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Eclectus eating out of control

BrianB

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My pairs of Eclectus are experiencing a considerable increase in appetite. We have a very scheduled feeding process because we both work and have so many birds that we have to do things in order or it's complete chaos. First things in the morning we get the chop ready and the Eclectus pairs each get a large bowl of chopped fruits and veggies. I sprinkle a small amount of the Volkman Eclectus seed blend on top. This happens around 5:30 in the morning. I refresh it in the afternoon so that it doesn't sit too long and get funky. For the last few weeks, both pairs have been cleaning out the bowl right away and by 10 am they start screaming because they want more food. I've been filling it up again and that gets them to quiet down. They are eating double what they were before. The single male we have isn't eating more than usual. I know this is their off-season so could they be preparing for the upcoming breeding season? We haven't had them for a full year yet so I'm not in tune with any variations they might experience in their behavior over the long run. Is this normal?
 

aooratrix

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melissasparrots

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What are the protein needs of eclectus like? I do not own an eclectus, so consider this as just for what it's worth. I noticed a bunch of my amazons became absolutely ravenous a few years ago when I switched them to a lower protein pellet. When I added more beans and quinoa to their diet, that solved the problem after a week or so and their appetite went back to normal. As you mentioned, it could very well be preparation for breeding. If they are housed outside, I would assume colder temps or wind plus cold would increase the calorie burn. I don't know how eclectus compare with other species in terms of cold tolerance.
 

Pixiebeak

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What are the protein needs of eclectus like? I do not own an eclectus, so consider this as just for what it's worth. I noticed a bunch of my amazons became absolutely ravenous a few years ago when I switched them to a lower protein pellet. When I added more beans and quinoa to their diet, that solved the problem after a week or so and their appetite went back to normal. As you mentioned, it could very well be preparation for breeding. If they are housed outside, I would assume colder temps or wind plus cold would increase the calorie burn. I don't know how eclectus compare with other species in terms of cold tolerance.
Thinking along the same lines.
Might need more fat, carbs, n protein. Besides the possibility of breeding, molt take 25% to even 50% more calories in my reading . Temp changes....burds calories needs aren't static
Weight checking is also beneficial
 

BrianB

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Both pairs are inside so I'm not worried about the cooler weather outside. The other day they went through two full bowls of chop before noon. I had gone out in search of pellets for my other parrots because I was almost completely out. While I couldn't find what I was looking for I did manage to find a bag of Pretty Bird Eclectus Pellets. When I got home I gave them another half bowl of chop and mixed in some of the pellets and the Volkman Eclectus Seed Mix. That seemed to satisfy them. Yesterday they were ok and weren't complaining about the food. They get loud if their bowl is empty. They make no excuses for it when they want more food. The single male doesn't complain as much but he's also by himself and doesn't eat nearly as much.

I've found them to be the strangest of all the parrots I've owned. Their behavior is different and their diet is worlds apart from the macaws. My macaws are happy with mostly pellets, some chop, and a few nuts thrown in. I knew the Eclectus was very heavy on plant material in their diet but I didn't realize how much until they arrived. It's almost all plant-based and they are very susceptible to overloading of vitamins. Each one seems different too. We have a customer that boards their female Eclectus at the store and she cannot have corn at all. We usually add some frozen corn to our chop but the bird starts to toe tap if there is any corn in the diet. Other Eclectus that board with us don't seem to have the problem. As for mine, I'm hoping that this is a temporary thing as they take a break from their very long breeding season. They were in their breeding season when they came to us so maybe this is natural and we just haven't seen it yet. We vary their diet frequently as we find different things on sale and we try to keep it interesting by offering something different. We'll see what happens. A few days ago they were ravenously hungry, but today they were ok with what I gave them and I didn't have to refill the dish later.

I'm still open to suggestions or advice. It's something new every day.
 
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