- Most green, orange (excluding citrus), and yellow-orange vegetables and fruits are the foods highest in beta carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A during metabolism.
- A general rule of thumb is ‘the darker the flesh (not the skin) of the vegetable or fruit, the higher the carotene content.’ It is carotene that converts into vitamin A when metabolized by the digestive system. Veggies are very healthy if they are fed raw but are probably a little more digestible if they are steamed or baked. However, overcooking can destroy vitamin content.
- Vitamin A also needs to be fed via fresh foods if a parrot is on a pelleted diet since this essential nutrient is generally unstable in the manufacturing process - especially in regards to extruded diets (the crunchy ones that are processed at a high enough heat to destroy the A vitamin).
- The following are good sources of vitamin A.
- Green Vegetables
Kale, Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, broccoli, dandelion greens, watercress, beet greens, chicory, chard, parsley, green peppers, alfalfa, hot peppers.
- Yellow-orange Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, garnet yams, carrots, butternut squash, hubbard squash, acorn squash, hot peppers, red peppers, pumpkin.
- Fruits With Decent Vitamin A
Peaches, nectarines, apricots, Japanese persimmon, cantaloupe, raw plantain, papaya, sour red cherry.
- Vitamin A is also available from eggs, meat, and many kinds of cheeses in the form of retinol but these should be considered as proteins to avoid feeding too high a level of protein.