The Eclectus Diet: The Do's, the Don'ts, and Everything You Need to Know But Were Too Afraid to Ask

WingDing

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Nov 13, 2017
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I'm not chris, but I'll tell you what Toby the Eclectus and I are doing lately :cool:

I buy a variety of frozen, organic veggies, including kale and butternut squash, and mix them up in a huge bowl along with a little quinoa, lentils and garbanzo beans, then divide it up and put it in plastic freezer bags. Often, I will rough chop and add fresh arugula, dandelion greens, golden beets and/or chard depending on what is available at the grocery store. I put about 3 days of veggies in each bag and put them back in the freezer. I go through this process every two weeks and it takes about 30 minutes.

Then at meal times, I put about 50 grams of veggies in a mini food processor, add some spices (fennel, mixed herbs, or pepper flakes, etc.) and microwave for 15 seconds to thaw/steam it. I drain any excess liquid if there is any and then chop it up for a few seconds with the food processor. It takes about 3 minutes to make a meal for him and clean the mini food processor. The remaining chop in the bag goes into the back of my minifridge where it stays semi-frozen until we use it up. Then I pull another bag from the freezer.

Toby gets chop for breakfast in his bowl for around 3 hours, then Tops pellets to bridge the gap until dinner when he gets another fresh meal that stays out for less than 3 hours.

Luckily, he eats just about everything I make for him.

I was making chop in huge batches from fresh veggies but got burned out on it. It usually took me 6 hours to shop for the groceries and to prepare the fresh chop. I'll go back to fresh after I recuperate. Fresh organic is probably 2/3 the cost of frozen.

I hope that helps.
 
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PamnJay

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Mar 31, 2022
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Ozzy the 6 year old male Eclectus and Taz the 2 year old male White-faced Cockatoo
Thank you Chris for the info! You too Wingding! We know diet is very important for Ozzy and are looking for any info and experience is available. He has been neglected for most of his life and we want to change that for him, but he is fighting us on some issues :)

Are Nutri-berries ok for Eckies? Some came with him and he really likes them. The term fortified is not on the label but there are vitamins listed in the ingredients. What can we use as treats for Ozzy, we use cut up almonds and a few sunflower seeds. He also REALLY like getting into Taz's cage and eating his seeds. It is hard to keep him out as we have to keep Taz's cage open so he can eat. Thanks,

J
 

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chris-md

chris-md

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To know if something had been enhanced/enriched/fortified, just look at the ingredients list. If there are vitamins listed, it’s enriched.

In the case of nutriberries, they do contain added vitamins and minerals, so aren’t approved. But giving one every once in a while as an extra special treat once or twice a week won’t hurt anything unless it triggers toe tapping. Parker gets them perhaps once a week when I remember I have them.

What I’ve found as a great treat (aside from nuts, which I do give) are red lentil noodles or chickpea noodles, these are daily if not multiple times a day. There are some brands that put out noodles made ONLY from red lentil flour or chickpea flour, nothing else added. These are perfect.

On top of that, Swiss chard (stems and leaves), celery, and mini sweet peppers are often used as between-meal gnashes around here as well.

So are seed crackers. I give Parker a certain brand of seed crackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers (original only) that are largely ok. There IS some added sea salt in those (NO parrot should be fed food with added salt);, but I usually forget these in the pantry so he’s lucky to get them maybe once or twice a month. It’s his only source of added salt in his diet, and since its fed so rarely it’s really not an issue.
 

PamnJay

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Mar 31, 2022
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ST. Croix, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Ozzy the 6 year old male Eclectus and Taz the 2 year old male White-faced Cockatoo
What I’ve found as a great treat (aside from nuts, which I do give) are red lentil noodles or chickpea noodles, these are daily if not multiple times a day. There are some brands that put out noodles made ONLY from red lentil flour or chickpea flour, nothing else added. These are perfect.

We found some red lentil pasta, but it has some rice flour as well. Do we give it to him uncooked? or do we cook it and let it dry out again? I can't see him eating it cooked and soft.

J
 

saxguy64

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We found some red lentil pasta, but it has some rice flour as well. Do we give it to him uncooked? or do we cook it and let it dry out again? I can't see him eating it cooked and soft.

J
Never know until you try. My guys loooooove freshly cooked pasta. (Not hot though) :)
 
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chris-md

chris-md

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Parker - male Eclectus

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HI again, when making a chop for Ozzy, can I use papaya and mango seeds? How about zucchini and squash seeds? I know not to use apple, pear etc. Thanks,

J

Sorry I’m only just seeing this.

Avoid the mango seeds. Toxic when raw, not worth cooking.

Papaya seeds: edible. Not sure there’s any value.

Zucchini-yes and no. Don’t freeze it, it’ll ruin your chop. GREAT addition if added just before serving.

Squash seeds: absolutely! Great additions.
 

BirdyBee

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tacocaTEclectus

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Mar 22, 2022
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tacocaT the Eclectus hatched 9/16/22
I don't know about ekkies, but bee pollen is safe for other birds :)
I have been giving it to my eclectus for a few weeks now. I know he likes to pick the pollen pellets out so I have to mix it in well. I assumed since they like flowers that bee pollen shouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for them.
 

WingDing

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I wanted to add to this thread that I've had to resort to feeding our eclectus Roudy Bush and Harrisons. He simply will not touch Tops anymore. He's also grown picky about his chop. So, the vet recommended that I introduce a little bit of Roudy Bush.

So far, Toby has done well without any apparent behavior or neurological issues. I'm trying to find some ways that get him to eat more chop and less pellets.
 

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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Sorry I’m only just seeing this.

Avoid the mango seeds. Toxic when raw, not worth cooking.

Papaya seeds: edible. Not sure there’s any value.

Zucchini-yes and no. Don’t freeze it, it’ll ruin your chop. GREAT addition if added just before serving.

Squash seeds: absolutely! Great additions.
Wait, how will zucchini ruin the chop if frozen?
 

kme3388

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Sep 17, 2021
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Minnesota, USA
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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
I wanted to add to this thread that I've had to resort to feeding our eclectus Roudy Bush and Harrisons. He simply will not touch Tops anymore. He's also grown picky about his chop. So, the vet recommended that I introduce a little bit of Roudy Bush.

So far, Toby has done well without any apparent behavior or neurological issues. I'm trying to find some ways that get him to eat more chop and less pellets.
I have the same issue with Nico. He doesn't especially like chop. He flings it everywhere more then he eats it. I am sorry you are experiencing this as well.
 

tacocaTEclectus

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Mar 22, 2022
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tacocaT the Eclectus hatched 9/16/22
I wanted to add to this thread that I've had to resort to feeding our eclectus Roudy Bush and Harrisons. He simply will not touch Tops anymore. He's also grown picky about his chop. So, the vet recommended that I introduce a little bit of Roudy Bush.

So far, Toby has done well without any apparent behavior or neurological issues. I'm trying to find some ways that get him to eat more chop and less pellets.
My eclectus loves sweet potato. I poke them full of holes, rub them with coconut oil, bake them until soft, then I food process them and that becomes the base for his chop. He eats it like crazy. He put on so much weight when we switched to sweet potato instead of butternut squash as the base.
 

kme3388

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Sep 17, 2021
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Minnesota, USA
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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
My eclectus loves sweet potato. I poke them full of holes, rub them with coconut oil, bake them until soft, then I food process them and that becomes the base for his chop. He eats it like crazy. He put on so much weight when we switched to sweet potato instead of butternut squash as the base.
I’m going to try to put some sweet potato in Nico’s chop. Maybe he will try to at least eat some. This is a great suggestion!
 

WingDing

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Nov 13, 2017
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Toby - RS Eclectus
Midori - Nanday Conure
I wanted to add to this thread that I've had to resort to feeding our eclectus Roudy Bush and Harrisons. He simply will not touch Tops anymore. He's also grown picky about his chop. So, the vet recommended that I introduce a little bit of Roudy Bush.

Update: I had the idea of processing Tops pellets with a little fruit to create something he might like.

Bingo! I found that I can take just one large blackberry or one slice of kiwi and a small handful of Tops pellets, pulverize them together in a mini food chopper and Toby loves it. When I add this to his veggie chop, he will clean the bowl almost every time before the fresh food has to be removed.

So, this allows me to greatly reduce the amount of sugary fruit in his chop, provide more bulk and ensure he is eating his veggies. Also, he doesn't eat as much of the less desirable pellets (Harrisons and Roudybush) that he was gravitating to.
 

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