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Old 12-04-2016, 10:29 AM
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Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

I've heard a lot of mixed opinions on sunflower seeds, and I wanted to get more opinions on it from you guys. Do you incorporate them in your parrots diets, reserve it for treats, or avoid them altogether? Basically every seed diet you can buy has a hefty amount of sunflower seeds in it and I've opted to use a Zupreem fruit blend. Seed diets are certainly more cost effective but I'm not going to skimp if it's not good for their health. What are your opinions on seed vs. pellet diets and what do you guys recommend as a cost effective but nutritionally complete mix?

I have two B&Gs and a CAG.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:58 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

since you are asking for opinion I will give you mine.
I don't think they are as bad as they are made out to be. I am not a scientist. I am sure you can find a lot of scientific evidence both pro and con.
IF your birds are active and have the chance to burn calories some sunflower seeds is ok.
IF you have a perch potato that stays in his/her cage it could be a problem.
There are seed blends that DON'T have sunflower seeds.
I try to mix a blend with sunflower seeds and a blend withOUT sunflower seeds for a reduced amount. Plus pellets and fruit and vegetables.
I have an active cockatiel that is at least 16 years old and most of that time he has had a seed + fruit diet.
he is very healthy and happy.
OTOH
My Red Lored Amazon Pacho is a perch potato and is overweight. I had to switch her to a non seed diet.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:18 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

I've had experienced bird owners tell me they have essentially no nutritional value and are basically bird junk food. They especially recommended keeping sunflower seeds away from the CAG. It's weird how in aviculture there are so many differing opinions.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:33 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

Just a few weeks ago I got a Congo African grey. I have been trying to get her to eat Zupreem pellets.
No dice.
She is good with fruit but so far I have not seen her eat pellets. I wanted to have her on a health diet from the beginning knowing the general sentiment that sunflower seed are bad.
I bought her more/less as a rescue because she is a plucker and I could not stand seeing her at the pet shop, under stress from all the activity/noise/other animals.
At this point I want to see her settle in and hopefully recover from her feather plucking. I will work on her diet when I can.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:39 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

Quote: Originally Posted by texsize View Post
Just a few weeks ago I got a Congo African grey. I have been trying to get her to eat Zupreem pellets.
No dice.
She is good with fruit but so far I have not seen her eat pellets. I wanted to have her on a health diet from the beginning knowing the general sentiment that sunflower seed are bad.
I bought her more/less as a rescue because she is a plucker and I could not stand seeing her at the pet shop, under stress from all the activity/noise/other animals.
At this point I want to see her settle in and hopefully recover from her feather plucking. I will work on her diet when I can.
The CAG I have is also a recovering plucker who my fiancée I rescued from an animal hoarder on Craigslist. They were feeding her DOG FOOD, and she was covered in her own feces! I wish you the best of luck. Humans aren't the only ones who don't want to eat healthy lol...
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:47 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

It's not true they are nutritionally deficient, a simple google search will tell you that. . I suspect the bad rap comes from cases where big birds are on all seed diets and suffer. The sunflower seeds are not nutritionally complete so naturally any bird on an all seed/sunflower seed heavy diet is going to suffer.

These birds aren't adapted for that kind of diet. People see rough birds on all seed diet and the method of sunflower seeds being bad perpetuates. Seeds aren't bad, they are just bad as a sole source of nutrition.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:40 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

What about sunflower seeds & seeds vs. nuts?

walnuts, cashews, almonds etc... (good quality)

and what about peanuts?

or are all the above considered seeds?

It was harder to convince my partner not to buy sunflower seeds than it was to get any of our birds off of them. they really dont miss them and I had forgotten how much of their diet was a sunflower & seed mix until I saw this post.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:47 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

This is my opinion. my last bird, Max, a Canary wing parrot (brotogeris) was raised on a commerical seed mix. He would only eay the sunflower seeds. No, I was A LOT less informed then I am now about parrot nutrition. Totally un-informed. I personally think his diet killed him early, as he passed away at 6 yrs old ( his species usualy live for 25-30 yrs). Before we got Salty, we did a lot of research and e benefits from a much wider diet, with aalmost no seeds. He gets at least 2 kinds of fruit at 12-1 o clock and chop mixed with pellets or a mush veg ( sqush, sweet taater, or pumpkin) at 7pm. He has pellets availaable all day. Again, this is my opinon and will vary by owner.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:58 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

Not all sunflower seeds are the same. You should avoid the oily ones. I use a lot of seeds, but I sprout most of it. My JoJo is a good eater, loves his pellets! I switch around 5 different pellets and 4 seed mixes. I store everything in a freezer! Remember, if the food you are buying is good, it Will spoil, and Will have bugs!

FYI, none of the seeds I buy have sunflower seeds in them! I do have a bag of very small dull seeds that I use as a treat. Along with walnuts, almonds, pecans.

Last edited by Flboy; 12-04-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 12-04-2016, 01:17 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds and seeds vs. pellets

They aren't the healthiest treats but treats aren't meant to be. They are a rich source of oil/energy, some birds need more then others like said before.
Best reserved for treats especially with less active birds.
As for nuts, nuts are good too but variety it want you want. Also peanuts are a different story and personally best avoided (fungus spores that naturually occur on the peanuts that are bad for parrots, it is even found in peanuts meant for human consumption due to our digestive systems being about to handle the spores).
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