Does anyone here feed their birds a layered salad daily, or a fresh food diet? I've been doing quite a lot of reading on it recently, and I was wondering how successful it was.
The "recipe" for the layered salad is at the bottom of this page: http://www.parrothouse.com/pamelaclark/doesntlikeit.html
It's essentially a layer of chopped greens, a layer of vegetables, a layer of broccoli and carrot, a layer of citrus fruit and apple, and a layer of frozen veg. It should keep for up to a week in the fridge - the acid from the citrus and the extra cooling from the frozen veg aid this. Then before giving it to your birds you mix in cooked beans, cooked or sprouted grains, pasta, soft fruit and a little seed. And you should feed it in the morning and afternoon/evening (these are the best feeding times for parrots in the wild, so it mimics that).
The problem I have is firstly our birds mostly aren't keen on veg. Misfit is wonderful and will eat most things, Gizmo is almost as good. The two boys though will only really eat carrot tops, and sometimes broccoli and the 'tiels are resistant to all veg still. There is a method for converting them to this diet in the link above though, and I can hope that all the variety would encourage them to eat it, and with time, we'd win.
The main problem is that I go out to work, practically before the birds are up. My bf gets them fed and sorted in the morning, but he's a student, so his timetable differs from day to day - which means he can't always be around to take fresh food back out of the cage after a few hours. However, Pamela Clark (the author of the article linked), states she can leave this mix in the cage from 7 am - 4pm. If this was possible, it would be perfect for us, as my bf feeds them around 8 am, and I'm almost always home by 5 pm. Although hopefully they'd eat most of it before then. Plus considering where I live, it rarely gets very hot, even in the middle of summer and apparently since the mix is quite dry (the pasta soaks up any moisture) then the mix dries out, rather than spoiling.
Third, I have to work out how much to make each week, for our birds. When I feed Beak Appetite, I give a tablespoon for each 'tiel, and two tablespoons for the four budgies (they're English/show budgies, and weigh about 50g each, so approx. half the size of the 'tiels). Would the same amount be ok for the layered salad per serving do you think? It's probably what I'd aim for.
All in all though, it would be pretty easy for us to feed it, as I could make up the layered salad at the weekend, cook and freeze beans so they just need to be defrosted in the morning, and I usually have sprouts ready anyway. And mixing it together and dishing it up every morning would be easy, even if me and Tom both have to leave early.
My plan would then be for them to have pellets all day, and millet/nutriberries in their foraging toys still, like they have already, and for them to have the layered salad in the morning, and Beak Appetite (or my homemade version) in the evening, when we have tea. Which should all be a nicely varied diet for them.