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

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

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


I have currently have 6 birds which include 2 special needs parakeets that we adopted, 1 fancy parakeet,  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 had read multiple times that color mutation birds can’t have pellets because it harms their organs.


I’ve been feeding him Volkmans 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 colored pellets like Pretty Bird and Zupreem Fruit blend which are not the best pellets in my eye to start with.

Colored pellets can cause 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 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% pellet diet you do not give extra vitamins, but if you are using seeds, veggies, etc you should add a multi-vitamin like Hagen Prime  or Lafebers Avi-Min


I hope this helps.

Catherine Tobsing


Hi Mitch and Catherine,

I have a 13 year old parrotlet that 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 nostril out 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 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 to so that so she can enjoy the fresh warm air from the comfort of 78 -79 degree room temp. room.


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


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


My question is if you have any recommendations for air purifiers since I see she has a tendency 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 are helpful in keeping 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.


And sorry about the whole thing about youtube, and people think we have freedom of speech?

Take care,

Julie H


Hi Julie,

​Thank you for the kind words.

We are actually taking low level legal action against YouTube this week?

As for a purifier, there is a video in this post that illustrates how to make an air purifier for $25 that’s about as effective as an $800 HEPA unit


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



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