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Old 06-18-2014, 08:45 AM
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Sources of Protein?

So I know additional protein is a nice treat for a lot of parrots -- I like to give eggs and cooked chicken occasionally (then we make jokes about the birds being cannibals, heh) but does anyone supplement with insects, like the freeze dried options?

I had reptiles for a long time as well as helping my husband raise game fish in the past. So I usually had freeze dried mealworms or crickets for young animals or when fresh food wasn't available.

I've considered trying those as a bird treat, since I have to figure insects would be their primary wild source of protein.

Does anyone else do that? Any reason why that wouldn't work? For reference, I mean these things:

Carnivore Foods for Reptiles: Freeze-Dried Mealworms at Drs. Foster and Smith
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:54 AM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

They should get more than enough with eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts.

I seriously doubt mine would eat bugs. And eggs are probably better anyway. Never seen a bird turn its beak up at scrambled eggs...
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:13 AM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

Yup, I'm with Birdman. My baby adores his "chop" omelet, which het gets every two weeks or so. I just beat up one egg and toss one potion of chop in it. Cook on low heat till done and cool a bit to serve. He only gets about a 1/4 of the cooked portion - mommy eats the rest (There is nothing "weird" in his chop so it is perfectly edible)

Another good source of protien is quinoa. I always include some in my chop
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:40 AM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

I'm just looking for something I might be able to put in a dish before I head off for work without worrying it'll get funky during the day. They get eggs on the weekends, but I'd like to have an alternative.

I know a lot of people are creeped out by insects, so I had a feeling this might not be something most parronts have tried. I know a lot of softbills need insects though and I just wondered if the freeze-dried thing was a problem compared to live.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:42 AM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

Very few wild parrots eat insects, and I don't think your parrot would recognise them as food, but there's no harm trying.
Freeze-dried insects are actually better than live, because there is less chance of escape or bacterial contamination.

Being herbivores, parrots do not need meat proteins in the same way we do. I'm sure you've heard of 'essential amino acids' - in adult humans there are 9 amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that our body cannot make, so we need to get them in our diet. These are found in meat, plants and other foods, which is why vegetarians can survive without meat.
In parrots and most other herbivores, all the amino acids they require are either found in plants, or are manufactured by their body. There is a LOT of debate in the scientific community as to whether animal-derived proteins are beneficial to parrots, but the general consensus is that parrots do not need to supplement their diet with insects or meat in the wild or in captivity (although some do, depending on species, condition and habitat).

There is no downside to giving your bird a little animal protein, in fact I used to care for a couple of rainbow lorikeets that would go crazy for salmon XD
But this was given as a treat, rather than a necessary part of their diet.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:48 AM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

My birds get cooked bean mix every day for protein. Not sure how long it can stay in the cage without spoiling though.. I'm a stay-at-home mom so that's not something I've had to worry about =/
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:17 AM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

Thanks guys! I have some so I think I'll pop a couple in the dish and see what happens. Worse case scenario is they don't eat them. I just like the idea of giving foods similar to what they'd eat in the wild.

I bet it will be a bigger hit with my dove than the GCC, now that I think about it.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:45 PM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

Quote: Originally Posted by MomtoPercy View Post
Yup, I'm with Birdman. My baby adores his "chop" omelet, which het gets every two weeks or so. I just beat up one egg and toss one potion of chop in it. Cook on low heat till done and cool a bit to serve. He only gets about a 1/4 of the cooked portion - mommy eats the rest (There is nothing "weird" in his chop so it is perfectly edible)
I'd like to try this. Do you use oil when you make the omelet?
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:46 PM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

Quote: Originally Posted by Mekaisto View Post
Very few wild parrots eat insects, and I don't think your parrot would recognise them as food, but there's no harm trying.
Freeze-dried insects are actually better than live, because there is less chance of escape or bacterial contamination.

Being herbivores, parrots do not need meat proteins in the same way we do. I'm sure you've heard of 'essential amino acids' - in adult humans there are 9 amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that our body cannot make, so we need to get them in our diet. These are found in meat, plants and other foods, which is why vegetarians can survive without meat.
In parrots and most other herbivores, all the amino acids they require are either found in plants, or are manufactured by their body. There is a LOT of debate in the scientific community as to whether animal-derived proteins are beneficial to parrots, but the general consensus is that parrots do not need to supplement their diet with insects or meat in the wild or in captivity (although some do, depending on species, condition and habitat).

There is no downside to giving your bird a little animal protein, in fact I used to care for a couple of rainbow lorikeets that would go crazy for salmon XD
But this was given as a treat, rather than a necessary part of their diet.
Great post! Very informative, thanks!
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:39 PM
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Re: Sources of Protein?

Peanuts & sunflower seeds (striped) are what I use for my macaw.
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