chance that they are taking out the inside of the seed and spitting out the shells.
If this is the case, there is no cause for concern.
Parrots do this all the time.
Some parrots are pickier than others and will actually pick certain foods out of their pellet mix, disposing of the rest at the bottom of their cage.
Many parrots will also play with their food before they eat it.
Again, this isn’t a cause for concern.
As long as they are eating a portion of their pellet mix, they do not need to see a veterinarian.
My baby parrot isn’t eating – what should I do?
If you have a baby parrot, there are numerous reasons that it might not be eating.
More than likely it has to do with the temperature or consistency of their formula mix.
Again, parrots can be extremely picky eaters – even as babies – so making sure you get the small things right can play a big role in whether or not your baby parrot eats.
In conclusion, if your parrot has just stopped eating, don’t panic.
It could be something as simple as not liking their new food.
But if your parrot has stopped eating for more than 2 days, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out any parasites or illnesses.