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Eclectus only please- Diet study :)

mythic55

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Dietary factors are well recognized contributors to common diseases and behavioral issues in Elcectus. Despite the known link between dietary patterns and overall physical and mental health, studies to improve diet are limited and education to alter dietary feeding habits have had minimal impact and lack of consensus.

This provides the motivation for developing nutritional breakdown of whole and processed food macro/micro nutrients required for Eclectus.
Better understanding of how diet affects physical and emotional health through:
  • Biological evidence of differential responses to foods/nutrients
  • Determine an ideal diet composition in measurable components of a regimented diet plan
  • Breakdown of commercial processed foods
  • Fresh food macro/micro nutrient application
  • Analysis of current behavior, health, preferences
The information provided is phase 2 of a three phase project. In the end, I will create a detailed report of current diets, broken down into macro/micro nutrients, deficiencies, excess nutrients which i will juxtapose with other studies to identify potential behavioral or health complications.

Obviously if you are like me, the diet rotates often and your ekkie might not finish what is provided daily. This is to create a baseline.

Sample of diets: per 24 hour period, please be as specific as possible.

Pellets quantity
Brand of pellets

Seed mix quantity
Brand of seed mix

Fresh food quantity
Fruit
Vegetables

Sprouted items
Type
Quantity

Nuts
Type
Quantity

Grains
Type
Quantity

Current Health or behavioral concerns:


Plucking, liver, diabetes, screaming, biting, toe tapping, wing flipping etc



Here are some examples filled out already. If you feel more comfortable you can PM them to me and they will be private.

Example 1: S.M Feb 1. 2020

Pellets quantity 1/2 cup
Brand of pellets tropican high potency

Seed mix quantity: ¼ cup
Brand of seed mix: sunflower seeds

Fresh food quantity
Fruit apples 1/4 cup
Vegetables carrots 1/4 c, sweet potato 1/4c, green beans ¼ cup

Sprouted items
Type -
Quantity -

Nuts
Type Peanuts
Quantity ¼ cup

Grains:
Type pasta
Quantity 1/4

Current concerns: uneven molts, screaming





Example 2: I.V, Feb 8 2020

Pellets quantity: 1 tablespoon
Brand of pellets: Tops
Bodacious birdie freeze dried: 1 tablespoon
Origin eclectus: 1 tablespoon

Seed mix quantity: 1/8 cup
Brand of seed mix: Volkamen eclectus

Fresh food quantity:
My mix- 1.5 cups a day of the master mix recipe below. Approximate, mix changes a bit each day with what is in season/on sale.
Fruit ¼ each in master mix
Blueberries, Apple, Pomegranate, Papaya
Vegetables 1 cup each in master mix
Bok choy, Swiss chard, Butternut, Zucchini, Kale, Collard greens, Carrot, Beets, Brussel sprouts, Red Peppers, Sweet potato, Yam, Parsnips, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kidney Beans, Peas

Sprouted items
Type: Mix of 6 items (rotates)
Quantity: 1/8 cup
Mixed microgreens: 1 tablespoon

Nuts
Type: mixed
Quantity: treats/training/foraging

Grains: not normally.

Current Health concerns: none.

Behavioral: none.
 

Monaco

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I'm very interested and curious about this as well. I have questions. Mostly one. I don't know how much of anything she actually eats. I can count nuts, but I don't know how much of her dry foods actually get consumed (or how much to offer, for that matter) or how to effectively figure it out based on what I find on the floor. Same issue if I put anything cut up in her bowl. I know she picks things out, but based on soupy leftovers or color chunks there's no accuracy about what she actually consumed. The aftermath is occasionally alarming, and I can only guess at what happens if I'm out of the room. There's also the issue of juicing. Most fruits are juiced, leaving skins and pulp.
I'm frequently concerned about quantity. So, offering a "whole" serving of every food option is the only way to deal with a picky eating day. I've actually tried separating the pellet types to figure out what she's eaten.... It's still inconclusive most days!

Anyway, I would really like to participate, but I need help to get accurate responses to you.

Are the other responses subjective, or do you have some terminology rules to follow?
 

mythic55

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@Monoco

You have brought up what has been one of the more difficult pieces to report- since there are many variables and consumption patterns are increasingly varied. So this portion is simple supporting data in an effort to obtain more quantitative information, it is very flexible as if it is too rigorous people lose interest- interestingly enough, patterns emerge. Other portions are more scientific, so this is worded loosely and based purely on 'what is provided' and loose estimates are acceptable in the case of chopped mixes or juices. If you like, you could modify for one week summary- I can have a few others do similarly and use it as an extension.

This is a fraction of the empirical data that will be collected as my hypothosis needs laboratory support (which requires a much larger grant as im technically retired, and other humans involved). The end result may mean more than a guideline, after years of study I believe I have found a link and stumbled upon a solution- long story short. I want whats best for Eclectus as they are increasing in popularity- they need more study and if there is a prevention/relief then less could end up the way they often do.
 

Monaco

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I totally agree. I definitely want to help even if the empirical we only gather initial anecdotal information. Are there any guidelines for the behavioral questions? For example... Screams. What kind of frequency and/or factors should be considered a simple notation of screaming for the day? I'm going to send you a screen shot of something I've been using to help me track these things. I haven't worked out all of the kinks yet, but it's possible to get this kind of information collected fairly easily (sans amounts of foods except in the notes.). It may be a good tool that people wouldn't mind using... It has some other personal information in it, so I'm going to pm it to you.
 

mythic55

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Thank you so much!

No guidelines in this portion for behavioral. It would be nice, but that is far to complex for the average companion bird owner to specify (especially those new to eclectus as there is no baseline). So it is completely subjective. My guys all yell when the mailman comes.... I consider that normal behavior as someone is entering their sight-line from the exterior of the home... which alerts the sleeping dog...no need for a doorbell. lol.

I use 'myfitness pal' for mine... If someone looked at it (the recipe section especially), they would think I was on some sort of strange alien diet.
 

Monaco

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Yes, I see. It's too subjective entirely.

Okay, set us up with some more instructions! Format, frequency, location...

I'm really excited about this!
 

Monaco

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Okay, @mythic55 do you want this posted here, or maybe .doc format? Quantity offered or quantity consumed? Measurements preferred? Daily or weekly or...?
 

mythic55

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Sorry for not responding sooner. Preferably post here, but you can also send a .doc (but PM me for my email address as I dont believe you can send doc files over this platform).

Please use quantity offered (not consumed).
Imperial is preferred, but if necessary you can use metric.
Preferably one average day- but you can 'summarize' a week if necessary if you feed groupings. If you send a weeks worth, I can calibrate that information quickly for an 'average'. We are looking for a 'broad picture' of what is currently being fed.

It is difficult even for myself- as diet changes all the time.

@Monaco I know you will rock this ;) You are already on the ball :)
 

Les charlson

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Hi. Is this still relevant and are you asking for basically a food diary of what is offered along with any behaviour problems? Also does it matter how often our Ekkies are offered food in one day? Thanks.
Edit- I am in Australia so not sure if I qualify.
 

Monaco

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As a happenstance.... I stumbled across one of @EkkieLu 's posts about her Lucy being hormonal, and noticed the date(s) coinciding with Monaco's behavior. Wouldn't it be great for all of us to build a map for these things? I'm very interested in comparing these things along with light cycles and diet etc. if only to better understand their "normal" and finding things that have an impact on the "normal."
 

mythic55

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Hi. Is this still relevant and are you asking for basically a food diary of what is offered along with any behaviour problems? Also does it matter how often our Ekkies are offered food in one day? Thanks.
Edit- I am in Australia so not sure if I qualify.
Definitely still relevant. Thank you to those who have participated thus far!

Just a snapshot. It would be nearly impossible to record doen what was actually consumed, so it is what is offered daily (appropximate values). Behavior is closely connected to diet, and diet is really a determinant of behaviour.

In eclectus digestion is a key function that has previously been put under the category ‘long digestive tract’. When really statements like these have lead to further issues with eclectus diets, in turn causing health issues; low weight, feather discoloration, allergies, over supplementation and poor nutrition which leads to behavioral ; screaming, biting, wing flipping, feather plucking, and ‘freeze’ factors.

Biological review has shown that alternately it is actually:
Regulated crop emptying times
A wide thoratic esophagus
Elastic proventriculus
And rapid movement through the gizzard and small intestine

I have found significant links from the biological standpoint, and that has lead to some hypothesis regarding solutions. I have qualitative data, but need quantitative (as subjective as it may be).

Important: don’t feel as though you need to copy other people, don’t feel as if you need to make it look ‘grander’ than you actually feed. Honesty in this study has become difficult, but it is imperative. I have actually directly caught people fibbing.
In a nutshell:

Don’t write what you think you should, write what you actually do. There are no 'wrong' answers.
 

mythic55

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It may be helpful to jump in with her current diet and issues. @mythic55 ? I suspect that information is prescient.
That information is extremely relevant.
Especially in rescue situations, many times all birds are given a 'standardized' diet with some unique additives. Any information you can get would be greatly appreciated.
 

mythic55

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As a happenstance.... I stumbled across one of @EkkieLu 's posts about her Lucy being hormonal, and noticed the date(s) coinciding with Monaco's behavior. Wouldn't it be great for all of us to build a map for these things? I'm very interested in comparing these things along with light cycles and diet etc. if only to better understand their "normal" and finding things that have an impact on the "normal."
I think it will be critical, and as stated in Australia these birds are more popular (queensland Eclectus). But I spoke with a multitude of 'professionals' there, and their data wasn't any better then what we use in USA. Furthermore, there is differences in subspecies (red sided being more vulnerable than solomon). I dont have any concrete data regarding that at this time, but that would be interesting to explore.
 

Monaco

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I think it will be critical, and as stated in Australia these birds are more popular (queensland Eclectus). But I spoke with a multitude of 'professionals' there, and their data wasn't any better then what we use in USA. Furthermore, there is differences in subspecies (red sided being more vulnerable than solomon). I dont have any concrete data regarding that at this time, but that would be interesting to explore.
I agree. I also suspect that the local food options for each subspecies might shed clues as well, but it's not easy to find specific information about such a narrow set of questions halfway across the world. The other thing I frequently wonder about is the difference between males and females. The males retrieve the food for the most part, and the females are fed. I can't find information about females while they aren't nesting, though. They're unique in the animal kingdom.... It stands to reason their requirements are just as unique. But these are all thought experiments until we get more information.
 

mythic55

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They are also one of the only species that nesting females are fed by many, many males. They often do 'flock eating' where it is quite litterally 'follow the leader' to ensure it is nutritionally balanced (in their opinion). I have some information I can summarize for you :) if you have certain questions, ask away.
 

Monaco

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Yes! What are the time frames involved in the nest building, protecting, etc, and the flocking? Are these months at a time? In the near equatorial region, is it a "season" or is it more an availability determinate? When they're flocking and foraging are the females with them? What "story" are they looking for? (high canopy, ground, etc.)

I will have more. Where are your resources? I don't think I have been looking in the right place for field studies and wild population information.
 

mythic55

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Lots of questions, I will give you a snapshot:

Eclectus will often wait till just after the rainy season (early dry season) and choose a nest in a decaying tree 18-20ish meters above the ground on the edge of the forest.

The prefer a small opening, but extremely deep nest (300cm). The moist rotting material as bedding as they require a great deal of moisture during incubation. Females guard their nests for up to 9 months starting months before they lay their first egg.

Eclectus parrots breed co-operatively which is potentially do to the uneven male/female ratio in flocks, lack of hollows and high nestling morbidity rate of females.

The females are the primary feeders of the chicks, so she will remain in an extremely high moisture environment for the majority of the year. Males will forage together, eating a large percentage of ‘pulp’ (Salacia and Leea) with extremely high water content and moderate sugars. One reason I can prove that freeze dried and pellet food for eclectus can be harmful to their digestive track....

Dinners ready, gotta bolt. Ill be back on later
 

Monaco

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It definitely makes sense that she juices everything with this information. It also makes sense that she hates things directly from the fridge... That's a huge portion of the year receiving body temperature food from the males, if I'm understanding it right.

It's no wonder the girls are so high maintenance.
 
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