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Parrot Nutrition, Diet and Feeding Discuss parrot nutrition, diets, foods and feeding.

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cockatiel Loves Nuts

Donald, our cockatiel, loves nuts. He's especially fond of bits of walnut from the shell, and he adores cashews.

I am a little concerned about the cashews, as they are in a container with other assorted nuts and they have salt in them. Donald will eat bits of cashew, then fly to the water glass and drink three slugs of water; Donald isn't usually much of a water drinker.

The walnut pieces that he eats don't make him drink.

I know that nuts are generally healthy (salt aside) and contain protein, but they also contain fat, don't they?

Do you give your birds nuts? If so, how often and how much do you allow your birds to consume nutty treats?

Any input/advice would be appreciated.

"All animals wearing fur, feathers and scales are angels. Birds are special angels. They already have their wings."
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 12:22 PM



 
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Salted nuts aren't good for birds so I would try and find some plain nuts in the shell for your tiel Donald. I would also limit the amount you give to your bird as nuts can be fatty (although some say the fat is good fat - maybe for humans) but it may not be so good for a smaller bird.

I had a tiel that died because it pigged out on sunflower seeds too much, she would pick out those seeds before eating anything else. Despite putting her on a healthy diet the damage was done and she had a heart attack, my avian did a necropsy and said she had fatty liver disease as well which was because of her poor diet and her overeating the sunflower seeds.

Christmas is coming and a lot of our grocery stores will be selling nuts in the shell so you will find what you need soon enough.





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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 01:38 PM


 
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Hi Dodo,
please don't feed Donald salty nuts.
Salt can damage parrots' kidneys.

Nuts in general are very fatty, and especially cockatiels tend to get fatty liver desease.
In nature they use to eat grass seeds which contain almost no fat.
What else do you feed Donald?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply.

I appreciate it.

How is it that some small parrots, budgies, lovies, tiels, etc. succumb to fatty liver disease so readily, whether eating nuts or not? Is it because they are on a basically all-seed diet?

We once had a pet kakariki, Mr. Peepers, and I loved our Sneak with all my heart. We adopted her from a pet store when she was about seven months old.

She passed at the age of two and a half years old, fatty liver disease. It broke my heart when I lost her. She and I had a very strong bond. Most pet stores don't sell karakiki anymore, as they can often die young for inexplicable reasons and are best left in the wild.

That bird hated men!

I suspected that someone who worked there, a male, wasn't very kind to her.

Sneak was on display on top of her cage and all sorts of people would go by, and some would poke and prod at her, I noticed, especially kids.

I felt I had no choice. I wanted to get her out of that situation, so I took her home with me.

OMG, when she saw Mr. Dodo, she flew to a high ledge in our old apartment and just screamed. She went ballistic.

It took a good few months for her to warm up to Mr. Dodo, which she never entirely did, but she could be in the same room he was in without freaking out.

We had a talking budgie at the time, Newman. He was a singly kept budgie, and once he clapped eyes on Sneak, he fell in love with her. This is a true birdie soap opera.

"Sneak!" he'd yell. "Sneak-y!" and the little robot voice would reverberate down the hall.

Of course, Sneak would have none of it. She loathed him.

Sneak pecked out a hole in our kitchen blinds and liked to chill by the window by herself. Here she is with the smitten Newman. She doesn't like him invading her space at all.



Sneak has had it! "I warned you!"


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Last edited by Dodo; 10-18-2015 at 01:58 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-18-2015, 06:16 PM



 
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SNEAKY WAS AWESOME! I love what she did to your blinds..... I bet that kept her busy for a while.

I've heard from lots of people about the relationships they experienced with their kak's and their budgies. The budgies were bullies to their kaks, all my friends had bad experiences with their buds and their kaks so it warms my heart to see Newman liked your bird.

Yes, seed diets are the bane of health problems for most small birds. Fatty liver disease is the norm and sadly a death sentence for most. I had a canary called Mr Peepers who had fatty liver disease due to the first 2 years of his life in a small cage eating only one type of seed.

He lacked fresh veggies and he never flew in 2 years of his life so he couldn't exercise to help keep him healthier. I had to sprout his seeds for him and he was offered a huge amount of green organic veggies daily which he ate well.

But the poor Peepers was such a seed pig he would fly over to SPX's cage and root around under the papers on the cage bottom looking for seeds that SPX dropped. He would also fly under the cage looking for stray seeds. Sadly he succumbed to his illness despite what I did for him daily.

Fatty liver disease isn't easy to see when its harming our birds right away, it seems to be when the disease has taken its toll we notice signs and only have a little time with them once we do notice what's wrong.






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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 01:20 PM


 
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Seeds themselves are not the problem.
But people feed too large an amount and too many oil seeds.
And they give up too eary when parrots refuse to eat fresh food.

Would you like to tell what Donald's diet is like?
Do you feed pellets?
Does he like fruits, veggies and greens?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 03:45 PM


 
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As Karin has said it is not the seeds that are a problem. In the wild budgies, cockatiels and other parrots eat a mainly seed diet. But they do get much more exercise than cage birds often having to fly long distances from roosting/nesting sites to feed and also to drink. This exercise just cannot be reproduced in captivity. Birds that live in aviaries fare much better than birds in smaller cages even if they are able to come out of the cage for exercise.

As to your original question, salted nuts are not good. But saying that birds do eat and need a certain amount of salt in the wild. There are natural salt licks that the birds will use. But these licks are not just sodium, there are other minerals in the licks and they are entirely different to the sodium we use in our diet of which too much is also dangerous for humans. The salt we mainly use is distilled from sea water but there are other "Gourmet" salts out there now. My Aviculture supplier has a range of nuts in the shell that I can get. Care needs to be taken with peanuts in the shell as they can have a mold which can be dangerous so I steer clear of them now. But almonds in the shell are a favourite. These are a treat so it is only one occasionally. Larger parrots can manage walnuts in the shell, one of my Sulfur Crested Cockatoos figured out how to crack them open himself. You can also buy Fruit and Nut mixes for birds and the nuts in these are unsalted and an be given as a treat. But they are an occasional thing and not an everyday diet thing. Larger parrots like Macaws can open Brazil nuts on their own. For smaller birds nuts in the shell have to be cracked open for them.
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