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Salmon for Macaws?

Discussion in 'Macaw Motorway' started by BrianB, 8/13/19 at 4:33 PM.

  1. BrianB

    BrianB Sprinting down the street

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    A little back story - My brother-in-law has a female scarlet macaw and a male Catalina. They were in very large outside enclosures at the time, but not together. They both started plucking. When I went to visit earlier this year, they looked even worse than they had before. He was fristrated and couldn't figure out what the issue was. He thought it was a parasite. Honestly I think it was just a phase he went through and didn't really know what to do with them now that his interest had passed. So I spent some time looking at them and realized they were both bored and very thin. I suggested he put toys in for them, and then checked out their food. They were only getting about half of what they should be eating each day. I finally told him that if he wasn't my brother-in-law that I would have told him to surrender them because they were going to die otherwise. They were eating some strange seed mix with nuts and fruit in it, but no veggies. I got him to buy a bag of pellets and start to give them as much food as they would eat. I also got him to give them mixxed veggies every day. Anything that's a different shape and color to stimulate their interest. That helped. He also put in some hanging toys for them.

    He came to visit last month and said he has been feeding them raw salmon each day. Not a huge amount, but an ounce or so each day. He showed me pictures today and the birds look completely different. The male had no tail feathers in February. Most of his tail has grown back and all of the bare patches when they had plucked are filled in.

    Does anyone else have experience with giving raw salmon to macaws? Did it help, or was it the change in environment and enrichment? They are also sharing a cage now. Previously they coudltouch each other, but they were not physically together.

    Thanks
     
  2. Shezbug

    Shezbug ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW! Moderator Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Last edited: 8/13/19 at 5:30 PM
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  3. melissasparrots

    melissasparrots Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    I've given very small amounts of salmon to birds but always cooked. I would not feed raw meat to a parrot. It could be the oils in the salmon that helped. I'd be more likely to think its that they now have toys, enough food, and contact with another parrot to bond with. If a bird isn't going to have a human to bond closely with and hang out with frequently, then it needs one of its own kind.
    There are several good oils to give to parrots that have less risk of overloading their kidneys with protein as may happen if he continues with the salmon. Cold pressed flaxseed oil comes to mind for being high in omega 3s and possibly helping with inflammation and allergies. Although macaws can also enjoy coconut milk, coconut oil and palm oil. I'd advise your brother in law to stop the raw meat, scale the salmon back to a teaspoon or less a couple times a month(cooked) and start putting a few drops of flaxseed oil on their food a few times a week instead. Rotate periodically with coconut or palm oil.
     
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  4. BrianB

    BrianB Sprinting down the street

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    I think the birds had gotten very close to the point of starvation. I misted one of them with the hose and his breasbone was a sharp line against his skin. One of the ladies was not feeding them enough because she simply didn't know and thought what she was giving them was appropriate for their body size. I'm sure the extra fat from the salmon did wonders for them. I'll suggest coconut oil. I tried palm oil with mine and they wouldn't touch it. Last night he said that someone told him raw beef was good for them and I told him not to do it. There would be way too much iron and fat for them. I suggested boiled chicken or scrambled eggs instead.
     
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  5. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    COOKED SALMON is fine, but very seldom. it has a lot of Omega 3 in it. I wouldn't feed any meats more than twice a month and then just tiny portions. Realize that birds don't have the appropriate enzymes to digest meats. Meats, especially beef, pork and lamb, has way way too much of the bad fats - can you say heart disease and atherosclerosis?

    Red Palm oil and Flax oils are excellent for macaws while coconut oil is nothin except fats and a high percentage bad fats. Red Palm oil is very high in carotene. The precursor to Vitamin A which most birds are deficient in.
    Egg whites are ok, but not fed over once a week. Avoid feeding the yolk. It, again is very high in the bad fats.

    Believe me captured/caged macaws are very susceptible to heart disease, liver disease and atherosclerosis.
     
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  6. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting! Vendor POSTAHOLIC

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    There was a study I read recently that showed that the omega 3 in fish oil is actually far more beneficial for birds than that found in plant based forms.

    However, an ounce of fish is still a lot of food for a macaw! Consider that a serving size for a person is 4 oz. For an average 150 pound person, that is less than 0.1% of their body weight. For a 1000g macaw, 1 oz of fish is about 3% of their body weight. This would be the equivalent of that 150 pound person eating 72 oz of salmon (4.5 lbs!)

    I say this often and people disagree with me ;) If you are only feeding egg whites, it's not worth the effort. ALL of the good part of an egg is in the yolk. The white contains protein which there are ample vegetarian sources of. I only feed eggs a few times a year anymore because I don't really feed animal to my bird, but when I do, it is always with the yolk.
     
    Last edited: 8/14/19 at 1:23 PM
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  7. BrianB

    BrianB Sprinting down the street

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    I was giving scrambled eggs to my macaws for a while. After coming to us they went through a period of time where they were both looking really thin. I don't know if it was the adjustment to a new place or not. They were never raised to be pets, so I can't say what their environment was before. It's not like I could handle them to get a feel for their muscle mass either. I gave them scrambled eggs twice a week for a few weeks. I also increased the amount of nuts in their diet - again, I had no idea what they were being fed before, so I figured the extra fat for a short period of time wouldn't be a bad thing. A couple of weeks and they both looked much better. Now I rotate things that they eat just to keep things interesting and to make sure they don't get too much of any one thing.

    The salmon was a curious thing though. I know it has a lot of fat in it. Not terribly bad for humans, but birds don't digest things the same way we do. It seems to have worked wonders for his birds, but I think it was part of the larger change in their diet, and environment.
     
  8. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting! Vendor POSTAHOLIC

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    I definitely would not attribute all of the success to the salmon. There are many variables at play :)
     
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  9. melissasparrots

    melissasparrots Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Bird nutrition can be confusing. Parrots can benefit from a small amount of meat but they aren’t raptors. Some people get it in their head that parrots like meat and go way overboard. Cooked and in moderation is okay. I always give a measurement of one teaspoon or less once a week or less because people will feed way more than appropriate. Same for the oils. A few drops is good. Lots of it is unnecessary. I’m a little more liberal with coconut milk since I don’t give it often. Otherwise I stick with a few drops a day plus what they get from nuts.
     
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  10. Eloy

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

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    Flaxseed oil or hempseed oil is good but not every day and only small amounts.
    I would never give raw fish.
     
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  11. Sarah13

    Sarah13 Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    No go on the sushi date. :(
    Raw salmon does provide benifits and may not cause upfront harm but I do not chance it. I can provide my birds with those dietary and nutritional benifits in other ways and with fewer risks.
     
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