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Protein content in captive parrot diet

Discussion in 'Healthy Highway' started by Known Space, 6/12/18.

  1. Known Space

    Known Space Meeting neighbors

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    Hi there! I may just not be the best at searching these things up, but what is known about the protein content of captive parrot diets? And can anyone link me to empirical studies on the subject? That's a big issue for me, I would like some credible sources on the issue.

    Some claim that a diet high in protein can cause a bird to be hormonal. But most articles I've come across tend to phrase it as a correlation: hormonal parrots eat a lot of "high protein" food, but there doesn't appear to be any information on whether the protein causes the hormones, or the hormones make them consume high-protein foods. Or if it's even an interaction. Is there anything known in terms of mechanics and physical effects on the hormonal balance of high protein -- whatever that practically means -- in captive parrot diets? Not just conjuncture. And what does "high protein" practically mean? What percentage of their diet makes their diet "high protein"?

    For what it's worth, my parrotlet seems to be exceptionally disinclined from showing hormonal behavior. So I'm not exactly worried I'm -- knowingly or unknowingly -- doing something right in terms of diet. But as a macronutrient, there's a lot of focus on fat. And I'd be curious to learn more about the effects of protein in terms of hormones.
     
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  2. expressmailtome

    expressmailtome Ripping up the road Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Bump.
     
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  3. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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  4. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Protein (and fat) is just one factor where hormones are concerned. It does not cause hormones but it is one of the triggers to get the ball rolling. This is well known from reading and experience. A captive parrot does not need nearly the same amount of protein than their wild counterparts simply because their captive.

    Here is some interesting for you to read.

    Hormonal Behavior in Pet Birds - Introduction — For The Birds DVM — Avian Vet
     
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  5. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    It's different for every species, but generally speaking, only about 14% of the diet needs to be made up of protein. About 5% should be fat, and the rest carbs. High I would say would be above 20% if fat content isn't also increased, as some diets rely on a higher fat content to make the bird eat less, and need to bump up the protein to compensate. Harrison's High Potency is an example of this. That being said, I don't actually know what would be considered too high, but I know for rats, anything over 16% shortens their lifespan.

    Essentially, when the body detects an over abundance of high quality energy, like fat and protein, it can send a signal that it's a good time to make babies. Excess energy means that eggs can be laid without straining the body too much, and that there is food aplenty for chicks. This is also affected though by day length, the bird's fitness level, temperatures, and latitude on the earth. So its certainly not just about protein.

    I would say that this could trigger hens more than males, but I'm sure males aren't immune.
     
  6. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    This is definitely true. You can get away with much more (even bad) diet with males simply because they don't have the same issues where egg laying is concerned.

    Females need more food management to maintain good health.

    Hormones (at least in the larger parrots) usually start with the hen. The male recognizes these signs and that is what triggers them into becoming hormonal (this is how they synchronize). In reality they are always ready to go if opportunity knocks. It's always if whether the female is receptive or not.
     
  7. painesgrey

    painesgrey Rollerblading along the road

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    This is from one of the Avian Medicine textbooks I reference:

    [​IMG]


    The book also mentions studies that have shown baby cockatiels fed on diets higher in protein (20%, 25%, 35%) showed increased aggression, so I imagine that there is some kind of behavioral component to higher protein diets. Whether or not these are linked with hormone production specifically is unclear - I couldn't find any studies on the subject.
     
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  8. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    Oooh what book is that?

    Also holy cow look at that Vitamin A!
     
  9. painesgrey

    painesgrey Rollerblading along the road

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  10. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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  11. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    What a great web page to read. Thanks so much for posting.
     
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  12. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Hench RPO is so beneficial. Loaded with beta carotene.
     
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  13. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    Well I know its needed in high amounts but never saw the numbers. I fed lots of beta carotene veggies.
     
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  14. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Tika wouldn't touch a green (or any other colour) vegetable if his life depended on it. I can get a good healthy dose into him in a very small portion. It truly is one of the super foods.
     
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  15. Known Space

    Known Space Meeting neighbors

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    Woah, holy crap thank you! I will definitely be digging into the textbooks. Thank you so much for this information!

    The response exceeds my expectations. Hope I didn't sound too douchy in my original post. But I'm so used, when it comes to captive avian diets, that people have such strong opinions, that they invest heavily in, based on their "hunches" and "experience" about what to feed and what not to feed captive birds, always prefixing their views with "You definitely shouldn't listen to your vet when it comes to food, they know how to heal them, not how to feed them" and subsequently defending their choices with "there's no right or wrong and everyone is entitled to their opnion. And you can't make me stop!". And that doesn't even begin to mention all that "appeals to nature". I just wanted to avoid this all together.
     
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  16. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Hench RPO ??????
     
  17. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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  18. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I hope so. This is a community. Not Facemob. :)

    eH! I'll get over it. So will you. :D

    Oh we've been there many times. Just say the word and a fire will break out somewhere. :ballerina:
     
  19. Eloy

    Eloy Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I do feed my parrots a lot of protein but they use it. I don't believe that protein is dangerous at all for them, but they must need what you are feeding them. (and that means all things you give them)
    If you look at wild birds they often only get high protein (sprouts) once a year (breeding season) and with high protein their body can manage to successful breed and raise babies.
    I don't believe that high protein makes our captive parrots hormonal, (if so my birds should be very hormonal 24/7/365 :p ) but I believe that a low protein diet hides they normal behavior and also is bad for the ones that are active. And that will mean that they need more protein then the most of us give them. And the same with fat.
    I train my birds and they fly a lot = using their muscles = need both fat and protein to rebuild their muscles. My birds also have a lot of freedom and are active.

    I have Eloy as a good example. He was very hormonal at age 1- 3 years old, and both attacked me and was very hard to handle.
    I was told that they should not have so much protein so I did lower his levels. The thing that happened was that he get both tired and grumpy.
    He was not that happy and active boy anymore, and he still was very angry. But yes, perhaps a little bit less hormonal.
    I did understand pretty fast that he needed more protein, and once he gets his regular diet back he was my happy and active boy again.
    But yes, he was also more hormonal again, but this time I did know that this was his normal him.
    I prefer to accept what they are, and I also try to give them as natural life as I can. And they will never be good pets, but good companions.

    That is why I give mine carrot juice. :)
     
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