Lafeber’s Classic Nutriberries
Pros: parrots love them, easy to find, balanced diet
Cons: not something I’d use exclusively to feed my parrot
I have a 10 year old Eclectus parrot that I adopted from an avian rescue about 8 years ago. They have pretty specific dietary needs and do not do well on pellets or formulated diets so I make her food mix from scratch. I do like to give her Lafeber Nutriberries every now and then as a treat, though, or when I’m not going to be around to give her a fresh meal.
Nutriberries are nutritionally-balanced little balls of pellets, seeds, and grains that can be feed to your parrot as the basis of their diet or as an occasional treat. The round shape is supposed to entertain your pet and encourage their natural instinct for foraging.
The main ingredients in this product include hulled white millet, corn, oat groats, peanuts, hulled canary grass seed, red millet, safflower, maltodextrin, rape seed, wheat, soybean meal, corn syrup, corn oil, ground limestone, and a bunch of vitamin and mineral supplements. The guaranteed analysis is 12.5% crude protein, 8% crude fat, 5% crude fiber, and 14% moisture.
I paid about $30 for a 3.25 pound tub of these Classic Nutriberries at the local PetSmart. They are widely available in pretty much all pet supply and avian supply stores as well as being sold on many internet web sites. They definitely aren’t hard to buy.
Eclectus parrots do best on fresh-food diets that are full of fresh vegetables, beans, rice, and fruits, including things that are rich in Vitamin A like sweet potatoes and carrots. They do NOT do well on pellets or formulated dry diets because they can be very sensitive to high levels of supplements. If they get too much of certain things, they actually can start wing-flipping and toe-tapping which aren’t dangerous behaviors in and of themselves but they indicate an imbalance in their diets.
Although these Classic Nutriberries are designed to be a complete and balanced diet for parrots, I don’t use them in that way. Instead I give them to my redhead one at a time as an occasional treat and she goes nuts for them. Sometimes she bounces up and down when she sees it coming while others she wolf-whistles at it. She definitely loves them and doesn’t let any of it go to waste.
If we can’t feed fresh food, like if we are going away overnight, then I will fill the bird’s bowl with some Nutriberries and she tears them up. A couple of years ago I was in the hospital for a week and wasn’t home to care for my parrot. My husband was trying to balance work and being with me in the hospital so he just kept loading up her bowls with Nutriberries and fresh water and she was fine in my absence. Some people exclusively feed their birds this product all the time, but we would only do it in an emergency situation.
Lafeber Classic Nutriberries are a great product whether you use them as the sole basis of your parrot’s diet or just as an occasional treat. They aren’t really appropriate for me to feed my ekkie day in and day out but she absolutely loves getting one or two as a treat.