Question for all you bird owners out there... - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question for all you bird owners out there...

Just wondering, what diet are your birds on? Just trying to get a general census for my study...

Thanks =)
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 07:51 PM
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my tiels eat everything..lol...They eat a seed mixture and with some laferbers nutiberries. They get roudybush pellets mixed with that.
Also they get lotz of good veggies, greens and some fruit everyday. The love brown rice and toast. They are given honey nut cheerios and grape nuts sometimes too.
They get a scrambled egg once in a while now. When they were babies they would get it more often but now only once in a while mixed with broccoli.
They try to steal my chips when they can..lol...but i only let them get a nibble in or two.
What can i say...they are spoiled little fids!

Lve Never Fails

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 10:53 AM
 
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roudy bush pellet is in their cage at all time.

they get volksman seed every few days (no preservatives!)

they love corn, and apples, and they eat whatever I have lying around....corn peas, beans, scrambled eggs with shells (extra calcium) etc.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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My budgie's mostly on storebought feed, but he gets millet, fruits and veggies every other day, and rice with a few veggies once a week...spoiled bird...I don't buy him treats though...a bit of dried fruit here and there, but I try to keep him as healthy as possible...apart form the soda crackers he gets every once in a while..
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 01:10 AM
 
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Mazuri bird pellets. I had used Pretty Bird for a long time but the price was a lot more and I found that going with a "natural flavor" pellet resulted in a lot less fruit flies. I still use Pretty bird for babies as it is easier for new parents to find.

Mine also get veggies, fruits, breads, pastas, etc.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 06:33 AM
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Avian diets are one, if not THE most complicated aspect of keeping a parrot. An appropriate diet depends on many things. It depends on what kind of bird you are talking about for one thing. Every bird has a different diet in the wild. What's more, bird diets vary by season and locale. Some macaws, like Hyacinths live almost exclusively on one or two food sources (palm nuts in this case). Other macaws, like Greenwings, are primarily fruit eaters.

In captivity, many owners don't know the difference and just feed them the same. This can work, but it's not necessarily the BEST we can do for our avian companions.

I've kept and trained parrots both at home and professionally for a decades, and in that time I've seen avian diets change from the traditional seed diets to modern pelleted (or extruded) diets. I've also worked with my vets (both at the zoo and my personal vets) in researching diets for the birds we keep.

In the end, we have to come to a compomise of sorts. We know a good deal about their diets in the wild, but we don't have access to much of that in our homes. For now, pelleted diets are just about the best thing that anyone can feed their birds, ...bar none. A diet of 100% pellets is pretty boring though, so we all supplement with other things. How much we supplement, and with what is important.

My tiel is primarily a seed eater by nature, so seeds are a significant part of his diet. I split it about 50/50 with pellets. He occasionally gets treats, but I make sure that most of them are grain based treats, breads and crackers and such. I don't currently have a budgie, but if I did, they'd be on almost exactly the same diet.

Long term studies have shown that birds like budgies and tiels that are on exclusively pelleted diets tend to have more kidney problems in old age.

For my larger parrots, their diet is 60-80% pelleted, with supplements of veggies (usually in olive oil), breads, crackers and fruit. They also tend to "share" whatever I'm eating, so they have additional bits of everything from fish, eggs and chicken to dairy products. Our morning oatmeal is a tradition with them, but they also love cheese and yogurt.

I rotate the kind of pellets I use for all my birds. Bird diets are so complicated that I don't believe that any one manufacturer has the "best" of everything. Changing pellets insures that they are less likely to come up short on some trace element. A side benefit of changing foods is that they don't get too bonded with any one food.

Everytime I run out of pellets (I buy big bags), I change brands. I've used Harrison's (waaay overpriced IMO), Roudybush (my personal fave), Zupreem, Mazuri, Kaytee, Prettybird, and a couple of small brands sold only over the internet.

Seed diets are NEVER appropriate for larger parrots. What's more, parrots will NOT choose healthy diets for themselves. Just like children, parrots will choose foods based on color, taste and texture. They don't give one whit whether it is good for them. You have to be the "adult", and make sure they eat what's good for them, not necessarily what they want.

Seeds should only be used as a "social" food, to enhance bonding, or as reinforcement for training the bird. Including it as significant part of the diet is shortchanging your birds health for your own gratification.

bob



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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh good! I was asking because I've been to another "all animal" type of forum...and lots of the 'bird people' on there chatted about giving their birds seeds as a staple, with no mention of fruits, grains, veggies or pellets. Glad to know all the pet owners on here are equally educated =)
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Toby has pellets available all the time but we also give him people food. I would say 50% of his diet is pellets and the other half is food like veggies, brown rice, beans, pasta, sweet taters, oatmeal, eggs, fruit, cheese, etc.

Since I have a macaw and they require a high fat diet, Toby gets a decent amount of nuts. In the shell since he loves to de-shell them.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillarious
Oh good! I was asking because I've been to another "all animal" type of forum...and lots of the 'bird people' on there chatted about giving their birds seeds as a staple, with no mention of fruits, grains, veggies or pellets. Glad to know all the pet owners on here are equally educated =)
Yikes! I would never give an all seed diet!!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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It's way too common. When I do a consulting for a client, the second thing I ask them (first being vet care) is diet questions. Half of the time a healthy diet and a decent routing is all thats needed to fix any behavioral question.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2006, 06:24 AM
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Lack of education is the biggest killer of pet birds.

Large parrots should live into their 60's or 70's, with the possibility of reaching the century mark.

The reality is that most don't live past 15-20 years. That comes from a survey an avian vet did years ago. Things may have gotten better, but I'm sure it's been a sllight incremental step, and that due to the advanced in avian medicine, not the fact that people are more informed about the birds they keep.

Just go to most pet stores that sell parrots. Most stores and their staff are full of wrong info.

bob



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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2006, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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The worst place I have been yet it PetCo. The "bird specialist" there told me that Senegals and Green Cheek Conures are very closely related, in the same "family". When I told her they were from completely different continents she just stuttered. One time I went in and asked to see the little Connamon Green Cheek Conures and she goes "Oh, they are fancy green cheeks." I told her they may be but the mutation was called Cinnamon. Again she contradicted me and said they were "just called fancy". She mislabeled a Jenday Conure as a Sun and refused to believe me. They are all of some crummy Kaytee seed with a few pellets sprinkled in. I dont like Kaytee because they use really cheap and unhealthy dyes and preservatives for their food. I always tromp around and see if I can dish out some good info the customers there.

I have an adopted 13 year old Max. Pionus parrot. He has been on seeds his entire life. He is overweight, has trouble flying and has fatty deposits on his liver. If I hadnt gotten him onto at least pellets he probablly would have only lived another few years. And this is a species that by all means should live into its 30s or 40s.

I know a lady who does bird rescue, and she adopted a 21 year old Nanday Conure who was on Kaytee seeds and pretty bird every once in a blue moon as a treat. He was in a cockatiel sized cage and never knew how to fly. His first taste of freedom in 15 years resulted in two brokem femurs and a vet visit that lasted for months. He still cant perch like a normal parrot and needs special living accomodations.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2006, 12:53 AM
 
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Here they get either Roudy Bush or Zupreem pellets rotated. The macaw gets seeds like Jodi gives Toby but not much. Plus they get a bit of what we eat at meals. My M2 actually sits down to dinner with me.

Whispers favorite is oatmeal with apple chunks.
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avian vet, dried fruit, green cheek conure, pet owner, pet store, pet stores, seed mix, vet care, vet visit


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