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Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

Monica

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This thread has inspired me to try try and try again. My teil and buddgie's seed mix has some pellets in it, but not much. I have also never been able to get them to eat fresh foods. This morning I made a very colorful mix of seeds, fruit, and greens. I'm not sure how much of it that are really 'eating,' but they are very curious about it and picking away. It seems so obvious that if it looks fun, they may try it, but I never thought that way till reading this thread. Thank you! Going to have to pick up some pellets and try grinding next.
I know this may be a bit late but I'm really glad to hear you aren't giving up! Any updates on your fids trying new foods?
 

44chicken

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I must say that picking thru their food with your finger really does get them interested...like..."did you find something?" :D
 

Maxsmom

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Monica

THANKS SO MUCH for taking the time to write such an informative thread!

:hug8:
 

Monica

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Welcome! :)


I hope the thread continues to help any people in need of converting their birds over to a better diet!
 

Birdzee

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THANK YOU soooo much for all this information..I rescued a little red faced lovie who has been eating only seeds from his former home and am really trying to get him to eat fresh foods..these tips are sooooo helpful...Now to get them working for him...
 

Monica

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Maddie, let us know how the conversion goes, and which method, if one in particular, worked the best!
 

dolldid

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to make mash for 1 parrot how much would you make and how long will it keep , its very heard buying greens for 1 parrot every thing id love to but is sold in bunches and if buying say 6 difrent greens only 2 0r 3 out of each would be used hoiw can u preserve the rest , do you have any sugestions as kelp and things are in bunches heck 1 bunch would do 2 months at least,,lol its much easer to do for say 6 birds than 1
can you sugest for feeding 1 bird

also can squash be fed raw cause Mango dosent like wet food

thanks doll
 

Monica

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If you don't have much, you can always see what you do have... maybe some healthy grains in the cupboard? Cook up a small batch. If you regularly eat fresh vegetables and some fruits, you can always toss in a small amount to the mix. That, or perhaps looking at expanding your diet with some new recipes! :D You can always freeze in small batches, say, in ice cube containers, and once frozen, rebag in ziplock freezer bags. Take out a cube or two to defrost in the fridge or warm up in the microwave (although it's debatable about whether or not it's a good idea to provide warm food to adult birds).

Squash is fine raw or steamed, as far as I'm aware.
 

blueyez49423

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I agree, great ideas! I have some very pick GC's who I'm gonna try these on:dance5:
 

soulgust

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I decided to try the pellet paste and am pleased to say Lacie and Eren both (seem to) love it :)

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4 Beta
 

MissLeigh

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Mash-terpiece

One issue with getting birds to eat a healthier diet is that many birds enjoy a variety over something that appears plain and dull. I've noticed this especially with my own flock. A dish of cooked rice or a couple of pieces of vegetables can appear quite "boring" to the eye and not very interesting. Making up a batch of mash can intrigue those birds who love variety! A base mash diet consists of 30% grains, 15% legumes, 45% vegetables, and 10% fruits. The grains can be fed cooked or sprouted with the legumes cooked or sprouted with at least 1/4" tails. If using the larger legumes, be sure to fully cook these.

Do not sprout large beans due to the toxins not fully released when sprouting. Most vegetables can be fed raw or steamed, or you can even choose to use frozen vegetables. Be sure to steam potatos if you feed any. Fresh, organic fruits are best, although frozen fruits can be used as an alternative.

Cook or sprout the grains and legumes separately. For your smaller birds, you may want to chop up the legumes. Vegetables can be chopped finely, diced, sliced, julienned, chopped into chunks, or even run through the food processor. Fruits can be chopped or sliced. Once all the ingredients are prepaired, mix them together. Feed to your birds first thing in the morning and leave inside the cage for 2-6 hours, shorter periods of time if you have to deal with heat and humidity.

Your birds may ignore the mash for a day or two, but most birds will try the mash after a few days due to the variety of foods. You can help entice them to eat the mash by mixing in a small amount of seeds or sprouts.

Ok, I am never understand the percentages when people say to feed 30% this and 35% that. Your post is really good but I got lost with percentages. Not a math person! I have one parakeet. I am trying to change her diet. I can mix grains and veggies and then feed that in the morning. What if I give too many grains? How do you know?
 

Monica

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1 Part Legumes to 2 Parts Grains
1 Part Grain/Legume Mix to 1 Part Veggies
Toss in a small amount of fruits

Does that help? It doesn't have to be an exact science, just more of a guideline to follow. Unless you are feeding quinoa, 1 part legumes to 2 parts grains can make up a complete protein. A lot of people may only feed fruits and/or vegetables to their birds when their main diet is seeds and/or pellets. I've seen many who have not fed grains or legumes, although I do recommend keeping it as a part of the diet.


When feeding only one or a few birds, or even feeding really small birds, you can instead try feeding a few pieces of vegetables, maybe one or two fruits and some grains. Doesn't have to be complicated, just try feeding a few different foods every few days. :)


Here's a video from Barbara Heidenreich showing what she feeds her amazon in one day.


 

ArtBird

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1 Part Legumes to 2 Parts Grains
1 Part Grain/Legume Mix to 1 Part Veggies
Toss in a small amount of fruits

Does that help? It doesn't have to be an exact science, just more of a guideline to follow. Unless you are feeding quinoa, 1 part legumes to 2 parts grains can make up a complete protein. A lot of people may only feed fruits and/or vegetables to their birds when their main diet is seeds and/or pellets. I've seen many who have not fed grains or legumes, although I do recommend keeping it as a part of the diet.


When feeding only one or a few birds, or even feeding really small birds, you can instead try feeding a few pieces of vegetables, maybe one or two fruits and some grains. Doesn't have to be complicated, just try feeding a few different foods every few days. :)
I sprout all those seeds/nuts/legumes/grains......it triples the nutrition and adds the living enzymes which are needed for proper absorption of nutrients.

IMO- Sprouting is VITAL or they are just ingesting dormant seeds.

Ki gets about 1/2 cup sprouts, 1/2 cup veggies, 1/4 cup cooked mix, 1/4 cup fruit, all over a layer of chopped greens. I sometimes add coconut oil, bee pollen, or other supplement sprinkled over. Then, he gets foraging toys with in shell almonds to discover.
 

quazy4quakers

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Hey, I was wondering if anyone can help me on an affordable diet for Macho. Right now, he is on a seed mix with dried fruits and such (Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix for Conures at PETCO I saw Monica's Ground pellet recipe and thought about that, or the attached video with a woman and her Amazon. She had:

*1/3 cup veggies
*1/4 cup assorted pellets
*1 tablespoon sprouted seeds or cooked quinoa
YUM!!! :laughing12:

I also try feed Macho 1 new food each day. He is a enthusiastic eater and willing to try new foods.
I have some ideas for easy diets including Barbara Heidenreich's idea and the 50/50 pellet/seed mix.

Kaytee Exact Rainbow Premium Daily Nutrition for Parrots & Conures at PETCO
or
Higgins InTune Natural Food Mix for Conures & Cockatiels at PETCO
OR
Higgins InTune Natural Food Mix for Conures & Cockatiels at PETCO
With added fruits, veggies, and grains. Thanks for taking time to read my post. I want Macho to live a long and happy life, which can be reduced by a horrid diet. :facepalm:
~quazy4quakers :lol:
 

Monica

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Olivia, if you can, go for dye-free, sugar-free pellets. Petco typically carries Roudybush.

If you are having problems converting Macho to eating pellets, you can try making the "pellet paste" (to be made into "pellet nutriballs" or "pellet cakes" with seed) and you don't want to use dyes for that! I've also noticed that dyes may result in runny droppings and may cause discoloration of feces. Because of dyes, it may make it harder to determine if you have a sick bird. If a bird has blood in their droppings, depending on where the blood is within the digestive system it can come out either red or black in the feces. It can even turn feces brown. Sick birds may also have an unhealthy green tinge to their droppings and birds with liver failure may have yellow urine.

You might also want to do a search on Ethoxyquin. It is used as a preservative in the Kaytee food.
 

MissLeigh

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1 Part Legumes to 2 Parts Grains
1 Part Grain/Legume Mix to 1 Part Veggies
Toss in a small amount of fruits

Does that help? It doesn't have to be an exact science, just more of a guideline to follow. Unless you are feeding quinoa, 1 part legumes to 2 parts grains can make up a complete protein. A lot of people may only feed fruits and/or vegetables to their birds when their main diet is seeds and/or pellets. I've seen many who have not fed grains or legumes, although I do recommend keeping it as a part of the diet.


When feeding only one or a few birds, or even feeding really small birds, you can instead try feeding a few pieces of vegetables, maybe one or two fruits and some grains. Doesn't have to be complicated, just try feeding a few different foods every few days. :)


Here's a video from Barbara Heidenreich showing what she feeds her amazon in one day.


VERY helpful! Thanks! I wash and left organic kale in the fridge for my mom to feed my parakeet. I am going to prepare veggies daily for her like that. And the "one part of this and that" makes more sense. :)
 

MissLeigh

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I sprout all those seeds/nuts/legumes/grains......it triples the nutrition and adds the living enzymes which are needed for proper absorption of nutrients.

IMO- Sprouting is VITAL or they are just ingesting dormant seeds.

Ki gets about 1/2 cup sprouts, 1/2 cup veggies, 1/4 cup cooked mix, 1/4 cup fruit, all over a layer of chopped greens. I sometimes add coconut oil, bee pollen, or other supplement sprinkled over. Then, he gets foraging toys with in shell almonds to discover.
Cups give me a good idea of the measurements! Sprouting scares me though cause one website said if you do it incorrectly, it is poisonous!
 

GlassOnion

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Cups give me a good idea of the measurements! Sprouting scares me though cause one website said if you do it incorrectly, it is poisonous!
I sprout all the time and as long as youve got a good sprouter with a bottle of grape seed extract or apple cider vinegar, you are good to go. :)
 
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