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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Parrot Poo Question

Hey guys!
I have a weird question!
And yes it's about poo! hehehe

So our Quaker Parrot is currently on a mixture of seed and pellet.
We are using the same brands that he had at Petco since this is his first week with us. We wanted to help keep his diet the same while he adjusts.
His pellet food is brightly colored, Red, Green, yellow etc. I have noticed that his poo has been a range of colors from Green, to red, to even a blue. Is this from the colored pellets?
(He's getting his first check up next week with an Avian vet)
But i was curious for other parrots on those pellet diets see the same thing?
I know what to look for in budgie poo! hehehe but the Parrot poo is different with his diet.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 02:19 PM


 
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Amber, I'm afraid such colorful pellets are not very healthy.
I would try Harrison Pellets although they are a bit more expensive.
Can you post what seed mix you offer?
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 02:19 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyGyrl View Post
Hey guys!
I have a weird question!
And yes it's about poo! hehehe

So our Quaker Parrot is currently on a mixture of seed and pellet.
We are using the same brands that he had at Petco since this is his first week with us. We wanted to help keep his diet the same while he adjusts.
His pellet food is brightly colored, Red, Green, yellow etc. I have noticed that his poo has been a range of colors from Green, to red, to even a blue. Is this from the colored pellets?
(He's getting his first check up next week with an Avian vet)
But i was curious for other parrots on those pellet diets see the same thing?
I know what to look for in budgie poo! hehehe but the Parrot poo is different with his diet.
Yes, his beautiful rainbow poops can be from the colored pellets he eats... I feed Zupreem fruity and get a lot of reddish poops from my tiel and conure.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Amber, I'm afraid such colorful pellets are not very healthy.
I would try Harrison Pellets although they are a bit more expensive.
Can you post what seed mix you offer?
This is the mix they were giving him at the petstore. We were trying to keep his diet the same until he adjusts to the new home (we just brought him home 12/4) but he seems to be adjusting well. Perhaps we can start changing his diet over quicker. I have heard good things about Harrisons. Which size is ideal for a Quaker Parrot? I know the Super fine is ideal for budgies.

Here is the mix he is already used to:



The seed mix has some sunflower seeds but he doesn't seem to be overeating them. He is good about eating a variety and the pellets. (I know you have to be careful with sunflower seeds as fatty seeds)

He has a vet appointment scheduled on 12/19 (thursday) just to get him checked out and get to know the avian vet. Luckily they are only 10 minutes from our house.

We are having a nasty cold snap and had ice for 5 days (in texas that means almost everything shuts down) and should be a little warmer too by the time his appointment is.
I'm just being a paranoid bird mom and want to be sure he doesn't get sick!
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 09:15 PM


 
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Originally Posted by GreyGyrl View Post
This is the mix they were giving him at the petstore. We were trying to keep his diet the same until he adjusts to the new home (we just brought him home 12/4) but he seems to be adjusting well. Perhaps we can start changing his diet over quicker. I have heard good things about Harrisons. Which size is ideal for a Quaker Parrot? I know the Super fine is ideal for budgies.

Here is the mix he is already used to:



The seed mix has some sunflower seeds but he doesn't seem to be overeating them. He is good about eating a variety and the pellets. (I know you have to be careful with sunflower seeds as fatty seeds)

He has a vet appointment scheduled on 12/19 (thursday) just to get him checked out and get to know the avian vet. Luckily they are only 10 minutes from our house.

We are having a nasty cold snap and had ice for 5 days (in texas that means almost everything shuts down) and should be a little warmer too by the time his appointment is.
I'm just being a paranoid bird mom and want to be sure he doesn't get sick!
It's true colored pellets aren't ideal, but some parrots will only eat the colored ones. If that's all he'll eat, than it is better than no pellets at all. None of my birds care for harrisons pellets. They will eat the harrisons bird bread tho. Mine all like roudybush best and I have tried harrisons pellets, as well as TOPs and goldenfeast go'nobles. All were no goes except roudybush. I would try a natural colored one (those mentioned above or zupreem naturals) but if he won't eat them, it is important he has some pellets so I'd give him the colored ones if that's all he'll eat. Harrisons and roudybush give samples if you request it threw their website. Mine came within a week or so after requesting it. They ask your what bird you have and send you the appropriate size. If he doesn't like what ever pellets you get, it doesn't have to waste. I ground mine into a powder in the food processor and then sprinkle over the seed, put it in bird bread or veggie mash, etc. Oh and yes, it will change the color of the poo...that is normal.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 02:38 PM


 
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Yes, it is because of the artificial colorings. But Quakers are such excellent eaters that you don't really need to feed them pellets. They can get all their vitamins and minerals from whole grains, veggies, fruits and greens (try offering fresh corn on the cob very lightly steamed and you'll see). I don't feed pellets at all and my birds all do great. I've done a lot of research on avian diets over the years (I had canaries my whole life but started with parrots 20 years ago) and I am convinced pellets are not the healthiest choice for birds, fresh food is much better for them.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 04:35 PM


 
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The seed mixture looks quite fine, but I would say it is too rich for Quakers.
Why don't you change to this one?

http://www.petco.com/product/110121/..._HealthySelect

It also contains vitamins, and enzyms, so in my opinion it's not necessary to feed your guy these artificially colored pellets if he acccepts fruit and veggies.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 06:43 PM


 
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Throw my two cents worth in!

We all seem to agree that the colouring in the pellets is passing through. So I would be checking that they are natural ones not just a lot of numbers.
If you are going with pellets then do some research into what is in them. Even natural colouring may come out in their poohs.

I am against most pellets as they are mainly made up of ground corn or soy which has no food value, so would I feed any bird this?
I even steer clear of any seed mix that has been adulterated.
If you want a excellent food source then I would think about sprouting. This is a most excellent food source, full of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements, and not messed around with by man.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys this is all great info!
So far from watching Rio he doesn't seem too picky so I think I can switch him over to just about any diet or mix.
The colored pellets, i'm too keen on and plus it is kinda weird seeing him poop rainbows! :P
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 10:10 PM
 
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My parrotlet LOVES his Roudybush pellets! He gets a wide variety of fresh veggies and fruit daily as well though, and seeds, millet and Harrison's bird bread sparingly. I will give him healthy table foods like couscous, scrambled eggs or quinoa when we them for dinner. I'm very fortunate that my bird readily eats anything! I like to go with the "variety is key" side of the avian nutrition debate.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 12:36 AM
 
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Rainbow food = Rainbow poo! I about had a heart attack today when the Linnie's went after decimating their salad that had red bell pepper in it! Looked like blood! Not to mention they both still look like zombie birds from eating raspberries the other day, red beaks and feet!

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 07:00 AM



 
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Yes, his rainbow poops are definitely from the pellets. I had a horrible shock when I saw that my cockatoo's stools were red! I thought I'd have to rush him straight to the vet but then it hit me

I agree with Clive and Bibi. I think a lot of people assume that because pellets are formulated to be specifically for birds then that makes them okay, however, I think they're too unnatural for a birds diet. Feeding birds chop, sprouts, seeds and nuts, fresh fruits and veggies, is a simpler, more natural way to give them what they need. If you're going to feed any pellets, I recommend Harrison's (I'd say Fine would be the best size for a quaker) or TOPs. You want 100% certified organic. What I did with my organic pellets was grind them up and mix them in with their fresh chop. That way they don't just have to eat boring pellets
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 10:21 AM
 
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Hey Amber Confirming the above - dyed pellets definitely color bird poop - problem with that, it can be difficult to identify dropping changes that indicate health problems. I don't like them because of artificial coloring. A pellet based diet is only PART of a healthy diet, so adding fresh (organic if possible) veggies and fruits are essential for health. Many parrots will take to broccoli, sugar snap peas in the shell, green beans, peas, carrots, sweet red peppers and the like. Cherries, pomegranate seeds, papaya, oranges, apples, beans, brown rice, whole shell nuts (in moderation), sweet potatoes and grapes are also ideal for nutrition. I have been adapting my rescue Cockatoo from a strictly seed mix diet (horrid for them!) to fresh food for the last month. Whatever you introduce, eat FIRST in front of your parrot (insert yummy sounds here!), and they are more likely to try the offering. Yes, lots of stuff hits the floor, but I keep adding them to her dish - eventually she is recognizing fresh offerings as food, or gets used to the taste as it's flavor touches other stuff in the bowl she DOES like Seeds are high in fat - some parrots need more than others, so I'd look for Quaker Parrot sites that address proper diet balance. Some species (Cockatoos) can develop weight/reproductive issues from too much fat in the diet. My guys get bits of hard boiled egg, cooked chicken, even tofu! Diet conversion is a slow process, so I suggest to start slowing mixing in new pellets (Zupreem organic and Harrisons are great) with current feed, then increase new ratio a bit at a time. Some will take to new organic pellets more quickly by mixing with a little apple juice - they are not as sweet as colored pellets so expect some time for adjustment. Congrats on your new baby!

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 11:18 AM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherylcat54 View Post
Hey Amber Confirming the above - dyed pellets definitely color bird poop - problem with that, it can be difficult to identify dropping changes that indicate health problems. I don't like them because of artificial coloring. A pellet based diet is only PART of a healthy diet, so adding fresh (organic if possible) veggies and fruits are essential for health. Many parrots will take to broccoli, sugar snap peas in the shell, green beans, peas, carrots, sweet red peppers and the like. Cherries, pomegranate seeds, papaya, oranges, apples, beans, brown rice, whole shell nuts (in moderation), sweet potatoes and grapes are also ideal for nutrition. I have been adapting my rescue Cockatoo from a strictly seed mix diet (horrid for them!) to fresh food for the last month. Whatever you introduce, eat FIRST in front of your parrot (insert yummy sounds here!), and they are more likely to try the offering. Yes, lots of stuff hits the floor, but I keep adding them to her dish - eventually she is recognizing fresh offerings as food, or gets used to the taste as it's flavor touches other stuff in the bowl she DOES like Seeds are high in fat - some parrots need more than others, so I'd look for Quaker Parrot sites that address proper diet balance. Some species (Cockatoos) can develop weight/reproductive issues from too much fat in the diet. My guys get bits of hard boiled egg, cooked chicken, even tofu! Diet conversion is a slow process, so I suggest to start slowing mixing in new pellets (Zupreem organic and Harrisons are great) with current feed, then increase new ratio a bit at a time. Some will take to new organic pellets more quickly by mixing with a little apple juice - they are not as sweet as colored pellets so expect some time for adjustment. Congrats on your new baby!
I agree with Cheryl. There is a lot of controversy on pellets versus seeds. Parrots in the wild have so many different diets and it is impossible for us to study 300+ species to see what they eat. But seeds are not fresh and so many of the nutrients are numbed. Additionally our birds are often times not outside enough to get enough sunlight to make their own vit d. Based on that, my philosophy is to cover all of my bases-pellets being an important one of those bases. They have added vitamins and minerals so if the other items I am offering are lacking in something, I am hoping I can fall back on the few pellets consumed each day to meet the nutritional gap. So my birds get some seeds, some pellets, healthy grains and legumes, plenty of vegetables and fruit everyday. Providing a variety of all these things is also critically important because then they can get various vitamins and minerals from one thing that wasn't in another.

It sounds like it shouldn't be too hard if your Rio isn't picky. It makes it much easier to sleep at night knowing they are getting what they need because they eat everything you give them. My linnie is like that but my budgie is quite the picky one. Since she is female, I get especially worried about her due to potential egg binding and not having enough vits and mins.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 12:19 PM



 
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Just a note in about one of the above responses, it's not just cockatoos that can suffer from fatty diets. Galah cockatoos and Amazons seem to be the worst for it, however I believe that macaws need diets which a much higher fat content. It depends on the species, but all birds need to be monitored. Fatty liver disease killed a 20 year old dusky lory I adopted
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Let me tell a story about pellets versus fresh food with a bit of lower protein seed mix and nuts diet. In August 2012, I took in a 17 year old Lesser sulfur crested cockatoo which had been fed pellets. He was a bit too small for his species but the poor thing had lived all his life in a cockatiel cage and when I took him to the vet, all blood work came back normal so I figured that's the way he was. He started a late molt that year because he had not been kept to a solar schedule so his glandular system had to first catch-up before it could signal it was time to molt so his molt was not complete but he had been switched to a fresh food diet and, as he took to it like a fish to water and was taking his liver supplements, I had no worries.

This year, he started his molt exactly at the right time and 2 or 3 weeks into it, I started noticing a change in his looks. It wasn't only the new pretty feathers which I was expecting, it was orangey yellow cheek patches where he had none before, it was the same orangey yellow in his new crest feathers and a lovely (and I do mean absolutely lovely!) yellow suffusion in his entire body! And that's when it hit me! He was NOT an LSC, he had just lived disguised as one for 17 years and it took the fresh food diet to bring out the Citron in him! And I can't wait until next year when he will molt the other half and he will finally reveal his true colors! There is no pellet, colored, organic or whatever like a fresh food diet for parrots.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh Wow Bibi!
That's cool though to see such pretty colors come out!

So far Rio seems to be a good eater. He is eating some of the fresh fruits and veggies but when he catches me seeing him eat he immediately wants to come out and play! I have to be sneaker to see exactly what he is eating. (I do know he likes Apples, since he ate that from our hand the first day)

I did write to Harrison's and told them about the bird type I have. They are going to send over a free sample

We also will have his first vet visit in a week and i'm curious what they will say about his overall health, weight etc. I don't have a bird scale (but saw one on Amazon and added to the wishlist!) So I don't know exactly what he weighs. He seems to look well and he's been eating. I think his feathers will look even better when he's on a better diet too. I know he's finishing up a molt but already the new feathers are much brighter and i'm betting his blue will really shine once we have a good balance for him.

He seems to like to eat a good mix of pellet, seed and fruit/veggies. I'm glad he'll eat a variety. Now I just want to be sure we are good parrot parents and give him the right balance and mix
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Get a cheap digital kitchen scale. Those parrot ones are just kitchen scales with perches. I spent 80 on a new one for my birds of prey, ended up buying the scale at the bottom for about 5


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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 06:56 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyGyrl View Post
Oh Wow Bibi!
That's cool though to see such pretty colors come out!

So far Rio seems to be a good eater. He is eating some of the fresh fruits and veggies but when he catches me seeing him eat he immediately wants to come out and play! I have to be sneaker to see exactly what he is eating. (I do know he likes Apples, since he ate that from our hand the first day)

I did write to Harrison's and told them about the bird type I have. They are going to send over a free sample

We also will have his first vet visit in a week and i'm curious what they will say about his overall health, weight etc. I don't have a bird scale (but saw one on Amazon and added to the wishlist!) So I don't know exactly what he weighs. He seems to look well and he's been eating. I think his feathers will look even better when he's on a better diet too. I know he's finishing up a molt but already the new feathers are much brighter and i'm betting his blue will really shine once we have a good balance for him.

He seems to like to eat a good mix of pellet, seed and fruit/veggies. I'm glad he'll eat a variety. Now I just want to be sure we are good parrot parents and give him the right balance and mix
I bought my gram scale for less than $10 on amazon. I just put my birds in a small bowl with a millet (zero the scale out before putting the bird in) and then weigh them. They don't jump out because they are too interested in the millet, lol.
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