In response to many requests as to how and / or why my parrots look so healthy, I've included some info and pics of how they are fed, as it is my belief that a varied diet plays a huge roll in companion and breeding parrots' health. I am no expert, but am simply sharing
what I do in my own aviary.
Fresh sprouts are fed regularly to all my parrots, from the smallest to the largest as they are extremely nutritious. For more info on sprouts and how to order some, please click on the following link:
The medium to large parrots all receive a buffet of various foods daily. It's interesting to see what they choose each day (and it differs) as they know better than I what they need. This is fed in the morning and includes warm rice and bean mix, fresh sprouts,
thawed and warmed
frozen mixed veggies,
a variety of chopped
and one peanut per bird.
Today's chopped fruits
and veggies include:
warmed raw yam, carrot,
seedless green grapes, melon, apple, chopped broccoli stem and leaves, and papaya. (there is more vitamin A in the broccoli leaves than the florets or stem) I offer warmed yam (or sweet potato) every day as it's also extremely high in vitamin A. Nuts are a daily treat and pellets are provided as well.
These dishes represent the resting lineolated parakeets daily buffet. At the far left, a row of finely diced warm yam, papaya, apple, seedless green grapes, and cantaloupe, then a row of thawed frozen mixed veggies, followed by a row of fresh sprouts and finally a bed of warm rice and bean mix sprinkled with finely chopped carrot and broccoli.
(I'm getting hungry!)
Each pair of breeding lineolated parakeets is provided with a morning plate of diced fruits and veggies surrounding warm rice and bean mix fresh sprouts and warm finely chopped hard boiled egg. If the pair is feeding chicks, they also receive an early evening plate as well. They all get a little millet seed daily, in the evening before bed as well, and have pellets available at all times.
The daily morning ritual. Some days I think I should just open a restaurant for birds! These dishes are left for no longer than 2-3 hours in a cage as bacteria will then begin to grow. They're run through the dishwasher on a sani rinse cycle to thoroughly clean them for the next day's use. I really like the clear glass plates that I found at a local dollar store... cheap, clean up well and if you break one... it's only a 50 cent loss! (Most of the ceramic dishes I use are also from dollar stores.)
Other important factors in keeping the parrots looking their best is regular spray showers, done with a mister while the parrot is in it's cage, except for Jazz, my blue and gold macaw hen... she gets her shower sitting on a bath stool in the tub with the warm gentle shower on her! (pardon me!) Showers encourage preening which makes the bird glow! The little linnies, the tiels and the duskies all spread their wings out as far as they can go to catch every drop. I find the South American species especially love their baths and can't seem to get wet enough! (The caiques used go down to their water bowl if I stop misting and dunk their heads under the water! I think they were part fish!)
Also, fresh water is a must and is monitored a few times a day and changed at least twice and sometimes more often if soiled. Some of my parrots are "soup" makers and love to dunk and drop their food and pellets into their water which of course has to then be changed. I also add a few drops of apple cider vinegar (from the health food store or department such as in Zehrs or Value Mart... the kind with the goop at the bottom - raw, unpasturized) to all the bird's drinking water and also to the babies handfeeding formula. The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are many and it adds a slightly acidic component to their gut making it an environment difficult for bacterial growth.
Left: Cockatiel breeder's fresh plate. Served 2x a day if feeding a clutch up to 5 babies, more than 5 chicks in nest, then they get this plate 3x a day!
Right: Cockatiels in the flight cages receive these dishes of fresh foods 2x a week. They also get 100% whole wheat bread
and egg once a week and greens (romaine, store bought dandelion leaves or broccoli) 2-3x a week.
Please note... we don't feed any nuts in shells any longer due to the risk of fungus poisoning from mold that grows inside the shell and putrifies the nutmeat. Instead, we offer raw almonds and/or seed mixes... those without sunflower or safflower seed which can be addictive and are fattening.
Many of our birds have now been switched over to water bottles which is much cleaner as they can't throw food into it. Water bottles can be found in the rodent section of most stores that have a pet department. Ours came from Walmart. They are attached to the cage with plastic cable ties which can be lowered to remove the bottle, and raised back up to secure a freshly filled one. To introduce your parrot to a water bottle, hang one above his regular water dish initially and eventually, curiosity will take over and he'll peck at it, releasing some water and soon enough he'll get the idea. Once he's drinking from the water bottle regularly, begin to remove the water dish for increasingly longer periods of time, eventually eliminating it entirely. A parrot that has learned to drink from a water bottle will show others how it's done!