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One of our biggest challenges appears to be how to teach our Greys to appreciate good food----that is, to eat their veggies. The following are some techniques that readers have shared with us over the years and some submitted by recent visitors to "The Grey Play Round Table" website:
  • Allison Adamiak of New York State learned a fabulous trick from her veterinarian. When Peta refuses to eat his pellets, she grinds them up in a coffee grinder and mixes them with his seed.
  • Nancy Eaves convinced Milo to eat sweet potatoes by grating them like cheese. No wedges are left in HIS bowl!
  • Nigel Ladwig of South Africa says that Tequila loves eating red chillies and chicken bones. Keeps her entertained for hours! 
  • Beth of Michigan warms up organic baby food and mixes it together in a MASH for Scarlett. She gets greedy, messy and never wastes any of them. 
  • Lauren Smith of Mississippi says that Sebastian likes to eat anything he can hold, such as string beans, bell peppers, apple slices, baby carrots (slightly cooked), raspberries, blueberries, bananas, and so on...cuts them in strips....but he gets more on himself than in his mouth.
  • Marsha Roberts of Texas has found buying canned toddler food to be a cheap and easy way to feed Spencer some of his fruits and veggies.
  • Madeline of Arizona strongly believes in the faithful OMELETTE to get Sammy to eat anything. She also purchases the packaged ‘broccoli slaw’ salads because the florets are the right shape and size for African Grey foot holding.
  • PHAEDRA SAVAGE of CALIFORNIA and MEXICO believes in teaching Greys to eat nutritiously by example. She stands beside JUBA's cage eating a veggie that she wants Juba to eat...saying "good!" He will try a bite of hers first...then will take his from a hanging skewer. The only veggie she can't seem to get him to eat is broccoli...any ideas?

Phaedra, you may try to get him to eat broccoli by boiling the stem, cutting into slices and serving...very nutritious!

  • HECTOR of NEW YORK gives SPANKY a Gerber baby cookie as a treat. 
  • GLENN WEIN gives HUBBELL Octopus tentacles to play with and eat. PLEASE BE SURE NOT TO GIVE YOUR GREY TOO MUCH PROTEIN. 
  • MIRANDA DEKAY of NEW YORK gives HUBERT a (birdie) skewer with half an orange peel filled with sliced apples. She loves it...apples and oranges.
  • FLEAGLE WRIGHT of SOUTH CAROLINA loves his veggie omelet! His pet human CARLA will finely chop fresh veggies, such as string beans, carrots, broccoli, or add a cup of frozen mixed veggies to two scrambled eggs with crushed egg shells (that have been cooked and dried).
  • BUCKSHOT of WEST VIRGINIA is very picky! His human KAREN mashes and mashes his veggies to add them to an omelet. He says, “want some egg?”
  • SHELLEY BURGER of COLORADO makes a corn bread for TOPPER with mashed baby food vegetables, such as squash, broccoli, and rice instead of milk.
  • MILLIE of VIRGINIA says EINSTEIN will eat healthy food if she eats it first and says, “mmmm, this is good...oh boy, I want some more.” She believes that exciting statements work every time.

FROM MAGGIE- It is a good idea to get your Grey to eat by eating it first. However, BE SURE NOT to give your parrot anything that you’ve already had in your mouth. The human mouth is one of the dirtiest parts of the body and we can give very dangerous bacteria to our Greys by giving them partially eaten foods.

  • LAUREN BELLEW of CALIFORNIA says, “I began spoon feeding GUS-GUS in the evening before bedtime. I use all natural, holistic baby foods which has many good results: 1) it gives us quality time; 2) it keeps variety in his diet 3) it socializes him as I let my boyfriend and roommates feed him and 4) it helps that I can pick out the baby foods that are high in calcium. He loves it too! 
  • Tami Woodford of Arizona reports that although Jordan is only nine months old, he absolutely LOVES raw sugar snap peas! They’re sweet and fun to eat because he can tear them apart and then eat the little peas inside.
  • Kristin Moore of Texas has taught Zoi to eat nutritious veggies by saying, "mmmm, it’s good!" Now Zoi says the same thing when she wants a healthy treat.
  • Betty of Illinois gives her Greys, Pearl and Pepper, beans, peas, peppers and soy beans on the stems of the plant, fresh from the garden. Then she drapes them on top of their cages to replicate the jungle. They love pulling them through and then RIPPING them up. This also works for dandelions, celery and carrots.
  • Barbara, pet human of Shadow and Sadie, of Florida says, "I found a store that cuts up fruit. I go there in the morning and make sure they cut up and wash fresh fruit for me everyday. Now I don't have to buy whole fruit. Therefore, by doing it this way, they always have fresh fruit...and it doesn't go bad before they eat it."
  • Christine of New York sometimes dips pieces of Monty's favorite veggies (such as corn-on-the-cob) in a vitamin powder to make sure he gets more nutrients. 

Publisher Note: Be VERY careful when giving vitamin supplements because an overdose can be WORSE than not having enough. If you give them on a daily basis, please sprinkle very conservatively. However, if your Grey eats pellets on a regular basis, the manufacturers generally do NOT recommend additional vitamin supplements.

  • African Grey Kimo loves to eat mashed cooked yams with either baby food or baby cereal mixed in it, and sometimes this concoction has a little pinch of Prime vitamin/mineral supplement added to it too. Mashed yams is a good source of vitamin A.
  • Jacques of Rhode Island loves to be with his family flock. His human Emily gets him to eat veggies, simply by eating them herself...and then of course he wants some like hers. Jacques eats dinner every night with his family flock where his perch is placed beside the dining room table, and he chows down, along with everybody else. Emily says it can get VERY messy, but everybody has a wonderful time!!!
  • Plato Mally of Florida eats different foods from different locations, such as some from a rod and others from a cup. He also likes getting food out of a window or empty box.....and presentation and freshness appear very important to him.
  • Zazu Pinell of Missouri says "My Mommy hand feeds me when I’m given veggies for the first time."The Graffs of California feed their Grey Sam at night. "Sam always tossed them out until I put them in a bowl on the bottom of his cage at night. He makes numerous trips up and down to eat from the bowl until late at night."
  • Smokey Gallagher of Pennsylvania loves to sit on her cage door and eat, causing all kinds of crumbs to crumble on the floor. So, her human, Joe, hung his daughter's small umbrella from the cage door, and now all the crumbs fall into the umbrella....and Joe only has to vacuum every other day, instead of three times aday. BRAVO JOE!!!
  • Cindy of New Jersey reports that she makes meatballs, primarily consisting of chopped vegetables, whole oats, egg and fat free parmesan cheese, and her Oliver loves them. (If you give your Grey any kind of meat, make sure it's well cooked and give very small portions-----Publisher)
  • Lynz feeds her Grey, Kenya, both warm and cold veggies and also finds that when she eats something, Kenya will want to try it too.
  • Vidalia Behme’s human says "When I prepare my veggies for us, I involve Vidalia in the process----by setting up the cutting board near the kitchen perch. I cut up small pieces of whatever I have; run these under cold water to moisturize them and hand them to him or wedge them in a toy. He has his own dinner plate and gets a serving of our dinner (we are vegetarians). He seems to prefer his veggies moist, so I often mash them into yogurt."
  • Food served warm is the trick for Popeye Linde of California. It is served to him interestingly, such as an open squash and letting him eat the seeds and tear open the squash.
  • "I grate up veggies and put them into my waffles. My FIDS just love the waffles and ask for them every morning for breakfast." Jayne of Ohio, the pet human of Pepsi.
  • Many pet humans report that they drape the foods in the cage bars, to replicate the jungle, or put the food in toys, on skewers, and so on.
  • Many Greys appear to like different textures, from raw and crisp to soft and mushy; from cold and hard to warm and gushy; so experiment with different textures, sizes, shapes, temperatures and feeding vehicles, until you determine what your Grey likes best.
  • "I spent years trying to figure out the best way to get my ‘girls’ to eat their vegetables. Finally, I discovered that both Sweet Pea and Merlin Tewillager love the MASH Diet. By grating their veggies in a blender, the cell walls of the foods break down, which results in delicious flavors, and the mash also disguises the foods they won’t eat. From time to time, I also hide some of their favorite foods in the mash so they have to eat it to get to their favorites. For example, some days I will sliver a tiny piece of cheese and mix in, or cut up tiny pieces of their favorite fruits and add, which also slightly sweetens the mash, and they love it." Maggie Wright, New York State


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