Do Bird Food Pellets Affect A Parrotlet’s Mutation Colors?

Do Bird Food Pellets Affect A Parrotlet’s Mutation Colors?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Hi, I’m a long-time customer and newsletter subscriber.

I currently have 6 birds which include 2 special needs parakeets that we adopted, 1 fancy parakeet, with green and yellow coloration, and is the most normal and closest to their original color before mutations.

2 green check conures, and last but not least, the bird I have a question about, my yellow color mutation parrotlet.

My question is about his diet.

I do a lot of research before I get a new bird to make sure I am doing all I can for them. I have read multiple times that color mutation birds can’t have pellets because it harms their organs.

I’ve been feeding him Volkman’s Parrotlet diet for years along with some treats such as bee pollen, peas, corn, yogurt-covered papaya, etc…..

My question is, is there a better main diet I could be feeding him?

He is 3 1/2 years old and my little buddy and I want him to be around for a very long time.

Thank you for your great newsletters and for taking the time to read my email.


Dear Pamela

We do offer a wide variety of foods so everyone can select the foods they need and want.

There is no one diet that everyone will agree on so we have a selection.

I have not heard about mutations not being able to eat pellets.

That makes no sense. Possibly they mean heavily colored pellets like Pretty Bird and Zupreem Fruit blend.

Colored pellets can cause some birds to absorb the colors and they will show up in their feathers. This may be the issue with hybrids and mutations which are the result of cross and inbreeding which also can result in a range of other problems.

There are some very good pellets without colors like Goldenfeast, Roudybush, Harrisons, and more.

If your birds are getting a diet with variety and not just seeds which can result in fatty liver disease then you are doing fine.

If you use a 100% pelleted diet you do not give extra vitamins, but if you are using seeds, veggies, etc. you should add a multivitamin.

Catherine Tobsing

Hi Mitch and Catherine,

I have a 13-year-old parrotlet who recently seems to have issues with her right nostril getting clogged with congestion.

She has had respiratory issues in the past and I am aware of parrotlets being prone to respiratory issues.

I have begun rinsing her nostrils daily with a saline wash, and she does not mind it.

The respiratory issues began after a wing injury.

We are living in the southeast where temps have been in the mid 90’s and higher with lots of humidity (no joke my car thermometer was reading 106 degrees the other day), which means air conditioning.

I keep my air at 78 or 79 because I don’t like being cold, but I need to lower the humidity to make it bearable.

I try to leave Venus, my parrotlet, near an open window when it’s not too hot so that she can enjoy the fresh warm air from the comfort of 78 -79 degree room temp.

Of course, I supervise her because she is my ” baby”.

I take her to the vet regularly and supplement her diet with fresh foods, although lately, she has preferred her seed mix which consists of millet, safflower, sunflower seeds, and buckwheat groats, she prefers the safflower seeds and sunflower seeds over everything else.

My question is if you have any recommendations for air purifiers since I see she tends to get respiratory infections, it possibly could have something to do with allergens and pollen.

I know ozone-type air purifiers are dangerous for birds, do you have any you use in your store or home to help with the allergens that you find to help keep the air you and your birds breathe healthy?

Of course, there are many factors, but I figure keeping the air clean is a simple fix to help one facet of the equation, along with all the other ways to keep my girl happy and healthy.

Thanks for all you do – your videos, the Sunday morning birdie brunch, helpful tips and more.

Take care,

Julie H

Hi Julie,

​Thank you for the kind words.

As for a purifier,

​Lastly please ensure your parrotlet is getting enough protein to help keep the body’s resistance up.



This Post Has One Comment

  1. responding to julie h re: congestion in parrotlet. you answered your own question when you said you had to lower the humidity. i live in the tropics, parrots NEED the humidity. try putting your bird on a perch in the bathroom NOT IN THE SHOWER and run hot water in the shower till the room fogs up. the bird’s nose will clear from the moist air. i had a rescued amazon prone to sinus infections, we did this a couple of times a week – aside from his regular showers. try it, it works. good luck.

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