Chop vs fresh food

Chop vs fresh food

Ideally your bird would be fed a good seed mix, chop, and fresh food for maximum variety. However, there are some clear advantages to chop and a couple for fresh food that I’ll outline now. I’ll note that there is no good research on the nutritional value of chop versus fresh food.

For those not familiar, “chop” is chopped up fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other fresh foods, which are chopped up and dried in some fashion.

Advantages of fresh food

  • Potentially more variety than if you use a pre-made chop mix
  • Possibly triggers more of a foraging instinct
  • Making chop yourself is a good amount of work

Advantages of chop

  • Don’t have to worry about fresh produce spoiling in the fridge
  • Possibly less work if you purchase a commercial chop product
  • More expensive if you purchase your chop product
  • Lasts all day long without wilting
  • Don’t have to worry about it spoiling in the fridge (less waste)
  • Some birds will eat chop (mine will) for fruits and veggies they won’t eat fresh
  • You can trick them into eating chop by mixing it with your dry diet
  • If you purchase a chop mix, you potentially have a wider variety of vegetables and fruit, including those that are currently out of season.


There’s no right or wrong answer here but there are many advantages to using chop in your parrot’s diet that maybe you had not considered. I have cockatiels, who are typically not fruit eaters at all, nibble on mango. Success!