Diet for breeding African Greys



I used to breed a lot of African Grey parrots and have just been asked what to feed to get the best results. I used to feed a good quality parrot diet with over 30 ingredients but low in sunflowers and add a pich of vitamin powder to this each day.  Most important is not to over feed as they will look fine and go through all breeding signs but eggs maybe infertile. They should run out of seed half way through the afternoon.

I fed on average half a mug of seed per pair of birds a day which is not much. Also fed a small amout of natures harvest soak mixture ( a teas spoon per bird) as Greys are very bad at eating fruit but it shold always be offered. Also one palm nut per birds per day.  As for calcium I gave 3 drops of liquid calcium in the water once a week and twice a week when breeding.


My birds after 6 months were put outside in flight to get fit before putting them back down to breed. At this time when I caught them I always check the breasts to see if their weight was correct, to find out if I was over feeding which is easily done.


I hope that helps a bit and please contact me if you have any other questions at all


Rob Harvey


28 thoughts on “Diet for breeding African Greys

  1. hi Rob,
    I am Paresh from India , it was nice reading your blog, i have two grey pairs out of which one pair is feeding and preening each other. but so far no success in breeding them. wants to seek your advice in this regard. Please advice how to go about, we do not get ready mix feed for greys in India so we rely on fruits, corn, groundnut and sunflower seeds.

  2. Good Morning,

    You need to make sure the birds are not overfed as this will make them lazy. They need a small area to breed in as most breed in 3 foot cudes or similar size with lights to increase daylight hours to 17 hours a day which will help to get them to breed. Also make sure plenty of wood to chew in the nest box. I used to screw in from the outside small bits of 2 by 2 inch wood. Simply drill a hole in box bigger than screw and then screw wood in the inside through this hole. Once chewed the screw then fall out from the outside. Chewing is very good way to start the breeding process.

    Good luck

    Rob Harvey

  3. Hi i have introduced my Grey parrots into a new home of size about 4*4*3 and a nesting box inside. have kept them on 4th floor with minimal lighting and minimised disturbance, what else can be done for a successful breeding.. anything in particular to feeb, because am a first time breeder.

  4. Hi, You feed the same all year round but the main thing is not to feed to much. I used to feed a half mug of our parrot premium per day per pair plus a palm nut and a teaspoon of natures harvest soak mixture. If you feed too much they get very fat and do not breed. Best to call me for breeding tips as it would be a very long reply. Regards Rob

  5. I purchase 13 pair with DNA report last six month
    But not breed
    Please tell me about feed and breed

  6. Hi rob , can u help me out on my question please , ok my 2pair of greys are in a out building say I aim to breed them march ,April and say October if that’s there pattern what’s the lighting pattern on 12 hours a day 7 days a week all year or cut the lighting down , please answer as I’m puzzled with different views……..thanking you

  7. Hi rob so do I put the avian light on 17 hours all year round , because when u read up it says they need 12hours sleep, so with the plan I’m on with the vitamins I’m hoping they will lay eggs about April so if I aimed for that ,,,, now until then I should put the light on for 17 hours ? Everyone tell u different rob and its easy to get confused

  8. Hello,
    Please see the article on how to feed your parrots as overfeeding African Greys can stop them breeding, one palm nut a day can be a great help and it’s a good idea to have 17 hours of light a day.
    Hope this helps!

  9. hi rob hi have been studying you on how to breed African greys and have taken every thing on board. I have ordered some palm nut oil but it the jar that I have ordered is that just has good has the nut one. Hope to here from you thanks. Kev

  10. Good Morning. The palm extract in the Jar is the next best thing to the actual palm nuts. It is very goof for them but if they will take the Nuts it will be better for them. Best regards Rob

  11. Hi rob, I am trying to get some gray to breed what’s the best age to get them? You think I should get the young ones so they will get use to the surrdenings?Should I get the one that’s aredy pair or should I get singles and let them paired them self?

  12. I need advice for my grey parrots. Got 4 breeder pairs from a certified breeder, 6 months back. Only 1 pair had 2 lovely babies out of 4 eggs. Another pair had 2 eggs but did not hatch. Now I want to know as what can I do for them to breed. I give them prime supplement along with wheat germ oil. Also calcivet. They are on a seed diet. Your advice in this regard shall be highly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.

  13. Thanks for your message! Rob suggests that the first thing to check is that you are not overfeeding your birds. Overweight birds may look good and happy but they will not breed. Ideally your birds should run out of seed half way through the afternoon. There are various other suggestions too and Rob asks you to call him on 01252 342533 to discuss them.

  14. Rob says that dried fruit are the next best thing to fresh fruit and suggests feeding one tablespoon of dried fruit per pair of birds per day. You can never provide too many fresh fruits for your parrots but they should run out of seed half way through the afternoon.

  15. Hi Bill, Rob says to be very wary of breeding pairs on the market. He used to buy two single adult parrots (3+ years), wait six months to see if they were breeding and if not switch their partners. Hope this helps and good luck!

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