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Making Parrot Mash!

May 8th, 2010

Yesterday i spent the afternoon making up a big batch of parrot mash, which all of our pet and breeding greys all love to eat. Each time i do it i change it everytime so it is slightly different for them.

It always consists of the following soaked pulses –

I buy the soaked pulses mix from Junglegold.com and i soak them in boiling water for 12 hours or over night and then draining them that i have in one pan,

I then cook vegetables such at swede, sweet potato, carrots, cabbage, butternut squash,broccoli, cauiflower and anything else you want to add in, and i also add to that wholewheat pasta and wholemeal rice, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins until just soft, drain and then leave to cool.

Next i defrost some garden peas in warm water until defrosted and drain.

I then cut up different fruits such as Apple, Grapes, Blackberries, Pear and what ever fruits you have in, chop them into small cubes and mix together.

Now comes the fun part!! Mixing it all together, once the cooked veggies have cooled use a big bowl i use a washing up bowl and add all of the above pans together so you get a big bowl of mixed mash.

Then mix all together so that the mix is totally mixed up together and you end up with the following, looks good enough for me to eat!

What i do next is as i make up a large amount i then take the mix and add it to freezer bags in portion sizes or what i will use a day and then tie the bags and freeze them so they keep fresh, when you want to use one i take it out the night before and let if defrost over night and serve the next day!

And here you can see our rescue grey we took in last weekend Sammi tucking into my mash, i think we can saftley say she LOVES it!!!

By Paula


Not So Sweet Parrot Diet

March 30th, 2010

Well today i was reading the news and i came across this story below –

Haribo sweets were used as part of a mission to rescue a missing parrot after he was found up a tree.

Cookie, an African grey parrot, was enticed down from a silver birch tree in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, when he was offered his favourite snack on Friday morning.

The bird had been missing since Wednesday afternoon after it flew out of an open window at its home in Cox Green.

The pet’s happy owner, who did not want to be named, said: “He climbed down the tree using his beak and got to the end of the lowest branch before jumping on to my husband’s arm.”

She added: “He must have got caught in the rain overnight because he looked really clean and fluffy.”

African greys can live to more than 60-years-old and are considered to be one of the most accomplished mimics.

Well no wonder the owner wanted to be un-named giving him his favourite snack ”Haribo sweets” do they not know that JUNK FOOD has a high fat content and can lead to things like FATTY-LIVER disease in a parrot! Yes they Can live to the age of 60 plus but they wont do being fed treats like Haribo or any fatty junk food for that matter.

Whats your thoughts on this people??


African Grey Parrot Diet

October 4th, 2009

For many many years a diet of a basic mixture of sunflower seeds, peanuts and some chilli peppers has been considered an adequate basis for the diet of African Greys. We now know it is a completely wrong approach. In the wild, African Greys feed mainly on nuts, including red palm nuts, fruit and leafy matter, like tree buds, flower buds and a small amount of seed. We can’t replicate their diet completely but we can do our best to provide a varied and nutritious diet for our companion parrots.

There is a number of formulated diet, otherwise known as pellets, present on the market. They are marketed as “complete” diets, which is a very misleading term. Most pellet manufacturers suggest the amount of pellets fed to be around 80% of the whole diet. This notion has been disapproved and argued with by many aviculturists. For a start, there are no pellets which would  differ in the composition depending on the bird§. So an african grey will receive just the same amount of every nutrient found in a pellet as would a budgie. However these two birds come from two completely different parts of the world and have quite different nutritional requirements. For example, African Greys are know to be calcium deficient more often than other parrot species, however budgies require a much smaller amount of calcium, as do cockatiels.

However, the pellets do provide a balanced complete protein, a wide range of vitamins and minerals. To balance out any possible overdosing or “underdosing” of the nutrients, it is suggested to feed pellets in the amounts of about 50% of the overall diet. Pellets also supply vitamin D to the diet, which is not found in other foods.

The brands of pellets to consider are: Hagen Tropical Granules, Harrisons Organic pellets, Zupreem pellets.

So what should the other 50% be made up of?

The greatest part of it should be made up of vegetables. The vegetables can make up to 40% of the whole diet. All vegetables and fruit have to be thoroughly washed before serving. It is best to buy organic and seasonal produce.

Recommended vegetables:
Pumpkin
Sweet Potatoe
Carrot
Squash
Courgette
Marrow
Tomatoe
Cucumber
Peppers
Chili Peppers
Brussel Sprouts
Corn

Leafy Greens (at least one of these should be given every day):
Broccoli with leaves and stalks
Kale
Watercress
Cavolo Nero
Savoy Cabbage
White or Red Cabbage (best served lightly steamed, however fresh one is ok to give)
Spinach (no more than one or two times a week)
Dark-leaf lettuce
Celery
Dandelion Greens
Purslane

Herbs (should be given just as for humans – as garnish, i.e in small amounts as they are too high in essential oils):
Parsley
Basil
Thyme
Rosemary
Oregano
Dill

Berries (Make an excellent addition to a diet, but best used when in season, and organic.):
Blueberries
Raspberries
Strawberries
Blackberries
Gooseberries
Blackcurrants
Redcurrants

Of the wild ones:
Rowan Berries
Hawthorn Berries (consider limiting to about 5-6 a day)
Blackberries
Sloes (no pips)
Rose hips

Fruit (should be given as a treat for one simple reason – the fruit we buy are very far from their wild ancestors, and contain too much sugar and not much of anything else.):
The best fruit to offer are:
Apples
Pears
Oranges
Kiwi
Melons
Bananas
Pineapple
Peach
Plum
Apricot
Grapes (limit to one or two grapes a day)

Papaya and Mango can be offered but have to be thoroughly peeled first. The skin of unripe Mango and Papaya contain toxins, but those papaya and mango we buy are usually picked unripe, so a care should be taken when and if feeding this fruit.

What you should aim for is to provide a large variety of fresh produce. Don’t concentrate on just one type of vegetable, offer as many as possible. To avoid picking, try blending all sorts of vegetables and greens in a food-processor, mixing with a few seeds and a chopped nut and serving it as a mash. Other ingredients can be added too. And here we move on to the next group of foods which should be included in the diet.

Grains and Pulses
These are the primary source of protein for the parrots. Parrots are vegetarians and should not be fed animal protein including eggs. The only time when parrots were ever observed consuming insects is during breeding. Unless you want to bring your parrot into hormonal state, avoid feeding any animals foods, like eggs, meat, fish etc.

Grains and pulses will provide a great source of protein and other nutrients.

Grains list:
Amaranth
Quinoa
Buckwheat
Barley
Wholemeal Cous Cous
Wheat grain
Spelt
Hulled Millet

Pulses:
Dried Peas
Lentils
Mung Beans
Aduki Beans
Chickpeas

Any other beans can be fed only after 8 hour soak, thorough rinse, and then 40-min rapid boil.

To prepare a good nutritious mix, containing a good amount of complete protein combine two parts of grains and one part of pulses. Cook according to the instructions on the package, mix altogether and freeze in portions. Defrost as needed.

Sprouted grains and pulses is another valuable component – more about it read herehttp://www.african-grey-parrots.co.uk/parrot-forum/index.php?topic=1635.0

Treats:
Red Palm Nuts – give one, maximum 2 nuts a day
Red Palm Oil or Extract – no more than 1 teaspoon a day, or less if fed Red Palm Nuts

Regular nuts – limit to about 3-4 (depending on size) nuts a day.

Suggested Nuts:
Walnuts
Pecans
Hazelnuts
Macademia
Pistachios (unsalted!)
Almonds
Cashews

Avoid feeding peanuts.

Seed mix – try to get the best seed mix possible and give it as a treat, in the amount of about 1 teaspoon a day, best given in foraging toys.

Food Supplements:

There are a few natural supplements you can consider adding to promote the good condition of your parrot:

Flax seed – grind up about 1/2 teaspoon of flax seed and sprinkle it on food. This will provide valuable essential fatty acids

Spirulina – sprinkle food with just a light dusting (a tiny pinch) of spirulina. Spirulina is an algae extremely rich in protein and other beneficial compounds. It should be given in minute amounts and it will still be very effective. Excessive amounts can lead to health problems.

Kale – this is another algae which is a good source of iron. It can also be added in a minute amount (a tiny pinch) as a light sprinkling on food.

Bee pollen – rich in enzymes and amino acids, can be added to food in the amount of about 1/4 of a teaspoon a couple of times a week

Echinacea – this herb is a natural antibiotic and immune stimulant, which can help birds with chronic conditions and those recovering from illnesses.

Probiotics – probiotics promote the growth of beneficial bactera in the gut, reducing the amount of bad bacteria, and consequently the likelihood of illness. All birds who have been on antibiotics should be given a course of avian probiotics. Feather-pluckers and those recovering from illnes will also benefit from a course of probiotics.

Never feed any foods containing salt or sugar. Salt toxicity in parrots can be fatal. A small amount of salt can lead to toxicity. For this reason avoid feeding table foods.
Parrots are flock animals and enjoy eating with their flock – you. If you want your parrot to be at the table when you are having dinner provide him with his own dish and fill it up with healthy foods, cooked especially for him. This could be a good time to give a treat too.

High-fat foods, like chips or any other deep-fried foods or fatty foods, like butter and high-fat cheese are very harmful too. Just as humans, parrots suffer from high-cholesterol, heart attacks, clogged up arteries, and enlarged liver (which has to to process all that fat!).

To make your parrot’s life just a bit more exciting, consider baking some birdie bread, cooking something like a special birdie pizza or pasta (wholemeal) with tomatoe sauce (a pureed tomatoe with a sprinkle of basil)  Big Grin
For more recipes see here:
http://www.itsagreysworld.com/diet/recipes.htm
http://www.holisticbirds.com/pages/recipes0503.htm
http://www.africangreys.com/articles/nutrition/mashdiet.htm
http://www.parrothouse.com/recipes.html

Written by Irina of Parrot Comforts your number one source for affordable safe parrot toys.


10 Toxic Foods For Parrots

March 5th, 2009

Because parrots are such social creatures, many owners allow their pets to be included at mealtime. While sharing food with your parrot is a lot of fun – not to mention wonderful for your pet’s emotional health – there are many common human foods that can be harmful or even fatal to your parrot. Owners need to know which foods are fine for sharing, and which pose a serious risk. Read on to find out the top ten foods that are hazardous to your parrot’s health.

1. Toxic Food For Parrots: Avocado

The skin and pit of this popular fruit had been known to cause cardiac distress and eventual heart failure in the pet parrot species. Although there is some debate to the degree of toxicity of avocados, it is generally advised to adopt a “better safe than sorry” attitude toward them and keep guacomole and other avocado products as far away from pet parrots as possible.

2. Toxic Food For Parrots: Chocolate

Chocolate is a wonderful treat to share with human family members, but it can be harmful or fatal to your pet parrot. Chocolate poisoning first affects a parrot’s digestive system, causing vomiting and diarrhea. As the condition progresses, the parrot’s central nervous system is affected, first causing seizures and eventually death.

3. Toxic Food For Parrots: Caffeine

Caffinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea are popular among people – but allowing your parrot to indulge in these drinks can be extremely hazardous. Caffeine causes cardiac malfunction in parrots, and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest. Share a healthy drink of pure fruit or vegetable juice with your parrot instead – this will satisfy both your parrot’s tastebuds and nutritional requirements.

4. Toxic Food For Parrots: Apple Seeds

Believe it or not, apples – along with other members of the rose family including cherries, peaches, apricots, and pears – contain trace amounts of Cyanide within their seeds. While the fruit of the apple is fine for your parrot, be aware that in addition to the poisonous seeds, there may be pesticides present on the fruit’s skin. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse and core any apple pieces that you share with your parrot to avoid exposure to these toxins.

5. Toxic Food For Parrots: Dried Beans

Cooked beans are a favorite treat of many parrots, but raw, dry bean mixes can be extremely harmful to your pet. Uncooked beans contain a poison called hemaglutin which is very toxic to parrots. To avoid exposure, make sure to thoroughly cook any beans that you choose to share with your parrot.

6. Toxic Food For Parrots: Onions

While the use of limited amounts of onion or garlic powders as flavorings is generally regarded as acceptable, excessive consumption of onions causes vomiting, diarrhea, and a host of other digestive problems. It has been found that prolonged exposure can lead to a blood condition called hemolytic anemia, which is followed by respiratory distress and eventual death.

7. Toxic Food For Parrots: Salt

While all living beings need regulated amounts of sodium in their systems, too much salt can lead to a host of health problems in parrots, including excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and death. Be sure to keep watch over the amount of salty foods your parrot consumes.

8. Toxic Food For Parrots: Alcohol

Although responsible parrot owners would never dream of offering their pet parrot an alcoholic drink, there have been instances in which free roaming parrots have attained alcohol poisoning through helping themselves to unattended cocktails. Alcohol depresses the organ systems of parrots and can be fatal. Make sure that your parrot stays safe by securing him or her into their cage whenever alcohol is served in your home.

9. Toxic Food For Parrots: Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a type of fungus, and have been known to cause digestive upset in companion parrots. Caps and stems of some varieties can induce liver failure.

10. Toxic Food For Parrots: Tomato Leaves

Tomatoes, like potatoes and other nightshades, have a tasty fruit that is fine when used as a treat for your parrot. The stems, vines, and leaves, however, are highly toxic to your pet. Make sure that any time you offer your parrot a tomato treat it has been properly cleaned and sliced, with the green parts removed, so that your parrot will avoid exposure to any toxins.

So make sure you give your parrot a good healthy diet and avoid these 10 toxic foods like the plague and you will have a happy and healthy parrot.


Parrots Learn Faster From Other Parrots

February 14th, 2009

Anyone who has more than one parrot has learned pretty fast that parrots learn fastest from other parrots. Even when learning to talk, they learn best from listening to other parrots speak. I’ve learned both of these things from having a flock of birds compared to just one. Obviously, I had to start with just one at one point in time and progress to more to learn about these things.

The nice thing about having more than one parrot is that they learn from other birds much faster than they would from a person. For example, with weaning… it’s great to have other birds around to help out the younger ones.

Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Spokane, WA
Oatmeal Eaters: Galah “Bondi” & Blue Throated Macaw “Jinx”

My 4 year old rose breasted cockatoo, Bondi, was sweet enough to teach my baby blue throated macaw, Jinx, that oatmeal is a tasty food to eat. I didn’t have to do a thing but make a little extra for breakfast for the two of them.

I put a bowl down and let Bondi start eating first while Jinx sat on the same counter exploring around. The house was unfamiliar to them both as I was staying at a friend’s house in Spokane, Washington. As Bondi began to eat, Jinx saw her and decided to try it for himself. The oatmeal wasn’t hot but it was still warm, resembling a little bit like baby food which I believe helps baby birds in trying new things (if it has a little resemblence to baby food in either temperature or texture).

If you want to learn more about the principle of birds learning faster from each other, just research into what is called “observational learning” to understand more.

Posted in Behavior Tagged: barb’s house, birds, blue throated macaw, bondi, eating, jinx, learning to talk, oatmeal, parrots, parrots learn fastest from other parrots, parrots learn from other parrots, rose breasted cockatoo, spokane, washington, weaning on Jamie’s Parrot Help


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