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Old 01-20-2019, 01:05 PM
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Help with Amazon diet

Hi all,

Last year, I inherited a five year old Amazon parrot. The 10months that we have had him have been lovely but challenging, largely due to him not being previously handled or let out of the cage.

We have addressed and overcome many issues but one we are struggling with is his diet. He has only ever been exposed to a sunflower seed mix type diet, but only picks the sunflower seeds out. For the past ten months I have tried everything I can to convert him to a pelleted diet. I've tried hand feeding him, crushing up pellets and sprinkling on mashed sweet potato, mixing pellets with sunflower seeds, I even tried removing all food apart from pellets for a day and he didn't eat. He would literally rather starve. I have tried the above methods consistently for weeks/months at a time but he still won't budge. If I pretend it is a 'treat' he takes it from me and throws it on the floor. I have tried multiple well-reviewed brands.

I've recently decided to remove sunflower seeds entirely and have been feeding him a diet of fresh fruit and veg. He's quite fussy, but he will eat sweet potato, cauliflower, apples, oranges, pineapple, mangetout, red pepper and broccoli. Sometimes I incorporate grains to bulk things out.

I had hoped this diet would be sufficient but for about three weeks his droppings have been like water. He's fine in himself and is eating and drinking fine but I'm concerned that this fresh diet is not sufficient.

Any ideas?
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:32 PM
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Re: Help with Amazon diet

I have a 36 year old BFA, who I switched from sunflower seed to pellets about 20 years ago. It literally took an entire year. I started smashing up some pellets, and mixing them into the seed. He would get some every time he picked up a seed. Then, I added some whole pellets, which promptly went on the floor. I threw out probably 50 pounds of pellets over the course of a year. Gradually, I tried every pellet on the market, and finally he began eating Zupreem Fruit Blend. He ate those for about 10 years, with some seed mixed in. Recently, I began adding Harrisons and Roudybush and cutting the seed down even more. He will eat them all now, along with his fruits and veggies. My advice is to keep trying. Never give up, and eventually he will try something. My Sam is still a seed junkie. When he gets them, he will even soak the shells in his water and suck them to get the flavor of the seed. He is on a much healthier diet now, which I hope will give him a nice long life.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:12 PM
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Re: Help with Amazon diet

Truly great advise above.

Consider reading: I Love Amazons - An On-Going Journey!
On the second page of that Huge Thread there is a Segment that speaks to an Amazon's Diet.

The reason many owners switch to a pellet based diet for Amazons, especially older Amazons, is they have been faced with years of diets heavy in Protein, which is the main problem with Sunflower Seeds and Peanuts.

'Old Turkey' switching any Parrot to a new diet can be dangerous as it sets into place likely fear of starvation! This can quickly become a foundation to a behavior problem. Or, they may just stop eating, which quickly become a health problem.

We have used the transitioning approach that with time introduces pellets and also slowly reduces the volume of protein rich items. We purchase a high-quality Seed, Grain, Nut, Freeze Dry Veggies and Fruits, dry pasta, etc... To this mix we add a small or broken into tiny pellet pieces (crumbs). This represents the Dry part of the Diet. The Wet Part of the Diet includes an in season cross-section of Veggies and a 'small' position of fruits. We serve the Wet Diet first thing in the morning and then we serve the dry segment. The dry segment is left during the day with the Wet Part provided again at dinner time.

With time, several months, the Sunflower seeds are reduced to a few (commonly used as a special treat. Peanuts are treated the same. The pellet part is increased.

NOTE: All pellets are not the same. A hormonal Amazon and a sugar enhanced diet can be a deadly combination as the sugar only enhances the hormonal response! We target Pellets that are either very low in sugar (and salt) or contains No Sugar (or salt). It is also the reason for taking care of not over-providing fruits (and limiting freeze dry fruits).
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Last edited by SailBoat; 01-20-2019 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:16 PM
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Re: Help with Amazon diet

I never had any problem with peanuts. Mine throws out the nut and eats the shell. So now, the squirrels get all of them!
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:17 PM
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Re: Help with Amazon diet

I have had a Yellow Naped Amazon for more than 36 years and she has always been a very good eater. I cannot think of the last time I ever gave her seeds as a main focus of her diet. She pretty much eats whatever I eat. She is quite healthy as per her vet visits and bloodwork. I NEVER give her Avocados, Oily foods, Parsley, Onions, chocolate and some other items that I know she does not like. A typical day for her may include any of the following:

Oatmeal and fruit
Cherrios with milk
Yogurt
Pasta
Brown Rice
Salad (I eat a lot of these) - tomatoes, greens, cakes, zukes, beans, carrots, apples
She loves chicken bones - breaks them to get at the marrow, loves the cartilage

I make her birdy biscuits when I travel that are filled with some chopped veggies, some seeds, corn. I use the Jif Corn Muffin mix - she loves this.

I give a little cheese as a treat - also only the occasional roasted peanut.

I also supplement her diet with Zupreme products but that is a recent change - the last 3 years or so.

Anyway - my two cents - my Arnold is a healthy 42 year old who has eaten this way for more than 30 years.

Thanks,
Dominic

Last edited by ddricci; 01-23-2019 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:34 AM
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Re: Help with Amazon diet

Well done on cutting out the sunflowerseeds!
(that must have been scary- stubborn parrot and all)



with every dietary change the dropping will follow.
My first grey parrot was on seeds etc. (duh, those were the dark ages and no pellets existed! ) and compared to his droppings mine still all have permanent diarrhea.


Just fruit (sugery) and veg may be a bit much (or more precisely: not enough / nutritionally speaking)...keep trying a good quality pellet.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:32 AM
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Re: Help with Amazon diet

Oh, I remember the dark ages! My vet even went so far back then as telling me to chop up puppy chow and give him that. Said it was better than seed even though it was made for another species! How far we have come LOL.
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