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Old 01-30-2012, 08:13 PM
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Feeding parrots clay ?

Years ago, I watch a documentary with Kim Bassenger & Alec Baldwin about parrots eating clay to get minerals. Have any of you see this feeding and adding clay to their diet ?

Great related video's- Welcome To Macaw Tales

This was the main reason we came to the jungle. The salt lick or Colpa de Guacamoyos is South American's longest macaw and parrot salt lick. The birds need to eat clay to get the needed minerals in their diet and with most of the area covered in vegetation these exposed salt licks, really clay, attracts many birds. The macaws and parrots generally fed at first light so that means getting a very early start on the day. We are travelling upriver under moonlight when we see several capybaras. As you near the salt lick you can hear the birds. We gather in the trees near the salt lick drinking coffee and eating some biscuits as we wait for the arrival of the birds. It starts to rain, after all it is a tropical rainforest. The guides inform as that the birds will not eat wet clay and as it gets brighter the birds fly off. Everyone is disappointed, apparently the birds only show up about 75% of the time. Rotten luck. After a day of swimming and jungle walks the head guide tells us at supper that we will make another attempt in the morning to see the macaws and parrots at the salt lick. We are suppose to leave the lodge in the morning to return to Puerto Maldonado and another visit to the salt lick is not schedule but what the main office does not know they can't stop.
When the guides came around to wake us the next morning it was raining. Although the birds will not eat wet clay they said we might as well try. The British couple decided to sleep instead. When we arrived at the lick it was dry and the birds were started to gather. There was a lot of green parrots feeding on the clay. The macaws stayed in the nearby trees but we saw a lot of them, along with other birds, a birders paradise. The people who stayed behind were certainly disappointed when we got back for a late breakfast, especially when we told them we also saw a jaguar. We let them stew for a bit before confessing about the non-jaguar sighting. After breakfast we started the long trip downstream to Puerto Maldonado.

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Old 01-30-2012, 09:20 PM
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Re: Feeding parrots clay ?

The only thing that comes to mind is : Mineral Treats: Bird Beak Conditioners at Drs. Foster and Smith
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:04 AM
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Re: Feeding parrots clay ?

Our companion parrots should be getting most of what they need from their pellets and added human foods. Adding cuttle bones and mineral blocks doesn't hurt though. Female parrots especially benefit from having an extra calcium source.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:47 AM
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Re: Feeding parrots clay ?

Is one brand of pellets that is particularly more nutritious ?
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:42 AM
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Re: Feeding parrots clay ?

2 of my birds are on Harrison's, which seems highly recommended. The other is on Zupreem, which is fine as well. Roudybush is another good brand. I figure whatever pellet they like to eat is much better than seeds, so I go with whatever they want to eat. If the bird you get is already on pellets, I'd just stay with the same brand. If it's not, you will need to covert it and you may have to experiment some with what you can get it to try.

The Zupreem is more convenient because I can just buy it at the pet store. The Harrison's I have to order online.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:22 PM
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Re: Feeding parrots clay ?

I saw the documentary on parrots eating clay. I understand they also ate it/ eat it in the wild to cleanse their systems of any impurities or food that could be harmful to their system through the day. I am wondering if one of our pets were to eat something harmful, if it would be helpful to give them dry clay. It is available for humans to eat for that same reason(I have Redmond's Volcanic Ash Clay). I would have to look into it some more though.
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