Question about an African Grey diet. I read that raw, uncooked whole wheat pasta is fed to them. Why?

It seems that it would be to hard to digest and possibly hurt them internally. Is it broken up? Why shouldn't it be cooked? How much should be included in a meal for one bird?
I don't feed my Greys uncooked pasta. They get cooked whole wheat, veggie or spinach pasta if I'm including it in their cooked bean mix. If I'm giving them "a little of mine", it's regular old white pasta. But it's always cooked. Consider pasta a side dish for them. For instance, if you are cooking up elbow macaroni, 3 or 4 good sized pieces are fine for him.
Also, keep in mind that wild birds are "seasonal eaters". When a certain type of nut or fruit is in season, that's all they eat for the period of time that particular thing is available. Then on to the next item that begins maturing, be it a fruit, a vegetable, or a nut. They forage for what is available at the time.
When planning "Baby Grey's" diet, the aim is to offer as wide a variety of items as you can think of with an emphasis on the Vitamin A list; something they need a lot of.
When you offer vegetables, think about frozen as well as fresh. The frozen mixed veggie bags without sauce are ideal for this. Get the different mixtures and combine them in a separate bag so you have everything in it: peas,carrots, broccoli, kale, beans, squash, cauliflower, peppers, corn, etc.
So if you are doing pasta, do whole wheat, spinach, veggie.anything you can find that gives him a variety.
also, think about rice: wild and brown are best, and always cooked. Quinoa is fabulous for them. And cooked beans are great for them as well. Lots of protein and fiber. This is also a great item to "hide" any vitamin and calcium supplements.
Don't be afraid of nuts: raw almonds are really good and they love them so much, using it as a positive reinforcement treat is a great tool.
But take it kind of easy on the seeds.
There are a ton of websites with recipes for feeding your birds. "Holistic Bird" has some wonderful information that is very precise and will give you a good overview of what's required to keep "Baby Grey" in tip-top shape.
If I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to ask, and keep us posted on how he is doing!
Good Luck.
huh what are u talking about where u see this at
I have always seen pasta is better for them than an all nut diet, that makes them fat. Feed them almost anyting you eat except chocolate. My senegal, who is a relative of greys, eats anything I eat! Loves cheesy mac.& mayo (I rescued her from a mall store, the kids fed her anything they ate!)
Read some of the bird store magazines for examples of what to feed greys. You need to feed them something for the red in their feather too!
As for amount, that you have to work with. You don't want to leave perishable stuff in their cages all day. You will get bugs really fast. I serve a dry mix during the day & the wet stuff for 'dinner' & you can clean that up with your stuff. for training info.
i have never feed my max wheat pasta and the vet says he is very healthy, but no it wouldn`t be hard to digest and thier is no need to brake it up your gray can do that very well if you wish to give it to him then about 5 peaces in his food bowl i would think here is some good info on feeding your grey

General information

There is a lot of information available about diets for pet birds and as time goes on, our knowledge continues to improve. This is due to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition plus increased research involving pets and wild birds. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

Should I be concerned about what my African Grey eats?

Nutrition is the most commonly neglected element of owning a pet bird. Too often owners assume they are feeding a proper diet to their African Grey when in fact they are not. It is a common source of many health problems. It is important to continually strive to improve your birds’ diet. This will involve reading, carefully interpreting and integrating the information along with a certain degree of "common sense". Above all, discuss nutrition with your vet!

It is not good enough to feed an African Grey just to keep it alive; instead, your goal should be to help it thrive and flourish. Your bird’s entire health will depend on how well it is fed.

What does my African Grey Parrot naturally eat?

African Grey Parrots eat a variety of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries and vegetation in the wild. They will clamber from branch to branch while feeding instead of flying. They especially treasure the palm fruit oil. African Greys are vulnerable to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies. A well balanced diet must be maintained at all times.

What should I feed my African Grey Parrot?


Seeds are available everywhere, store well and are very convenient to feed. Although African Greys do eat seeds, they would naturally consume a far greater variety of seed types in the wild as different plants come into season. An all-seed diet tends to be high in fat and provides an imbalanced source of nutrients that will lead to ill health and potentially shorten the life expectancy of your African Grey. Commercial seed mixes may contain a couple or dozens of different kinds of seeds and nuts. The problem that exists when offering a large container of seed to an African Grey parrot, is that the bird proceeds to selectively eat 1 or 2 of its "favourite" types of seed only. Peanuts and sunflower seeds are often chosen preferentially and are particularly deficient in calcium and vitamin A. This, of course, is what leads to further malnutrition. If a smaller amount of a good quality seed mix is offered then it is likely the bird will eat a greater variety of seed. Offer less and they will eat better.

How much do I offer?

As a guideline, most African Greys can be maintained on 1/4 - 1/2 cup (60 - 125 ml) of seeds per bird, per day in a shallow dish depending on the size of the bird. If there is more than one African Grey in the cage, separate dishes should be used for each bird to ensure those birds at the bottom of the "pecking order" have a chance to eat. This may not be appropriate in a flock situation. Any seeds left over in the dish at the end of the day could suggest that too many seeds were offered originally. Seeds should only be a small part of a balanced diet.

Fruits and vegetables

As a general rule regarding food offered to a bird, any wholesome, nutritious food that you and your family eat, your bird can eat. Fruits, vegetables and greens should account for approximately 20 - 25% of the diet. Pale vegetables, with a high water composition (i.e. Iceberg lettuce, celery) offer very little nutritional value. Avocado is reported to be potentially toxic.

Fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly to remove chemicals and be cut into manageable pieces depending on the size of the bird. It is not necessary to take the skin off. They should be offered in a separate dish.

Here is a tip to help get your bird to eat fruits and vegetables. Treat your bird like a small child; offer a large variety of food items daily and never stop trying.

Another great source of nutrients, enjoyed by the vast majority of birds is sprouting pulses - chick-peas and beans, soaked overnight and then laid out to sprout can be included to a diet to give an excellent addition.

Formulated or pelleted diets

Pellets, crumble and hand-feeding mashes have been developed, to meet all your bird’s nutritional needs. Different formulations are available for different life stages and for the management of certain diseases. Hand raised babies are the easiest to start on a pelleted diet. If you decide to go for a complete diet rather than making one up yourself with a variety of food inputs, then many consider that pellets are the ideal diet, therefore you are encouraged to slowly train "seed eating" birds to a pelleted diet.

How do I convert my bird to a pelleted diet?

Converting seed eating birds ("seed-aholics") onto a formulated diet is not always easy. Being a new item in the cage, pellets are not likely identified immediately as food. Slowly wean the bird off seeds over a period of weeks while having pellets constantly available in a separate dish. Some people mix the pellets in a reduced amount of seed which may aid its acceptance in the cage, but rest assured, the bird will not accidentally eat a pellet. It may take days, weeks or months to modify a bird’s diet. NEVER withdraw seeds entirely without first being certain the bird is eating the formulated foods plus some fruits and vegetables. Birds are stubborn, but can be trained. Remember, you train the bird, do not let it train you.

Consult your vet if encountering any problems with this transformation or the health of the bird. This can be a stressful time for you and your African Grey.


Fresh clean water must be available at all times. Dishes must be cleaned thoroughly every day.

What about "people" food?

Follow the general rule discussed above and your "common sense". Some birds even enjoy a small amount of lean meat, cheese or egg occasionally. Dairy products should be consumed in moderation. It would only be common sense that "junk food" and alcoholic beverages be avoided.

Will my bird have any different needs throughout its life?

Birds that are extremely young, stressed, injured, laying eggs or raising young may have certain special requirements. Consult your vet with regard to these situations.

Do I need to use a vitamin-mineral mixture?

If your bird is on a great diet, does it need extra vitamins, minerals or amino-acids? There is much written about supplementation. The powdered supplements are often regarded as more stable. Mix these products with water or preferably apply directly onto moist food. Placing these powders on seeds or dried foods is of little value since it will ultimately end up on the bottom of the food dish. One opinion suggests that a bird eating 75 - 80% of its diet in the form of pelleted or formulated food may not need supplements. Specific vitamins or minerals may be more important at various times during a bird’s life (e.g. egg laying - requires calcium supplementation). Liquid calcium supplements are available if your African Grey is determined to be deficient. Your vet can help you assess your bird’s diet and its particular needs.

Does my bird need gravel or grit?

In the wild, a bird would naturally consume small indigestible stones, gravel or grit whenever it wishes. This is to aid in the mechanical digestion of seeds and nuts. Controversy exists over its need in captivity especially with formulated diets. Offering a small amount in a separate dish will allow the bird to decide if it needs or wants it. Never place gravel on the bottom of the cage as the bird is then forced to eat it out of its "toilet", the dirtiest part of the cage. Gravel with charcoal in it is reported to absorb certain vitamins from the digestive tract making them unavailable to the bird. White oyster shell may be part of some gravel mixes. Some sick birds will eat inappropriate amounts of grit. If irregular or excessive consumption is witnessed, consult your vet.


- Always monitor the amount of food eaten every day by each bird.

- Offer fresh water every day.

- Offer fresh food every day.

- Offer fresh fruits and vegetables every day

- Clean all food and water dishes daily.

- "No" to a food item one day does not mean "no’ forever - KEEP TRYING!

Some suggested food items include:





beans (cooked) such as

i.e. chic pea





brussel sprouts



carrot tops

cherries (not the pip!)

Chinese vegetables

i.e. bok choy



dandelion leaves




kiwi fruit









peppers (red, green & hot)




rice (brown)


sprouted seeds


You've been given some good advice already. But yes you can give them raw whole wheat pasta, it is better for them than the regular pasta is. For more information and advice you can check out..
CAGs (Congo African Greys) have very strong beak muscles and will easily be able to chew up pieces of uncooked pasta. The reason why they recommend uncooked pasta is because it's a nice treat for them; they have fun eating it and it's a good work out for those muscles. You'll notice a lot of bird toys have uncooked pasta in/on them and it's because birds enjoy chewing and it's a good way to direct that chewing to something you want them to chew on. Many people have problems with their parrots chewing on things they don't want them to: furniture, lamp shades, even wall siding! So the best way to fix this problem is to buy toys (or make them toys) to redirect their chewing to something constructive. Is uncooked pasta a nutritious snack for a parrot? Not really. That's why you should always give them a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, healthy grains (wheat bread, Cheerios, sugarless corn flakes, etc.) and a good mix of seeds and what I call "hard food". Kaytee makes some very well-balanced diets for birds and the best mix I've ever tried with my parrots is Kaytee Rainbow Diet and Kaytee Feista mixed together. You want to have about 2 parts (70%) Rainbow and 1 part (30%) Feista. Kaytee Feista is a seedy mixture that also has dried fruits in it and it's very healthy for your bird, but as someone previously said, you don't want to give your bird an all seed diet because seeds are very high in acidic fats and will make your bird obese over time. With a well-balanced diet, your bird will be healthy and it will give you a chance to add treats to that diet such as pasta, small pieces of meat (always cooked), cheese and just about anything you eat, with the exception of sweets. It's good to not give certain foods like that to your bird regularly because if you do, they will no longer consider a treat and a type of reward for good behavior. Food is always the best way to train a parrot! Not to mention, a large amount of treat foods will make for a fat bird and that is NOT healthy for a parrot, as it isn't for any animal. Good luck to you and your pet!

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