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

Parrotlet Diet

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Old 11-09-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
chapala
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Parrotlet Diet

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.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:23 PM   #2
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I was wondering when you would post this as a sticky. lol! Thanks Reta!
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
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You're welcome! I think it's more helpful than just referring people to the Diet forum to read through threads, and it's definitely more time consuming for me to repeat the same information often!
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:54 AM   #4
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do you not use a seed mix or just use this fresh food mix? if so which seed mix do u use
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:02 PM   #5
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I offer Cello a dry, mostly grain mix that I mix up myself. It has red and white millet, quinoa, canary seed, oat groats, and sometimes wheat or kamut. I prefer to give him sprouted grains, though he often gets both sprouted and dry. That's lunch around here. Morning and evening are fresh foods, plus the cooked mix in the evening.

www.parrotsontheporch.com has an organic mix for little parrots that can be fed dry or sprouted.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:34 AM   #6
Tony Bucci
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Reta,
is there a scientific reason not to feed apple seeds to the birds?

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Old 12-03-2008, 08:56 AM   #7
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Apple seeds and cherry, apricot and peach pits all contain amygdalin, a cyanide and sugar compound that changes into hydrogen cyanide when metabolized. While apple seeds actually contain only a small amount (much less than apricot and peach pits), they are not considered that toxic to mammals because they often pass through the digestive tract whole. Parrots however usually will crack seeds and pits, so they are more of a concern with feeding.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:41 PM   #8
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I am so glad to see this as a sticky! I have a whole file on my computer of your various diet postings - in fact, I was just referring to them again. Now here it is in one place. Thank you~ Now a question. I'd switched Bitsy over to mostly the grains, legumes, fruits and veggies as above. In fact, I wasn't feeding seed daily. Then when I put it in the cage, he'd just go crazy. Is it a mistake that I haven't been giving him seed? My seed mix has been converted to the low fat seed you recommended, Reta. I was sprouting for him for a while - but our life situation has been such that I haven't been able to do that recently. Do I need to start offering the seed daily?
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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Yes, you can feed him a dry grain/seed mix, best not all high fat seeds though! P'lets are active birds and need energy foods. Carbohydrates from whole grains are great for that. And, you can give him a piece of millet spray a few times a week. I usually give a dry mix or millet spray around the middle of the day so they do eat the healthy fresh food in the a.m. and p.m.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:07 PM   #10
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Thanks, Reta. Have I done him harm by not giving him seed every day? Does the millet spray need to be a small piece since it's high fat? obviously, he loves the millet. Thanks so much, Reta!
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