How to process and prepare branches
It is not recommended to give freshly cut branches, as they contain a large number of microbes and possibly infections.
Before feeding the parrot branches of trees and shrubs, they must first be prepared and processed.
All thorns must first be removed from the raspberry branches so that the parrot does not get hurt on thorny thorns.
It is advisable to collect branches at their summer cottage, or in the forest. You can not collect branches along the road and in areas where the territory is treated with chemicals. When collecting branches in the garden, it is worth asking if they were treated with insect repellents.
- clean up dirt, remove moss;
- soak in water for 12 hours;
- hold under running hot water for 10 minutes;
- scald with boiling water;
- cut into small pieces of different lengths.
Rinsing the branches with hot water for 10 minutes is necessary in order to kill all germs and get rid of infections and fungal deposits. It should be noted that thick branches take a little longer to warm up.
Do not wash branches with chemical detergents.
In the autumn and winter periods, the branches must first be placed in water so that the buds swell.
What branches of trees and bushes can be given to a parrot
Branches can be given with leaves and buds.
Branches of fruit and berry trees and bushes are suitable for feeding: apple, apricot, cherry, plum, raspberry, mountain ash, sea buckthorn, currant, viburnum.
You also need to give branches of willow, birch, alder, willow, elderberry, hawthorn, hazel, linden, aspen, walnut.
How to disinfect branches for birds!
It is extremely useful to give birch branches in the spring, when the buds swell and the first leaves appear. But also birch branches contain a small amount of tannins, which are dangerous to the health of parrots. Therefore, feed the parrot a little and not often.
What branches can you
The benefits of twigs in the diet
The branches of trees and shrubs can be considered a delicacy for parrots. In addition to the fact that they contain a lot of nutrients, parrots grind off their beak by nibbling the bark from the tree.
Tree branches contain beneficial properties and nutrients that vegetables and fruits lack. Parrots eat the bark, stems, branches and buds of trees. In addition to vitamins, they contain a large amount of fiber that aids in digestion. Asking the question whether it is necessary to give the parrots branches, the unequivocal answer is yes! They are useful for all types of parrots: budgerigar, cockatiel, gray, cockatoo, lovebird and many others.
Branches in the diet strengthen the immune system of birds, improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, and also have healing properties. Therefore, when unwell, wild birds often gnaw the bark of trees.
If I don’t let the parrot chew on the branches, then it can spoil your furniture, gnaw on the wall and baseboard, rip off the wallpaper, gnaw at the perches, and gnaw on the rods of the cage. This is fraught not only with damaged repairs, but also negatively affects the health of the bird. The parrot can damage its beak or get poisoned.
What branches should not be given to a parrot
It is not recommended to give the parrot branches of coniferous trees. They contain a resin that is harmful to birds. Also, the parrot can get dirty, and it will be extremely difficult to wash it.
You can not give tree branches that contain tannins. They have an astringent taste and are dangerous for parrots.
You can not feed branches of pear, bird cherry, lilac, oak, poplar, acacia, viburnum. Also, you can not spruce, pine, larch, cedar.
Viburnum branches contain acids that have a bad effect on the kidneys and disrupt the functioning of the digestive system.
Poplar should not be fed to a parrot. It collects and absorbs harmful waste and toxins from the external environment.
The branches are pushed through the rods of the cage and fixed at a height just above the growth of a parrot sitting on a perch. He should gnaw branches in a position slightly lifting his head, but freely reaching the branches.
You can also place a couple of twigs on the floor. Parrots can walk on the floor of the cage and gnaw on branches.
Corella is a parrot found in Australia. In natural conditions, they live in forests located along the banks of rivers and in open eucalyptus groves, in savannas overgrown with low bushes. Often they can be found on the tops of dried trees or shrubs, because of their gray color, they remain inconspicuous there.
The first time the cockatiel was described in 1788, but was brought to Europe and began to breed only in the middle of the 19th century. In Russia, nymphs began to be bred in the 60s of the twentieth century, and since then they have gained great popularity as pets.
Nymph (beautiful, most beautiful). this is the second name of the cockatiel parrot, it comes from travelers who first saw these beautiful birds.
The body length of the cockatiel parrot reaches 30-33 cm, the tail is 14-16 cm. The most pronounced feature of the cockatiel is a high crest on the head and a long pointed tail. The coloration of males and females of cockatiels is different. The male is colored more brightly than the female. Its plumage is dark olive-gray. The cheeks, the front of the head and the crest are sulfur-yellow, with orange-red spots on the cheeks. Females are of a dirty gray color, the underparts of the body are brownish, with pale brown spots on the cheeks. Their head and crest are pale gray with a yellowish tinge. The color of the cockatiel parrot (both females and males) changes until the age of 10-12 months. Upon reaching this age, the parrots take on their true color, which no longer changes throughout their life. But at the moment, breeders have brought out more color variations, these are snow-white and yellow colors. The most common colors are characterized as follows:
Albino Corella (white with red eyes). It is characterized by the complete absence of pigment. The color of such cockatiels is completely white, sometimes with a creamy coating. The head and feathers forming a crest are yellow. The spots on the sides of the head are identical in individuals of both sexes. The male is whiter than the female. The female may have pale yellow spots on the wings and feathers of the undertail, which sometimes give the impression of a marbled coloration.
Corella is white (with black eyes). This subspecies is obtained by crossing white females with gray males (carriers of the whiteness gene). The birds are distinguished by a fairly intense yellow bloom. The male has lighter tail feathers, and the two longest feathers are in the tail. pure white. In the female, the tail feathers have a distinct marble pattern, and the tail feathers. yellow.
Corella lutino (yellow with red eyes). The bird is yellow in color and has white spots on its wings. Both sexes have bright orange spots on the sides of their heads.
Corella light gray. Appeared from a cross between gray and white cockatiels with black eyes. Has a much lighter color compared to the gray nymph, the rest of the characteristic features for the floors remain the same.
Cinnamon-colored Corella. The presence of a cinnamon color is associated with disorders in the biochemical transformations of the body. The dark pigment is formed with the participation of melanin (black pigment) and pheomelanin (brown pigment). In order to lighten shades or to obtain new varieties, cinnamon-colored nymphs are often crossed with lutino. Light brown coloration only appears instead of gray.
Corella is dark yellowish. This subspecies originated with the participation of a cinnamon-colored variety. The color of birds ranges from dark yellowish to light cream. Lightening and discoloration also applies only to gray feathers.
Corella sheki. These parrots have gray feathers with patchy white spots. The most valuable are those birds in which gray and white are present in equal proportions, and the spots are clear and symmetrically located. White spots may appear unexpectedly in other subspecies defined by coloration, such as common grays, cinnamon, lutino, pearl gray. It is believed that shakes are the best starting material for obtaining new subspecies. As a result of the combination of the pearl gray variety with the necks, pearl gray necks are obtained. These cockatiels have a white head, a white and yellow tail, and pearl gray wings and back. After the change of plumage, the females retain this type of coloration, and the males retain the coloration of the neck.
The lifespan of a cockatiel is up to 20-25 years. However, cockatiels for the most part live less, about 16.18 years, a life span of 20 to 25 years refers rather to long-livers and practically does not occur in real life.
It’s no secret that cockatiel parrots are talking. But the vocabulary of cockatiels is much less than that of large species of parrots, but you can definitely hope that they can speak simple words, phrases and sounds. Talking cockatiels very often and accurately repeat the sounds of household noises, for example, door creaking, doorbell ringing, telephone. In order to teach a cockatiel to talk, you need to buy a chick at a young age and it is desirable that it be tame right away. Then choose any one phrase. The parrot must hear it over and over again. Repeated repetition is the key to developing the cockatiel’s ability to mimic words. Although cockatiels are quickly tamed, they can learn individual words and melodies, their voice is monotonous.
Caring for Corella parrots will not give you much trouble, these birds tolerate captivity well, incubate and feed their chicks. In a clutch, cockatiels usually have 3-7 white eggs. Both parents take part in hatching. The incubation period is 21 days. The hatched chicks are covered with a yellowish downy. Parents feed them one by one, and after 4 to 6 weeks the young leaves the nest. Just as easily, cockatiels get used to a person and love to be picked up and stroked. Parrot care begins with a cage. Although this bird is not picky about smaller cages, ideally the cage should be spacious and occupy about 1.5 square meters.
The cage should be equipped with wooden ladders, wooden perches from fruit trees, for the bird to fly from one to another. Also, cockatiel parrots get along very well in the same cage with other species of birds, which will not be an extra hassle for the owner. This type of parrot is very fond of swimming, so from time to time the parrot needs to do a bath.
Cockatiels are very undemanding birds to food, but picky and are “conservatives”. Food for cockatiels should be varied: grain mixture (millet, oats, sunflower seeds, hemp, wheat, canary seeds, weed seeds, flaxseeds, corn, crushed nuts, steamed oats. Good additions to this are dandelion leaves, chicory. Parrots. Corella also love vegetables such as carrots, beets, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli. From fruits: cherries, cherries, cherry plums, plums, apricots, peaches, pitted, apple, pear, quince. It is not recommended to give the bird parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, any candied or fried fruits and vegetables, since the bird does not tolerate these types of food. See what you can and cannot give your parrots.
It is important to accustom the cockatiel to fruits and vegetables if the bird did not previously have such types of food in the diet. She will be very careful about this food. Mix the usual feed for the cockatiel with the product introduced into the diet. Digging into such a mixture, the bird will certainly touch a new product and try it. After all, your goal. so that the cockatiel parrot began to trust the product, classifying it as edible for itself. Corella, who already eats tangerine with pleasure, can be offered with great success an orange, lemon, grapefruit or pomelo. With the right content of the cockatiel parrot, you will feel all the joy and positiveness of these birds, which will give you only positive emotions from day to day.
What can and can not be given to a parrot
A balanced, properly formulated diet is the foundation of any pet’s health. Parrots are no exception. The peculiarities of their digestive system require an attentive and scrupulous approach to the preparation of the diet. What can and can not be given to a parrot?
It is advisable to include greens in the daily diet, especially in the summer. It is useful to give the parrot fresh greens, which are source of useful elements:
- lettuce leaves;
- carrot and beet tops;
- scalded nettle leaves;
- leaves of fruit trees, willow;
- greens of cereals;
- spruce needles (without branches).
The grass should be collected selectively, with separate shoots, since when torn off in bunches, there is a high probability of taking a poisonous plant. Grass and branches are not harvested along roads and near industrial plants.
You can give your parrots some house plants:
- green chlorophytums;
- palm trees;
- citrus fruits;
- aloe and kalanchoe;
Plants edible for birds should be placed in the same room with the cage, poisonous ones. taken to another room and exclude their contact with the bird.
Nuts are source of fatty acids and vitamins. They have a beneficial effect on skin, plumage and brain function. However, they should be given in limited quantities: 1-2 times a month in a small piece.
- pine nut;
- Brazilian nut;
Excessive consumption of nuts has a negative effect on digestion, because they are too fatty and high in calories for pets.
Animal feed and additives
An insignificant but important part of a parrot’s diet is animal products. They are given in a separate feeder, as they quickly deteriorate.
- honey. in small quantities added to porridge or water;
- low-fat cottage cheese. as source of calcium (up to 2 times a week for 2 tablespoons);
- fermented milk products of low fat content (kefir) improve digestion;
- quail and chicken eggs. well cooked, 1-2 times a week.
Small amounts can be given to supplement nutritional deficiencies:
- sand. to improve digestion;
- chalk. to strengthen the skeleton;
- eggshell (boiled);
- bone flour;
- sepia (clam shell);
- calcium gluconate;
- charcoal (birch). to cleanse the body and as source of trace elements;
- vitamin supplements.
You should not abuse their quantity and save on the quality of vitamin supplements, because a lack of vitamins and minerals in the body of a parrot will lead to serious consequences.
The diet of birds should be safe, healthy and varied. The basis of a parrot’s diet is grains and seeds.
The main feeding of parrots is carried out with balanced feed containing:
- canary and hemp seeds;
- meadow grass seeds;
- flax seeds;
- sunflower seeds;
You can make mixtures yourself or purchase ready-made feeds, presented in a wide range.
Grain mixtures in feed are compiled based on the needs and age of the bird. The preference should be given to premium segment feeds. the quality of grain and the ratio of crops in them is optimal.
If an unpleasant moldy odor is felt after opening the food packaging, if the quality of the food is in doubt, throw it away and not risk the pet’s health.
Porridges are given to parrots daily in small quantities. To save time, you can freeze the porridge in portions. Remove the porridge from the freezer in advance in order to have time to defrost it.
- pearl barley.
It is easily absorbed during the digestion of birds, normalizes the system.
Parrots are not predators, so their diet should consist mostly of plant products. All products available for feathered pets can be divided into main menu and promotional treats.
Vegetable crops contain a large amount of useful minerals and vitamins. All vegetables must be pre-processed: thoroughly washed and chopped (grated or cut into pieces).
The list of vegetables that are good for parrots includes:
- young corn;
- zucchini and pumpkins, pumpkin seeds;
- carrots. contains carotene;
- cabbage. source of vitamins and substances;
- legumes in the phase of milk maturity. contain protein and sugar;
- sweet peppers. can be given with seeds;
- tomatoes. useful together with seeds.
It is better to give preference to vegetables from your own personal plot, because the amount of nitrates and pesticides in them is significantly lower. All fruits must be clean and fresh.
There should always be a drinking bowl with clean, fresh water in the cage. At present, confidence in the quality and safety of tap water has significantly decreased in almost all regions of our country. Giving settled tap water is risky from the point of view of bacteriological safety, boiled water does not contain electrolytes and its prolonged use can lead to electrolyte imbalance. It is impossible to constantly use mineral water due to the high content of various salts in it, prolonged use of mineral water can lead to hypercalcemia and other dangerous conditions. Thus, it is better to feed the bird with children’s drinking bottled water. You can add a little lemon juice to the water (1 teaspoon per 200 ml of water), occasionally you can give water sweetened with honey. Honey must be given filtered or pasteurized by yourself. raw honey is highly likely to contain bacteria. Honey is a valuable source of carbohydrates (glucose, fructose) and trace elements, and they are practically not destroyed during pasteurization, if it is carried out taking into account all technological requirements. Honey can also be given in pure form 2. 3 times a week (for large and medium-sized parrots. 1/2 teaspoon, for small species. on the tip of a teaspoon) or mixed into cereals and cottage cheese. If the doctor observing the bird does not mind, once a week, you can offer the bird non-carbonated mineral water (for example, “Narzan”).
You can give fruit and vegetable juices, especially if there is not enough fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet (if the bird is not yet accustomed to them). It is advisable to give juices freshly squeezed or produced for baby food. they should not contain preservatives and sugars. You should not give juices from vegetables and fruits listed above in the list of prohibited. Juices can be diluted with water. If you use commercial juices, it is better to limit their amount. even juices for baby food may contain sugar. The same restriction applies to grape juice, whether purchased or freshly squeezed. Juices enriched with vitamins should not be given.
Vitamins or calcium gluconate should not be added to juices. both juices and vitamins are rapidly oxidized.
Rosehip decoction is a good source of vitamin C, you can also offer the bird chamomile decoction. it has a beneficial effect on digestion and the nervous system (for a glass of boiling water 1 tablespoon of chamomile chamomile, hold for 10 minutes in a water bath and insist for 30. 40 minutes, wrapped in a towel ).
Approximate Daily Rations for Mixed Feeding.
- 5 tablespoons of grain mixture,
- 2 table. spoons of germinated grains (grain mixture or legumes),
- 1 apple (1 tangerine or pear),
- 50 g broccoli, 1/3 tomato or cucumber (1/2 zucchini),
- 8-10 cherries (5-7 grapes or 2 plums),
- 4-5 pods of peas or beans,
- 2 tablespoons of kefir or yogurt once a week,
- 1 tablespoon of cottage cheese. once a week,
- greens (dandelion, cereals) in unlimited quantities,
- juice (apple pumpkin; apple apricot; peach, etc. baby juices without sugar). 5-6 teaspoons.
- 2.5 tablespoons of grain mixture,
- 1.5 tablespoons germinated grains (cereal mix or legumes),
- 1/2 apple (1/2 orange or pear),
- 1/2 bell pepper, tomato or cucumber slice (zucchini),
- 5-6 cherries (4-5 strawberries, 2-3 grapes or 2 apricots),
- 3-4 teaspoons of kefir or yogurt once a week,
- 1-1.5 teaspoons of cottage cheese. once a week,
- greens (dandelion, cereals) in unlimited quantities,
- juice (apple pumpkin; apple apricot; peach, etc. baby juices without sugar). 5-6 teaspoons.
Feeding for necklace-sized parrots:
- 2 tablespoons of grain mixture,
- 1-2 teaspoons of germinated food,
- 1/3 apple (1/3 orange or pear),
- 1/3 bell pepper, tomato and cucumber slice (courgette),
- 3-4 cherries (pitted) or 6-7 raspberries (3-4 bunches of black or red currants),
- 2 teaspoons of kefir or yogurt (no more than 1 time per week),
- 1 level teaspoon of cottage cheese (no more than 1 time per week) or porridge,
- greens (dandelion, cereals) in unlimited quantities,
- juice. 3 teaspoons.
Nutrition for cockatiel parrots (or similar in size):
- 1.5 tablespoons of grain mixture,
- 1 teaspoon of germinated feed,
- 1/4 apple (1/4 orange or pear),
- 1/4 bell pepper, tomato and cucumber slice (courgette),
- 2-3 cherries (pitted) or 4-5 raspberries (1/4 plum),
- 1 teaspoon of kefir or yogurt (no more than 1 time per week),
- 1/2 teaspoon without a slide of cottage cheese (no more than 1 time per week) or porridge,
- greens (dandelion, cereals) in unlimited quantities,
- juice. 2 teaspoons.
Eating Budgerigars (or similar in size):
- 1-2 teaspoons of grain mixture,
- 0.5-1 teaspoon of germinated feed,
- a slice of apple (orange or pear),
- a slice of sweet pepper, a slice of tomato or cucumber (zucchini),
- 1/2 cherry, 1 raspberry (peach or apricot slice),
- on the tip of a teaspoon of cottage cheese (no more than once every 2 weeks),
- 1/2-1 teaspoon of porridge, grated carrots, egg-carrot mixture (for young birds) (1-2 times a week),
- greens (dandelion, cereals) in unlimited quantities,
- juice. 1 / 2-1 teaspoon.
When composing a daily menu for your pet, it should be remembered that the appetite and inclinations of all parrots are different, and the bird may eat slightly less or more food than indicated in the above rations. Feeding budgies and, for example, feeding a necklace parrot should differ not only in the size of the portions, but also in the quality of the contents of the diet. Different types need different amounts of fats and proteins. To provide your pet with really good care, you will have to study sources that report on the characteristics of their nutrition in nature.
What to feed the parrots with? Recommendations in various publications often contradict each other. Which one to believe? First of all, this is not a matter of faith, but a matter of knowledge.
Our goal is to meet the needs of birds as much as possible, but our capabilities remain limited.
According to R. Lowe, 60% of the diet should consist of vegetables and fruits, and the remaining 40%. from grains. The only question is “what vegetables and fruits”, because everything that parrots eat in nature is different from what we give them, not to mention the regimen. So, for example, large collectors feed their breeding birds every 3 hours! Even for such small and easy-to-keep birds as the wavy parrot, food should be of high quality and varied.
So, there are two possibilities to put together a diet:
collect information seriously and use common sense as much as possible, i.e. become a nutritionist yourself;
Let’s follow these recommendations and try, combining the advice of experts and experienced amateurs, members of our forum, to describe the feeding of parrots in accordance with the system that has developed over the years of the MyBirds.ru project
Fresh branches of fruit and other hardwood trees should definitely be part of the daily diet. The twigs themselves do not provide nutritional value, but from the fresh twigs, the parrot receives additional trace elements and fiber, which is necessary for proper digestion. With constant gnawing of thick branches, parrots evenly grind their beak.
Here is a list of trees and shrubs that you can offer to your bird:
- Apple tree
- Birch tree
- willow (willow, willow)
- currants (provided that the bushes are not treated with chemicals)
It is not recommended to give branches below the listed trees:
- oak (contains a large amount of tannins)
- pear (like oak, it contains tannins)
- conifers (poultry can get dirty in resin, but needles separated from branches can be an excellent source of vitamins)
- bird cherry (contains a large amount of tannins)
- poplar (bark and wood accumulate harmful substances from the atmosphere to a greater extent than the bark and wood of other trees)
- viburnum (leaves, bark and branches contain a large amount of tannins, saponins and viburnin glycoside, which can have a negative effect on the kidneys of birds. Feeding branches with bark and unripe viburnum berries can lead to indigestion, nausea and vomiting, and cause kidney failure.
- lilac (all parts of it, except flowers, contain the cyanogenic glucoside syringin).
All branches should be harvested as far as possible from the city, highways and industrial areas. If it is not possible to go out of town for branches, you can use large urban forest parks, but choose trees that are as far from the roads as possible.
Lichen grows on many trees. it does not pose any danger to birds, on the contrary, its presence indicates a favorable ecological situation in the area.
Before offering them to the bird, the harvested branches should be thoroughly washed with a brush and soap, rinsed with running water and scalded with boiling water. If this is not done, there is a risk of infecting your pet with helminths and infectious diseases, which can be carried by free-living birds.
In the autumn-winter period, cut branches can be put into water, wait until the buds swell, wash, scald and offer to the bird. In such branches, the maximum vitamins and minerals.
Thin branches can be cut into small pieces and put in the trough or given whole, thicker branches can be tied to a string in a cage or outside, or simply given to a parrot in its paw. In addition to their undoubted nutritional value, branches, especially thick ones, are an irreplaceable toy for birds, as well as ideal perches.
Nuts and seeds
The complete imported mixtures contain a sufficient amount of seeds and nuts, so you should not additionally give a large amount of them to the bird. over, it makes sense to choose part of the nuts and seeds from some foods, and if you feed the parrot with seeds from your hands, you should choose them completely from the main food. they are fatty and their excess in the diet is harmful. In the majority of even quite acceptable in quality and balance constituents of feed, the amount of seeds is excessive. Peanuts are in sufficient quantities in most brands, it should not be given in addition, in addition, unpeeled peanuts are susceptible to mold spores, especially aspergillus, which can cause severe poisoning and chronic mycoses that are difficult to treat.
You can offer the bird the following seeds and nuts:
Walnut. 1/2. 2 pcs per day (you need to chop them or divide them into halves)
hazelnut. 2.4 nuts a day
Pine nuts. 4.6 pcs per day
pumpkin seeds. 4.6 pcs per day.
The upper limit of the given dosage of nuts corresponds to the needs of large parrots (macaws, Moluccan cockatoos, etc.), as well as medium-sized parrots that temporarily need a more nutritious diet due to their reduced condition. Of course, you cannot give all nuts at the same time, on the same day, and if you want to offer your pet several different nuts, you should reduce the number of nuts of each type.
Parrots can also include pistachios, pecans, macadamias, and sweet almonds in their diet.
Large species of macaws, such as hyacinth macaws and green-winged macaws, require a higher fat content in their diet. Their diet should consist of mixed nuts, including those high in fat, such as inshell macadamia nuts and palm nuts.
The question often arises about the toxicity of certain seeds and nuts, such as apple seeds, bitter almonds, drupes of cherries, cherries, plums, apricots, bird cherry and other stone fruits. The seeds and seeds listed above contain cyanides in the form of an organic compound, amygdalin, which is broken down into grape sugar, benzaldehyde (bitter almond oil) and hydrocyanic acid. The cleavage of amygdalin in the bones occurs constantly and spontaneously. The enzyme emulsin is involved in this process. Seeds and drupes of fruits that have been stored for a long time (more than 3 months) pose a greater danger, since amygdalin in them is almost completely broken down and hydrocyanic acid is present in its pure form. That is why you should not treat birds with seeds from apples of last year’s harvest, seeds from dried apricots and cherries.
In natural conditions, parrots that eat nuts containing amygdalin periodically use natural adsorbents (clay or softwood, as well as the core of cycads) in order to cleanse the body of toxins. For parrots, which from time to time “feast on” the above seeds and seeds, it is also advisable to add natural adsorbents based on wood lignin (polyphepan or lactofiltrum), clay (you can use blue and white clay sold in pharmacies for cosmetic purposes), and give more fresh branches, bark and wood of which (in addition to high vitamin and mineral value) is also source of natural fibers. lignin.
All nuts should not be roasted, salted or candied. Cashews and coconut should not be given. these nuts are very fatty. Brazil nuts can be given no more than once a month, as a special delicacy, because it is also too high in calories. It is extremely rare for small parrots to be offered sunflower seeds, walnut pieces, pieces of hazelnut kernels and other nuts, allowed for large parrots, as a delicacy, but in microscopic quantities and no more than 1. 2 times a month.
Why is there such a tight restriction on fat-containing nuts and seeds? Fats put a serious strain on the liver, and in parrots (and birds in general) this organ is extremely vulnerable. In large parrots taken from the wild, in the process of transportation and quarantine (where they are often fed with the most affordable and convenient food. seeds), deworming and prophylactic antibiotic therapy carried out by many sellers (and the drugs used are very hepatotoxic), the liver suffers. Thus, a large parrot, bought not in a nursery, almost always ends up with its owner, at best, with a liver that needs sparing nutrition, at worst. with needing serious treatment.
Parrot feed pellets are small dry pellets that are balanced in terms of nutrients, with the addition of important essential amino acids and vitamins. This type of food has been sold on the American market for over 20 years and is usually recommended by veterinarians for all types of birds, as few owners are able to provide the pet with all the necessary nutrients in the right proportions in real time. Granulated feed is made from a mixture of cereals, vegetables and mineral and vitamin supplements. As a rule, corn flour is taken as a basis, to which other cereals, vegetables, amino acids and minerals are added in the necessary proportions, so that the bird receives all the necessary food components per day. When feeding with pellets, no additional synthetic vitamins or additives are required, they can even be dangerous due to possible hypervitaminosis. Usually, the feed of the same company is divided by composition into, for example, everyday, or for sick birds, for feeding birds, etc., and by the size of granules. for small parrots, for medium and large ones. The size of the granules does not really matter, and if the bird prefers smaller or larger granules, then you need to give them (from larger ones there is more garbage in the cage).
Food manufacturers usually recommend giving your parrot up to 80% of the diet per day in granules, and the rest in the form of grains, nuts and other products, while vegetables and fruits are not limited. Vegetables and fruits, although they do not play a large role in providing nutrients when feeding with granules, are source of natural antioxidants and phytonutrients, which are poor in any dry food, both granular and grain mixture, and therefore they must be given regardless of the type of the main diet.
According to the production method, pelleted feed can be conditionally divided into several groups: “organic” origin, traditional production, and cheap feed of low quality.
Organic pellets are made from a complex mixture of organically grown cereals, vegetables, flowers, etc. “Organic farming” in the United States and other countries means that pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other methods that destroy the ecological balance of nature are not used when growing products. Organic produce is highly certified and infringement (such as an unapproved herbicide) can cost a farmer a license and a farm. Organic pellets are formulated to obtain a balanced composition with a minimum amount of additional vitamin supplements, and are preserved through natural preservatives (such as citric acid) and packaging (vacuum packaging). No artificial colors are added to this feed. When making organic food, producers use the cold pressing method into pellets to preserve as much of the nutrient as possible. Foods in this group include American Harrison’s, Roudybush, Totally Organic Pellets and others.
Pellets of the “traditional” type of production are made from certified products, grown in a standard agricultural manner (using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc.). Food colors or artificial preservatives can be found in these feeds. Food of this type is also of good quality, for example, Zupreem, Nutribird, Hagen, Lafeber. Many companies can produce both traditional and organic pellets.
Cheap pelleted feeds are made with a lot of soy (which is rich in phytohormones and can influence bird behavior), cheap products and the formulation of such feeds usually does not pass sufficient validation. These are usually food from companies such as Avizon, Katytee, and so on.
10 Steps How to Make Natural Branch Perches for Parrots (DIY)
Note that many companies are working to improve the quality of their products, get rid of low-quality preservatives, revise the recipe, etc., so it is quite possible that this year they are in the category of producers of bad feed, and next year they will move to producers of good feed.
Pelleted feed has many benefits. The food itself is balanced in such a way that the owner of the parrot does not need to calculate the pet’s diet, buy vitamins, and so on. A competent owner can spend the time freed from preparing complex porridges on classes with a bird, teaching commands and tricks, walking, etc. The likelihood of hormonal surges in birds on pelleted feed is also greatly reduced.
Pellets also have contraindications. Some birds may be allergic to one of the ingredients in the mix, which is usually quickly detected when the bird is switched to a particular feed. Some birds are so socially inactive that when they are transferred to granules, the last incentive to do something disappears, this is especially pronounced in non-tame birds, in birds that are not accustomed to foraging, to “getting” food. These birds need to mix the pellets with inedible ingredients like sawdust, wrap them in paper rolls or hide them in collapsible toys so that the parrot spends enough energy during lunch to process food. Otherwise, boredom in parrots can lead to behavioral difficulties and even self-pinching.
When transferred to granulated feed, it is gradually mixed into the grain mixture in an increasing amount. Finally, the poultry ration should consist of approximately 80% pelleted feed and 20% nuts, seeds, grain mixtures, as well as fruits and vegetables, the amount of which may be unlimited. Bird droppings on pelleted feed are usually semi-weak, light brown in color. this is perfectly normal.
Main grain feed
Now a large number of ready-made grain mixtures for various types of parrots have appeared on sale.
Unfortunately, at the moment, the mixtures of most domestic manufacturers not only leave much to be desired, but, often, can be dangerous to the health and even to the life of our pets.
Some foreign manufacturers of ready-made feeds have proven themselves well in the world market. These brands are represented by several types of mixtures for different species of parrots (african, amazonian, australian, etc.). Additional feeds are also produced, for example, mixtures of nuts and dried fruits, which can be added to the main grain mixtures or given to the parrot as a treat, crackers, mineral, vitamin supplements, additives for the molting period, etc., etc.
Most of the main (that is, for daily feeding) grain mixtures of serious manufacturers include pieces of dried fruit, mineral additives, nuts.
The quality of imported grain mixtures is usually high, but, nevertheless, it is not always worth taking the manufacturer’s word that the contents of a pack are ideal for a particular type of bird. Good food for parrots, especially large ones, often has to be made up of packages for several different species. This makes the mixture more varied and balanced.
In addition, it is necessary to include inedible but safe ingredients of natural origin (pine cones husks, wood chips, pieces of cardboard without dyes, etc.) in the grain mixture. By independently foraging the contents of their feeders, parrots give the necessary load to their beak and brain. All this has a positive effect on their behavior.
Grain crops, in general, contain the minimum required amount of vitamins, but if this is not a medicinal food (in this case, this should be indicated on the package), it is still recommended to periodically conduct vitamin courses throughout the life of a parrot. Vitamins should be given within two weeks, preferably in winter and during molting, followed by a break of at least two months. The smaller the bird, the higher its metabolic rate, which affects the dosage of vitamins. Vitamins should be stored according to package directions, most often in the dark at room temperature or refrigerated at 2 ° C to 15 ° C.
In some liver diseases, the use of fat-soluble vitamins is contraindicated. Therefore, at the slightest suspicion of hepatic malaise in a bird, the advisability of a vitamin course should be consulted with a doctor.
You need to be especially careful with medicated feeds. they should be used only on the recommendation of a veterinarian and should not be used as a main feed, but only as an additive to it, and such feed should be marked accordingly. On conventional feed, the amount of vitamins and minerals contained in the grain is written; all specially fortified grain mixtures are labeled as additionally enriched with vitamins. All packages sold in Russia must have a label in Russian with a full list of the ingredients of the grain mixture.
Supporters of home-made mixtures argue their choice with the opportunity to compose a diet for birds that will be richer and more suitable for a particular species than a factory grain mixture. This makes sense if it is possible to purchase all the necessary components or find a suitable replacement for them, and also if you have an idea of the correct proportions of these components in the mixture. But even with the necessary knowledge, there are pitfalls in this approach. For example, sellers claim that domestic grain purchased, for example, from the poultry market, has not been treated with chemicals from rodents or other pests. But is it true. known only from their words and may not correspond to reality. And the grain itself must be good.
When using grain purchased on the market, you cannot be sure that with it you will not introduce parasites, for example, downy eaters, etc. At home, you can only rinse the grain and dry it (dry it, not fry it) in the oven, but:
it does not give 100% disinfection;
significantly reduces the shelf life of grain.
As for the parrot crackers. they should be given as little as possible and only produced by well-known, well-established brands. The glue that attaches grains and nuts to the base contains a large amount of animal protein and can provoke a surge in sexual activity, and grains in crackers and sticks are often expired or of poor quality.
In addition to the main grain feed, sprouted grain must be present in the diet of large parrots. However, a large amount of sprouted grain can provoke a surge in sexual activity. When introducing seedlings into the diet of birds that are not involved in breeding, one should carefully observe the behavior of the bird and, depending on it, adjust the number of seedlings. The feeding of the cockatiel and other Australian parrots needs increased monitoring. these birds live in the desert, wet food signals the beginning of spring and can start a behavioral breeding program that will be difficult to stop.
For germination of complete imported feed, it is necessary to choose from them all dried fruits, mineral additives and shelled nuts. You can germinate feed purchased on the market, but all the risks mentioned above will remain, in addition, food dried in the oven is unlikely to germinate. It makes sense to acquire a regular supplier of cereal mixes specifically for germination, but, unfortunately, this is difficult to do in big cities. In any case, the grain bought on the market must be thoroughly washed in cold water and, at the slightest suspicion that the grain is of poor quality, thrown away. Germination is a highly indicative test of quality. “Live” grain germinates quickly and amicably, but it should be remembered that seeds treated with chemicals from pests do not lose the ability to germinate, and this criterion cannot serve as a complete guarantee of the safety of the grain mixture.
You can germinate grain as follows:
Pour the thoroughly washed grain with lukewarm water (you can just at room temperature) and leave at a temperature of 20-22 degrees for 4-5 hours. Then drain the water, rinse the grain again and leave it again at room temperature for 8-9 hours. You can cover the grain with damp gauze, or place it in a plastic container, in the bottom of which you can first make several small holes (this will greatly facilitate the process of regular washing). Insert a container with holes in another one of the correct size. After 8-9 hours, rinse the seedlings again and refrigerate. this will stop the growth of sprouted sprouts and protect them from mold and souring. Every morning, before offering sprouts to the parrot, they should be washed. Many parrots do not like wet grain. in this case, it should be dried with a hairdryer, on a radiator, or simply by blotting it with a paper or cotton napkin. In addition, highly moistened grains can quickly grow moldy at room temperature.
Sprouted grain is not a substitute for dry grain. both types of feed should be present in the bird’s diet. Dry grain is necessary for the full function of the beak.