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food

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.

food

Postby big john » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:32 am

one of my greys goes down on the floor and eats the cat dry food pellets then drinks the cats water
my birds will not eat parrot pellets only seed will this hurt them, my birds play on the floor with the cat know problem
big john
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Re: food

Postby Pajarita » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:35 am

Hi, Big John and grays! Welcome to the forum and thank your worrying about your birds' diet. YES, cat food is the WORST food for parrots. Let me explain. Cats are obligate carnivores which means that their natural food is meat and nothing else. Domestic cats have evolved to tolerate a small amount of carbs without having a reaction to them but all cat food are high in protein and fat because that is what cats need to eat. Parrots, on the other hand, with the exception of two and possibly three species (which are not commonly kept as pets) are all classified as herbivores which means NO meat or any other animal food (eggs, cheese, butter, milk, etc). For one thing, they don't have the right enzymes to digest it properly and, for another, all that protein and fat go to their liver to be stored as fatty nodules which, in time, end up causing hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) - one of the main causes of death in parrots. Aside from that, drinking from the cat's water bowl is also bad for them. Cats have one of the most infectious mouths there are (a deep bite will almost always end up in infection) and parrots do not have any defense against this bacteria (even our mouths are too 'dirty' for them).

Now, seeds alone are pretty bad, too. That diet will not only end up causing fatty liver but, before that, the bird will develop vitamins and minerals deficiencies because seeds don't have the nutrition they need. Parrots LOVE seeds because of the high protein and fat - two things they evolved to crave because, although they are necessary for life and reproduction, they are not found in abundant sources all year round so Nature made it that, when they find it, they eat and eat and eat of it until it's all gone. This is also the reason why they like the cat's kibble - all that protein and fat. But, what is good in the wild, it's not good in captivity because, in the wild, they simply cannot find enough protein to get them sick but, in captivity, they do - and it kills them.

My Sophie Gray eats gloop and raw produce for breakfast and all day picking and a mix of nuts and seeds for dinner (it's about a heaping tablespoon of a cockatiel mix and about four nuts - last night she got a big cashew, two pistachios in the shell and half a big pecan). This, with a mutivitamin/mineral supplement given twice a week rounds up a good nutrition (she is 20 years old and I've had her for 12 years, good healthy plumage, perfect circannual cycles -she is going into breeding condition right now- and has always had perfect physicals). If you are interested, I can give you more details about the gloop (what it is, how to convert them, nutritional values, etc) but you can find all that info right here on the Diet forum.
Pajarita
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