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About IrinaP

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  1. to feed only fruit and seed??? this is the strangest recommendation of a vet i have heard! Mine insists on feeding pellets.
  2. the problem with fruit is that they are very high in sugar, well cultivated varieties at least, and consequently contain quite a lot of calories, but they are not as high in nutrients as vegetables for example, that is why fruit are more of a treat really. A healthy one of course and a daily treat too, so I see what Nikki means here. For example, for comparison the nutrition of Kale: Vitamin A equiv. 681 μg (76%) - beta-carotene 8173 μg (76%) - lutein and zeaxanthin 18246 μg Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.053 mg (4%) Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.07 mg (5%) Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.5 mg (3%) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.049 mg (1%) Vitamin B6 0.138 mg (11%) Folate (Vit. B9) 13 μg (3%) Vitamin C 41.0 mg (68%) Vitamin K 817 μg (778%) Calcium 72.0 mg (7%) Iron 0.9 mg (7%) Magnesium 18 mg (5%) Phosphorus 28 mg (4%) Potassium 228 mg (5%) Zinc 0.24 mg (2%) Orange: Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.100 mg (8%) Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.040 mg (3%) Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.400 mg (3%) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.250 mg (5%) Vitamin B6 0.051 mg (4%) Folate (Vit. B9) 17 μg (4%) Vitamin C 45 mg (75%) Calcium 43 mg (4%) Iron 0.09 mg (1%) Magnesium 10 mg (3%) Phosphorus 12 mg (2%) Potassium 169 mg (4%) Zinc 0.08 mg (1%) oranges contain 46 Kal per 100 grams and Kale only 28 Kal. Kale has at least 3 vitamins significantly present, whereas oranges are only rich in vitamin C really. By consuming fruit a parrot fills up quicker and consequently will eat less vegetables, and will loose on nutrients. Wild fruit are lower in sugar however and higher in vitamins and therefore are much more nutritious. PS: all said above doesn't apply to some specialised feeders like lorikeets for example.
  3. cw-lilstar, my parrot is 13 and i got him a year ago. All he ate was sunflower seeds and peanuts. he is now eating most of the veg and fruit, pellets (that took me the longest time to convert him to) and cooked grains and pulses. by feeding her other things you actually discourage her from even trying healthy foods. If she fills up on higher in calories low in nutrients foods why would she bother with eating a cucumber full of water and not as tasty as a chip. With my grey I set a schedule of feeding him just twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. He was getting a mix of grains and pulses, mostly cooked, with some sprouted too, plus a variety of minced veg and fruit. to start with he mostly was picking out peas and corn, then some of the beans, then some of the grains, now he is eating most of it. He also shares our meal time - and that is mostly just the time, the food he is given is his own healthy selection of steamed veg (especially if we are eating some) a small piece of boiled potatoe or unsaled pasta, etc. and this is how he started eating such veg as sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cucumbers and apples - by being offered to eat those during our meal time. I thought he didn't eat enough to start with, but they are very small animals and they don't really require quite as much food as we give them. He still gets a treat of a seed mix in his foraging toys. He was also given a couple of nuts or a palm nut and a piece of toast during the day. He didn't want to eat any nuts to start with either actually. He only started eating almonds and hazelnuts once I offered them in a shell and now he eats them shelled too. Anyway, enough rambling my point is - with a strict feeding schedule and healthy food offerings eventually almost any parrot can be converted to a healthier eating. You just have to be consistent. It took me almost a year to convert my grey to pellets, but we got there.
  4. I give my grey a tiny piece of plain linseed bread or with a drop of flaxseed oil on it. He loves it and this is the naughtiest treat he gets. Saturated fat found in butter, chips, crisps and wotsits (what a strange thing to give to a parrot!) are very detrimental for birds health and can lead to high cholesterol levels, heart attacks and clogged up arteries and strokes, just as with humans. Just because some birds are doing well at an older age being on a diet like that for awhile doesn't mean they all will and why take a chance! Just like Nikki said, they rely on us to provide a healthy diet for them and they rust our lives in us, why breech their trust. There are so many healthy foods they love and happy to eat any time of the day, like berries, pieces of nuts, peas, small amount of corn on cob etc. there is really no need to feed them laden with fat, salt, sugar, artificial additives and preservatives human junk food.
  5. It can't be a great idea to give treats on a daily basis, because they do contain sugar and other additives, they should be given once a week as far as I know, it is hard not to spoil them, isnt it But I suppose the main concern here should be their health Salad is great for them, as much as they want , a tiny bit of low fat cheese is ok too, like low-fat mozarella. If they love salad so much, you should try getting some dandelions leaves, they are very good for their health, cleanse liver and kidneys too.
  6. Can I just say that crisps for birds are very bad. They are full of salt, and in excess quantities it can eventually kill the bird. If they say crisps are bad for dogs, and one crisp for a dog is like a burger for a human, imagine what it is like for a tiny little cockatiel! They get enough sodium from fresh vegetables and fruit. Cockatiels are however famous for not liking fruit. My cockatiel likes peas, especially right from the pods( i open the pods up for her) She also eats corn, but not too much. It isn't particularly nutritious but full of phosphorus, which can cause calcium deficiency if the birds eat too much of it in relation to the amount of calcium they consume. During the molt I add some egg food (she love beaphar moult mix) to her diet, which I sprinkle on top of a mix of cooked grains, which get eaten too along the way:) Oh yes, and dry whole chillies get destroyed in seconds when I attach them to the bar cages, as do no salt wholegrain rice or corn or amaranth cakes (you know those round dry things women eat when they are on a diet) from healthfood shops or supermarkets . They are cheaper than honey sticks but they love destroying them just as much Oh yes and flowering grasses go down really well - been picking some up already this year Free and healthier alternative to millet sprays Pyrokitten, hope it helps:) Rubytoo, you must have been taking a really good care of your cockatiel all his life if he is already 27 years old! What is your secret?
  7. Little Als Mum, thank you for the warm welcome:) Will pop in the New members section soon then
  8. Can I just say that flavoured yoghurts are not good for parrots. Apart from fruit, they contain flavourings, sweeteners or sugar and preservatives - these are the last things you want to go into your bird's body! Sugar promotes bacteria and yeast growth, and preservatives and sweeteners hit the liver hard.
  9. Don't sprout seeds though which are meant for planting. They are likely to contain pesticides.
  10. TeriC, the problem with pellets that they have a standardized quantity of all vitamins, minerals, aminoacids and so on without taking into account the needs of a particular bird. For example, a bird with already present vitamin A deficiency might need a higher dosage of vitamin A than that found in the pellets. Or it could be the other way round. The second problem is that on a pellet only diet your bird will be getting everyday the same thing, over and over again, imagine how boring that is! Thirdly, if you actually add too much fruit and veg to the diet of pellets than you dilute the vitamins and minerals found in the pellets, because water content of fruit and veg can be up to 90%. Consequently this way your bird won't get enough vitamin, but by how much you will never know! (will only probably find out when see the signs of deficiencies) And thirdly, pellets is a completely synthetic thing. As far as I know, from what I have read recently, normally pellets are made by taking a very cheap source of protein and carbohydrates as a base, for example wheat or corn. Then it is balanced with necessary synthetic amino acids to form a complete protein. Then some required synthetic vitamins and minerals are added. There you go - there is your pellet. So I would think a diet full of grains, cereals, seeds, with addition of nuts (and palm nuts for african greys), and plenty of fruit, veg, greens like dandelions, nettles and chickweed with a course of vitamin supplement once in three months or so would be much better for your pet And dont forget to bring your Grey french branches (scrubbed and rinsed with boiled water) of safe trees, like apple or willow (best of all) - they love chewing them up and get trace elements good for their health from their too! So what you already give him sounds great:)
  11. Quinoa seeds actually taste fine, almost tasteless quite frankly, or like rice, so if it was foul tasting there was definitely something wrong with it:) It is very good for birds because it has complete protein which is rarely found in vegetables, mainly in animal products. Complete protein (that is the one which contains all essential amino acids) is very important, as if some of the foods which your bird eats, contain incomplete protein not balanced by other complete protein foods or aren't supplemented by amino acids, the protein which your bird will be able to use will actually be much lower than you think and can cause deficiencies. So give your birds quinoa! it is great for them!
  12. When you say hairy, what do you mean? Some seeds look hairy when they sprout, well not seeds themselves but the sprout which comes out of it. It is perfectly normal. Very different to mould though. Also if seeds start to turn bad they have quite a vile smell. I sprout using plastic plates in which i made myself lots of small holes for water to drain. Overnight i cover them with a wet kitchen towel. And of course rinse a few times a day. Works fine:)
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