Full-Day, Dried Food Options?

charmedbyekkie

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May 24, 2018
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Cairo the Ekkie!
Hi guys! We have a small dehydrator at home and access to an organic bulk store. While Cairo is on chop for meals, I’ve been struggling to keep weight on him. I used to give him less-perishable foods in his snack bowl (chili padi, snow peas, green beans, etc - all fresh). But he seems to prefer dried options most of the time - I think it’s the crunchiness and the compact taste.

I did buy some Texas Natural Freeze Dried packets. While he loves the chunky chop and sprouts, just to ship it over to Singapore costs as much as the packets themselves. I initially bought them because we were going overseas, but it’s not feasible long-term. So as that supply is dwindling, I’ve been trying to slowly find similar, more affordable alternatives locally.

A few questions:
  • How much is too much butternut squash? 

    He loves butternut squash raw, and I dehydrated 3/4s of a butternut squash. He goes crazy for the crunch of a dehydrated butternut squash slice. But it does seem a bit sweet to me - is it too much sugar? I worry about managing his hormones.
  • How much is too much chamomile? 

    He loves munching on dehydrated chamomile flowers. I’ve been sprinkling about a teaspoon on top of his dinner chop.
  • How much is too much dandelion leaves? 

    I plan on buying it in bulk from the organic store (they’re very transparent about ingredients as well as how things were dried, if any chemicals were used). I don’t know if he’ll eat it, but I’ve been reading that they’re quite nutritious for parrots.
  • How much is too many goji berries?
    
They’re a bit expensive here (the organic ones that aren’t treated with chemicals), so I only give maybe 2 once a week.

I’m currently aiming to be able to create a dehydrated mix.

He doesn’t like dehydrated bok choy, kai lan, or chye sim, but he does like dehydrated butternut squash, carrots, and chamomile.

I plan on trying out dehydrating some
  • capsicum (bell peppers),
  • broccoli, and
  • cauliflower (if on sale).

And I plan on buying some dried
  • bay leaves,
  • cloves,
  • basil,
  • sage,
  • lemongrass,
  • oregano,
  • Ceylon cinnamon,
  • dill tips,
  • ginger root,
  • hibiscus flowers,
  • lavender flowers,
  • marjoram leaves,
  • rose petals, and
  • nettle leaves.

I’m just trying to figure out the ratios of the dried ingredients that he can snack on in between chop meals. Any advice? Is there a hard/fast rule of flowers to greens, etc?
 

Flboy

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Dec 28, 2014
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Greater Orlando area, Florida
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JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
Quite the endeavor! Have you tried the dandelion greens? My #2 green!
For cooking, I do what I can to intensify the bitterness! Steamed, with crazy amounts of garlic, on a nice pasta!
 
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chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Maryland - USA
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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Wow, I’ll agree with above, quote the endeavor. Cairo is so lucky!

The answer to each question is twofold:

All things in moderation, and play with the ratios. I got some great advice once, when I mentioned I threw the kitchen sink into Parker’s chop because I wanted to make sure I got all nutrients at once. But the chop was the same month after month. Parker and I were both bored.

The advice: to keep it interesting so each chop is little different, perhaps cut back the chop ingredients and think of nutrition over a week or month arch. Maybe this time he gets a little too much vitamin c and less fiber, but next chop will wind up being just the reverse just by virtue of mixing new and interesting ingredients. For you: don’t worry about “how much this/that”, play with it and have fun :)

How much is he weighing now a days? I know he’s fairly close to Parker’s weight, on the high end for ekkies.

Yes, the problem with dehydration is that it takes something the size of an apricot and shrinks it to the size of a walnut, but keeps sugars and destroys nutrients in the process. Smaller = eat more, as in eat more sugar. Under any other circumstance I’d say it’d be bad for an ekkie, but if you’re having trouble maintaining weight, this might be a smart thing. Just watch for hormonal behavior with the upped sugar.

He’s also An active free flier, you might look at providing a bit more protein to maintain or even build muscle mass to buffer the weight a bit.
 
Last edited:
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charmedbyekkie

charmedbyekkie

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May 24, 2018
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Cairo the Ekkie!
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  • Thread starter
  • #4
Got it - will keep changing things up. I try do that with his chop. One day there's probiotics sprinkled on top, the next day has milk thistle powder, another has chia seeds, and the next ethically-sourced red palm oil. So I'll just try to vary the different ingredients. I'm still testing what he likes to eat (even with the Texas Freeze Dried chop, he didn't care for cabbage or lettuce).

He's currently around 415. I'm trying to get him back up to the 430-450 range without increasing his sugar intake much. He's still a hormonal teen trying to regurgitate at times.

Not sure how to safely introduce more protein. I've been reading that almonds have protein, and he gets that every day for his training. But I worry about safely introducing other sources (especially if it's animal protein since I don't feel confident about his digestive system). Any recommended source of protein?
 

chris-md

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
4,354
2,131
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Easy: it’d be plant based proteins, not animal proteins. This include more pulses, quinoa, flaxseed and chia seed. Have a research around a bit for other fascinating stuff that might be available locally to you that wouldn’t be available stateside.
 
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charmedbyekkie

charmedbyekkie

New member
May 24, 2018
1,148
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Parrots
Cairo the Ekkie!
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  • Thread starter
  • #6
So just an update..

It seems to have become a foraging toy for him ��

It's currently a mix of dried:
  • butternut squash
  • dandelion leaves
  • ginger root
  • ceylon cinnamon
  • hibiscus flowers
  • bok choy
  • oregano
  • chia seeds
  • occasionally Texas Natural Freeze Dried sprouts

So he's been apparently having great fun during the day. I come home after work to majority of it on the bottom of his cage - only the butternut squash, ginger root, and sprouts fully eaten, thought his beak does sometimes smell of oregano.

I do serve it in his 6-inch diameter food bowl (I generally only use his acrylic food box for his meals due to his chop flinging ways). So you can imagine the mess that flies out and onto the floor when he does a winged hop. :(

Trying to think of a way to keep it contained without stifling his foraging instinct, but at least we're learning what he likes :)
 

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