Sunflower Seeds…Are they bad for my Parrot?

Sunflower Seeds and Parrots

Sunflower Seeds and Parrots

When we bought our first bird Marshmellow 18 years ago there was not much information about what to feed parrots. We gave Marshmellow a mix of fruits, vegetables, and some of the items we were eating for dinner. She also had a bowl full of seeds. In the seeds were sunflower seeds. A couple of years after Marshmellow had been a member of our home information on nutrition and Parrots was more evolved and much of the information showed that a plain seed diet was not good for parrots. With this information, Marshmellow very rarely received seeds or in this case sunflower seeds. Now 18 years later, the question remains…..Is a seed diet good for my parrot or in this case are Sunflower seeds bad for my parrot.

Here is an interesting article on “Are Sunflower Seeds Bad for Parrots” from Bryan’s Angels.

Are Sunflower Seeds Bad for Parrots

I think the best advice is everything in moderation (with exception of dangerous foods like chocolate, etc).  This advice is the same for humans.

If you want to give your feathered friend a tasty, healthy treat….. try lafeber treats.


  1. Bryan on December 9, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Thanks for sharing an insight of my article on Bryan’s Angels. I hope it’s useful and informative 😀

  2. Casidhe on March 7, 2012 at 9:56 am

    . Are sunflower seeds really bad for parrots? No ! Sunflower seeds are excellent sources of various vitamins and minerals.
    Sunflower seeds are actually a good source of Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Iron and Zinc and a very good source of Vitamin E.
    1. Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
    Vitamin E (also known as Alpha Tocopherol) is actually a fat soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is also an important element in reproductive hormones. Deficiency in Vitamin E can lead to health problems in parrots like poor fertility, appear lethargic, muscle disorders, poor skin and plumage conditions.
    2. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
    Vitamin B6 (also known as Pyridoxine) is a water soluble vitamin helps in the break down of proteins. Deficiency in Vitamin B6 can lead to poor growth, loss of appetite and poor egg production.
    3. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
    Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamin) is also a water soluble vitamin in the vitamin B complex group. It helps to maintain a healthy nervous systems in parrots. Deficiency in Vitamin B1 can lead to loss of appetite, lethargy, seizures and even death.
    4. Magnesium
    Magnesium serves several important functions in parrots. It helps in the relaxation and contraction of the muscle. An important element for the production of proteins, and converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy. Deficiency in Magnesium can lead to poor growth, lethargy and even death.
    5. Potassium
    Potassium is an important mineral for proper growth. It helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Deficiency in Potassium can result in poor growth rate and kidney disorders.
    6. Phosphorus
    Phosphorous is an important mineral needed for proper growth and bone formation. Deficiency in Phosphorous can result in bone problems
    7. Copper
    Copper is an important mineral that helps in the formation of red blood cells and also keeping the blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones healthy. Deficiency in Copper can lead to anemia and bone deformities.
    8. Manganese
    Manganese is an essential mineral that helps in the formation of strong healthy bones. Deficiency in Manganese can lead to bones problems.

    9. Selenium
    Selenium helps create antioxidant enzymes that helps preventing and repairing damage cells. Deficiency in Selenium may impair the reproduction system.
    10. Iron
    Iron is an important mineral needed to make the oxygen-carrying proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin. Deficiency in Iron can result in anemia.
    11. Zinc
    Zinc is an essential mineral. It plays a vital role in wound healing, regulation of blood-sugar and strengthening the immune system. Deficiency in Zinc can lead to slow and poor growth, and poor feather conditions.
    Other than vitamins and minerals, sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of protein and dietary fibre. Traces of linoleic acid are also found in sunflower seeds. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid. It is an important element for proper growth, wound healing and reproduction.
    Sunflower seeds are high in fat, but an active bird is easily able to burn them off .In a varied diet they can be an ideal supplement to the parrots’ daily nutritional needs without affecting their health.

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