Trained Parrot BlogParrot Wizard Online Parrot Toy StoreThe Parrot Forum

Diet

New to the parrot forum? Introduce yourself and your flock to us.

Diet

Postby Dooley » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:21 pm

Hi can anyone help ive got a african grey shes 9 month old ,im confused about what to feed her ,im feeding her a seed mix and pellets and inbetween fruit & veg...do i leave her food out all the time?and am i ment to get her off seed?ive read so much but im not sure again,do i just give her pellets and not seed?
Dooley
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: African grey
Flight: No

Re: Diet

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:01 am

Hi, Dooley and Gray (you did not tell us his/her name), welcome to the forum.

As to what diet... well, that's pretty much up to you. I suggest you do research on your own about their natural diet in the wild but I would be the first one to admit that this is much easier said than done (and I know because I've been doing it for over 25 years). What I can do is tell you what I have learned and what I feed my own and you can then make your own decision.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, grays are picky eaters so the sooner you start them on a good diet and the more consisten and persistent you are, the better off the bird will be. Going by what I have read, African birds, in general, can consume a bit more protein than South or Central American birds - Australian bird vary, some require very little protein (like tiels, budgies, ekkies, etc) and some can take much more (especially some species of cockatoos).

Now, my research into pellets versus seeds/nuts has shown me that pellets are not and never will be the best dietary option for parrots. Why? Because they are too processed (no phytonutrients) WAAAYYYY too dry (10% max versus 85-95% moisture of the wild diets and, no, most birds do not make up the difference by drinking more water because they are not hard-wired for it -crepuscular feeders!), the greatest majority of them have inferior (animal feed grade) ingredients, soy (real bad for animals because of the estrogenic and goitrogenic side effects) and man-made vitamins (which are not utilized by the body efficiently) plus artificial stuff (colorants, flavors, etc) AND, to put the icing on the cake, you never know how much protein you are feeding (because NONE of them have an actual value, they are all 'more than' or 'minimum'). I feed my birds gloop with raw produce for breakfast and all day picking and a measured portion of seeds/nuts (for the gray, it's mostly nuts which vary from batch to batch but they is always, at least, 3 different ones). I supplement with a multivitamin/mineral mainly so as to provide vit D3 and to catch whatever lack there might be in the diet. It has worked great for all my birds for many, many years... the healthy ones stay healthy and the sick ones (liver or kidney damage from a diet too high in protein) get better.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15244
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Diet

Postby Dooley » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:03 pm

Hiya sorry my baby grey is called lottie ,ok cool thanks for that its very helpful,ive just read so many differnt things ,i thought seed would be ok because they eat it in the wild ...
Dooley
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: African grey
Flight: No

Re: Diet

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:18 am

Ahhh, Lottie! A wonderful name for a parrot! Sweet, short and easy for the bird to learn. Just a bit of more info. When one reads a list of what ANY species of parrot eats in the wild, one ALWAYS finds seeds on it BUT there are two problems with lists: 1) they don't tell you what percentage of the diet each item on the list represents (because wether seeds represent 1/2 or 1/20 of the diet, they would list seeds on it but quantity makes a big difference) and they don't tell you what kind of seeds (grass or sunflower, seeds are seeds but grass seeds are very low in protein and faf while sunflowers are not). And, last but not least, what most parrots eat are 'green' seeds which are the ones they find inside a fruit. Green seeds are not dry and never in abundance but, even if all the fruits they ate had a lot of seeds, they would still have to eat most of the fruit first before they can get to the seeds AND there is no plant on earth that fruits all year round so, obviously, they don't eat them all year round (the way they do in captivity). That's why although seeds are perfectly natural and good for parrots, one needs to offer only a measured amount. Plus, all birds are seasonal eaters so one should not give them the same protein all year round - it should be low during the resting season (winter) and higher during breeding (spring and part of summer) - I do that by adding higher protein seeds (quinoa and hemp) and more nuts during the warm weather months. See? I told you it was not as easy as it sounds :lol:
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15244
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Diet

Postby Dooley » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:41 pm

Ok cool ,so do you feed yours gloop for breakfast?and ive done a lot of research but im still unsure about pellets ,a lot of people give there birds pellets ... thanks so much for your help ,ive been giving lottie fruit & veg and she has a seed mix ,but im going to give less seed and make something else up for her....
Dooley
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: African grey
Flight: No

Re: Diet

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:21 am

Yes, A LOT of people feed their birds pellets but, then, we used to feed them monkey biscuits once upon a time which we now know were terrible for them. There are three reasons people feed pellets:
1) their avian vets tell them to but what the vets don't tell them is that they do not study parrot nutrition at all (there is no parrot nutrition chapter on ANY avian medicine text book)
2) it's easy
3) they never did any real research on their pet parrot species natural diet or the pet industry so they think that when the manufacturers say: complete nutrition, it's true - but the pet industry is not regulated at all so they can say whatever they want, even if it's an outright lie, and have no legal liability for it.

I feed gloop and produce at dawn and leave that food there until the sunset when I feed them their seed or seed/nut mix.

The trick to getting a bird to eat healthy is to NOT free-feed protein food because, if you do, you will always end up with an unhealthy bird. There is no two ways about it because nature hard-wired them to eat as much protein as possible -which is not good for them in the medium to long term.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15244
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Parrot ForumArticles IndexTraining Step UpParrot Training BlogPoicephalus Parrot InformationParrot Wizard Store