Baby Eclectus preening... how long until "mastery?"

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
56
29
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
We had the wonderful gift of being able to see a baby Eclectus born and nurtured by its parents. To see it growing up from a hatchling has been quite amazing.

The male Eclectus does really well with his preening. He takes great care of his feathers. Aside from periods when he's molting, his featherage is dense and clean.

The baby male Eclectus is a different story. He's very rough on his feathers. He has a habit of picking out fresh buds. Sometimes you'll see what looks almost like fine pine needles in the cage catch tray. He's on medication now, that's supposed to help reduce his anxiety. But overall, he still looks like a carpet pile mess.

Does anyone here know how long it takes for a young Eclectus to develop good preening skills? Is this something that should be instinctive at the start, or does it normally require some sort of tutelage from the parents? Or... are there habitation dynamics that can interfere with this?

Here's how he looks today at 2 years old:
Eclectus-Ranger-2-years-2020-Dec-30.jpg
:green:
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
359
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Are you sure this is due to poor preening skills and not anxiety, diet or a behavioral issue?
 

Ekkietiel

New member
Sep 5, 2020
49
15
Charleston, SC
Parrots
Charlie (Ekkie), Boop & Pongo (Cockatiels)
Others more well read than I will help more than I can... but what is his daily diet? How long and where does he sleep at night? What’s his daily routine at home? What room is his cage in related to most of the goings-on of the family?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
cytherian

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
56
29
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Are you sure this is due to poor preening skills and not anxiety, diet or a behavioral issue?
That's a good question.

Diet: The owner buys the best kind of parrot food (kibble) formulated for Eclectus. It's expensive stuff! The birds get fresh veggies & fruits, for breakfast & dinner. So I think it's well covered there.

Behavior: The baby Eclectus is a cheerful guy overall. He has seriously bonded with his owner (my roommate). She'll hold and cuddle with him for over an hour. He talks. He has learned many phrases. And often he'll just talk on his own with nobody around.

Anxiety: He's on a medication for this, as this was the assumption for his preening problem. It hasn't helped all that much.

His cage is along a wall, right next to the kitchen where he can peek in and satisfy his curiosity watching us humans do things. His cage is about a foot apart from the mother Eclectus cage. They do observe each other but rarely end up interacting at their adjacent sides. He doesn't seem to mind being where he is.

Context: In the beginning when my roommate was there for his birthing, she was out of a job. So she devoted hours each consecutive day "mothering" the baby. Feeding him. Cuddling with him. Talking to him. He did seem to get more into an aggressive mode with his feathers when she started working again. Her job is intense and has her away from the birds for most of the day now. So, I have to wonder if that has put stress on the baby, because of his very close bonding to his owner. The preening problem presented itself not long after the bigger feathers started coming in, about 12~16 months ago.
 
OP
cytherian

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
56
29
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Others more well read than I will help more than I can... but what is his daily diet? How long and where does he sleep at night? What’s his daily routine at home? What room is his cage in related to most of the goings-on of the family?
Thanks for asking. Cute username!

Diet is well covered (as indicated above). Generally, they go to bed around midnight... but sometimes later. For instance, last night my roommate got done very late, so she actually ate dinner at 11:30pm. She took the baby out at midnight, and cuddled with him on the couch as we watched TV. I went to bed at 1am and she still had the baby out.

That actually got me to wondering... if the schedule of the birds isn't highly regular, might that introduce anxiety. They normally get fed at 9am in the morning and 7pm at night. But some nights they've been fed as late as 10pm~11pm. And when I say "fed," I mean the fresh stuff. They always have plenty of dried foods to nosh on.

Cage location is prime for him. He can see most of what's going on in the apartment, both living room/TV area and kitchen.
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
359
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I don't own an ekkie, but I'd suggest cuddling less (because he looks older than a super young baby), as cuddling is a sexual behavior in adult birds and you don't want to start what you can't sustain in adulthood (stick to petting on the head and neck- ekkies are hormonal year-round if triggered). She can still pet him, but shouldn't really "cuddle" -- interaction should be structured more around shared activities and training rather than snuggles (not saying not to touch the bird, but that shouldn't be the main form of interaction and should be restricted to head and neck for the most part-- she can quickly teach him to open his wings for the vet etc, but you don't want to pet under there regularly). An hour a day of prolonged cuddles is going to set a really unhealthy precedent moving into adulthood, but 3 hours out of cage and lots of interaction are important.



How much sleep does he get nightly? 10 hours is the bare-bones minimum for them and it should be on a routine as much as possible (to mimic the schedule they would have in nature). If the bird is in a main area at night when you are still up, it may not be sleeping as much as you think (they can be quiet and awake under their cage cover). It's best if they have a bedtime and wake-up routine that stays within a few hour window (ensuring at least 10-12 hours of quiet sleep each night).


How much time out of the cage per day?



Has be been taught to play with the toys he has, and what sorts of toys does he have?


Generally, ekkies shouldn't have pellets-- I know you said they are specially formulated, but I haven't heard of this. They have a super efficient digestive system so they can end up pulling too many vitamins out of pellets in some cases.


Have you had blood work done? A vitamin panel and CBC (separate) could be very helpful. If you don't have an avian certified vet, I'd do your best to find one.


Are you using any standard cleaning products, candles, air fresheners, oil warmers, diffusers, or scented products in the home? Perfumes, lotions, standard cleaners (along with the other things I mentioned( are harmful to them and can cause respiratory and skin irritation in some cases.



You might also check humidity-- you want to keep it pretty high (but not so high that things mold)...shoot for the 60s if possible.
 
Last edited:

Ekkietiel

New member
Sep 5, 2020
49
15
Charleston, SC
Parrots
Charlie (Ekkie), Boop & Pongo (Cockatiels)
First thing I’d work on is sleep habits. Hormonal eclectus need way more sleep (on a more natural cycle) than midnight to 9am. He needs a quiet place to sleep (not just covered in his cage next to the kitchen). We try to give our extremely hormonal ekki 12-16 hours depending on our schedule. There are days when he’ll get less, but we really work to keep it consistent. What noodles said, touching invokes hormones, I’d steer clear of petting. Check whatever pellets your giving him for sugar. We recently realized our pellets had sucrose which amps up the hormones more, along with fruit (again, natural sugar is still sugar)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
cytherian

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
56
29
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
I'd suggest cuddling less (because he looks older than a super young baby), as cuddling is a sexual behavior in adult birds and you don't want to start what you can't sustain in adulthood (stick to petting on the head and neck- ekkies are hormonal year-round if triggered). She can still pet him, but shouldn't really "cuddle" -- interaction should be structured more around shared activities and training rather than snuggles (not saying not to touch the bird, but that shouldn't be the main form of interaction and should be restricted to head and neck). An hour a day of cuddles is going to set a really unhealthy precedent moving into adulthood, but 3 hours out of cage and lots of interaction are important.
Wow... you know, instinctually I was thinking to myself that my roommate is far too physically affectionate with the baby. She holds him to her chest and kisses his beak, his head, strokes his back, belly, etc., and will hug him nestled into her neck, while cooing to him "I love you, I love you so much" repeatedly. Birds are not like cats & dogs... didn't seem right to me that she'd cuddle with him like that. Sounds like this isn't a good thing. I don't know how to... "break it" to her though.

There are times when a whole day goes by and the only cage-out time the birds get is like a few minutes on the living room couch. 3 hours... nowhere near that much.

How much sleep does he get nightly? 10 hours is the bare-bones minimum for them and it should be on a routine. If the bird is in a main area at night when you are still up, it may not be sleeping as much as you think (they can be quiet and awake under their cage cover). It's best if they have a bedtime and wake-up routine that stays within a few hour window (ensuring at least 10-12 hours of quiet sleep each night).
This is another problem then. 10 hours? Not really. After eating dinner between 8 and 9pm, we'll watch TV for a few hours. The lights are on and the TV is on up until midnight most nights. They can't see the TV screen from their cages but they can hear it. Actually, the male Eclectus will make short muted "groaning" noises when it's late & lights are on. And he stops as soon as lights are out. My roommate or I may enter the kitchen between 8am~9am. So if it's 8am, the birds will be awakened... if not already by the sunlight. Sounds like not enough sleep time.

How much time out of the cage per day?
Not much. On weekends, maybe a couple hours. But weekdays, they're lucky if it's an hour, some days only about 20~30 minutes.

Has be been taught to play with the toys he has, and what sorts of toys does he have?
He does play with toys. There's a "toy tray" near the couch that will be taken out for him. There are little plastic cups, screw/nut thingies, and other assorted toys he'll dabble with. He does have some toys in his cage as well and sometimes I'll see him playing with them.


Generally, ekkies shouldn't have pellets-- I know you said they are specially formulated, but I haven't heard of this. They have a super efficient digestive system so they can end up pulling too many vitamins out of pellets in some cases.
The feed isn't actually pellets. They're an assortment of mostly various seeds & nuts. So I should have said "blended" rather than formulated. Oops!

Have you had blood work done? A vitamin panel and CBC (separate) could be very helpful. If you don't have an avian certified vet, I'd do your best to find one.
She does have an avian certified vet, but I don't think she has had blood work done on him.


Are you using any standard cleaning products, candles, air fresheners, oil warmers, diffusers, or scented products in the home? Perfumes, lotions, standard cleaners (along with the other things I mentioned( are harmful to them and can cause respiratory and skin irritation in some cases.
Great questions. My roommate (the owner) is highly attuned to this. All cleaning products are scrutinized for being bird-safe. We don't wear fragrances around the birds or use any diffusers with unnatural products either.

You might also check humidity-- you want to keep it pretty high (but not so high that things mold)...shoot for the 60s if possible.
Hadn't thought of that. It's not humid in the apt, but given the drier air of winter it's probably a good idea for us to start running a humidifier in the bird cage area. I'll bring that up.

Thanks so much!
 
Last edited:

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
359
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I'd suggest cuddling less (because he looks older than a super young baby), as cuddling is a sexual behavior in adult birds and you don't want to start what you can't sustain in adulthood (stick to petting on the head and neck- ekkies are hormonal year-round if triggered). She can still pet him, but shouldn't really "cuddle" -- interaction should be structured more around shared activities and training rather than snuggles (not saying not to touch the bird, but that shouldn't be the main form of interaction and should be restricted to head and neck). An hour a day of cuddles is going to set a really unhealthy precedent moving into adulthood, but 3 hours out of cage and lots of interaction are important.
Wow... you know, instinctually I was thinking to myself that my roommate is far too physically affectionate with the baby. She holds him to her chest and kisses his beak, his head, strokes his back, belly, etc., and will hug him nestled into her neck, while cooing to him "I love you, I love you so much" repeatedly. Birds are not like cats & dogs... didn't seem right to me that she'd cuddle with him like that. Sounds like this isn't a good thing. I don't know how to... "break it" to her though.

There are times when a whole day goes by and the only cage-out time the birds get is like a few minutes on the living room couch. 3 hours... nowhere near that much.

How much sleep does he get nightly? 10 hours is the bare-bones minimum for them and it should be on a routine. If the bird is in a main area at night when you are still up, it may not be sleeping as much as you think (they can be quiet and awake under their cage cover). It's best if they have a bedtime and wake-up routine that stays within a few hour window (ensuring at least 10-12 hours of quiet sleep each night).
This is another problem then. 10 hours? Not really. After eating dinner between 8 and 9pm, we'll watch TV for a few hours. The lights are on and the TV is on up until midnight most nights. They can't see the TV screen from their cages but they can hear it. Actually, the male Eclectus will make short muted "groaning" noises when it's late & lights are on. And he stops as soon as lights are out. My roommate or I may enter the kitchen between 8am~9am. So if it's 8am, the birds will be awakened... if not already by the sunlight. Sounds like not enough sleep time.

Not much. On weekends, maybe a couple hours. But weekdays, they're lucky if it's an hour, some days only about 20~30 minutes.

He does play with toys. There's a "toy tray" near the couch that will be taken out for him. There are little plastic cups, screw/nut thingies, and other assorted toys he'll dabble with. He does have some toys in his cage as well and sometimes I'll see him playing with them.


The feed isn't actually pellets. They're an assortment of mostly various seeds & nuts. So I should have said "blended" rather than formulated. Oops!

She does have an avian certified vet, but I don't think she has had blood work done on him.


Are you using any standard cleaning products, candles, air fresheners, oil warmers, diffusers, or scented products in the home? Perfumes, lotions, standard cleaners (along with the other things I mentioned( are harmful to them and can cause respiratory and skin irritation in some cases.
Great questions. My roommate (the owner) is highly attuned to this. All cleaning products are scrutinized for being bird-safe. We don't wear fragrances around the birds or use any diffusers with unnatural products either.

You might also check humidity-- you want to keep it pretty high (but not so high that things mold)...shoot for the 60s if possible.
Hadn't thought of that. It's not humid in the apt, but given the drier air of winter it's probably a good idea for us to start running a humidifier in the bird cage area. I'll bring that up.

Thanks so much!


he's a baby so the cuddles can happen a little depending on how young he is-- they do need to be touched more than adults, but sounds like she is starting something that will possibly be the root of bad future expectations and also make it more difficult for him to see your roommate as anything other than a cuddle machine and..in the future...mate. Babies do need more contact than adults, but it depends on their age etc. If he's eating on his own etc, I'd say she should dial that down quite a bit-- if she must, keep it quick. It all comes down to habits and hormones that will kick in later. She can quickly hug him under her neck, if it is short-- but that could even be problematic for some adults. When I say short, I mean a few second hug. Again- I want to emphasize that touching is important for babies, BUT it's a matter of where and how long, as well as framing your relationship with the bird for the long-run.


They need more sleep-- 10 hours and he needs to be out for a few hours at least every day.



You should have a variety of toys in the cage (but don't just shove them in there- allow them time to adjust and model play with them). Safe wooden chewing toys are important. Do not provide any huts/tents. Avoid bells if you can (there are safe ones out there, but some contain zinc, which is toxic). You can either, remove bells from toys or get stainless. Some birds don't care about them at all, and in that case, they can be okay if they ignore them, but they can also be choking hazards for some). If you have any rope or cotton toys, watch them closely, as they can get their toes tangled in them or ingest the fibers. Some people leave them in the cage, but other people only let them use them when they can watch.


If you haven't tried target training, that could be a way to get him out more. Yes, he still will need a lot of daily interaction, but if you can get him to just be cool hanging out on his cage top when you are in the room, that can help some. If he doesn't already have a portable play perch, consider getting one (play-stand is what they are usually called) This is another way to include him in your activities without having him on your 24/7.


They need mostly chop for food- I am sure others will come along soon and add to or adjust what I have said thus far.


If you don't already have one, I am a big fan of the blackout cage covers that they sell for parrots-- Cozzy Covers is the brand I use. Some birds can be a bit weird about these if prone to night frights, but they can generally improve sleep quality-- although sudden noises/walking by the cage etc will still wake them up in most cases. If the sound is like white noise, or consistent, like low chatter, that usually is easy enough for them to tune out, but dropping something, a sudden loud laugh, doorbells, shuffling by the cage etc are the types of unexpected sounds that tend to wake most (but not all) parrots up when they are in the same room with you.
 
Last edited:

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
359
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
If the bird rests his head on her chest and she sticks to head scratches (without stroking him all over etc), she can "snuggle" him that way for now, but for short bursts of time (in my opinion) and that may even become inappropriate at adulthood depending on the bird (some are worse than others). Definitely shouldn't be touching all over for an entire hour and don't wrap him up in blankets etc either (also avoid play inside of boxes or shadowy spaces)..They should try playing games or singing/dancing together, work on teaching tricks (and target training etc).


Did you say you have a male and a female in the same cage together? Just a heads up, they may try to mate in the future, which is VERY complicated, but if they are bonded, separating them could also cause stress, but it's something to be very aware of, as breeding is NOT easy and require a lot of specialized knowledge and even equipment...So I would do whatever you can to make sure you aren't providing any nesting materials or shadowy spaces etc-- although that alone will not prevent it entirely if the mood strikes them.
 
Last edited:

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,149
2,942
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Not an Eclectus expert by any means.

What I do know is that everything starts with Diet, Diet, Diet! From what I have heard from our experts, Veggies (chop) should be the mainstay of their diet.

I highly recommend spending time in the Eclectus sub-forum as there is a long list (as seen about) of interaction issues that should be changed, including (as well noted); Sleep!
 

Cycletim

Supporting Member
Mar 22, 2020
114
15
Ventura, California
Parrots
Jasper Congo African Grey,
Grover Red bellied parrot RIP 10/20,
Red bellied parrot Rheya
Geeze this a tough one. We don't have an eclectus yet although we might be adopting one next month...

Just from my experience with our birds I'll try to offer some advice .

1. Diet is at #1 for a reason. Its very important. Seeds etc... Are not good for parrots especially eclectus. Chop is really the best option. You can use the seeds later as a treat for training etc...

2. The staying up way past when the sun goes down is not great aswell. As many others have said. Maybe a sleeping cage somewhere else in the house where it is nice and quiet would help.

3. Being that close to his momma bird and all the "cuddles" from the owner are possibly confusing him.

4. The toys should be of the shredable type. Plastic toys are a little boring in my opinion. You want them destroying toys its in their nature to do so. And you can add treats to them to give them an insensitive

5. More out of cage time.

6. Time outside with some sun.

Hope this helps.
 
OP
cytherian

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
56
29
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
Sorry for being away for a while. I am new to the forum and it's not part of my usual thing to check it (lots of other distractions).

The sleep thing... I'm beginning to realize that. In fact, I think the female Eclectus has made it clear--if you make noise at night, she starts her ear piercing squawking. Maybe the need for them to get more sleep will inspire "the house" to retire earlier. Which I think is a good idea anyway.

Diets are very good overall, but I think the timing is a problem. The owner is a workaholic. With me around she sometimes forgets to feed them. 11pm, birds still not fed their fresh veggies (usually they'd get it between 6:30pm~7pm).
 
OP
cytherian

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
56
29
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
he's a baby so the cuddles can happen a little depending on how young he is-- they do need to be touched more than adults, but sounds like she is starting something that will possibly be the root of bad future expectations and also make it more difficult for him to see your roommate as anything other than a cuddle machine and..in the future...mate. Babies do need more contact than adults, but it depends on their age etc. If he's eating on his own etc, I'd say she should dial that down quite a bit-- if she must, keep it quick. It all comes down to habits and hormones that will kick in later. She can quickly hug him under her neck, if it is short-- but that could even be problematic for some adults. When I say short, I mean a few second hug. Again- I want to emphasize that touching is important for babies, BUT it's a matter of where and how long, as well as framing your relationship with the bird for the long-run.

I'm so sorry for not replying sooner -- I'd lost track of topics I was replying to. Thanks a lot for your response on this!

The "baby" is basically a juvenile now, seeing as he's over 2 years at this point. Based on what you're saying, she's snuggling with him a bit too much. I had mentioned to her about the behavior, but she doesn't think it's excessive... and they're her birds, so all I can do is just offer up suggestions. He is "opening up" a bit now. Before, he was afraid of me, but now he'll "step up" on request (a little reluctant, but still does it) and will hang with me for a good 10~15 mins on my finger. I don't touch him, only talk to him. He doesn't shake like he used to. So that's a good thing. No problem with the vet. He's very docile when examined by a professional.

They need more sleep-- 10 hours and he needs to be out for a few hours at least every day.
That's a problem. Because of their location in the little "dining room" (no table there) adjacent to the kitchen and across from the living room, ambient lights (not above) are on until around midnight. Also, they can see the couch in the living room but while the TV screen isn't visible the sound is certainly heard. With the sun coming up at 6:30am, that doesn't leave for a lot of contiguous sleep time. A heavy opaque curtain is pulled to help shield the light, but there's another window with only a light curtain, so light does still come in.

You should have a variety of toys in the cage (but don't just shove them in there- allow them time to adjust and model play with them). Safe wooden chewing toys are important. Do not provide any huts/tents. Avoid bells if you can (there are safe ones out there, but some contain zinc, which is toxic). You can either, remove bells from toys or get stainless. Some birds don't care about them at all, and in that case, they can be okay if they ignore them, but they can also be choking hazards for some). If you have any rope or cotton toys, watch them closely, as they can get their toes tangled in them or ingest the fibers. Some people leave them in the cage, but other people only let them use them when they can watch.
They've got a variety of toys in the cage, some dangling from above and others on the wall. But there are toys outside for them to play with as well, when let out. Unfortunately, they don't get much time out. Maybe an hour, if that. On weekends, they'll get several hours each day. Because of the juvenile, it's complicated because there have been problems having all 3 out at the same time. The parents will sometimes gang-up on the juvenile. So my roommate has them out in turns (male/female adults, then the juvenile male).

If you don't already have one, I am a big fan of the blackout cage covers that they sell for parrots-- Cozzy Covers is the brand I use. Some birds can be a bit weird about these if prone to night frights, but they can generally improve sleep quality-- although sudden noises/walking by the cage etc will still wake them up in most cases. If the sound is like white noise, or consistent, like low chatter, that usually is easy enough for them to tune out, but dropping something, a sudden loud laugh, doorbells, shuffling by the cage etc are the types of unexpected sounds that tend to wake most (but not all) parrots up when they are in the same room with you.
I suggested that, but my roommate is dead-set against cage covers. I'll have to so some searching on-line and put together a Pros/Cons list for her, see if that might change her mind. I think the main concern is ensuring they get enough sleep.
 

Iyanden

New member
Feb 9, 2021
27
13
Bay area
Parrots
Female eclectus (Celeste, ~1.75 yrs old)
Hm, how do the parents look? Any major differences in schedule, routine, and/or diet between the 3?

My wife and I have a young eclectus female. She chewed her chest feathers down to the gray fluffs. We've made a lot of changes, but yeah, it's hard to really narrow down the problem since feathers take a while to turnover. Feathers are growing back now; fingers crossed.

Our eclectus' routine if it helps:
1.) Sleeps from 8 pm to 9 am in her covered cage. We do have occasional early/late work calls, and we still do stuff like wash the dishes. But we do try to be quiet.
2.) She gets a variety of fruits and veggies, with just a tiny bit of rice, egg, or fish occasionally. No pellets, nuts, or seeds. Though for nuts and seeds, she just doesn't really care for them. If anything, she prefers almond shells to the almond itself.
3.) She's got toys in and on her cage.
4.) Since covid situation started, she's out basically all day. She either is eating, chewing things, sitting next to/on us, or looking to do one of the previous 3.
5.) If the humidity near her cage ever drops below 40%, we will have a humidifier running.
6.) We try to get her wet whenever we shower. She's not a huge fan. Still, we try at least twice a week, and she dries in the sun.
 
Last edited:

Littleredbeak

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
451
367
I don’t own Eclectus but have read about them and heard they do badly on a pellet diet. These parrots are still very much new to be pets and live longer in wild. So a lot is still being learned about their care. From my understanding they need a lot of fresh foods include ingredients a protein source (bugs). Again I do not own this type of parrot but have read about their care in passing.
 

chris-md

Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2010
4,113
1,257
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
I don’t own Eclectus but have read about them and heard they do badly on a pellet diet. These parrots are still very much new to be pets and live longer in wild. So a lot is still being learned about their care. From my understanding they need a lot of fresh foods include ingredients a protein source (bugs). Again I do not own this type of parrot but have read about their care in passing.

Mostly Inaccurate on a few accounts here (hence best to leave Ekkie diet advising to those who know it, it’s highly nuanced and can’t be subject to broad statements).

They can do ok on pellets so long as they aren’t enriched pellets, and make up a small portion of the diet. Even then lots of ekkies thrive on enriched pellets, while a small fraction have not done well even on unenriched pellet. It’s a confusing mix of results - but becuase some real bad has happened on pellet diets we generally steer people clear of - at minimum - enriched pellets.

While they - and most parrots - indulge in the occasional bug here and there, they do NOT need a “protein source”, as a pointed, called-out aspect of the diet. They get more than enough protein from the fresh food we feed them. Beefing up protein in the diet can lead to hormonal behaviors.

It’s actually quite likely they do NOT live longer in the wild. Most animals don’t. Very few animals in the wild grow to develop age related issues like high cholesterol/heart failure, etc.
 
OP
cytherian

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
56
29
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #18
^ Another problem I think happens is with narrow context situations. A person has success with a certain kind of diet that might be more of an exception... and they may simply not be attentive to possible issues their birds are having because of it. Granted, it's a problem in any domain (conclusions based on narrow data & empirical evidence), but it appears with birds that diets can vary so widely within the species--e.g. one heavy on protein/raw-flesh, while another totally vegetarian.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top