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Conflicting Info About Diet

Nostromo

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Hi guys,

I'm working on getting Iago settled in and eating well. I've had him 3 weeks. He loves his pellets and although he eats chop it's still a work in progress to get him eating that primarily.

I paid for a consultation with Pamela Clark to strategize how to help build a great relationship with Iago and get him settled well into the family. She was wonderful and really knowledgable. One thing though was that she had really conflicting ideas about ekkie diet than what I'd read. She said the idea that ekkies were sensitive to synthetic vitamins was a myth! And that it was the calorie content of the pellets that should be monitored, so she said Roudybush was much better for than TOPS, which she said was too high in calories and didn't have enough vitamins. I'm so confused. She said that the idea of feeding TOPS and avoiding regular pellets was just "social media" rumor. It's true that I don't have a scientific source to base that on so now I'm really not sure. Iago strongly prefers Roudybush to TOPS.

What do you guys think?
 

Emma&pico

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@Mizzely @Pixiebeak any ideas ?

I use roudybush for mine but I have gcc and they love it wouldn’t touch tops indie my lovebird eats tops
 

Mizzely

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I honestly don't know. I have heard many conflicting things over the years with Ekkies and I don't know what to believe.
 

Nostromo

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I honestly don't know. I have heard many conflicting things over the years with Ekkies and I don't know what to believe.
Boy do I feel this!!! I've been doing a boat load of research on ekkies once I got serious about bringing one home, and it seems like so much that is said is just "mere assertion" - people stating it to be true based on their experience or what they were told or research they did, but nobody with any empirical evidence to back it up, I'd imagine because there isn't any (or not much at any rate). He'll be getting a full workup at the vet next week but even there I'm not sure that they'll be expert because so many experienced ekkie owners say even good avian vets can't always be trusted to know about the specialized needs of eclectus. It's just so confusing. I was reading what Laurella Desborough recommended because she's a major breeder but then another guy who is an MD on an ekkie forum was saying that although she's a talented breeder, her feeding of the ekkies is actually very improper and shouldn't be followed. So now I'm really lost!

Then everybody's got different opinions about the chop too - how many sprouts, veggie to fruit ratio, frozen or fresh, chop or chunks...

:shocked4:
 

Pixiebeak

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Diet info is hard to come by. I don't think there has been an ekkie specific study that I am aware of .
Eclectus are kinda weird parrot (not them , but like their biology and reproduction , and feathers ) a tree top species, and I think think slower to process food in their guts .

I imagine Pamela knows more than I do ! ;)

Personally I'm pulling away from processed pellets. Trying to more whole foods for my non eclectus.

I think sunshine is important for them , some species seem to need more sunlight vitamin D. The folks I've seen with lush healthy eclectus long term , without over grown liver issues beaks, and in magnificent feather condition have all done the fresh food diets , with some egg, and such . And they definitely had a cage outdoors part time or aviary.

Whenever I'm interested in a specific species, I try to find out as much about their home range and wild cousins everything written about them in the wild and conservation. AA well as looking at photos of them in the wild , reading about native flora . Then I do look at big time breeders who have been breeding for a long time. Because they usually have a lot right to maintain breeding conditions and success with the species . Then I look at folks who have them as pets and what they say in that order nutrition is barely covered in vet school, and I have yet to be impressed with avian veterinarian diet knowledge in my personal life experience. If you can find a zoo nutritionist and anything they may have on them that might be another good source. And of course, I evaluate my birds, and their feather , beak , leg skin condition, how regularly they molt how they look during molts, and weight and activities. I'm very proud of my lush birds , who you can barely tell are molting because they look just as lush and shinning, just see pins and fallen feathers, they dint get grumpy or sleep more . I adjusted to have them get more calories and a little more protein just ahead and during molt. And all the veggies and sunshine and exercise they get year round. Before I made those adjustments they looked rough during molts .
 

Pixiebeak

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Well certainly learned a bunch with that one, as previously all I remember was they had weird gi digestion . Definitely they aren't going to do well on pellets of any kind. If design is for wet pulp.

"
Excessive amounts of hard fibrous foods that hinder normal gizzard function in eclectus parrots also disturb the gastroduodenal reflux process, which not only reduces the digestion of fats in the duodenum but also slows the digestion process in the proventriculus and gizzard because the hormones associated with the intestinal phase of gastric secretion have not been properly stimulated.



The prime purpose of all phases of gastric secretion is to optimize the rate of digestion by acidifying the proventriculus contents. Their full function is of greater relevance for frugivory than granivory because large volumes of fruit pulp spends more time being processed in the proventriculus. "

"
Dietary induced functional digestive disorders of eclectus parrots can be explained by gastric secretion failure whereas for granivory impaired gizzard activity is their likely cause. Solving the digestive dysfunction in eclectus parrots requires identifying the affected phase(s) of gastric secretion and dietary error associated with the failure. Acting in league with natural foraging behavior the three key physical features of the wild diet, namely bulk, moisture content and fiber balance, stimulate the full evolutionary potential of the distinctive digestive tract of eclectus parrots.



Remedial feeding strategies that chose foods with equivalent textural qualities as rainforest fruit pulp and adopts the same natural foraging behaviors as wild Eclectus can be used to reclaim healthy digestion in captive birds irrespective of the origins, complexities or persistence of their gastrointestinal complaint."

All above taken from earlier linked article

So my take away , a routine morning and afternoon meal , letting them see you prepare to stimulate them , with fasting in between, for proper digestion hormones, and gastric triggers. Bulk wet low nutrients foods , low fat relatively low protein diet .
 
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expressmailtome

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You could try contacting Laurella Desborough from Laurella Desborough's Eclectus Centre . She is the top eclectus breeder in the United States, and is known around the world. She is very willing to help people.
 

expressmailtome

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So, I've read conflicting things about whether her dietary advice for ekkies is sound... it's all just so confusing :shakehead:
Much of her opinions match those of Graham Taylor, one of Australia's top eclectus breeders as well. The main differences come in that in the US we do not have easy access to some of the foods that he recommends such as palm nuts.
 

Nostromo

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Much of her opinions match those of Graham Taylor, one of Australia's top eclectus breeders as well. The main differences come in that in the US we do not have easy access to some of the foods that he recommends such as palm nuts.
Hm, that is good to know. It conflicts with what Pamela Clark recommended - she was saying that eclectus anti-pellet beliefs are based mostly on myth. But then lots of other people say that isn't true at all. Confusing!! I put the Volkman seed blend that Laurella recommends into foraging toys, and pellets into a bowl for nighttime, so I guess I take a bit of a hybrid approach. I'm mostly trying to convince Iago to eat more fresh food though.
 

Pixiebeak

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Have you had the chance to go through the article ?
2017.
EXPLORING THE WILD DIET TO SOLVE FUNCTIONAL DIGESTIVE DIORDERS IN ECLECTUS PARROTS

" Eclectus have overcome the space limitations presented by their wet bulky nutrient dilute wild diet through evolutionary modifications to the alimentary trct. A wide flexible thoracic esophagus is a morphological adaptation that facilitates a high rate of digestion by facilitating a fast passage of bulky wet foods from mouth to proventriculus when meals are taken on an empty stomach. The proventriculus of eclectus parrots is an elongated tubular and highly distensible structure capable of holding as much food as the crop. The proventriculus of sulfur-crested cockatoos has half this capacity holding the same amount of food as the gizzard. The gizzard of eclectus parrots is an equivalent size but less muscular and more spacious and therefore is likely to hold a greater volume of food than that of sulfur crested cockatoos.30 These evolutionary anatomic alterations are directed towards an increased need to consume, store and process large volumes of wet nutrient dilute food as quickly and completely as possible" and mentioned less plasticity and adaptive abilities to different diets than other species of parrots.

It mentions several adaption to wet fruit pulp based natural diet . When they talk digestive disorders,I wish they would have clarified, like liver problems a common theme in eclectus that could be due to fat content, or inflammation from overgrowth of gut flora . As well as absorbuin
 
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BrianB

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My avian vet has said in her research, and work with other avian vets, that there is anecdotal evidence that "some" Eclectus are sensitive to the artificial coloring in pellets. This is in addition to the disputed issue with synthetic vitamins. Then she shrugged and said, they are very different birds and the evidence about the artificial coloring is anecdotal, so take of it what you will.
 
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