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Breeder's of Eclectus Parrots, Timneh African Grey, Great Billed Parrot, Cape Parrot

No Pellets...Is it Better for Your Bird?

(These links take you out of this website so you may wish to bookmark this site)

The Importance of Phytonutrients
Mash Diet by Alicia McWatters
Avian Diet by HolisticBird.Org
Why Food is Better Than Pellets by Alicia McWatters
Sprouted Seeds: The Living Treasures by Alicia McWatters
Fight Malnutrition With Table Foods - Robert Clipsham, DVM; Bird Breeder
About Avian Nutrition
Sprouted Seeds 
Diet & Feather Picking
Greening Of The Parrot Diet - Carolyn Swicegood
Diet & Feeding Your Bird by Barberton Veterinarian Clinic
Parrots, Produce & Pesticides by Carolyn Swicegood
Are Pellets a Panacea? 
Teach Your Bird To Forage
Vegetable Nutrition Charts
Sound Nutrition by Margaret Wright
Avian Nutrition by Dr. Adrian Gallagher
Sprouting for the Aviculturalist
Benefits of a Base Diet
The Aging Process
Recipes

Pesticides on Foods

A listing of pesticide use on various foods.

20 Things You Must Know About Nutrition  Foraging
Microwave Health  if you use the microwave to heat up food you should read this.  
Natural Life Magazine
Mercola Report
     
 
 
 

Pomegranates

Eclectus LOVE pomegranates!!!  

November is the time of year to find them in your local grocery store.  They are red and larger than a apple.  They are a fruit.  Just cut them up and serve.  

To freeze them, separate all the little red seeds and put them into freezer bags.  This way we are able to feed pomegranates year round.  

Pomegranates are considered to be anti-viral as well as have many nutritional benefits such as:

399 mg. Potassium

12 mg. Phosphorus

6 mg. Vitamin C

5 mg. Calcium

5 mg. Sodium

2 mg. Magnesium

.5 mg. Iron

Trace of Vitamin A

Our Eclectus Parrots Diet

60% Fresh Veggies & Fruit.  (red, green, orange fruits & veggies).  Mix at least 15 different types each morning.  I cut up a bunch and refrigerate for 3 days. 

NOT avocado or rhubarb.  

Corn on the cob is once a week, more if breeding.  These can be frozen raw and then used throughout the year. 

 

Acorn Squash

Alfalfa Powder

Aloe

Almonds

Apple

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apricot

Banana

Barley

Barley Grass

Basil

Bean soup mix

Sprouts

Beans

Beet greens

Butter beans

Blackberries

Blueberries

Bok Choy

Broccoli

Brown Rice

Buckwheat

Butternut Squash

Cabbage

Capsicum

Carrot & Greens

Cauliflower

Celery

All types of Chard

Chick peas

Cinnamon

Corn (on the cob)

Field Corn

Collard Greens

Cranberries

Dandelion

Dill

Flax Seed, ground

Garlic

Ginger root

Grapes

Green Beans, Yellow

GSE

Guava

Hemp Seed Meal

Honeydew Melon

Hot (chili) peppers

Hubbard Squash

Jicama

Kale

Kiwifruit

Leeks

Lentils

Lima Beans

Mango

Mulberries

Millet

Mung Bean Sprouts

Mustard Greens

Navy Beans

Nectarine

Oat Groats

Oregano

Parsley

Parsnips

Passionfruit, cut in ½

Pasta

Pawpaw

Papaya

Peach

Pear/ Nashi pear

Peas

Peppers, also seeds

Pine Nuts

Pineapple

Pinto Beans

Plums

Pomegranate, in shell Pumpkin w/seeds

Quinoa

Raspberries

Red Beans

Red Cabbage

Rice

Rock Melon

Schizandra Berries

Sesame Seeds

Split Peas

Squash

Star Fruit

Strawberries

Sweet Potato

Tamarillo

Tofu

Tomatoes

Turnip & Greens

Water Cress

Wheat Grass Powder

Wild Rice

Yam

Zucchini Squash

Whatever is in season

10% Cooked bean/veggie mix:  (see recipes)

We use a cooked bean/veggie mix for protein.  You could also do legumes, well cooked meat & bones, fish, chicken, or hard-boiled eggs with shells.  They do not need much protein – feed sparingly.  (¼ egg once a week for a pair is plenty).  

Sprinkle with a calcium-phosphorus and vitamin A & D supplement if your birds are housed indoors and you do not feed pellets. 

30 % Soaked, Sprouted or Dry Seeds:  30 % Soaked, Sprouted or Dry Seeds:  Preferably sprouted because sprouts are nutritionally superior. For information on sprout nutrition see The Sprout People.  We add sunflower seeds and mung beans to our sprout mix as well as a spicy lentil seed mix and fenugreek seeds.  See sprout mixes.

Small Parrot Mix:  (give ½ cup every second day) 

Ingredients Amount (10 cups)
Walnut 1 cup
Peanut w/shells 1 cup
Sunflower 3/4 cup
Millet 3 cups
Canary seed 3 cups
Safflower 1/2 cup
Hulled oats 3/4 cup

 

Pellets. Substitute for the seed mix.  Pellets are a good weaning food.  We do not recommend feeding adult Eclectus pellets. 

* If you do give pellets feed no more than 9 pieces (pellets) per day.  Please use Harrisons or Roudybush as these are the two our vet would recommend at this time. 

 

Supplements:  If your bird is housed indoors supplement with a good calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A & D supplement.  This is only if you do not give pellets. 

Lighting.  Also, if your bird is housed indoors please provide UV lighting for your bird.  The glass in windows blocks out the UV rays in the sun’s light.  The birds need these to be able to digest calcium and other nutrients.

DIET PLAN FOR ECLECTUS (NO PELLETS)

HERE IS A SUMMARY OF DIET GUIDELINES FOR FEEDING ECLECTUS:  based on my observations and experiences of keeping and raising eclectus at "OUT OF THE BLUE"...   STEFANJA

with a very special 'Thank you' to my eclectus angel flock, Roza, Vairdee and Tosca, who taught me so much while they graced me with their lives.

AMOUNTS SUGGESTED ARE APPROXIMATE FOR A SINGLE ECLECTUS

MORNING

One Heaping TBSP of Freshly Prepared Sprouts (all of my birds without exception eat every single sprout I give them and it is the first food to be eaten...it is a living food).  My sprout mixes vary but ALWAYS contain sunflower seeds and mung beans...which are both outstanding sources of lecithin (a key building block of cell membranes; without it, they would harden.  Lecithin protects cells from oxidation and is also a fat emulsifier)... Pumpkin seeds are also most often included.  For Sprout Mixes
One Heaping TBSP of Chopped Fresh VeggiesI choose groups of five or more and run them through the processor until they are chopped.  Some typical groupings that I offer...no reason other than they are fresh and available:
bulletBroccoli stem peeled, peas in edible pods, swiss chard leaf and stem, red pepper flesh...seeds served whole, raw carrot.
bulletCelery stalk with leaves, fresh green beans, salad mix with a variety of greens, raw butternut squash...seeds set aside to add whole.
bulletZucchini, peas in edible pods, baby bok choy with flowers, bit of raw carrot, several raw green beans, sprig or two of parsley.

When they are available you can also offer edible flowers...broccoli going to flower is great, rapa rapinni is an Italian green that flowers.  Use only flowers you know to be edible...ask if you don't know.

Other choices for greens include dandelion, kale, collard, romaine lettuce... vary the offerings and you can even offer individual leaves intact woven in the cage bars during the day.

I seldom feed corn in any form to my eclectus.  They enjoy small amounts of frozen organic corn thawed or corn on the cob when it is seasonal.  I have never put it in my sprout mix.

The above items are mixed together in a bowl with a good squirt of ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (or lemon juice, or orange juice).

To each dish I include additionally...

One Tsp (equivalent) of FRUIT.  One fruit is a berry and the other is not.  As an example this morning mine had blueberries and fresh mango slice.  I do not offer dried fruit unless I have dried it myself.  Too many chemicals are used in the process mainly sulphur and often they are sugared as well.

Excellent fruit choices for eclectus are in BERRIES:  raspberries, blueberries, black berries, black and red currants, etc.  I only use strawberries if they are organic or I have grown them myself.

OTHER FRUITS are kiwi, papaya (both with seeds...eclectus love seedy fruit!), grape with seeds, apple, pear, mango, banana... (again choose organic or don't feed), guava, ...and this is just listing what I can get.   There may be other fruits available where you live that you could offer.  DO NOT feed avocado.

Graham Taylor who has studied and observed eclectus in the wild in northern Australia says that they are fruit eaters and consequently he feeds his captive flock a large portion of their diet as fresh and also local fruit.

On top of the veggie/sprout mix I add the following source(s) of essential fatty acids nearly every day...

1/4 Tsp of FLAXSEED MEAL over this meal for its healthy fats.  Flax is very high in Omega 3 fatty acids which are NOT found in any cooked or processed food including all pellets.

Just lately (winter months) I have been offering a scant 1/16 tsp. of UDO OIL, a balanced source of essential fatty acids in place of the flax meal.  You could also substitute about 1/4 tsp. of HEMP SEED MEAL instead of the Flax Seed Meal.  Hemp is also a balanced source of essential fatty acids.

If you like to use all of these sources of Omega fatty acids they can be alternated throughout the week.

Please note that ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFA's), especially the Omega 3's ARE ESSENTIAL...NOT OPTIONAL...COMBINED WITH THE NATURALLY OCCURRING VITAMIN E IN DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES, NUTS, SEEDS, LEGUMES AND WHOLE GRAINS, ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS KEEP TE BLOOD THIN AND LOWER LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS (LDL's) the major transporter of cholesterol in the blood stream and likely the culprit that deposits cholesterol in the arteries.  See bottom of the page for more information on EFA's.  

I add the following for each eclectus twice a week:
bulletCalcium/magnesium/Vitamin D supplement... 1/2 capsule of the Solaray Calcium/Magnesium/Vitamin D3          OR
bullet1/4 tsp. of SuperAbsorbeze from Nature's Life (no more than twice a week unless a hen is laying and then only daily after she has laid, for an incubation period of 30 days).

Throughout the week I offer the following natural supplements in rotation.  These "green" supplements can be given every day.

bulletAlfalfa Powder (a pinch or 1/8 tsp. per bird)
bulletWheat Grass freeze dried (a pinch or 1/8 tsp. per bird)
bulletBarley Grass (a pinch or 1/8 tsp. per bird)

 

MID DAY SNACK

A little extra fruit such as a slice of apple, a nut such as an almond or 1/4 a walnut in a shell.  Another is a fresh deep green leaf, or fresh twigs with leaves and bark to strip (fresh willow branches are abundant here ...and appreciated), a stick of celery, or a skewer with fresh veggies/fruit.

 

AFTERNOON/EVENING MEAL (This meal is warm)

One Heaping TBSP of a Grain/Bean.  In the evening I will put on a combination of dry grain and a bean or legume to soak for approx. twelve hours.  I measure a cup of dry, let it soak for the 10 - 12 hours, drain, and then cook for 20 minutes with one cup of liquid... anything from water to home made veggie or chicken stock.  Once cooked (the liquid should be absorbed) I freeze the extra amount putting just two days feedings (evening meal) in the fridge.

These are some combinations I use (all in equal proportions).  Note that I tend to use dry one part bean to two or most often three parts 'other than' legumes or beans:

bullet

Buckwheat, rice, quinoa, mung beans

bullet

Hulled oats, amaranth, chick peas, wild rice

bullet

Kamut, millet, quinoa, lentils

It doesn't matter what you put in.  The variety is important, as is the addition of a legume or pea to make a complete vegetable protein.

To the One TBSP of warm grain/bean mix I add:

ONE TBSP of the Chopped Veggies from the morning and /or lightly steamed orange veggie.  

I gently warm the grain mix and veggies in a little chicken stock, water or veggie juice on the stove top using approximately one part grain/bean mix to one part veggie mix.  Sometimes the veggie portion is higher than the grain mix in proportion.  I sometimes also add a little of the morning sprouts so they are just warmed.  About once or twice a week I offer corn either frozen (thawed in the warm supper food) or fresh on the cob...small amounts again.  I will often go weeks without giving it...some eclectus are very sensitive to corn and I would avoid feeding it to an eclectus that is feather picking.

Into the warm mixture in the dishes I add 1/8 tsp. of organic RED PALM OIL at least 5 days of the week.  This is an excellent source of beta carotene.

Generally NO GLUTEN CONTAINING GRAINS are offered to my eclectus at any time EIHER IN SPROUTS OR COOKED.

My 'no' list includes wheat in any form and rye.  Very occasionally they are offered a tiny piece of whole grain toast but only to those that are healthy.  My eclectus do not receive any soya beans or soya products including tofu, and yogurt made from soya beans.  About once a week I do offer the fresh soya beans called edame which are a huge favourite here.  I get them frozen and organic from the health food store and thaw them out in the evenings warm grain/bean/veggie mix.

Cayenne pepper, a little chopped fresh ginger, or other 'condiments' such as celery seed, fennel, cinnamon, turmeric or fresh garlic may be added.  

This bean/grain/veggie mix is the majority of supper.  To this I add in rotation:

1/2 Tsp. of Protein...less is even better...think garnish!

I feed 1/6 hard boiled egg with shell once a week.  Plain organic yogurt is served two to three times a week.  Edame is served once or twice a week.  Wild salmon is served once a week.  The amounts of meat protein are very very small...more like a garnish.  Very occasionally I will offer a tiny amount of free range organic chicken.  Unless you have an eclectus that is molting, egg laying and/or feeding chicks you can reduce the animal protein even further.  Remember that varying grains and legumes in cooked mixes and sprouts provide a vegetable protein source.  I never give red meat to my eclectus.  It is full of saturated fat and will elevate cholesterol.

In the event that an eclectus has elevated cholesterol, I suggest discontinuing all animal proteins including egg, and focusing on vegetable proteins which are sufficient in this diet.  Also cooked foods such as birdie bread which may contain additional oil/fat and egg should be avoided.  

In the event that your eclectus is on antibiotics I suggest BENEBAC or another PROBIOTIC be given daily.  Otherwise once a week is suggested.

 

EVENING SNACK

A scant 1/2 Tsp. of budgie Seed Mix (80% millet with no sunflower seeds...in my sprout mix already...or safflower seed) and a little additional fruit.  If no nuts were given as treats during the day, I give each bird one to two almonds or half a walnut in the shell with this evening snack.  The only 'nuts' I feed are almonds and walnuts.  Almonds are rich in the amino acid arginine and contribute to the lowering of serum cholesterol levels.  They are also excellent sources of vitamin E.  Omega 3 oil is concentrated in walnuts and flax.

 

SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS

I purchase Freeze Dried Wheat Grass Juice.  The brand I use is ADVANTAGE HEALTH MATTERS.  Another one is SWEET GRASS.  This is an excellent source of chlorophyll and I like to offer it when fresh veggies from my garden or the local market are not available and I am relying on frozen , and shipped/stored veggies.  I use about 1/2 - 1/2 the contents of the capsule (capsules are the easiest to use and keep) for each bird.  Mine eat every morsel off their food before eating anything else.  It has a very sweet pleasant taste.  Keep in the fridge and sealed.  GREEN MAGMA is an excellent barley grass powder as is the same from ORGANIKA.
Twice a week each eclectus receives either 1/2 capsule of the Solaray Calcium/Magnesium/Vit. D supplement or 1/4 tsp. of the SuperAbsorbeeze from Nature's Life depending on which one I have available.  I do this more for the vitamin D supplement than specifically for a source of calcium.  I discontinue this supplement when my birds can be outside on a regular basis primarily in the late spring, summer and sometimes early fall...about four months in all.  All of my eclectus have full spectrum light to extend daylight while they are indoors throughout those months it is too cold to be outside.
Here is a suggested schedule for whole food supplements:
SUPPLEMENTS WHEN
Garlic (1/8 tsp) Mon, Wed, Fri.
Alfalfa Leaf, Wheat Grass, Barley Grass (1/8 tsp) Alternate daily
Kelp each day a tiny amount 1/4 tsp divided over 10 days

Please note:  Do not give supplemental kelp if feeding pellets that contain seaweeds such as kelp or dulse.

I DON'T FEED ANY PELLETS AT ALL WITH THIS DIET.  IF YOU DO WANT TO FEED PELLETS THEN I WOULD SUBSTITUTE THE SUPPER GRAIN/BEAN MIX WITH A LIMITED AMOUNT OF PELLETS...NO MORE THAN 12 GRAMS FOR EACH ECLECTUS...LESS FOR THE SOLOMONS.
I have found that my eclectus do best on a diet that is varied throughout the week, and primarily uncooked.  Having Zebedee who is allergic to peanuts, most pellets are out of the questions.  Even at that I do not want my eclectus getting a daily steady diet of any one food item, such as corn or soya beans or any of the other ingredients that are in pellets.  I also am of the opinion that they do not need synthetic vitamin supplementation, particularly the vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin D3 that pellets contain, especially not every single day.

This document was prepared during January, 2006.  To the best of my knowledge at this time it covers all of the nutritional needs of an eclectus kept as a companion.  The diet is high in sprouts, fresh vegetables and fruit, with limited amounts of animal proteins, and only carefully chosen fats for their ‘essential’ and healthy impact on the functioning of the body.  The majority of the diet is raw and living.  Eliminations for feather picking parrots should be made according to the diet recommendations for plucking parrots. 

Any questions concerning this diet should be forwarded to Stefanja at email address: sskylark@shaw.ca

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) Supplementation Chart

This information and guideline is provided by Shauna and Alicia of Feeding Feathers

This chart is meant as a guideline for those who wish to know how to supplement EFA’s correctly, but please don’t worry if you feed sprouts and the amount of one of these ingredients is over what is recommended for that day – we don’t expect you to sit there counting out seeds every day!  Use only one choice from each column together (this will provide both omega 3 and omega 6, both of which are important), according to the weight of the bird.  For example if you decide to use Flax seed on a given day, then you may choose pumpkin seeds or red palm oil from the other column, or if you are feeding sprouted chia,  you could offer a piece of walnut or sesame seeds from the other column.  Try to alternate your choices. That way you will know that your bird is receiving a good amount of EFA’s overall in his diet.

Column 1 Column 2

Flax Seed

(ground)

1/4 - 1/3 tsp. up to 500 g.

1/2 - 1 tsp. over 500 g.

Sprouted Sunflower Seed

4 seeds up to 250 g.

8 seeds up to 500 g.

Hemp Seed Oil

1 drop up to 500 g.

2 drops over 500 g.

Pumpkin Seeds

1-3 seeds up to 500 g.

3-5 seeds up to 1000 g.

Sprouted Chia

Seeds

1/2 tsp. up to 500 g.

1/2 - 1 tps. over 500 g.

Sesame Seeds

1/4 - 1/3 tsp up to 500 g.

1/2 - 1 tsp. over 500 g.

Red Palm Oil

1/8 tsp. up to 250 g.

1/4 tsp. up to 500 g.

1/4 - 1/2 tsp. up to 1000 g.

Walnuts

1/8 tsp. up to 250 g.

1/4 tsp. up to 500 g.

1/3 tsp. up to 750 g.

3/4 tsp. up to 1000 g.

Notes:

Fish oils (high quality salmon oil) could be used when a bird is ill but for normal, healthy birds, a tiny piece of cooked, wild caught, deep water salmon once a week is preferable, amounts as follows:

bullet1/4 teaspoon up to 250g
bullet1/3 teaspoon up to 500g  
bullet1/2 teaspoon up to 750g
bullet3/4 teaspoon over 750g  

Red Palm oil  and Palm kernel oil are two vastly different things – please note which you are buying.

*Click on link to learn how to sprout chia seeds (this method can also be used for cress – all seeds which become “gummy” (mucilaginous) when put into water)This link will take you out of our website so you may wish to bookmark it.   Sprout Chia Seeds

For more information on nutrition and your parrot check out the Feeding Feathers Yahoo group.  

FORAGING:  It's very important for your bird.  Click here to read more about it.

 

 

The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook (Revised Ed    Read BEFORE You Buy or Adopt a Bird!    Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridg 

 

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