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how long can a parrot survive without food?

How Long Can A Parrot Go Without Food? [Small + Large Birds]

(Last Updated On: January 22, 2023)

Wild parrots begin foraging for food shortly after the sun rises. Food can sometimes be hard to find or reach during extreme weather conditions.

Small parrots can survive 24 hours without food, while large parrots can last 48-72 hours. Bigger birds can survive longer because they have slower metabolisms and higher body fat reserves.

Most larger parrots in good health can only survive for 24 hours without water.

How Long Can A Parrot Survive Without Food?

Parrots should be fed daily and on a regular schedule. They rarely survive for longer than 48 hours without food, with smaller parrots often succumbing to starvation much earlier.

Parrot SpeciesTime Without Food
Budgies:24 hours
Cockatiels:24-48 hours
Cockatoos:48 hours
Lovebirds:48 hours
Parrotlets:24-48 hours
Macaws:48-72 hours
African Greys:72-96 hours
Conures:48 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 unfamiliar with caring for pet birds.

Most owners don’t understand that they have a very fast metabolism, so a budgie will starve to death within 48 hours if it isn’t given any food.

Budgies should be fed daily with a pellet mix supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

How Long Can Cockatiels Go Without Eating?

Cockatiels have a high metabolism, so they can only 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 search for food twice daily (morning and evening). Cockatiels should be fed pellets at least once daily, with fruits and vegetables in moderation.

How Long Can A Cockatoo Live Without Food?

Cockatoos can usually survive for 48 hours without food.

Beyond this time window, their bodies will eat away their 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. Seed and pellet blends are 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.

parrot not eating and sleeping a lot

How Long Can A Parrotlet Go Without Food?

Like other small birds, parrotlets have a fast metabolism and will endure starvation at the 24-48 hour mark. Beyond this point, the parrot will rapidly succumb to health complications.

Provide your parrotlet with opportunities to forage throughout the day. Alternatively, you can split its feedings into two sessions.

Pellet and seed mixtures can remain in the food dish for most of the day, but uneaten fruits and vegetables should be removed a few hours before they turn bad.

How Long Can A Macaw Go Without Food?

Macaws are one of the largest species of parrots. As more complex animals with special 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 a sharp decline in health. Of course, even as large parrots, macaws can’t 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. Large parrots also have a slower metabolism, meaning healthy African greys can go without food for up to 4 days.

However, birds deprived of food for this long will have an uncertain and complicated recovery.

African greys should be fed a daily pellet mixture with ample 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 family. To improve their feeding routine, allow them to have breakfast or dinner with you, and provide a perch and feeding dish where 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 declines.

Daily feedings of a pellet mixture are a necessity for conures. Their diets must also be supplemented with daily fruits, seeds, vegetables, and nuts.

Parrots will dig through food to locate their favorite morsels, usually the seeds and nuts. Separating pellet feeds from fruit, vegetables, and seeds is a good way to encourage them to eat a balanced diet.

how often should parrots eat?

Will A Parrot Starve Itself To Death?

Some parrots stop eating entirely 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 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 selection of foods 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, this can signify:

  • Serious illness
  • End-of-life stage

It’s important to take your parrot to the vet if:

  • It ceases eating entirely
  • No food or treat can tempt it

Ensure the parrot is comfortable and has easy access to food and water until you can get it to the vet.