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Healthy Parrot Foods – New Study Compares Pellets, Seed and Produce

After I first started work as a Hen Keeper on the Bronx Zoo, a lot of my time was spent cooking eggs and horsemeat, rearing and capturing bugs, chopping produce and in any other case getting ready the diets for 1000’s of birds (please see the article linked beneath for extra info on feeding zoo birds).  The introduction of nutritionally-sound pellets and chows for birds starting from parrots to cassowaries without end modified how birds in each zoos and personal houses are fed.  A latest examine of Parrot meals and vitamin has shed some new gentle on caring for these unique pets.

However whereas it might be handy to know precisely what vitamins our pets are consuming, many parrots look upon business pellets with disdain.  And since pellets may be consumed much more rapidly that seeds, parrots that do settle for them are left with additional “free time” to fill; boredom turns into an issue except further enrichment alternatives are supplied.  A lot of the analysis regarding standardized fowl diets has centered on species usually stored in zoos.  Nonetheless, one latest examine examined diets generally fed to Amazon Parrots.  Its outcomes, I imagine, have vital implications for house owners of all varieties of parrots.

Yellow Shouldered Amazon

Pellets vs. Seeds and Produce

A parrot vitamin examine revealed within the Journal of Avian Drugs and Surgical procedure (V. 26, N. 3) examined diets containing totally different proportions of business pellets, seeds and produce (fruit and veggies).  Amazon Parrots consuming the varied diets have been then evaluated as to their dietary standing.  Ranges of fats, calcium, sodium, iron and different vitamins, and calcium: phosphorus ratios, have been analyzed.

Feeding Trials

The primary food regimen contained much less seed – 25% by weight – than most parrot house owners use, together with 50% produce and 25% pellets.  But even with this restricted quantity of seed, parrots consuming this food regimen have been poor in calcium, sodium and iron, and their fats consumption was at an unhealthy stage.  The researchers additionally famous that the birds selected meals that exacerbated their dietary deficiencies.

When seeds have been diminished to 18% of the food regimen (60% pellets, 22% produce), the parrots nonetheless consumed an excessive amount of fats, however ranges of different vitamins, and their calcium: phosphorus ratios, have been passable.

Festive Amazon

A food regimen comprised of 75% pellets and 25% produce supplied parrots with really useful ranges of all vitamins.  Primarily based on these findings, it was really useful that produce, moderately than seeds, be used to offer selection and foraging alternatives (shredding meals, and many others.).

Convincing Parrots to Settle for Pellets

Nutri-Berries mix pellets with molasses, fruits, greens, nuts and seeds, and are well- accepted by many parrots.  Their consistency prevents most pets from choosing out favourite objects.  Over time, further pellets may be launched, till they kind the majority of the food regimen. Please see this text for additional info.

Behavioral Enrichment


Offering parrots with alternatives to discover, seek for meals, manipulate objects, work together with others and in any other case stay lively and fascinated with their environments is essential to good well being; certainly, one examine has even established that enrichment alternatives can velocity wound therapeutic .  Main zoos now require behavioral enrichment for practically all animals, together with reptiles and amphibians. Parrots fed largely upon pellets have interaction in much less foraging habits and meals manipulation than do these on seed-based diets, rising the probability that they may develop into bored.  Offering business and do-it-yourself parrot toys is probably the best method to enhance your pets’ high quality of life.  Lately, quite a lot of parrot toys have been particularly designed to foster exploratory and different helpful behaviors.   Usually offered as “foraging toys” , they’re well-worth contemplating. Please see the article linked beneath for additional info, and you should definitely submit your personal concepts as nicely.

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