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Work him back away from so much seed!

Talk about bird illnesses and other bird health related issues. Seeds, pellets, fruits, vegetables and more. Discuss what to feed your birds and in what quantity. Share your recipe ideas.

Work him back away from so much seed!

Postby Bultaco » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:23 pm

Our Double Yellow has had a fabulous choice of food over his 22 year lifetime.
He basically gets EVERYTHING we eat, except of course the deadly Avocado, chocolate and martinis!

He's always had his backup bowl of a mix of sunflower, safflower and dried corn sitting 'on standby'.

I've noticed recently, though, that he's eating quite a bit less of our well-mixed human diet, and spending more time at the sunflower bowl.

Is there a "smart" way to cut back on the amount of seed......without causing a shock to his system....to force him into eating more veggies, pastas, meat, chicken....basically everything WE eat? We don't mind the "work" of feeding him what we're eating (it's easy, just like setting another place at the table)....I'm just worried that he's "amped up" the amount of time he's spending at the seed dish without our having really noticed......UNTIL NOW!

I would LOVE to think I could make him even happier with some commercial "blend" of either pellets or....whatever else comes in bags from the pet store.....but I've probably spent $100 or more over the years trying to find what he MIGHT like off the shelf...and it doesn't seem like it's going to happen.

A penny for your thoughts?
You can call me Scotty
Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it!
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Bultaco
Parrotlet
 
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Re: Work him back away from so much seed!

Postby liz » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:17 am

Do not free choice his seed. Give it only at bed time to make sure he is full before going to sleep. Make a fruit and veggie plate for him as breakfast. You should also feed gloop during the day. I give these by free choice for the day.
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liz
Macaw
 
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BF Amazon Myrtle
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Andy Impy Louise
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Re: Work him back away from so much seed!

Postby Pajarita » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:00 am

Has he been to the vet recently for blood work? Because, if he has been eating seeds freely all his life, I am afraid that he might already have fatty liver disease. Amazons are very [and I do mean VERY] prone to it because they require a diet very low in protein and fat, and seeds are high on both. We don't have many good studies done on parrots dietary ecology, the few we have are all short termed and done on captive-bred birds which, pretty much, invalidates them. All we have is observation in the wild which doesn't really help us much because a] all birds are seasonal eaters and b] you just get a list without any percentages so although amazons do eat seeds in the wild, these are green [not dried, like we give them] seeds and the proportion is not given but it must be much lower than we would assume by reading it [how many seeds are there in each fruit and how much of the fruit you have to eat before you get to the seeds?] and c] the seeds we feed are mostly from temperate climates and not tropical or semi-tropical [meaning they are higher in protein and fat]. But, we do have one single good study done on wild amazons. They collected their poop and analyzed it to see what the proportion of protein was in their diet and it turned out that it was 17% BUT ONLY during the breeding season, not all year round. From this, we deduce that pet birds [which are not flying around, foraging, breeding and raising young] should get a much lower protein content. The other problem is that parrots are hard-wired to gorge on protein food. Why? Because protein is necessary for life but, most importantly, for breeding and, as there are no abundant sources of protein in nature, they evolved to have a particular predilection for it [same as humans have for salt and fat] and to eat and eat and eat of it until the source is depleted. But, in captivity, the source is never depleted so they end up eating way too much of it and very little raw produce which should be the bigger part of their diet.

My amazons get gloop and raw produce [one leafy green, one veggie and one fruit - a different one every day] for breakfast and all day picking and a measured portion of seeds/nuts for dinner [to give you a comparison to what yours eats, mine get about 3 sunflower seeds a day].

Amazons are actually excellent eaters! I've had a number of them over the years, all of them seed junkies when they came to me and all of them ended up eating a very good diet [this morning, mine got romaine lettuce, blueberries and green beans with chili gloop -they got figs yesterday which they absolutely LOVE] so you should have no trouble switching him to a healthier diet [we can help with pointers if you like] and I suggest you do it sooner than later and that you take him to the vet because, if his bile acids and uric acid levels are high, you will also need to put them on liver and kidney cleansers before it's too late.

Oh, and one more thing. You might want to reconsider the dry corn... Mine never get it, only fresh corn because there is no higher source of aspergillus and the inevitable aflatoxin in the entire world than dry corn [I was a manager in a grain company for many years].
Pajarita
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Re: Work him back away from so much seed!

Postby liz » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:24 am

I pick the peanuts out of their seed. Now I will be picking the corn out too. By giving them a pistachio in the morning and an almond with their evening meal they sort of skip the sunflower seed.
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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BF Amazon Myrtle
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Andy Impy Louise
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