Parrot diets around the world

Parrot diets around the world

The way science often works is that you come up with a hypothesis, basically a supposition based on intuition, a little evidence, or perhaps nothing at all. Then, you gather evidence and see if it proves your hypothesis.

My hypothesis

I’ve written extensively on bird diets and specifically about the use of seed versus pellets as the primary component of a parrot’s dry diet. North America is where the pellet industry started and it retains a stronghold, whereas anecdotally, fellow bird owners around the world are less influenced by the pellet industry and the vets that go along with them.

But I’m not here to explain WHY I think things are the way they are, only to show how diets vary around the world, separating the world into North America and everywhere else.


I hesitate to call it a study, but I took a random sample of readers of my @hazel.the.cockatiel Instagram account and asked what they fed their birds and what country they were from. Although it’s not a huge sample, I got 23 responses.

I should note here that my study is the only study I’m aware of that exists about what type of parrot diets are used around the world. As a contrast, the “major” study that is used by vets across the world to justify pellet diets had 1 parrot participating in the study.


First, the overall numbers.

Total responses23
North America11

Then, the total number using either seed, pellets, or chop as a primary diet.


My hypothesis was that pellets would outrank seeds more decisively. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Here are the numbers broken down into pellets, seed, and chop.

 PelletsSeedChop% using pellets
North America92175%

Well, isn’t that fascinating! It also matches my hypothesis far more than I ever expected. The usage of pellets is 75% in North America and 18% elsewhere!

Again, it’s a small sample, but the result is very interesting because it was gathered in a truly random fashion.


Don’t make diet decisions for your birds based on this small study, but read my articles on diet instead. And note the probably not coincidental fact that most pellet manufacturers are North American. You also have to follow the trail of money when evaluating things with money involved.