Feeding Your Flock
By Jami Galindo
G'day all, I would like to chat a bit about companion parrot diets. There are as many "recommended" diets as there are people to recommend them, so I would just like to share a bit of common sense here and I hope it travels far and wide.
Parrots in the wild are similar to marathon athletes, eating a high energy seed and fruit diet. This diet provides the ready energy needed to fly long distances in a split second. On the other hand, the companion parrot is similar to (saying this as nice as I can) many other types of pampered pets. Some never fly and need merely to hop up on the nearest food dish for a feast with not a predator in sight.
Now, if the pampered pets are fed the high-energy diet of the birds in the wild, where does all that "ready energy" go? What happens if you eat a high-caloric diet and don't exercise? What happens to the marathon athlete if fed (day-after-day) a high carb diet and not allowed to run? Obesity, diabetes, liver disease, renal failure, heart disease, infections, depression, aggression, and among other things dull skin (feathers).
It's no different for a bird. Feeding a body is just that, regardless whether it is a human or bird body. It is imperative that you eat (or feed) a body comparable to the energy it expends. So, if you are feeling you MUST feed your bird the diet he would naturally eat in the wild, then know you are also required to provide him the needed activity (flying) he would expend in the wild so he can burn up this high energy to avoid fat being stored around the liver and heart disease.
Please do not think I am using this post to scare you into feeding a pelleted diet, I am not. We advocate LOW ENERGY feeding: 70% low energy dark green leafy and Vitamin A packed red and yellow veggies; 20% LOW ENERGY, quality pellet like ZuPreem or Roudybush; and finally 10% fruit and tree nuts for the treats.
Look at it this way, you have 10 little dishes, 7 of them would contain a combination of healthy, low energy veggies. Two would contain a low energy pellet and in one would contain some fruit and a few tree nuts. That is the general percentages you want to feed your bird.
The purpose today's chat is I have been made aware (more than once) that people are afraid of pellets. The truth about pellets is they are a balanced formulation that provides the trace vitamins and minerals that a fresh diet may not provide. If you want (or need) to substitute dark green veggies for the small percentage we recommend for the pellets, then by all means please do. We are recommending a low energy, healthy feeding plan that covers the nutritional needs of MOST birds.