Parrot Nutrition: How and Why

The adage, you are what you eat is as true for captive birds as for humans. Parrots in captivity cannot go to the store, prepare their food or provide for their welfare. That is the responsibility of the caregiver.

There is an abundance of misinformation out there regarding avian nutrition and this article will help caregivers learn a nutritious way to feed their bird (s).

Feeding Feathers, a Yahoo group, provides a mash recipe that is the most current and accurate example of a nutrient dense diet.

A mash consisting of organic food in a ratio of 2: 1 mixed whole grains (choose from quinoa, teff, barley, amaranth, kamut, millet, or any other grains your health food store may carry in the bulk section) to legumes (red , green or French lentils, adzuki or mung beans) soaked twelve to fifteen hours to eliminate the phytic acid in the grains and anti nutrients in the legumes, rinsed well and cooked, produces a complete amino acid protein chain that is lacking in most parrot diets .

Animal protein is not necessary or advised. Mash can be frozen in four-five day portions. At the time of serving, at least two dark green leafy greens (dandelion, kale, bok choy, spinach, beet greens, carrot tops, mustard, collards, fennel, rappini, broccoli or other nutrient rich greens), and two orange veggies ( carrots, any orange winter squash including canned pumpkin, orange bell peppers and other orange veggies) are added, so there is roughly a fifty-fifty proportion of grains / legumes to the veggies.

Add one quarter to one half teaspoon of chia seeds (depending on size of bird) to provide omega 3 fatty acids and a small amount of a powdered green food like Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw Organic Green Superfood. Be certain your choice does not contain lead. Chop or mince very well.

A small amount of fruit can be added or presented for foraging later in the day. Variations to this recipe can be found in the Feeding Feathers Yahoo group files but learn the basic mash recipe before making changes. Feeding bowls of random chopped food will result in malnutrition and is dangerous. Recommendations by those making parrot food who have no scientific basis for the ingredients or are based on intuition are not acceptable. Don't do that to your bird. Do your research or ask at Feeding Feathers.

Serve once or twice a day knowing every bite is nutrient rich and that your bird (s) is being fed the most nutritious organic food available, thus promoting excellent health and happiness

Source by Bonnie Jay

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