Join Date: Nov 2007
Parrotlets Owned: 1
Experience: Parrotlet Owner
Rep Power: 14
I am an advocate for Shauna's Mash Diet from Feeding Feathers Yahoo forum, which is the natural whole foods diet I have fed for years. To summarize it as simply as possible, remembering that any changes in the right direction are positive:
Grains, 30% of the diet, soaked overnight and preferably sprouted, at least 4 different grains. The grains also can be cooked, combined with cooked legumes and frozen as a mash base in ice cube trays or small zip locks, depending on how many birds you are feeding. Millet, quinoa, oats (whole, not rolled or cut), hulless barley (not pearl), wheat berries, kamut, spelt, wild rice, brown rice, raw buckwheat.
Legumes, 15% of the diet (two parts grains to one part legumes complement each other for complete protein). Choose from the most easily digestible legumes, mung, lentil, whole pea, adzuki and garbanzo - these are the ONLY legumes recommended for sprouting because of anti-nutritional properties in other legumes. They must be soaked overnight, then sprouted fully until they have 1/2" tails, or soaked overnight and cooked (boil 10 minutes, simmer 20 minutes).
Vegetables, about 45% of the diet. Preferably at least 5 different vegetables per day, run through a food processor or finely chopped to avoid picking through for favorites. Choose at least one orange vegetable (pumpkin, carrot, winter squash, sweet potato), and at least one dark leafy green (kale, collard, mustard greens, dandelion greens - if you want to feed spinach, chard or beet greens only occasionally because of the high oxalate content). Other vegetables to reach at least five per day: broccoli, celery, romaine or other dark leaf lettuce, peas, zucchini, chayote, green beans, bell pepper, chili pepper, cabbage, bok choy, carrot tops, cactus leaf (nopal).
Fruit, choose two different fruits per day for about 5 to 10% of the diet, preferably from the more nutritious fruits. Papaya, mango, all berries, cantaloupe, pomegranate, kiwi, citrus, nectarine, peach, cherry, apricot, banana, pear, figs, apple. Try to vary the fruits, not offering the same one or two fruits day after day.
Optional ingredients: broken up whole grain pasta, minced wheatgrass, sprouted seeds. You also can offer a dry mix of mostly grains mid-day.
Supplements: Tiny pinch of organic powdered alfalfa daily (or can alternate with powdered wheat or barley grass). Powdered Kelp for Iodine (very important if not receiving fortified food, pellets, etc.) a few grains only per day, very little - you do not want to give too much. For Omega 3 EFAs (Essentail Fatty Acids, about 10 whole flax seeds daily, or a drop of flax or hemp seed oil every other day.
I make up my fresh vegetables in the food processor, enough for 3 days, and add several pieces of whole wheat pasta (whole) which absorbs the moisture and helps the mix stay fresh. You can add a finely minced (or food processed with the other vegetables) garlic clove to the vegetable mix.