Sunflower Seeds - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Nutrition, Diet and Feeding Discuss parrot nutrition, diets, foods and feeding.
Thread Description: Are they bad?

 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Sunflower Seeds

So I have been told and read multiple times that sunflower seeds make birds hyper active and aggressive. So I have always stuck to safflower blends. However I have noticed that a number of members feed them. Is this a false myth? Does anyone know of any studies that have been done on it that I can take a look at? I really appreciate any input!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2012, 11:31 PM
 
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No sunflower seeds aren't bad but should be given in moderation cos they very fatty a all seed diet is bad for your birds health. They should be fed pellets fruit veggies some protein and a few seeds.. in nature I've never seen a birds sitting by a sunflower eating the seeds I've seen them eating fruits and worms and plants and veggies a all around good diet is the best.. There are exceptions like macaws they need quite a bit of fat in there diet cos in nature they eat a lot of nuts and so on...
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-12-2012, 11:57 PM


 
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Jen is correct. Sunflower seeds aren't bad, per-say, but they shouldn't be a regular part of the diet as they are too high in fat content for most birds (Macaws are an exception).



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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 12:57 AM


 
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My seed mixes all have sunflower seeds in them, in moderation they are good for birds. The other thing you have to be careful about though with sunflowers seeds is that they raise your body temp, so in summer too many can be harmful.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 01:37 AM



 
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As said above, they have way too much fat content to be given all of the time. They work great as a treat!

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 01:41 AM


 
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Think of them as parrot chips or fries.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 02:36 AM
 
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I give them as treats to Duke when I'm working on training behaviours to him, as he LOVES them, and because he doesnt get them everyday, he definitely pays attention when I bring them out!



A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 05:20 AM
 
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If your bird is active, they can have more fat like with humans. They are not bad in moderation for an active bird. Watching your birds weight is important.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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All great answers so far!



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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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I agree with everyone. Moderation is key.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 05:09 PM


 
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It also depends on the type of sunflower seed. There are now three types, Grey Stripe which is what should be fed to birds and is not as bad as everyone thinks and not as high in fat. This is the type that can be found de-hulled and sold as a health food snack.

Then there is Black Sunflower. This is an oilseed and what they produce Sunflower Oil from. This one should not be fed to birds. It is much higher in fat. This is often used in bird seed mixes as it is cheaper and more readily available.

The new third type is Black Stripe which is a cross between the black and the grey stripe. Not as high in fat as the black but not as low as grey stripe. This can be fed to birds in small quantities and is preferable to the black.

The mix I use contains grey stripe sunflower at a ratio of around 10%, I feed it to all my birds from the budgies right up to the Cockatoo's. I certainly have no problems with using it and don't have any obese birds from it.

Fed in moderation grey stripe sunflower seed is fine.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 06:49 PM


 
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Great info Kate

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 01:04 PM
 
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I also use seed mixes as a treat and for a reward for good behavior. Getting your bird on a pellet food is a must if you aren't already doing so. With added fresh fruits and veggies, your bird will have a balanced diet. Some things to consider with pellet choices are age, activity, size, and weight. Some have ingredients that are specific for these catagories. I have information about the different foods at my site along with how to get them. I look foward to hearing more stories about your feathered friend.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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What Kate and Jen have said As to the hyperactivity and aggression, every bird is different and from my experience greys and amazons are most affected by sunflower seeds in this way - my vet explained it to me as a fatty, caffeinated snack for birds. In some people, lots of caffeine has little reaction, some get hyper, some get wigged out. Same thing with birds. The safest bet, as with all things in your birds diet, is to just do it in moderation



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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the great information everybody! Please no one worry he is not on a seed only diet, but I do buy seed mix to make up about 20% of his diet. Now on a separate note what do you guys think about the roudybush pellets for a green cheek? 6 months old.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 12:23 AM
 
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I think they are a fantastic pellet, I got into them when my boss, and breeder, used them and he has been using them for years with great success. My birds have always done very good on it, the quality is great, and they are a very affordable pellet option I would do the smalls or crumbles, crumbles may be best



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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2012, 01:07 AM
 
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Roudybush = A++++.... you get the point! lol

KC my severe macaw when I got her was eating nothing but the grey striped sunflower seeds, and was LOOPY. For a fidgety bird like them, not the best idea...



A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
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