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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2013, 12:10 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

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@JerseyWendy
Thanks for the link, I'm still finding my way around these forums!

@jacksmom
Yes please! I'm worried he doesn't get enough of the nutrients he needs and am interested in what others are feeding.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:46 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Rudy is the macaw in your avatar? Cool, this should work size wise and health wise for you then, feel free to modify, I always do!

ALL Fruits and Veg Are Organic

Part One: Beans & Grains

Great White Northern Beans
Chickpeas
Kamut (have to go to the hippie store for that one)

Part Two: Vegetables

Kale
Parsley
Broccoli
Carrots
Corn
Peas
Green Beans
Green Peppers
Red Peppers

Part 3: Fruits
Apples
Bananas (soaked in lemon juice)
Oranges (just a few)
Pears
Cantaloupe
Mango
Peaches

Part 4: Nuts

Almonds
Peanuts
Walnuts

I don't always use every fruit and veg on this list, and surely I have varied from it a lot, always staying on the "safe" list sites...though I do make sure I pick at least four or five from each, and NEVER go without the carrots or a leafy green, too firm a believer in the carotene and the iron. The citrus fruit in a small amount is always added also, to help with absorption of iron. I would love to have more varied grains in there...but to get a size grain suitable for a macaw is tough, besides the kamut I have only found others available online, never in town - one day I may break down and order some.

I put about equal amounts of parts one, two, and three, little less of part one, and then add what looks like maybe 10% more in part four. I do this in a giant Rubbermaid, and freeze it in ziplocks, taking out one each week to feed..microwaving before serving.

I found Jack wouldn't eat the kale, he hates leafy greens...but you can solve issues like that with a food processor...just chop it so fine they can't pick it out.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 06-17-2013, 01:04 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Thanks!

Rudy hates raw carrots, and I haven't tried cooking them yet. What can I substitute if he won't eat cooked ones, either?

EDIT
Yes, that's him in my pic.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:32 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

I don't know of any other sources of carotene as good as carrots...but if he won't eat them cooked you can try pureed carrots for one batch, and see if he "acquires the taste", but what wound up working for Jack was soaking them in honey after cooking slightly...so, I suppose I add a small amount of honey to this also.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:40 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

I thought they weren't supposed to eat honey? So much to keep straight >.<

I went and looked it up, sweet potatoes have carotene and he likes those so I'm good anyway, he can get it from them.

Thanks for the chop mix!
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:05 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Ah, there ya go, that must be why I am always lecturing myself for not having sweet potatoes in there, have never even tried them...lol!

I had read that honey was a natural antioxidant, and bird safe... I think that is the right word, heh, antioxidant...yes, absolutely, a lot to keep straight! I saved a few "safe" and "unsafe" food, metal and wood lists, and refer back a lot! I keep thinking one day I will have it all memorized, but so far all I can accomplish is remembering things I have used before being fine, or things I looked up that were not!
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:03 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Mommajack, even if Rudy wont eat pellets now, it's still a good idea to get him accustomed to eating them. They don't have to be a main part of the diet, but it may be essential to him later in life to know that pellets are food. Although there are no "pellet trees" out in the wild, there are also a lot of seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables that we feed parrots that they also wouldn't be eating out in the wild!

I do understand the reasons not to feed pellets just as much as I do understand the reasons for it! I could debate either side of the topic! The main thing is, what if you go on vacation, have an emergency or, for whatever reason, have to rehome Rudy? What if whoever ends up watching/caring for Rudy can provide a great home for him, but can't provide the same great diet that you do? Some pet sitters/boarders are fine feeding dry foods but will not provide fresh foods, or maybe they will but then you may worry about the food going off before it can be taken out of the cage. Should he remain on a seed and nut based diet? Or would it be better to provide pellets and nuts? The answer should be pretty simple! Pellets do not have to be a main part of his diet, but they should at least be a small amount of it!

Besides those listed, you should also incorporate grains and legumes into his diet! These help to provide protein that fruits and vegetables lack.


As far as fruits, exotic fruits and berries are the best!

Veggie list looks good, and I do recommend feeding limited amounts of spinach.


Have you tried any of the methods suggested in this thread to get him to eat pellets? If not, give it a whirl!


Parrots can eat honey, but IMO, it's not good to feed it regularly. Honey can actually be found in some bird treats. When one of my birds was sick and I had to medicate, my vet gave me a list of options to try and one of them was honey! I was shocked about that, but hey, whatever makes the medicine go down!



You may also be interested in these two links
http://www.parrotforums.com/general-...s-sprouts.html
Lipoma/fatty lump (my second post with the sweet potato mash ball recipes)


If you can provide a varied diet that includes seeds, nuts, seeds/sprouted seeds, grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, then you are doing great! It's hard to determine what percentage of foods are best to feed in what moderation, so you'll have to figure that out on your own and perhaps speak with an avian vet. Many vets do recommend a diet of about 75%-80% pellets with the rest being fresh foods and treats. In fact, using that kind of diet, seeds can be completely cut out from it. However, if fed in the right portions, seeds and pellets can take up as little as 25% of the diet or less. Providing a fresh food based diet does consider a lot of thought and research into it to make sure you are doing it 'right'. Many parrot owners fail at a fresh food diet because they aren't providing the right foods in the right quantities, or if they are, their birds aren't eating it, and the birds are suffering because of it... so not only do you need to know that you are providing the right foods, but you also need to be sure that your parrot is eating it, too!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2013, 10:23 AM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Quote: Originally Posted by MonicaMc View Post
Mommajack, even if Rudy wont eat pellets now, it's still a good idea to get him accustomed to eating them. They don't have to be a main part of the diet, but it may be essential to him later in life to know that pellets are food. Although there are no "pellet trees" out in the wild, there are also a lot of seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables that we feed parrots that they also wouldn't be eating out in the wild!

I do understand the reasons not to feed pellets just as much as I do understand the reasons for it! I could debate either side of the topic! The main thing is, what if you go on vacation, have an emergency or, for whatever reason, have to rehome Rudy? What if whoever ends up watching/caring for Rudy can provide a great home for him, but can't provide the same great diet that you do? Some pet sitters/boarders are fine feeding dry foods but will not provide fresh foods, or maybe they will but then you may worry about the food going off before it can be taken out of the cage. Should he remain on a seed and nut based diet? Or would it be better to provide pellets and nuts? The answer should be pretty simple! Pellets do not have to be a main part of his diet, but they should at least be a small amount of it!
All excellent points you make! I have a cruddy brand of parrot mix I'm feeding him now (something I picked up at Petsmart at the last minute when I was told 'surprise! You can take him home today! In fact you have to take him home today or we're giving him to someone else!'), that has pellets in it. After that I will try a better brand. Perhaps he simply doesn't like the taste of these.

Quote:
Besides those listed, you should also incorporate grains and legumes into his diet! These help to provide protein that fruits and vegetables lack.
I've usually got red beans, pinto beans, black beans, and kidney beans on hand. As I said before, I tried butter beans and he hates them. I was planning on trying the pintos today, with some rice.

As for grains, I have the wheat squares, oatmeal, and flax seed meal. I also have some cream of wheat I could sprinkle on his food, just for variety. Any suggestions on human grade products that contain grain that's good for him? I did look for sugar free corn flakes and didn't see any. Would granola be counted as a grain? Also, I've been giving him human grade *raw* rolled oatmeal...I see by the link you gave me below I need to cook it?

Quote:
As far as fruits, exotic fruits and berries are the best!
I've added a few things to my grocery list

Quote:
Veggie list looks good, and I do recommend feeding limited amounts of spinach.
This. I meant to ask earlier and forgot. I did know to feed limited amounts of spinach, but the rest of the leafy greens are OK to feed as I wish, right? His foster parents I got him from told me not to feed lettuce, but other than that I can feed what I want of things like kale, turnip greens, and mustard greens? I was also planning on looking for hearts of palm.

Quote:
Have you tried any of the methods suggested in this thread to get him to eat pellets? If not, give it a whirl!
Not yet, but I will!

Quote:
Parrots can eat honey, but IMO, it's not good to feed it regularly. Honey can actually be found in some bird treats. When one of my birds was sick and I had to medicate, my vet gave me a list of options to try and one of them was honey! I was shocked about that, but hey, whatever makes the medicine go down!
Good to know!

Quote:
You may also be interested in these two links
http://www.parrotforums.com/general-...s-sprouts.html
Lipoma/fatty lump (my second post with the sweet potato mash ball recipes)


If you can provide a varied diet that includes seeds, nuts, seeds/sprouted seeds, grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, then you are doing great! It's hard to determine what percentage of foods are best to feed in what moderation, so you'll have to figure that out on your own and perhaps speak with an avian vet. Many vets do recommend a diet of about 75%-80% pellets with the rest being fresh foods and treats. In fact, using that kind of diet, seeds can be completely cut out from it. However, if fed in the right portions, seeds and pellets can take up as little as 25% of the diet or less. Providing a fresh food based diet does consider a lot of thought and research into it to make sure you are doing it 'right'. Many parrot owners fail at a fresh food diet because they aren't providing the right foods in the right quantities, or if they are, their birds aren't eating it, and the birds are suffering because of it... so not only do you need to know that you are providing the right foods, but you also need to be sure that your parrot is eating it, too!
Thank you! I am keeping a list of what he will eat and won't eat, since there is no point in buying things he refuses. My plan was to make a list of what he eats, what nutrients are in each item, then get my hands on a breakdown of his nutritional needs and compare the lists. It's hard to find such a list since apparently no one has really studied it (you'd at least think zoos have!), and every website has a different opinion on the matter.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2013, 12:24 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Very true, can always find a million different opinions, if you think this is fun, try reefkeeping!

I don't use beans high in lectin, like kidney beans, so on...actually most types are pretty high. :/ I am always afraid it won't cook out enough or stay in there somehow, and poison them. (Lectin is extremely toxic) I really need to make an online order for some larger types of grain, though...once you cook that oatmeal and see what sort of mess that will be for a bird this size, you will be looking for another option quick. Lentils, all the legumes and grains I feel are safe enough that can be found locally...ridiculously small for a full size macaw.

Yeah, I was a bit leery of adding honey "on a regular basis" also, but then I thought about how much honey was really in there...and figured I was better off this way than giving him one treat made with so much honey you can actually see it in there. Maybe two tablespoons in the whole shebang - what is that, like a drop a week? Less? We probably do worse giving them one manufactured treat made with honey all at once.

This is one of my passions about birds...diet is so ridiculously important, it can hardly be stressed enough. It will affect not only health, but appearance and even behavior. I had the joy of watching as Paris underwent drastic physical changes due in large part to good diet. My vet would probably look at you strange if you suggested to him that 80 percent or more pellets was ideal...but we have Avain and Exotics here, he is known as one of the best avian vets in the country, we are very very lucky his practice is only 20 minutes away.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2013, 12:48 PM
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Re: Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

UGH!

I can poison him with beans? *rips hair out*

OK, so if lentils are OK, but kinda small, I could make some sort of mashed up ball like with sweet potatoes.
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