Wild parrots begin foraging shortly after the sun rises. Depending on the food source and its scarcity, foraging may comprise the better part of the parrot’s day. In captivity, parrots thrive when they have a regular feeding schedule.
Small parrots, like budgies, can survive for 24 hours without food. Large parrots, like macaws and African greys, can last for 48-72 hours with eating food due to their slower metabolisms and higher body fat reserves.
If your parrot isn’t drinking water, this presents an even greater problem. Most larger parrots that are in good health can survive for 24 hours without water. Smaller parrots with a faster metabolism will succumb to dehydration in less than a day. That’s also the case for elderly, sick, or very young parrots.
How Long Can A Parrot Survive Without Food?
Parrots should be fed daily and on a regular schedule. They rarely last longer than 48 hours without food, with smaller parrots often succumbing to starvation before that. Here’s a guide:
|Parrot Species||Time Without Food|
|African Greys:||72-96 hours|
How Long Can Budgies Go Without Food?
Budgies are small parrots. Because they’re so popular and easy to breed, they’re often bought by people who are unfamiliar with caring for birds.
Most owners don’t understand that they have a very fast metabolism. A budgie will starve to death within 48 hours if it isn’t given any food.
How Long Can Cockatiels Go Without Eating?
Cockatiels have a high metabolism but can survive for 24-48 hours without food before their health is seriously impacted. Older, very young, or unhealthy cockatiels won’t survive as long.
Wild cockatiels go searching for food twice a day (morning and evening). Cockatiels should be fed a pellet and seed mixture at least once a day, with fruits and vegetables offered in moderation.
How Long Can A Cockatoo Live Without Food?
Cockatoos can usually survive for 48 hours without food.
Beyond this window of time, the parrot’s body will begin eating away at its fat reserves. Once those reserves are depleted, the body turns to the other tissues available.
A cockatoo needs to be fed pellets daily, along with some fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
How Long Can Lovebirds Last Without Food?
Lovebirds can rarely go longer than 48 hours without food before experiencing health issues.
They should be fed at least once a day. There are seed and pellet blends designed specifically for lovebirds, and a portion of this should be served daily.
Pellet/seed mix should compose roughly ¾ of the parrot’s diet.
How Long Can A Parrotlet Go Without Food?
Like other small birds, parrotlets have a fast metabolism and will experience starvation between the 24-48 hour mark. Beyond this point, the parrot can rapidly succumb to health complications.
Provide the parrot with opportunities to forage throughout the day. You can also split its feedings into two sessions. Pellet and seed mixtures can remain in the food dish for the better part of the day. Meanwhile, uneaten fruits and vegetables should be removed after a few hours.
How Long Can A Macaw Go Without Food?
Macaws are one of the largest species of parrots. As more complex animals with specialized care requirements, macaws are often unintentionally neglected. Many people underestimate the level of care needed, including the specifics of their diet and feeding times.
Macaws need to be fed a daily mixture of pellets, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Healthy macaws can survive between 48-72 hours without food before taking a sharp decline in health. Of course, even as large parrots, macaws cannot survive for more than a few days without food.
How Long Can An African Grey Live Without Food?
African grey parrots are among the most intelligent birds in the world. Such large parrots also have a slower metabolism, so healthy African greys can go without food for up to 4 days. However, birds that are deprived of food for this long will have an uncertain and complicated recovery.
African greys should be fed a pellet mixture every day, with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Pellet and seed mixtures can be left in the food dish for the entire day.
African greys need to spend social time with the family. To improve their feeding routine, allow the parrot to eat breakfast or dinner with you. Provide it with a perch and feeding dish in the dining room while you’re eating.
How Long Can A Conure Go Without Food?
Conures are brightly colored, medium-sized parrots with exuberant personalities. They also have a large appetite, so they rarely last more than 48 hours without food before their health begins to starkly decline.
Daily feedings of a pellet mixture are a necessity for conures. They must also be supplemented with fruits, seeds, vegetables, and nuts every day.
Keep in mind that parrots will dig through the food to locate their favorite morsels, which are usually the seeds and nuts. Separating pellet feeds from fruit, vegetables, and seeds is a good way to encourage the parrot to eat a balanced diet.
Will A Parrot Starve Itself To Death?
Some parrots will stop eating altogether if they dislike what’s on the menu. Parrots are notoriously picky about their food. If your parrot doesn’t like what you’re putting in its food bowl, it may cease eating.
Parrots can be hesitant about trying new foods. It’s natural for them to be picky in the initial few days, so gradually introduce new foods so that they can transition and their digestive systems have time to adjust.
If your parrot is fussy about food or has lost its appetite, offer it a wide selection of foods and treats to see if it has a preference. Convincing a parrot to eat just a few morsels of food increases its chances of survival.
What To Do If Your Parrot Isn’t Eating
It can be concerning when your parrot refuses to eat or rejects its food.
A refusal to eat accelerates the symptoms of health problems and further compromises the body. If a parrot isn’t eating but is sleeping a lot, then it’s a sign of:
- Serious illness
- End of life stage
It is vitally important to take your parrot to the vet if:
- It ceases eating altogether
- No other food or treats can tempt it
That’s true if other symptoms appear, such as:
- Feather loss
- Labored breathing
Ensure the parrot is comfortable and has easy access to food and water until you can get it to the vet.