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Old 09-12-2019, 11:05 PM
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Sunflower seeds

Hi everyone,
I have a baby green check conure named Pickle. He came home with me almost a week ago and we have made terrific progress with stepping up and bonding. It all started to go well when I discovered his love of sun flower seeds, he was picking them out of his seed mix and eating them alone (Iím moving him slowly onto a pellet diet).
I read somewhere that sunflower seeds can be very bad for his health? Is this true and if so is it because of the high fat content and they are still ok in moderation? So far we donít have another treat he enjoys but I donít want to keep feeding them if itís bad for him?
Part 3 of the question, if it is advised I stop feeding them, please share your small parrots treats of choice so I can try them 😄

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Nikki and Pickle
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:56 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

I save sunflower seeds for bonding treats or training treats. It's Luna's most favorite but yea, they're high in fat but not very good for them. I feed her maybe about 3 shelled sunflower seeds a day, I just break them into halves or thirds.


There's a few alternatives if you want to try them. Almond slices are much lower in fat and tend to usually be a hit. If you're that concerned, you could soak or sprout the sunflower seeds so the fats turn into healthier nutrients. Although your baby might not like them as much.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:24 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

Our ekkie came to us with sunflowers as the treat his family gave him. And yes, I was concerned too about it. I started looking up other options that were less fatty (went down a rabbit hole of the different types of fats). I forget what the options of less fat / relatively healthier fat were, but nuts like almonds was among those mentioned. We buy sliced almonds, then when offering him a treat, break it even further into something half the size of an unshelled sunflower seed. So very tiny, tiny pieces.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:53 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are fine as a treat reward, but breaking them into smaller bits (halves or thirds) is best. Also, if you soak them first it reduces some of the fat in them a bit.
Alternatives are almonds but these should be broken into sixths or eights for treats. Or pine nuts (our Māui loves pine nuts and picks them over sunflower seeds every time).
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:51 AM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

Hi, the sunflower seeds I use are about a third the size of the regular seed! Here is a link that goes into the types available.
https://prairiecalifornian.com/types-of-sunflowers/

Oh my! In reading that, it appears I screwed up! I know the oilseed type is to be avoided, more fat! I always thought the big shiny ones were that!
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:46 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

According to my vet, you need to factor in the bird's size when you judge the nutritonal impact a food treat has on your bird.
My vet put this in perspective for me by telling me this. Giving my bird, a black capped conure, one sunflower seed is comparable to giving your child a candy bar.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:53 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

Holy cow!! I’m giving my bird at least 8 candy bars a day then!’n I better get some almonds and see how he likes them. We have bonded really well but he sure loves this sunflower seeds! He’s transitioning over to pellets nicely but I haven’t found him another treat he enjoys yet ��
Thanks for all the advice guys. Pickles liver will be grateful
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:01 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

I have the same type of question anyone know of a website I can get safflower seeds as treats for my conures?
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:30 PM
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Re: Sunflower seeds

Quote: Originally Posted by NikkiandPickles View Post
Holy cow!! Iím giving my bird at least 8 candy bars a day then!ín I better get some almonds and see how he likes them. We have bonded really well but he sure loves this sunflower seeds! Heís transitioning over to pellets nicely but I havenít found him another treat he enjoys yet ��
Thanks for all the advice guys. Pickles liver will be grateful
IKWYM
I was shocked too when the vet first told me. But she said it again at Jesse's appointment a few days ago.
Just to be clear, I was handing my bird a raw sunflower seed without it's shell. It was a good quarter of an inch long. And the vet said it again, "Mom's giving him a birdie candy bar."
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