Feeding additional items

Whilst Harrison’s is scientifically formulated to be a nutritionally balanced diet it is recommended that owners also feed a limited amount of additional items to their pet birds, however these additional food items should be limited to no more than 20-25% by volume of the overall diet. Controlling the intake is to ensure that your pet gets the majority of its food in a form which is balanced for energy, protein and essential minerals and vitamins.

Over-feeding of additional (energy rich but often micronutrient poor) items may result in a dilution and imbalance of these nutrients in the overall diet. It is important to carefully follow supplementation guidelines for Harrison's to be fully effective.

  • Harrison's products should make up 75-80% by volume of your bird's diet.

  • It is recommended that 15-20% by volume of the overall diet should be good quality, ideally organic, vegetables and fruits.

  • It is recommended that 5% by volume of the overall diet should be high quality, ideally organic, items which provide a rich source of omega-3s. See this article for more information on the reasons for, and benefits of, including these items.

Because Harrison’s Diets are scientifically formulated it is not required nor recommended to supplement with vitamins, minerals or other bird or animal food supplement products unless explicitly directed by your avian veterinarian.

When feeding fruit and vegetable where possible it is best to offer certified organic vegetables and fruits in small quantities; select dark yellow meaty or dark green leafy items such as sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, broccoli, parsley, spinach, mango or papaya. Try and avoid those high in sugars (such as grapes) as they provide energy but little else.

Foods which are omega-rich include chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and certain nuts (particularly walnuts).

Remember to consider portion sizes - a single grape relative to the size of a cockatiel, is the same as 450 grapes relative to a 150lb/68kg person(!)

For birds with suspected iron-storage disease

There are many suggestions as to the contributory factors predisposing to Iron Storage Disease (ISD) in captive birds. Some species are known to be particularly affected but the condition has been recorded in a wide range of species including parrots. For those pet birds where ISD has been diagnosed or suspected there are some dietary considerations that should be followed.

Avoid grapes, currants, raisins, liver, red meat, egg yolk or dark green vegetables such as spinach, which may contain high levels of iron. Avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi, strawberries and other foods containing vitamin C as this increases the absorption of iron from the diet.

The organic nature of the products used to manufacture Harrison’s means that there is natural variability in the levels of iron in the foods and whilst Harrison’s diets, are not designated ‘low iron’ diets (recommended at >70ppm) they are low in iron.