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What to Feed

Discussions of Pellet vs. Fresh Food Diets, Why Organic?

Fresh Food Diets


Sprouts (Where to Purchase, How to Safely Sprout)

Food Pyramids, Nutrition Tables, Research Findings

Lists of Safe and Unsafe Foods

1) Is this food intended for human consumption? If I can't eat it then I
don't feed it to my animals.
2) Does this food have a package or harvest date within the last year? No
date means don't feed.
3) Does this food resemble the ingredients it is made up of? It should also
smell like it too.
4) Is this food free of dyes, preservatives, artificial color and flavor?

Special Needs Diets

Food for Beakless Parrots

How about Bonnie Bruhn's cereal mix?  It's soft when it's cooked and it has EVERYTHING in it.

> Ridley had his bottom beak intact, but his upper beak was completely gone.
> So he used the bottom beak like a "scoop".  He liked bananas, mangos,
> cantaloupes because he could "shave off" pieces of the fruit.  I also gave
> him Zeigler's canary/finch crumbles, as well as Roudybush's mini pellets
> (which he'd crunch between his tongue and lower beak).
> He used to LOVE Bonnie Bruhn's cereal mix, too (as Michelle suggested).  I
> have the recipe and can repost it if you want it.  He also liked scrambled
> eggs, which I'd make with a little milk, soy milk, or water, whip it
> together, and stick in the microwave in a glass bowl sprayed with Pam.  He
> loved corn too, and perfect the art of getting the "good stuff" out of the
> middle and leaving the shell.
> Honestly, Ridley would try just about anything.  He got really good about
> shaving off pieces of various foods, even the harder foods like small pieces
> of walnuts.

I have Bonnie's cereal.  The other birds like it, in fact they are
visibly disapointed when they find something else in their dish.
Herbie seems to only pick at it.  I'll give it another try.

How to Feed

Fun with Food: Skewers and Foraging Toys

Sharing Meals with your Bird (and saving money)


Would this food or a similar food be part of the diet of a bird living in
the wild of the same species?  Caged birds need lower fat and calories but
they still need the micro nutrients that their wild counter parts get.  A
diet that differs significantly will not provide this.

Last but most important is variety

Most wild animals will gorge for several weeks on the same foods when
available but availability rotates during the year. Mimicking that would
mean you would feed something daily for a few weeks but then not feed it for
a while. This could bring on more natural hormonal behavior which for some
birds is not desirable. Variety would be looked at throughout a week or
month to avoid the seasonal behavior changes.

Allergies can be caused by over exposure to an item (usually the protein)to
avoid this rotation is always a good idea. Biggest allergy causes in pet
birds are corn and sunflower seeds. Looking in the bird section of the pet
food store and reading the ingredients list of bird food will give you a
good clue as to why that is. 

Elimination of fruit and corn, wheat, rice and other sugary, starchy foods
for a few months a year is wise due to the yeast overgrowth that these foods
can cause.  Yeast is natural but you cause overgrowth when there are no
breaks in starchy sugary foods.  Yeast can look like an allergy or other
problem but since it is easy to control through diet it should be the first
thing to target.

Daily variety should include a rainbow of colors, textures and flavors.  A
healthy bird should have access to these daily
Colors: orange, red, green, tan and white
Textures: mushy, chewy, crunchy and crisp
Flavors: sweet, bitter, salty, spicy, and bland.

There are several high quality multi vitamins out specifically formulated
for parrots. Giving this daily will cover bases and still allow you to feed
a mostly natural unprocessed human grade diet.

Food Discussion Groups

  • None