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Does my vet know what he’s talking about?

GeezLouise

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I recently took my pineapple green cheek to the vet (a vet I didn’t particularly like after an initial visit, but wanted a quick nail trim for convenience sake) which went fine. Once we got to the topic of diet, just like last time, I was told extremely conflicting information. All I’ve ever heard from other bird owners/doing my own research, is that full seed diets WILL lead to fatty liver disease. He insisted fatty liver comes from a lack of fat, and birds live much shorter lives on any form of pelleted diets. He boasts and boasts on how he’s a pioneer in avian medicine, but this has only brought more confusion to me on what I should be feeding my bird. I’ve never felt 100% confident in a diet for my bird. She’s currently on a Higgins natural pellet, seeds as reward/foraging and fresh veggies daily. He says I should completely eliminate the pellets. What are your thoughts?
 

flyzipper

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He boasts and boasts on how he’s a pioneer in avian medicine
If that's the opinion of his peers, it should be verifiable using his name.
If that's his own opinion, I'd be suspicious.

Anecdotally, but I've never know anyone who is truly exceptional at something to be openly boastful about it (however, pretenders often are).
I’ve never felt 100% confident in a diet for my bird.
You're not alone, and the fact that you're even asking the question shows you're probably further ahead than many.
She’s currently on a Higgins natural pellet, seeds as reward/foraging and fresh veggies daily.
I see nothing wrong with that, but if I were to change anything I'd try sprouting some things to see if that's well received.

Is your GCC experiencing any issues that might be linked to their diet?

*** If you don't want my comments to add further confusion, stop reading now.

He insisted fatty liver comes from a lack of fat
I'm not a doctor, but I'd say there's truth to this because when people omit fat at 9cal per g (as they were told to for years), they tend to replace it with carbohydrates at 4cal per g and end up overdoing it on carbohydrates (sugars) to come up with the number of calories they need in a given day.

Historically, people have been taught that eating fat will make you fat (and eating high cholesterol leads to high cholesterol), but those views are being debunked with newer research.

My observation is that nutrition research in birds is pretty much non-existent (conducted by pellet manufacturers (watch for bias), or centred around poultry where longevity isn't a concern). The current avian recommendations tend to reflect what was prescribed to humans years ago (i.e. it's trailing). Personally, I'm following modern human guidelines (limit sugar), but that doesn't mean you should, nor should you accept what some guy on the internet (me) is telling you.

Getting a bit nerdy...
 

FeatheredM

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The diet you have your GCC on now is great! The reason pellets are very important is because they contain needed vitamins, sodium ect. You cannot feed your bird these essentials through seed.
 

Pixiebeak

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If that's the opinion of his peers, it should be verifiable using his name.
If that's his own opinion, I'd be suspicious.

Anecdotally, but I've never know anyone who is truly exceptional at something to be openly boastful about it (however, pretenders often are).

You're not alone, and the fact that you're even asking the question shows you're probably further ahead than many.

I see nothing wrong with that, but if I were to change anything I'd try sprouting some things to see if that's well received.

Is your GCC experiencing any issues that might be linked to their diet?

*** If you don't want my comments to add further confusion, stop reading now.


I'm not a doctor, but I'd say there's truth to this because when people omit fat at 9cal per g (as they were told to for years), they tend to replace it with carbohydrates at 4cal per g and end up overdoing it on carbohydrates (sugars) to come up with the number of calories they need in a given day.

Historically, people have been taught that eating fat will make you fat (and eating high cholesterol leads to high cholesterol), but those views are being debunked with newer research.

My observation is that nutrition research in birds is pretty much non-existent (conducted by pellet manufacturers (watch for bias), or centred around poultry where longevity isn't a concern). The current avian recommendations tend to reflect what was prescribed to humans years ago (i.e. it's trailing). Personally, I'm following modern human guidelines (limit sugar), but that doesn't mean you should, nor should you accept what some guy on the internet (me) is telling you.

Getting a bit nerdy...
Its all true...a struggle and conflicting. I try and research science and veterinarian journal articles.

The truth is we don't have species specific pellet diets at this point. Parrots in the wild natural diets are under studied. Partly do the difficulty in following a flighted long range forager. When long range tracking devices are used, those pesky parrots are great at removing them or talking a friend into destroying them . Tho I've read they're working on that. Also terrains and seasonal difficulty. Then sampling and nutritional analysis of foraged food materials.

I have read some recent stuff on pellet only long term diet issues...

Many parrots are classified as seed predators. This is not to say thst they eat only seeds because they don't, or that seeds meet their nutritional needs because they don't. But rather it was found having some seeds ( mostly see only 10% of daily diet recommendations) has psychological benefits.

I don't know if there is a desire for me to link any studies I've found ? If I can find again?

For me, from wading through , and like you a strong desire to the best I can by mine. I've settled on as much fresh stuff as I can , as well as sprouts, cooked and soaked legume, occasionally boiled egg, for my species light on the fruit , pellets , and seed mix.
 

Greencheek Lee

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I see Dr. Brian Speer, he is well known and has a bird medical center close by. He brings in many vets to go further in avian medicine, and does many consults. I've seen him and about 5 other of the doctors there. Every one of them would recommend what you're already doing. I think if they heard this doctor there would a HEATED discussion, lol. Doctors - Medical Center for Birds - Oakley, CA
 

fashionfobie

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The truth is we don't have species specific pellet diets at this point. Parrots in the wild natural diets are under studied.
Another important consideration is that wild diets aren't always ideal either. Parrots in the wild will eat what is available. Lifespans in the wild can also be very short from predation and climate changes such as deforestation.

Many parrots are classified as seed predators
This isn't true. They are classified as herbivores.

_______________________________________________________________________________
Edit: linking this article from the Guardian for those who are interested. These are wild parrots, they are def not making the heathiest dietary choices. They eat was it easy and high calorie, it is a smart choice for them.


and this one
 
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Pixiebeak

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Another important consideration is that wild diets aren't always ideal either. Parrots in the wild will eat what is available. Lifespans in the wild can also be very short from predation and climate changes such as deforestation.


This isn't true. They are classified as herbivores.

_______________________________________________________________________________
Edit: linking this article from the Guardian for those who are interested. These are wild parrots, they are def not making the heathiest dietary choices. They eat was it easy and high calorie, it is a smart choice for them.


and this one
Some reading
Excerpt from above linked article
" The ecological role of parrots in tropical forests may yet be underestimated, but a growing number of recent studies have described the feeding ecology and diets of wild parrots (in the neotropics alone: [1][17]). Although often classified as frugivores, most parrots eat seeds in various stages of ripeness as the primary component of their diets, with larger parrots eating a higher proportion of seeds relative to fruit pulp than do smaller parrots [6], [7], [9], [14], [15], [18], [19]. Most of these recent studies classify parrots as pre-dispersal seed predators,"
 
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Pixiebeak

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Another, just to show the truthfulness of them being called seed predators in the science articles i read. Perhaps we are both correct. They certainly eat more than seeds , and I can understand herbivores, tho many take advantage of insect and some animal protein. I've come across so very interesting meat consumption observations.
.
Excerpt
" Among birds traditionally considered as pure seed predators, parrots (Psittaciformes) have been recently highlighted as potentially important seed dispersers of their food plants by carrying seeds in their beaks or feet8,9. T"
 
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fashionfobie

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Some reading
Excerpt from above linked article
" The ecological role of parrots in tropical forests may yet be underestimated, but a growing number of recent studies have described the feeding ecology and diets of wild parrots (in the neotropics alone: [1][17]). Although often classified as frugivores, most parrots eat seeds in various stages of ripeness as the primary component of their diets, with larger parrots eating a higher proportion of seeds relative to fruit pulp than do smaller parrots [6], [7], [9], [14], [15], [18], [19]. Most of these recent studies classify parrots as pre-dispersal seed predators,"
Interesting article. Thank you for sharing it. In their abstract they describe parrots as generalist herbivores, this is their diet. Seed predation is a behavioural relationship between plants and those that eat or disperse their seeds. Seed predation is a relationship dependent on multiple actors, not a diet, if that makes sense. And of course, herbivores are mostly likely to participate in this relationship, especially those that eat seeds.
 
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fashionfobie

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" Among birds traditionally considered as pure seed predators, parrots (Psittaciformes) have been recently highlighted as potentially important seed dispersers of their food plants by carrying seeds in their beaks or feet8,9. T"
and in this bit you quote it is from the relationship between carrying seeds, a bird-plant relationship.

Perhaps this way of explaining it will help. A cheetah is a carnivore, they predate gazelle. It is a relationship between two actors.
 
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rocky'smom

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I have tried so darn hard to get Bebe to eat healthy. His first visit with a avian vet was so discouraging. He was too skinny, had little to no muscles too fly well. He was a sunflower seed junkie beyond par. After cleaning his nasty cage tray I knew from jump that he had been fed "trash" Fritos ,Doritos, Cheetos ,human cereal; garbage food. I started slowly converting him to better diet. No sunflower seeds; veggies every day and becuz cockatiels need some seeds in their diet a 60/40% pellet seed mixture. It has been a battle of wills him against me. There are pellets that he will throw out and not touch. Roudybush for one Mazuri for 2nd, "NOPE mom, I am not eating that." Zupreem pasta mix he will eat and Tropimix he will eat. So I stick to those. Sunflower seeds are a very rare treat.
In the wild, they eat what they find ripe, seeds and ready to harvest. They are seasonal eaters. Only eating what the season offers. We can't mimic that but we can do our very best to help them eatas healthy as possible.

As far as your vet goes, some of them are more "BRAG" then what is honestly truth. All we have to do is remember "Unapproved Dailies" from this forum. The "brag" was making parrots sick & dying. I will stick to what Dr. Lafaber says before I trust anybody else.
 
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