Misinformation about seeds

texsize

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I've finished work and had time to read every ones posts.
Thanks to everyone who gave their option, there was interesting info in there and bare with me as I try to address your points.

First of all as some of you pointed out not all parrots are granivores. Thank you chris-md I didn't even know there was such a term.
I'm talking about these granivore parrots and the idea that one should not feed them seed at all because it's somehow bad for them.

It was interesting to read about human grade and animal grade foods. Thanks to sailboat for that info.

Sailboat also mentioned the possible conflict of interest that our vets may have. I hear ya. That was in my mind too.

All in all most of us are in agreement that a granivore parrots should eat at least some seed. A balanced diet is preffered. Im not anti pellet. With my birds I always have seed mix with pellets on offer. They hardly touch the pellets, they seem to know its fake food. Their favourite other foods are bread, rice and potato.

Their weight is always within a few grams which is why I don't think they eat as much as they do in the wild where they fly more and have to eat more. I've seen huge and small flocks of different types of cockatoo foraging in the ground for hours while I'm fishing and watching them. They sure eat heaps more in the wild.

I know of granivore parrots living to old ages in captivity eating a seed based diet, so this claim of fatty livers is not in line with my many personal experiences and observations of my granivore birds and that of others.

Some people (not on this thread, other people) take this "fatty liver" claim and just say "it's fattening" for their bird so they only feed them pellets.
I see how the misinformation I heard actually came from this other fatty liver opinion to begin with now.

Anyway thanks again to those of you who gave some food for thought on this topic
I have been keeping cockatiels since about 2001.
they have been on a seed/pellet food mix the whole time.
I never had much luck getting them to eat veggies or fruit.
Igive them 1/2 inch chunks of millet seed 2/3 times a week.
The pellets they eat (and they really do eat them) is Zupreem nut blend (large bird size)
itโ€s real cute watching them hold the pellets in their feet and munching away.

I lost one of my female Tiels (Sunny, mother of two clutches of babies) due to a liver disease?/failure?.
It was not fatty liver but she died on a 3 day holiday and a full necropsy could not be performed.

IMHO I think that fatty liver is more species specific.
I mean I know Amazons are susceptible to it and itโ€™s something I worry about.

Those are the birds I have (and my African Grey) and so they are the birds that I have looked at most closely as far as diet goes.

You have parrots like lorikeets that eat lots of nectar.
And well there is lots of variety out there.
as stated above itโ€™s not a one size fits all.
 

mochima

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Sep 17, 2023
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Hi! Pretty sure you made this thread in response to my thread about feeding my new baby tiel. As addressed in that thread, I'll say here: the issue is not that I'm trying to eliminate seed at all from her diet, just trying to make sure it's not the only thing she is eating. It'd be super cool to not be misrepresented (your words, not mine) on an entirely separate thread, while ignoring my reply to you over there. That's not really good faith discussion!

I've actually read a lot on this forum before now and I don't think I've ever seen anyone say anything about seed being bad and to never feed your birds seed.

As everyone else has said here, balance is key. With birds who are picky eaters it can be very difficult to get them to eat a varied diet. I posted over there because I haven't ever owned a bird that was a picky eater before, so getting them to eat a varied diet has never been difficult, until now.

While cockatiels can eat more seed than other birds, it's still not a complete diet alone. Liver disease is very serious in pet birds and we should be concerned about it, as it's our responsibility to care for these birds and provide them everything as they are in captivity.

Here's an article from two DVMs on liver disorders in birds: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/liver-disorders-in-birds
 

ravvlet

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As an aside, unless the seed mix youโ€™re feeding your bird is entirely composed of seed from their native range in the wild, a commercial seed mix is just as much โ€œfake foodโ€ as a pellet.

This distinction of โ€œfake foodโ€ is really giving me paleo diet vibes, in a bad way. Feed your birds however you and your veterinarian are comfortable feeding them, but donโ€™t expect everyone here to sit back while you label pellets โ€œfake foodโ€ (what does that even mean?) when theyโ€™ve saved lives and prevented disease in many companion parrots.
 

Terry57

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There is this misinformation going around that seeds are not good for our parrots.

Its a crazy claim but many people appear to believe it. Where does this misinfo come from? Why do people seem to believe that processed pellets are better than natural seeds? It's absurd in my mind. Natural is always best everyone knows that.

In the wild parrots mainly eat seeds, their beaks are designed to dehusk seeds so how anyone can claim it's bad is absurd and funny to me.

Iv read that it makes them fat but that is totally unfounded in my experience.

I suspect that this misinformation was conjured up by the manufacturers of pellets in order to discredit seeds and increase their sales but i dont know.

Does anyone have any evidence of seeds being bad for our birds? All I seem to find are unfounded opinions like "it makes them fat" with no logic applied


I take in birds who need a new home, and far too many of them were fed a mostly seed diet. I can tell you that in my experience, it shortens their life span. I've watched too many birds I love pass because there is only so much that can be done to change the effects of their earlier diet. To see someone so blithely suggest a mainly seed diet without even listening to the members here who have hundreds of years of experience between them is disheartening. There is nothing funny about watching a bird suffer because of the diet they were fed, although it is absurd because of the amount of info out there now about their proper diet that it shouldn't continue to happen.

I'm curious as to why you don't feed chop? It is also natural.
My finches eat seeds, but they also eat chop & pellets. I've had many finches live to their teens, and all of them ate chop as well as seeds and pellets. The ones who didn't make it even to the age of 10 were all adults who came to me on an all seed diet. I chose to talk about finches because their lifespans are so much shorter than parrots, and I've seen it happen over and over with them.
Is this proof? Of course not, it's anecdotal - just as your "proof" is.

I also feed our budgies and tiels seeds along with their pellets and chop. In fact, all of my birds get a small amount of seed in their overnight dishes. Their main diet is around 75% chop, 20% pellets and 5% seeds. I'm lucky because all of my birds eat chop. If they didn't, the chop percentage would be replaced with pellets.

Several members posted links to reputable sites who talked about a seed diet, and you said you have proof that disagree with those links. Could you please post a link where a vet says that feeding mostly seeds is a good diet because they are natural?
 

texsize

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Jeez I never expected a thread on seeds to become such a hot topic.

In the end what your bird eats is 100% up to you.
Your bird canโ€™t decide to โ€œdine outโ€ so to speak
And if you should have the unfortunate circumstances of a companion bird dying of something that you could have easily prevented โ€ฆ.. Itโ€™s not something thatโ€™s easy to get over.

When I say YOU I am not speaking to the O.P.
Not speaking to any of the responding posts either.

I really mean ME.
One of my greatly loved amazons died (not diet exactly) through my negligence and I have never been able to forgive myself.
 

Jcas

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Jeez I never expected a thread on seeds to become such a hot topic.

In the end what your bird eats is 100% up to you.
Your bird canโ€™t decide to โ€œdine outโ€ so to speak
And if you should have the unfortunate circumstances of a companion bird dying of something that you could have easily prevented โ€ฆ.. Itโ€™s not something thatโ€™s easy to get over.

When I say YOU I am not speaking to the O.P.
Not speaking to any of the responding posts either.

I really mean ME.
One of my greatly loved amazons died (not diet exactly) through my negligence and I have never been able to forgive myself.
Getting on a parrot forum and talking about feeding seeds because theyโ€™re a โ€œ natural part of wild birdsโ€™ diets,โ€ is like getting on a dog forum and saying that, โ€œ dogs should eat grain free diets because wild wolves donโ€™t eat grain.โ€ Itโ€™s a sure fire way to start words flying back and forth! Strong opinions and a good bit of evidence on all sides. Personally, I like hearing other peopleโ€™s thoughts on such topics. I always learn something!
 

kme3388

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Hi there, in the 90โ€™s, and early 2000โ€™s I fed my birds at the time seed. It was the education I had at the time. I fed a seed mix diet only. Itโ€™s the information I had at the time. Science changes all of the time. My birds did pick the sunflower seeds out, and thatโ€™s all they ate. Now I feed my parrots a variety diet after more options became available. Pellets, fruits & veggies (if my parrots will eat it), nutriberries, avicakes, and seed. The last 3 I use primarily for training, and treats. I try to offer my parrots the best life I can. I am not a vet, nor have I studied the effects of a seed only diet. I myself google my parrots now (mind you the internet wasnโ€™t what it is today in the 90โ€™s or early 2000โ€™s. I had limited information back in the day). I try to find things like pine nuts for an example that are native to where my parrots come from, and I try that out for a treat. A lot of parrot ownership can be trial and error. There are a lot of people on here that are good resources, and helpful if you run into issues with your parrot. Iโ€™d much rather learn from others instead of the hard way.

Have you asked a vet about your parrots diet?
 

LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
There is this misinformation going around that seeds are not good for our parrots.

Its a crazy claim but many people appear to believe it. Where does this misinfo come from? Why do people seem to believe that processed pellets are better than natural seeds? It's absurd in my mind. Natural is always best everyone knows that.

In the wild parrots mainly eat seeds, their beaks are designed to dehusk seeds so how anyone can claim it's bad is absurd and funny to me.

Iv read that it makes them fat but that is totally unfounded in my experience.

I suspect that this misinformation was conjured up by the manufacturers of pellets in order to discredit seeds and increase their sales but i dont know.

Does anyone have any evidence of seeds being bad for our birds? All I seem to find are unfounded opinions like "it makes them fat" with no logic applied
As a person who has had parrots most of my adult life, who has consulted with more than one highly reputable avian vets in my state & who also currently has been working over 10 yrs. for an animal hospital & does wild bird rehab, this is my understanding of the many opinions of the proper food for captive parrots: yes, depending on the species of the bird & their native habitat, they will have different natural dietary differences which reflects the food available to them in the wild. Amazon parrots eat different things than Australian grass parakeets for example (who naturally eat more seeds & are typically ground foragers). The tropical birds like macaws obviously eat a larger amount of nuts & a good majority will eat various native fruits & some greens & clay for minerals. One thing that is a huge difference though, is that ALL of them naturally fly for miles each day. They can eat a lot of seeds & nuts & sugar from fruits, but it gets burned off daily. The captive parrot rarely flies at all. Even a free flying bird in an aviary is restricted to very little flight in comparison. Also the amount that most people feed their parrots daily is usually very excessive, which people often don't realize. For example, the total amount of food a captive conure should be getting a day (this includes veggies, seeds, & pellets, chop, etc.-all of it), is really only around 3-4 tablespoons. To give an entire single grape to a conure is similar to the equivalent sugar wise of giving a whole small cake to a person at one sitting. If you give a conure a walnut it should really only be the size of a pencil eraser (per what my avian vet has told me). People make the mistake of giving their birds several whole nuts a day. So, regardless of what you are feeding them, they are usually eating excessive fat, calories & sugars/carbs each day. It is the equivalent of a couch potato person who doesn't exercise, or their only exercise is walking around a bit who eats a lot of sweets, fats, & carbs. THIS, over years = the health problems we see in parrots from fatty liver disease to kidney issues to gout & high uric acid levels. The consumption of high oxalate veggies & estrogenic foods (which people never seem to talk about) can also be very problematic if they are eating it all the time for years. I personally have a big issue with the pellets that are available because usually the first 2 ingredients are always cornmeal & soymeal, neither of which are natural for birds to be eating daily & in such amounts! Corn is high carb/low nutrition. Soy-no birds naturally go around eating soybeans-& they are estrogenic & can cause hormonal issues. They also can cause skin issues, allergy issues, which in turn can lead to plucking. I personally believe pellets should not be given as the primary food source, but more like 30% of the overall diet because of what they are made of. There are a couple brands that don't have corn or soy & these may be safer options. I would like to add that Tops pellets are not at all nutritionally complete & since they are mainly alfalfa, can be very problematic over time. I just learned from one avian vet who has had lots of patients coming in w/kidney issues due to feeding Tops because alfalfa has too much phosphorous for birds to naturally process & it is hard on the kidneys. She said no alfalfa pellets, so people should be aware of Tops. Harrison's has alfalfa in it, but maybe ingredient #10 on their list, so in smaller quantities. Harrison's has almost the same ingredients as Roudybush, however Roudybush processes their pellets differently & are harder to digest for birds (what that same avian vet told me). I don't like either due to corn & soy being their main ingredients. Both gave one of my birds an allergic reaction after eating them for a long time & another got diarrhea & can no longer digest them. I switched her diet though & she is fine w/no corn/no soy now. The issue of seeds is this-to my understanding. Seeds are a high calorie/high fat food. Not as high as nuts though. Seeds in large amounts daily with little exercise over years is what is problematic. They also aren't nutritionally complete on their own. So, it's not that seeds are bad, but eating lots of seeds & nuts daily raises cholesterol levels & will cause fatty liver disease in birds. One must adjust the amount they are feeding their birds depending on their size, their activity level (which is super low compared to in the wild-this is couch potato compared to olympic athlete training)! A regular sedentary person cannot eat like a weight lifter doing a dozen eggs & 6 chicken breasts daily either, or you will get kidney problems. Same concept with birds. People tend to forget these are little creatures. Their stomach is the size of small grape or chickpea & we tend to give them like 3/4 c. of food a day. They sit around & get bored so they eat more than they normally ever would. Abundance of food & fats & carbs stimulate nesting & mating signals. The connections are obvious. I believe it's in everyone's best interest as a bird owner to really think about how they live in the wild, where they live, their natural behaviors, & realize that all captive birds are technically cough potatoes even if they free fly daily. We simply can't provide them the miles of flying & calorie burning they really need to thrive physically, so feed them wisely. Balanced diet with veggies, but limit the high carb ones like sweet potatoes & corn, limited fruits & smaller portion sizes because of the sugars, smarter ingredient pellets & maybe less of them & don't overdue the seed & keep it to better seeds like millet & not sunflower. Nuts in moderation as a daily foraging treat & portion size aware. Good fat nuts like walnut is better-ditch the peanuts! NO PEOPLE FOOD TABLE SCRAPS! The worst thing is giving them stuff they shouldn't eat like pizza & pasta & things w/sauces & fries & chips & cookies, etc. Just the salt alone in such things can really cause harm. Stay wise, stay proactive, always read ingredients & opt. for organic always & even then always wash your produce & peel the skins. Seeds are not bad for birds. They need to eat seeds, but captive birds don't need to eat a lot of seeds. 1 teaspoon a day for something like a conure is enough for their little bodies.
 

LoveMyFids

Member
Aug 19, 2023
55
87
Parrots
Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
As a person who has had parrots most of my adult life, who has consulted with more than one highly reputable avian vets in my state & who also currently has been working over 10 yrs. for an animal hospital & does wild bird rehab, this is my understanding of the many opinions of the proper food for captive parrots: yes, depending on the species of the bird & their native habitat, they will have different natural dietary differences which reflects the food available to them in the wild. Amazon parrots eat different things than Australian grass parakeets for example (who naturally eat more seeds & are typically ground foragers). The tropical birds like macaws obviously eat a larger amount of nuts & a good majority will eat various native fruits & some greens & clay for minerals. One thing that is a huge difference though, is that ALL of them naturally fly for miles each day. They can eat a lot of seeds & nuts & sugar from fruits, but it gets burned off daily. The captive parrot rarely flies at all. Even a free flying bird in an aviary is restricted to very little flight in comparison. Also the amount that most people feed their parrots daily is usually very excessive, which people often don't realize. For example, the total amount of food a captive conure should be getting a day (this includes veggies, seeds, & pellets, chop, etc.-all of it), is really only around 3-4 tablespoons. To give an entire single grape to a conure is similar to the equivalent sugar wise of giving a whole small cake to a person at one sitting. If you give a conure a walnut it should really only be the size of a pencil eraser (per what my avian vet has told me). People make the mistake of giving their birds several whole nuts a day. So, regardless of what you are feeding them, they are usually eating excessive fat, calories & sugars/carbs each day. It is the equivalent of a couch potato person who doesn't exercise, or their only exercise is walking around a bit who eats a lot of sweets, fats, & carbs. THIS, over years = the health problems we see in parrots from fatty liver disease to kidney issues to gout & high uric acid levels. The consumption of high oxalate veggies & estrogenic foods (which people never seem to talk about) can also be very problematic if they are eating it all the time for years. I personally have a big issue with the pellets that are available because usually the first 2 ingredients are always cornmeal & soymeal, neither of which are natural for birds to be eating daily & in such amounts! Corn is high carb/low nutrition. Soy-no birds naturally go around eating soybeans-& they are estrogenic & can cause hormonal issues. They also can cause skin issues, allergy issues, which in turn can lead to plucking. I personally believe pellets should not be given as the primary food source, but more like 30% of the overall diet because of what they are made of. There are a couple brands that don't have corn or soy & these may be safer options. I would like to add that Tops pellets are not at all nutritionally complete & since they are mainly alfalfa, can be very problematic over time. I just learned from one avian vet who has had lots of patients coming in w/kidney issues due to feeding Tops because alfalfa has too much phosphorous for birds to naturally process & it is hard on the kidneys. She said no alfalfa pellets, so people should be aware of Tops. Harrison's has alfalfa in it, but maybe ingredient #10 on their list, so in smaller quantities. Harrison's has almost the same ingredients as Roudybush, however Roudybush processes their pellets differently & are harder to digest for birds (what that same avian vet told me). I don't like either due to corn & soy being their main ingredients. Both gave one of my birds an allergic reaction after eating them for a long time & another got diarrhea & can no longer digest them. I switched her diet though & she is fine w/no corn/no soy now. The issue of seeds is this-to my understanding. Seeds are a high calorie/high fat food. Not as high as nuts though. Seeds in large amounts daily with little exercise over years is what is problematic. They also aren't nutritionally complete on their own. So, it's not that seeds are bad, but eating lots of seeds & nuts daily raises cholesterol levels & will cause fatty liver disease in birds. One must adjust the amount they are feeding their birds depending on their size, their activity level (which is super low compared to in the wild-this is couch potato compared to olympic athlete training)! A regular sedentary person cannot eat like a weight lifter doing a dozen eggs & 6 chicken breasts daily either, or you will get kidney problems. Same concept with birds. People tend to forget these are little creatures. Their stomach is the size of small grape or chickpea & we tend to give them like 3/4 c. of food a day. They sit around & get bored so they eat more than they normally ever would. Abundance of food & fats & carbs stimulate nesting & mating signals. The connections are obvious. I believe it's in everyone's best interest as a bird owner to really think about how they live in the wild, where they live, their natural behaviors, & realize that all captive birds are technically cough potatoes even if they free fly daily. We simply can't provide them the miles of flying & calorie burning they really need to thrive physically, so feed them wisely. Balanced diet with veggies, but limit the high carb ones like sweet potatoes & corn, limited fruits & smaller portion sizes because of the sugars, smarter ingredient pellets & maybe less of them & don't overdue the seed & keep it to better seeds like millet & not sunflower. Nuts in moderation as a daily foraging treat & portion size aware. Good fat nuts like walnut is better-ditch the peanuts! NO PEOPLE FOOD TABLE SCRAPS! The worst thing is giving them stuff they shouldn't eat like pizza & pasta & things w/sauces & fries & chips & cookies, etc. Just the salt alone in such things can really cause harm. Stay wise, stay proactive, always read ingredients & opt. for organic always & even then always wash your produce & peel the skins. Seeds are not bad for birds. They need to eat seeds, but captive birds don't need to eat a lot of seeds. 1 teaspoon a day for something like a conure is enough for their little bodies.
Sorry for the typos guys! I wrote this last night when I was tired & didn't have my reading glasses on (& I still don't have them on now, so there may be more here)! Haha. I also wanted to mention to the author of the post that obesity (ie. "fat birds") is a different thing from fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is something you cannot physically see & doesn't recessarily correlate to a bird's weight. Thin/normal weight birds can have fatty liver disease too. A "fat"/overweight bird has subcutaneous fat deposits or visceral fat, caused by excess fat/carbs/calories which are not being burned by exercise, just like a human gains weight. If you don't burn the calories you eat, it gets stored as body fat. This depends on how much is consumed & also the bird's metabolism which is different for different species. African Greys & Amazons are particularly prone to weight gain easier than other birds for example. The smaller birds tend to have higher metabolism rates, so not as common in a conure for example. Fatty liver disease is caused by eating high amounts of fat which are beyond what is being burned off & turned into an energy source & eliminated by the bird's body. A liver can only process/filter & do so much a day. Too much beyond the liver's capacity = the fat gets stored in the liver. I used to do ultrasound & literally a fatty liver looks like a slice of salami on screen. You can see the white, round fat deposits sitting in the liver. Not unlike excess fat/cholesterols depositing on the inside of arteries, these fat deposits in the liver hinder the liver's ability to do as much work as it normally can by bogging down its system. Over time, the liver works less efficiently, & this causes other systemic issues for the bird as everything is related & organs work w/each other to do the jobs they are supposed to do to maintain health. It can lead to kidney problems because what isn't processed by the liver goes to the kidneys, who are already doing other things & then they get overwhelmed with too much to process & next you get kidney disease. That's the issue & MANY birds get it in their older years simply from too much fats & carbs & lack of exercise unfortunately. They will appear & act healthy though until it gets to the point where it starts affecting other things in their body. It will often manifest w/polyuria/excessive water intake in an attempt to flush the kidneys toxins, high uric acid levels leading to gout, & skin itchiness that causes picking & plucking. Often the skin problems are the first indicator. They can have fatty liver for years undetected visually though, so often we have no idea our birds even have it unless they get a blood panel (& yeah, that's expensive-wish it wasn't!). On a more positive note, the liver can be improved w/a restrictive diet, more exercise & milk thistle + dandelion root lactalose solution daily, as this helps repair the liver. It is a chronic condition though usually, so there is no miracle "cure" for it. It can be improved & managed to an extent. Hope this helps to clear up the difference!
 
May 2, 2021
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Just adding on here: Budgies also eat plants in the wild. They do not eat seed only. The should not only seed in captivity as most are prone to obesity due to inbreeding.
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
960
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Minnesota, USA
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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
Sorry for the typos guys! I wrote this last night when I was tired & didn't have my reading glasses on (& I still don't have them on now, so there may be more here)! Haha. I also wanted to mention to the author of the post that obesity (ie. "fat birds") is a different thing from fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is something you cannot physically see & doesn't recessarily correlate to a bird's weight. Thin/normal weight birds can have fatty liver disease too. A "fat"/overweight bird has subcutaneous fat deposits or visceral fat, caused by excess fat/carbs/calories which are not being burned by exercise, just like a human gains weight. If you don't burn the calories you eat, it gets stored as body fat. This depends on how much is consumed & also the bird's metabolism which is different for different species. African Greys & Amazons are particularly prone to weight gain easier than other birds for example. The smaller birds tend to have higher metabolism rates, so not as common in a conure for example. Fatty liver disease is caused by eating high amounts of fat which are beyond what is being burned off & turned into an energy source & eliminated by the bird's body. A liver can only process/filter & do so much a day. Too much beyond the liver's capacity = the fat gets stored in the liver. I used to do ultrasound & literally a fatty liver looks like a slice of salami on screen. You can see the white, round fat deposits sitting in the liver. Not unlike excess fat/cholesterols depositing on the inside of arteries, these fat deposits in the liver hinder the liver's ability to do as much work as it normally can by bogging down its system. Over time, the liver works less efficiently, & this causes other systemic issues for the bird as everything is related & organs work w/each other to do the jobs they are supposed to do to maintain health. It can lead to kidney problems because what isn't processed by the liver goes to the kidneys, who are already doing other things & then they get overwhelmed with too much to process & next you get kidney disease. That's the issue & MANY birds get it in their older years simply from too much fats & carbs & lack of exercise unfortunately. They will appear & act healthy though until it gets to the point where it starts affecting other things in their body. It will often manifest w/polyuria/excessive water intake in an attempt to flush the kidneys toxins, high uric acid levels leading to gout, & skin itchiness that causes picking & plucking. Often the skin problems are the first indicator. They can have fatty liver for years undetected visually though, so often we have no idea our birds even have it unless they get a blood panel (& yeah, that's expensive-wish it wasn't!). On a more positive note, the liver can be improved w/a restrictive diet, more exercise & milk thistle + dandelion root lactalose solution daily, as this helps repair the liver. It is a chronic condition though usually, so there is no miracle "cure" for it. It can be improved & managed to an extent. Hope this helps to clear up the difference!
I did the same thing last night. I was half asleep, and typing ๐Ÿ˜‚ I should probably pay better attention.
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
960
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Minnesota, USA
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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
I am just thinking about human anatomy here. Parrots have a 4 chamber heart like humans. When you think of the keto diet that humans eat wouldnโ€™t a seed diet be the same as a human primarily just eating meat? I canโ€™t imagine laboratory results come back normal on people that do keto. I know my sister in laws kids dad had some heart issues, and ended up in the ER at the age of 35ish. He practices a keto diet, and eats basically meat, and veggies only. He religiously works out. I think he has only 9% body fat. One would think heโ€™s perfectly healthy. I donโ€™t think our bodies are meant to only take in protein. I feel like when I do run into people on a keto diet I always hear about heart problems, and labs being off although someone looks perfectly healthy, and even has good muscle tone. Itโ€™s just an observation. Iโ€™m nosey at times ๐Ÿ˜ข No I wouldnโ€™t say anything to someone about their diet. Iโ€™ve struggled with my weight my entire adult life, and itโ€™s not because Iโ€™ve ever been too thin.
 
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I am just thinking about human anatomy here. Parrots have a 4 chamber heart like humans. When you think of the keto diet that humans eat wouldnโ€™t a seed diet be the same as a human primarily just eating meat? I canโ€™t imagine laboratory results come back normal on people that do keto. I know my sister in laws kids dad had some heart issues, and ended up in the ER at the age of 35ish. He practices a keto diet, and eats basically meat, and veggies only. He religiously works out. I think he has only 9% body fat. One would think heโ€™s perfectly healthy. I donโ€™t think our bodies are meant to only take in protein. I feel like when I do run into people on a keto diet I always hear about heart problems, and labs being off although someone looks perfectly healthy, and even has good muscle tone. Itโ€™s just an observation. Iโ€™m nosey at times ๐Ÿ˜ข No I wouldnโ€™t say anything to someone about their diet. Iโ€™ve struggled with my weight my entire adult life, and itโ€™s not because Iโ€™ve ever been too thin.
Basically, extremes aren't good for anyone (maybe rare exceptions), everything needs to be in moderation diet and exercise wise. Feeding all seed isn't good but feeding veggies 24/7 also isn't good (for many parrot species, there may be exeptions), nor is feeding eggs 24/7.
 

LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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87
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Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
I am just thinking about human anatomy here. Parrots have a 4 chamber heart like humans. When you think of the keto diet that humans eat wouldnโ€™t a seed diet be the same as a human primarily just eating meat? I canโ€™t imagine laboratory results come back normal on people that do keto. I know my sister in laws kids dad had some heart issues, and ended up in the ER at the age of 35ish. He practices a keto diet, and eats basically meat, and veggies only. He religiously works out. I think he has only 9% body fat. One would think heโ€™s perfectly healthy. I donโ€™t think our bodies are meant to only take in protein. I feel like when I do run into people on a keto diet I always hear about heart problems, and labs being off although someone looks perfectly healthy, and even has good muscle tone. Itโ€™s just an observation. Iโ€™m nosey at times ๐Ÿ˜ข No I wouldnโ€™t say anything to someone about their diet. Iโ€™ve struggled with my weight my entire adult life, and itโ€™s not because Iโ€™ve ever been too thin.
Yes, I have a friend who started body building a couple yrs. ago. He's in his 30's & is currently ripped as a result, but he got diagnosed this yr. with kidney disease as a result of the high protein diet. I don't know exactly what he was eating daily, but this seems to be a common problem. In general, people don't normally need a ton of protein & you can only process so much before it turns into excess ketones. So, like everything else, balance is the key. We can say the same for fats, sugars & salt too. Too much of anything is going to cause problems eventually. I have always had a hard time losing weight all my life & stayed in the chubby zone half of my life. I recently started paying attention to how much salt I was consuming a day because I noticed I was retaining a lot of water at night. Turns out I was eating like twice as much salt as I should & no lie-all restaurant food, fast food, most frozen dinners & stuff have more salt in that 1 meal then you need in an entire day! When I reduced my salt intake, I stopped retaining water & lost that water weight. Wish I knew it early, but I honestly didn't pay attention to salt. So, it's up to the individual to really look at what & how much they are putting into their bodies. It was actually a bit of a task to keep track of my salt intake, as literally EVERYTHING has it-even coffee creamer & things, & over a day, boy does it add up quick! You can easily eat half of the amount of salt you need in a day before you even get to your dinner & condiments are the worst! Like 1 tablespoon can be hundred of mg of salt. It's crazy! So,, yeah-it's all connected & we tend to not even think about it through the day. I never did until I really started investigating my intake, wrote it down every day for a couple months & looked at every label. Yikes.
 
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Free as a bird

Free as a bird

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I'm curious as to why you don't feed chop? It is also natural

Thanks for your contribution to the topic. We all have our own experiences and opinions and it's good to share those experiences and opinions

To answer your question I've tried to feed my tiels vegis and fruit but they don't show interest unless I'm eating it and even then they'll just nibble it and shake their heads. My mums budgies eat lettuce leaf, well one of them does heaps but not so much the other, and some of my old tiels and budgies would eat some veg and fruit.

To your question about vets I've had some, well 2, tell me that a seed based diet is fine for seed eating birds. It's a matter of opinion

The fatty liver opinion hangs on the assumption that birds in captivity eat as they do in the wild, consuming more energy than using. It's highly unlikely and makes the theory a very weak one, certainly not a valid reason not to feed my little granivore parrots any seeds in my opinion.

At the end of the day we are talking about granivores. Not feeding them grain/seed is like not feeding a carnivore meat or not feeding a herbivore plants. Their beaks and digestive systems are designed for grain/seeds. That's why granivores eat a grain based diet, other foods too but mostly grain and why I choose to feed mine the same

Anyway thanks again Terry57, textsize and those that gave calm and thoughtful responses.
 
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kme3388

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Sep 17, 2021
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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
My parrots are not fans of veggies, and fruits either. They also donโ€™t like chop. Iโ€™ll make a chop, and Iโ€™ve tried several different recipes. My one parrot will eat it for a week or 2. At first I thought he liked it. Then itโ€™s like he gets bored with it, and starts tossing the bowl itโ€™s in. My other 2 donโ€™t eat it. The one wont even go near it. Pellets took a long time for my parrots to accept. I recently contacted one of the manufacturers of pellets that I buy. My one parrot only liked the birdie bread. The pellets are pretty much the same exact ingredients just with an egg, and red palm oil (of course thereโ€™s a texture difference). They were rather helpful, and supportive of my questions. They comprehended that a bird that is regularly consuming egg that the yoke could be removed for less fat. They also mentioned that parrots that regularly consume egg should be observed for body weight. I would say the manufacturer of the pellets I buy are educated on a parrots anatomy, and diet. I donโ€™t think they are just pushing pellets for profit. They know that parrots can be extremely picky eaters. Thereโ€™s only so much someone can do to try to get their parrot to eat something they donโ€™t want to.
 
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Free as a bird

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There are many people who are like

"Oh feeding seeds to my seed eating bird is unhealthy therefore I feed them pellets which are made from seeds"

Its a lack of logic and exactly the misinformation that I speak of.

I recently went to an avian vet and he scoffed at the idea. He said that adding pellets to the mix is fine but replacing seeds for pellets is useless as pellets are made from seed anyway
 
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LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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Meyers, Rock Pebbler, Bourkes, African Grey, Barraband
There are many people who are like

"Oh feeding seeds to my seed eating bird is unhealthy therefore I feed them pellets which are made from seeds"

Its a lack of logic and exactly the misinformation that I speak of.

I recently went to an avian vet and he scoffed at the idea. He said that adding pellets to the mix is fine but replacing seeds for pellets is useless as pellets are made from seed anyway
This is true. I believe all brands of pellets have some crushed seeds in them, some more than others. Unfortunately, the first 3-4 ingredients of them all is usually soymeal & cornmeal, which sucks. The main reason for incorporating pellets is mainly for the added vitamins & minerals which are lacking in diet if you only feed them veggies & seeds. However, there is also great debate on the vitamins used to enrich the pellets as well (quality & processing). Still, some pellets is a good idea, but IMO & based on my own middle aged & older parrots I own, as they have gotten older, their ability to digest these pellets has become an issue. I actually just went to my avian vet 2 wks. ago for a general checkup/full blood panel on my most elder parrot (Meyers). I noticed in the past month or so every morning she has borderline diarrhea (super wet, runny) poop. This only happens w/the first poop of the morning after she eats her pellets (which were Harrisons). The rest of the day & after eating her chop, her poops look normal. My vet told me that there are some birds he has seen who have an issue digesting the binder in Harrison's pellets, so this is actually a thing. It is also the case for Roudybush. I now feed her a mix of Caitec oven bites (baked pellets) & Hagen Tropical Alternative & it has improved things for her. I also give her about 1/2 teaspoon of an organic seed mix made by Origins Wild Diet (which is expensive, but it seems to def. be superior quality). I mix the seed in her minced veggie chop so she has to get in there more to eat them & eat additional chop in the process, however she has always been a big eater of veggies, so that hasn't been a problem. I think people should just be aware of the potential problems with pellets out there & the possible digestive & absorption issues with them & also be aware that they are indeed made of seed as well. The more pellets you are feeding, the more seed your bird is eating, SO it's important to adjust how much additional seed you are adding to their diet daily. Most birds don't need a ton of extra seed. A 1/2 t. is enough for smaller birds, 1 t. for med. birds. It should be high quality organic seed as well without sunflower seeds & with good seeds like millet & flax in it. Those have oils which actually help the liver. Even better if you spout the seed, as that increases the nutritional value & burns off some of the fat content of the seeds. If your bird gets little to no exercise through flying, cholesterol can easily increase. You can help your non flyers out by doing flight exercises though to make them flap their wings. My Meyers doesn't like to fly, so I "fly her" twice a day. She perches on my hand, I lightly hold on to her feet w/out putting pressure on them & do laps around room or up & down a hallway as she "flies". She enjoys it. Her blood panel came out perfect (she's 18), so the vet said keep up whatever you are doing because she's in great health!
 

Birdgirl24

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Dec 2, 2021
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I have 1 budgie, He is a male both. I have been looking into getting an Eclectus Parrot tho.
I can 100% tell you. I had a budgie for 5-6 years named Petals and fed her seeds for 3 or 4 years yes it was stupid, yes, I screwed up blame it on tween stupidity. I can 100% guarantee that contributed to her early death. I'm not saying seeds are bad heck I use them as training treats, they work amazing BUT. In some birds' diets, they do need seeds in their diet not a bunch. But hey if you want comparisons how's this for you? It's the equivalent of a human eating potato chips for breakfast lunch and dinner is it healthy? Certainly not, but is it going to kill you super-fast? No ofc not, is it going to decrease your life span and make u feel super crappy sluggish, and fat? Yeah, probably personally I wouldn't want that happening to my babies they are everything to me it's just weighing the pros and cons, and honestly feeding all seeds has way more cons than pros. But hey I'm just a teenager what do I know right? I'm so sorry for getting so riled up but this is something I'm passionate about after what happened to my baby girl. So, from someone who learned the hard way you're better off doing it right the first time before you have to put yourself through stupid depressing grueling heartache all because you refused to feed your birds anything other than seeds. Because it was so-called "natural".
 
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