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Best Harrison's bird food

Which Harrison's bird food is best?

As much as 80% of pet bird illnesses are said to be attributed to malnutrition, which is why feeding your pet a balanced diet is so important. Harrison's bird food is nutritionally complete, providing all the nourishment your bird needs to remain healthy. 

Since there are only two main formulas, it's easy to choose the right one for your bird once you know more about each. Harrison's Adult Lifetime Fine is the top choice, as it suits most adult birds.

What to know before you buy Harrison's bird food

High potency vs. adult lifetime

Harrison's doesn't make wild bird food, just food for pet birds. It has two formulas: adult lifetime and high potency. These are suitable for any pet bird. You just need to work out which formula is right for your pet bird. 

  • High potency: If you're switching your bird from a seed-based diet, you should always start with the high potency formula to boost nutrient levels. It's also better for young birds that are still developing, birds molting or with poor feathers and birds recovering from illness. Finally, it's great for certain types of birds with high metabolic rates and need the extra energy, including African grays and large macaws.
  • Adult lifetime: This is the best maintenance diet for most adult birds (excluding those mentioned above). This is also the best choice if you're switching from another balanced pellet food or your bird has been eating the high potency formula for six months. 

Piece sizes

Each Harrison's formula comes in a range of consistencies or sizes. The right one depends on the size of the bird and how it feeds. 

  • Coarse: These big nuggets are suitable for large parrots that pick food up from their bowl with their feet. 
  • Fine: Fine pieces are small nuggets perfect for small parrots, such as Senegals, quakers and conures, that pick pieces from their bowl with their beak. 
  • Super fine: These tiny pieces are perfect for birds that peck from their bowls, such as doves, finches, budgies and canaries.
  • Mash: This coarse powder can be mixed with water to make a mash or sprinkled on fruit or veg for picky birds. It's also suitable for feeding dry to small birds that peck directly from bowls. 

What to look for in quality Harrison's bird food


You can also find "pepper lifetime" and "high potency pepper" foods. These are the same as adult lifetime and high potency foods, respectively, but with added chili peppers. Some birds like the taste of spicy chiles in their food, but the nutritional content is the same. 


All bird food from Harrison's is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture. It follows that it's also made without any genetically modified organisms. 


In addition to its complete foods, Harrison's also makes bird treats. These are great for training or adding different flavors and textures to a bird's diet, but you should only feed them sparingly. 

How much you can expect to spend on Harrison's bird food

Small 1-pound bags cost around $16-$20, while mid-sized 5-pound bags cost roughly $45-$50 and extra-large 25-pound bags cost as much as $200-$220. 

Harrison's bird food FAQ

Is Harrison's a good bird food? 

A. Harrison's is a formulated diet, which is a more nutritionally balanced alternative to seed mixes. Although many people feed their birds seed mixes, they're not complete diets for birds, lacking essential nutrients your feathered friend needs to stay healthy. 

Harrison's is carefully balanced to contain all the nutrients birds need. Not only is it formulated by an avian specialist, but it's also approved and recommended by veterinarians who specialize in birds. 

While it's completely nutritionally balanced, feeding a varied diet can enrich pet birds' lives. Therefore, you should feed around 70% of Harrison's food (or another quality bird food) and 30% fresh fruit, vegetables and omega-rich seeds. 

How long does Harrison's bird food stay fresh? 

A. You must use it within eight weeks of opening the package. Therefore, don't be tempted by the lower price per ounce of larger packages if you won't be able to use them up in time. In a pinch, you can extend the shelf life by freezing the food once opened.

What's the best Harrison's bird food to buy?

Top Harrison's bird food

Harrison's Adult Lifetime Fine

What you need to know: Most adult birds will thrive on this food. The fine size is good for small parrots. 

What you'll love: It's non-GMO and certified USDA organic. The 1-pound bag is small enough that it won't spoil before you use it up, even if you only have one bird. Most birds find it palatable. 

What you should consider: It's fairly pricey, but many bird owners find there's less wastage compared to seed mixes. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Harrison's bird food for the money

Harrison's Pepper Lifetime Coarse

What you need to know: This 5-pound bag costs significantly less per ounce than smaller bag sizes. 

What you'll love: It contains added chiles, which some birds love. It doesn't contain any sweeteners or artificial colors or preservatives. This food meets the nutritional needs of most adult birds. 

What you should consider: The coarse size is only suitable for large parrots who pick up their food with their feet. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Harrison's High Potency Superfine

What you need to know: The high potency formula is suitable for birds that need a boost, including those that are molting or recovering from illness. 

What you'll love: The superfine consistency is suitable for small birds, like canaries, finches and budgies. It's higher in calories than the adult lifetime food. It's non-GMO and USDA organic. 

What you should consider: It contains peanuts, so those with allergies should be careful. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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