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Go Back   Talk Parrotlets Forums > Parrotlets > Your Parrotlet's Health > Parrotlet Diet

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Parrotlet Diet Discuss the diets of parrotlets here. Recipes can go here too.

Nutritional diet

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Old 04-18-2013, 06:57 PM   #1
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Nutritional diet

Hi,

By reviewing the posts, it has been many years since anyone has talked about what these little charms should be eating. In regards to seed, fruit, veggies, legumes, sprouts, versus pellets. I've just heard that pellets are bad because they are processed.

Is there anyone in our group here that is a veternarian and knows exaclty what are birds should be eating? What is the best seed to start and then go from there.

Thanks ahead of time for anyones input.

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Old 04-18-2013, 08:06 PM   #2
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Well, it's really funny that you ask... I just attended a bird club meeting where Dr. Echols came to speak about parrot diet. He also did address the concern about smaller parrots and pellets in regards that some don't do well on a completely pelleted diet.

This is the summary:

1. All birds should be on a pelleted diet. No brand is better than another in his mind. The smaller parrots should NOT have more than 50% pellets. The other 50% or more should be fresh veggies and some fruit. He says to aim for leafy greens and berries. He doesn't recommend citrus fruit or animal protein (chicken, beef, etc). No fruit juice. Sprouting seeds is fine. Doesn't matter if it's raw or cooked, however the bird will eat it.

Larger parrots should get 50-70% pellets and the rest would be fresh foods.

2. No bird should have seeds or nuts unless they're breeding or very active birds (like birds in a bird show that fly a lot... flying around the house is not good enough).

3. All birds should get some natural sunlight when possible. He does warn that they should be caged and monitored when outside. He's skeptical about full spectrum lighting being effective and recommends natural sunlight.

4. The more exercise you can get your birds to do, whether flying or walking, he encourages it. He especially encouraged foraging to keep them moving and entertained, though he admits that it's more outside the cage than inside (most cages aren't big enough to provide enough room for very much activity).

He also has a website: www.avianstudios.com which he says there's a diet sheet that you can fill out. I haven't had time to check it out yet though.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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Bird Nutrition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx n Noodle View Post
Well, it's really funny that you ask... I just attended a bird club meeting where Dr. Echols came to speak about parrot diet. He also did address the concern about smaller parrots and pellets in regards that some don't do well on a completely pelleted diet.

This is the summary:

1. All birds should be on a pelleted diet. No brand is better than another in his mind. The smaller parrots should NOT have more than 50% pellets. The other 50% or more should be fresh veggies and some fruit. He says to aim for leafy greens and berries. He doesn't recommend citrus fruit or animal protein (chicken, beef, etc). No fruit juice. Sprouting seeds is fine. Doesn't matter if it's raw or cooked, however the bird will eat it.

Larger parrots should get 50-70% pellets and the rest would be fresh foods.

2. No bird should have seeds or nuts unless they're breeding or very active birds (like birds in a bird show that fly a lot... flying around the house is not good enough).

3. All birds should get some natural sunlight when possible. He does warn that they should be caged and monitored when outside. He's skeptical about full spectrum lighting being effective and recommends natural sunlight.

4. The more exercise you can get your birds to do, whether flying or walking, he encourages it. He especially encouraged foraging to keep them moving and entertained, though he admits that it's more outside the cage than inside (most cages aren't big enough to provide enough room for very much activity).

He also has a website: www.avianstudios.com which he says there's a diet sheet that you can fill out. I haven't had time to check it out yet though.
Thanks for the quick turnaround. It just seems wrong that seeds are not recommended. It's a natural food for birds. Don't you think?
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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Yes, he did talk about it in depth, I just didn't mention it here in depth. He states that parrots in the wild actually eat a lot of seeds, but these birds forage a lot and will fly for miles and miles... so they burn the energy quickly and seeds are a quick source of energy. But in caged birds, this is not the case, no matter how much exercise you provide, will not be anywhere near what parrots in the wild have. He mentioned that seeds are just too high in fat for this reason.

Of course, he also goes into ingredients of the pellets and why pellets are better. Birds just can't pick and choose through pellets like they do with seeds. Dr. Echols mentioned that when given seeds, birds will always choose the highest fat ones. And given a large bowl of it, they will always eat the fattier ones first and not touch the healthier ones unless they have. This creates an inbalance which is harder to do with pellets. He also mentions that nutriberries are a good choice (comparitive to pellets) and that it's been shown that it takes birds longer to eat the nutriberries than the pellets, so it's more foraging style technique and makes them work for it.

It all comes down to it, the proper diets in parrots are evolving as everybody tries to educate themselves. All we can do is try to make educated choices for our birds.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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I found it : http://www.avianstudios.com/wp-conte...n-Species3.pdf

It goes over the diet a bit by different species...
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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Ooops, I missed in my notes that there should be whole grains in the fresh food part of the diet... which can contain some certain seeds; in the link I have above, it goes over some examples of whole grains.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #7
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Wow I checked out that link and saved the information in iBooks as a goto reference. Thank you!
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:52 PM   #8
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Thanks Jinx. This information is great. You're awesome!
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:23 AM   #9
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Can you sticky this?
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:22 AM   #10
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Okay, stickied And for those that don't know Dr. Echols is a big time Avian vet and he goes all around the country and the world speaking about birds and helping birds. He has great stories to share and was extremely funny He has his own practice somewhere, I think Utah... If you guys aren't already involved, you should look into any local bird clubs and think about attending/joining. My club brings local and people from around the country to speak at the member meetings.
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