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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 05-17-2010, 07:37 PM Thread Starter


 
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Pizza?

I have to make my own pizza because I am allergic to gluten. Yesterday, I decided to let the birds try it. After I did, I thought that perhaps I shouldn't have. I give them all of the vegetables that were on it, and the crust is organic. I also have to watch my salt, so it wouldn't contain too much salt, but I am wondering about the cheese. Is it ok for them to have a little bit of cheese, or, if I want to include them, should I use non-dairy cheese or no cheese on whatever I give them. I can make up a separate concoction for them if necessary. I make individual toppings for the kids with what they like, anyway. I don't make it all that much, so they won't have it often, but just wondering about the cheese.

Also, does anyone know if there is a caution on chives? I may have asked this question earlier, but I can't find the answer if I did. I ask because I've heard not to give them onions because they thin the blood, or some such reason. I think chives are related to onions, but, then and again, perhaps it is only the onion bulb that thins the blood, anyway, and not the tops. The chives would be like the tops of the onions, I am assuming.

Also, what about beet tops? Would those be good for them like other greens?

Another question. I've been told not to give too much spinach. Does anyone have any idea how often would be too often to give spinach? Currently I alternate organic cale, chard, romaine, spinach, a spring mix that varies, and I am just now trying mustard greens. I'd like to find organic dandelion greens, but have been unable to. They grow in my yard, of course, but I don't know how far the farmers' chemicals around me might travel.

One last question - what do you think about offering organic dandelion tea? I love dandelion tea, and it is very good for the health. I'm not sure how I would offer it, either.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Alright, let's see here... Pizza? Just fine, limit the cheese I give mine my Pizza crust on a regular basis lol! They love it! Birds are lactose intolerant, so some cheese is ok, but not too much.

Chives? No idea...

Beet tops? Perfectly safe! We gave them to the birds in the shop all the time!! The little birds loved it!

Spinach I'm not sure... Once or twice a week? I've not heard to limit that one..

Lastly the dandelion tea, is there any caffeine? If there's no caffeine, and it's nothing but organic dandelion leaves or flowers steeped in tea, I would think it's ok as long as all parts of the dandelion are bird safe I've heard of people sharing herbal tea with their birds, being mindful of the temperature, and no caffeine



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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:48 PM Thread Starter


 
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Jenny,

No caffeine in dandelion tea. Dandelion is one of nature's perfect plants. All parts of the dandelion are healthy, roots, leaves, and flowers - but I don't know that I would give birds too many flowers because they are noted to improve sexual function so they might stimulate mating behaviors. (Never fed flowers to my sons when they were teenagers, lol)

Thanks for all of your answers.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 09:47 PM
 
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No problem! I didn't know that about flowers... is that dandelions specifically, that improve sexual function, or flowers in general? Our parrotlet gets sexually frustrated every spring, even though she has a mate, and plucks and we got Chamomile blossoms to (hopefully) ease some of that stress... I hope we're not doing the opposite!



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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I've read that it's OK to give our parrots the occasion dairy treat (cheese or yogurt) and that it's OK to cook with milk. I've also read that only certain kinds of cheese are OK (a hard cheese like Cheddar would be OK while a soft cheese like mozzarella might not be). And then I've read that we are to never, ever give dairy to our parrots. I've read third-hand accounts about parrots needing surgery to remove undigested dairy from crops and digestive tracts (I have yet to speak to an avian vet who has had to do this, though).

Now, parrots are unlikely to encounter dairy in their native environments unless they happen upon someone's discarded cheese sandwich. They don't need it to survive and likely shouldn't have it.

That said, I do indulge Pickle and give him a wee bit of regular Cheddar or a couple of licks of yogurt (organic, never with artificial sweeteners). Not every day, of course. Yogurt maybe a couple of times a week and Cheddar whenever he's going to or coming back from being to the vet, groomers or boarder.

I can't imagine that a small nibble of pizza would hurt your flock so long as the toppings or sauce didn't include any alliums (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, chives, dill, etc.). There are those that believe that human food or "junk food" should be verboten but quite honestly, I don't feel that the occasional nibble of human foods would be harmful, either immediately or long-term.

In regards specifically to the chives: I simply do not, under ANY circumstance, feed ANY member of the allium family (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, chives, etc.). I doubt that the random ingestion of small amount would hurt but I'd rather not take the chance.

Leslie Moran, who does quite a lot of writing and research in regards to parrot nutrition and health, has addressed both dairy and alliums in recent issues of Parrots magazine:

http://www.parrotmag.com/home/68-wha...y-leslie-moran

http://www.parrotmag.com/component/c...c-onions-leeks

As far as beet tops, I don't know if they are OK (I've never heard that they weren't) and in regards to spinach, I don't know. I wouldn't feed it every day. If you make mixes or mashes ahead of time, maybe alternate weeks in which spinach is included.

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Last edited by Eliza; 05-18-2010 at 05:40 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-19-2010, 07:51 PM Thread Starter


 
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Thanks so much for all of the information. I will definitely read the articles this weekend.

Jenny, the only flowers I know anything specific about are the dandelion flowers.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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Everyone has pretty much answered your questions, but I did want to comment on the spinach.

Spinach is a great veggie, but you do have to be careful how often you offer it to your birds.

The reason being because it actually inhibits the birds from being able to fully absorb calcium


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