Feeding Granivores

Granivore species include Parrots, Pigeons, and Doves.

Also see:

Natural Foods

Seeds from native trees and shrubs such as eucalypts and wattles, grass seed, some grains, native fruit and berries.


Parrot species include Galahs, Rosellas, Sulphur crested cockatoos, Corellas, Cockatiels and Major Mitchells.

These birds are seed eaters (60%) however a considerable part of their diet includes fruits and greens (40%).

Feeding Parrots

Feeding baby parrots

Mix together to a custard consistency:

  • 200mls warm water
  • 2 tsp apple sauce
  • tsp egg biscuit
  • tsp rice cereal or enough to thicken to a custard consistency.

Mixture must be fed warm and the crop should be full. Do not feed again until the crop empties out completely. The crop should be filled until it is bulging but not tight. It should be soft and squishy still. If it feels tight you have overfilled the crop.

Feeding adult parrots

  • A variety of seeds are found in the commercial packs of parrot seed and these should be placed into a large shallow bowl.
  • Another dish can provide a mixture of "greens" such as; apples, pears, bean sprouts, carrots, grapes, corn cobs, silver beat, capsicum and grasses with seeds such as wild turnip etc.
  • A bowl of water is also required

Don’t feed them human type foods of processed foods such as biscuits, chocolate, meats, citrus, soft drinks and the like, or the food can turn sour in the crop.

Feeding Pigeons and Doves

Feeding adult pigeons & doves

Adult birds are seedeaters and eat a variety of seeds and grains.

Feeding baby pigeons & doves

Baby doves and pigeons insert their beaks into the parent bird’s throat to suck their food; they do not gape for food. Feed them enough to fill their crop then wait 2-3 hrs for their crop to empty before feeding again. Once feeding is established they will show by restless behaviour when they need to be fed.

Make sure the baby is warm before feeding or it will not be able to digest its food. Very small babies can be tube fed with a fine plastic tubing attached to the end of a syringe but do not attempt this until you have been shown by a coordinator or experienced member. The food and tubing are warmed and slipped gently down the bird’s throat [right hand side of bird] and slowly released.

A good basic mix:

Soaked Pedigree Puppy Kibble halved dipped into:

  • 200mls warm water
  • 2 tsp apple sauce
  • 1 tsp egg biscuit
  • 2 tsp rice cereal or enough to thicken it to a runny custard consistency.

Self Feeding Doves & Pigeons can be fed on small parrot seed, soaked pedigree puppy kibble and soaked soup mix.

When the baby is larger and feathered it can be fed by gently holding the beak open and hand feeding pellets of granivore mix, soaked soup mix [dried peas, barley, lentils soaked in hot water until softened], soaked Puppy biscuits [based on rice with added vitamins and minerals] and a little scrambled egg. Often the baby will open its beak voluntarily if you use the V between your fingers or your finger and thumb to gently squeeze and push down on the sides of the beak.

As the bird gets bigger and its tail grows, you can begin to add soaked seeds to the diet. These birds take a long time before they feed themselves. Continue to supplementary feed, even when the bird appears to be picking up the seeds, as it sometimes take a while before it can actually pick up and eat enough to survive.





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