- Parrot feeding in the wild
- How to feed a parrot at home
- What can not feed a parrot
The answer to the difficult question “how to feed a parrot” lies not only in special articles (often mutually exclusive), but, first of all, in their own invaluable experience, which will result in the perfect menu for your bird.
Parrot feeding in the wild
Different breeds differ in both food preferences and the volume / composition of natural feed. Large and small parrots have incomparable energy consumption, dictating their ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
It is interesting! Large parrots focus on the fruits, inflorescences and seeds of fruit trees, without giving up flowers, nuts and berries. The menu is determined by the living conditions of the birds. So, macaw, living in the tropics of South and Central America, relies mainly on nuts with fruits and does not particularly favor grain.
Ash African handsome Jacquot, who lives in West Africa, loves flowers, nuts, as well as fruits, including papaya and palm trees. Medium-sized parrots eagerly eat fruit, seeds and suitable plants, often digging their roots, tubers or bulbs.
People who plowed vast territories of Australia under wheat fields changed the taste preferences of budgies: they had to switch to wheat grains (of any degree of maturity). In addition, the wavy eagerly eat grass seeds, fruits, buds, herbs, tender shoots and even small insects.
How to feed a parrot at home
Even unpretentious budgerigars in their home maintenance require a thoughtful approach to their diet, which must be not only diverse, but also harmless.
There is still no consensus on the optimal balance of grains and fruits in food for parrots. Some ornithologists believe that 60% should be allocated for fresh vegetables and fruits, others believe that 40%, and still others believe that at least 80%, leaving only 20% of the daily diet for grains.
The owner of an exotic bird should remember that the daily norm of the small species does not exceed 20 g of the grain mixture, the average – 30 g, and the large – 50 g. It should be noted that these are not final figures: the amount of food eaten correlates with the age, physiology, and psychological state of the bird , as well as with the comfort of the environment and other factors.
All bird feeds are usually divided into animal and vegetable. The first include eggs, kefir, cottage cheese, yogurt, insects with larvae. Along with vegetables and fruits, the plant group includes leafy greens, grains, nuts, branches, inflorescences, and seeds.
Granular Parrot Feed
Granule production involves cereals, vegetables, and minerals / vitamins. The central component of the feed is cornmeal, to which several other cereals and vegetables are added, flavored with amino acids and mineral additives. Granular food is good because it allows the parrot owner not to worry about adding additional vitamin-mineral complexes: the granules have all the vital elements.
Important! Parrots are not suitable for dry food, addressed to other domestic animals (fish, dogs and cats). Both vegetarian and protein (with animal proteins) industrial feeds are prohibited.
As a rule, the manufacturer composes the feed and calculates the size of the granules, based on the characteristics of the birds (for nursing, sick) and their size (for large, medium and small). However, your parrot will not read the instructions on the packages and over time he will choose which granules he is more interested in tearing – small ones or larger ones.
The criterion for classifying a granular mixture in one of three categories is the production method:
- organic feed (grown without chemicals and pesticides);
- cheap (low quality).
Regardless of the class of food, your pet can respond to some of its components: in this case, you can not do without a veterinarian.
Food developers are convinced that their product should occupy at least 80% of the diet, and leave only 1/5 of the daily norm for nuts, grains, vegetables and fruits. Introducing the granular mixture into the daily nutrition of the bird, add granules to the usual grain mixture, gradually increasing their number.
There are many proven foreign products that have proven themselves well as food for parrots: in addition to grain, they usually have nuts, dried fruits and mineral supplements. Feel free to experiment by mixing food intended for different types: this makes it more complete and useful.
Important! You have to forget about the slogan “choose domestic”: the lion’s share of Russian mixtures is dangerous for your birds.
Add to the grain mix and inedible natural ingredients, such as wood shavings, pieces of pine cones, pieces of unpainted cardboard: they will make the pet’s beak and its brain convolutions work.
In addition to grain, seedlings should appear in the feeder of large parrots, but their volume must be controlled, since sprouted grains can trigger sexual instinct. And if you are not going to mate your parrots, do not feed them with seedlings.
In good imported mixtures, there is usually such a concentration of nuts / seeds that they have to be removed from the feed so that the parrot does not plant the liver (very vulnerable for all birds).
Do not feed the parrot unpeeled peanuts: there are a lot of them in factory mixes, and the peanuts bought on the market can be hit by mold. The fungus provokes intoxication and chronic mycoses, which are difficult to get rid of.
Important! Do not believe the fables that pumpkin seeds have a striking anthelmintic effect. They can dilute the menu, but only as a product, and not an anthelmintic.
Assorted nuts can consist of pistachios, pecans, sweet almonds and macadamia. The latter (certainly in the shell), as well as palm nuts, are introduced into the menu of green-winged and hyacinth macaws: these large birds need high-calorie dry fruits.
The following seeds and nuts are toxic:
- seeds of apples;
- almonds (bitter);
- kernels of plum, cherry, cherry and apricot fruits;
- fruits of bird cherry.
In these and other stone fruits, there are cyanides in the form of amygdalin: it gives hydrocyanic acid upon splitting, which causes poisoning. The longer the seeds / fruits are stored, the stronger the intoxication.
If you nevertheless spoil the parrot with such bones, do not forget about prevention by adding sorbents to the feed:
- lactofiltrum or polyphepan;
- white / blue pharmacy clay;
- fresh branches with a lot of lignin (natural fibers).
Due to excessive fat, parrots are not recommended coconut, Brazil nut and cashew. For small parrots, sunflower seeds and nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.) are given 1-2 times a month in minimal doses. The nuts offered to the parrots do not roast, salt or sweeten.
Fruits and greens in the diet of parrots
In industrial mixtures, there are very few phytonutrients and antioxidants, which is why a parrot cannot be deprived of leafy greens, vegetables and fruits. Purchased agricultural products must be washed (preferably with baking soda) to rid the surface of wax.
Important! When feeding a pet, do not peel Russian citrus fruits (tangerines, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, lime), but remove it from overseas fruits. Pamper the bird with bananas and pineapples, pulp / seeds of watermelon and melon.
Of the berries recommended:
- wild strawberries (garden and forest);
- raspberries, gooseberries and currants;
- blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries;
- blackberry and blueberry;
- chokeberry and red mountain ash;
- dogrose and edible honeysuckle;
- pitted cherries and cherries;
- Irga and viburnum.
The latter is contraindicated in parrots with weak buds, but it is also given to healthy individuals in small portions and only in thawed form. The remaining berries are served fresh or thawed.
The vegetable kingdom in the diet of parrots is represented by such gifts:
- carrots (possible with tops);
- pepper with seeds (sweet / hot);
- cucumbers and tomatoes;
- turnip, rutabaga and turnip (blanched);
- squash, zucchini, zucchini and pumpkin (with seeds);
- stewed beets and its tops;
- blanched kohlrabi and brussels sprouts;
- celery, green beans and green peas (after blanching);
- broccoli and cauliflower, 3-5 minutes soaked in boiling water.
A corncob (especially unpeeled one) will become not only food, but also entertainment: a parrot relies on about a quarter of an ears per day.
Important! Periodically place leafy greens in the feeder, including lettuce, young nettles, chickpeas, spinach and plantain.
The list of fermented milk products suitable for parrots (no fatter than 3.0%) is as follows:
- kefir, yogurt, fermented baked milk (twice a week);
- yogurt (without additives);
- fruit and cheese puree;
- cottage cheese (1 r per week). Allowed to add a drop of honey.
Twice a week you can offer honey (for large and medium-sized birds – half a teaspoon, small – at its tip).
Sour milk is taught to eat from a spoon or mixed with grain. Avoid lactose products, as well as sour cream, cream and milk. A mixed dish of shredded carrots and eggs is useful for growing birds of small and medium breeds. Young parrots need 1-2 r per week of protein and yolk (chicken and quail).
Vitamins and Minerals
They are especially in demand in winter and during molting. The course consists of a 14-day admission with a break of 2 months. Sepia (shellfish of sea cuttlefish) acts as a natural mineral top dressing. He is in the cage until the bird gouges it completely.
If there is sepia, calcium preparations are not needed, but in order for it to be absorbed by the body, vitamin D (produced under the sun or under the rays of a UV lamp) and amino acids are required. The source of the latter are cereals (buckwheat, wheat, wild rice, oats) and legumes. There is a lot of natural calcium in spinach and beet tops, but both plants contain oxalic acid, which inhibits its absorption.
Important! Do not stuff your pet with fish oil: it is oversaturated with vitamins A, D and E. Such a loading dose is not required for your home recluse and will only harm him.
Parrots do without tours (pebbles grinding the contents of the bird’s stomach). The parrot’s digestion process starts already in the goiter, since even the smallest breeds (thanks to the specific structure of the beak) crush solid food unlike other birds that swallow it whole.
Water in the drinker is changed at least 1 r per day. It is better to abandon the liquid from the tap in favor of children’s bottled water, where occasionally lemon juice (teaspoon per glass) or a little honey is added. Use filtered or pasteurized honey at home: raw can be infected with bacteria.
The list of drinks useful for a parrot:
- mineral water without gas (type "Narzan");
- freshly squeezed and baby juices (fruit and vegetable). They can be mixed with water;
- decoctions of chamomile and rose hips;
- tea (as a tonic) occasionally.
Calcium gluconate, like vitamin supplements, is not mixed with juices to avoid the instant oxidation of both.
Parrots are inclined to change their gastronomic tastes from season to season, demanding frosty mulled wine of citrus fruits in frosts, ripe berries in summer and autumn, and branches with ripened buds in spring. Gnawing branches, the bird not only receives fiber and microelements, but also grinds off (as it should be nature) its beak.
In the register of useful trees and shrubs are listed:
- apple tree, mountain ash and cherry;
- raspberries and currants;
- birch, willow and linden;
- hawthorn and elm;
- maple, alder and ash.
Branches are cut away from plants and highways, if necessary, placed in storage in the freezer. All shoots must be washed with a brush with soap, rinsed and poured with boiling water. In winter, branches can be placed in water to please the pet with swollen kidneys.
Important! Another persistent misconception concerns tansy: supposedly the plant is fighting bird worms. In this way, you will not get rid of helminthiasis, but you will certainly poison your parrot.
From the diet exclude:
- oak, bird cherry and pear (due to tannin components);
- conifers (due to resin), but needles can be given, separated from the branches;
- poplar, whose wood and bark is more active than other trees, absorb atmospheric toxins;
- lilac and acacia, where there is syringin, which gives hydrocyanic acid during decomposition.
Thin branches are cut into small fragments or put in whole, medium – give the bird in the paw or fix on the twine right in the cage.
What can not feed a parrot
Under the ban – all dishes (and their ingredients) from your table. Even boiled vegetables from the soup contain salt and fat that are not allowed in the bird diet.
The list of prohibited products also includes:
- papaya and mango, except for dried;
- avocado (due to poisonous persin);
- rhubarb and sorrel (due to oxalic acid, which acts badly on the kidneys, causing diarrhea and internal bleeding);
- potatoes containing starches that are difficult to digest;
- mushrooms and eggplant, in which there is solanine, which provokes gastric disorders;
- herbs of spicy herbs such as cilantro, dill, parsley and others;
- raw legumes (soy, red and lima beans);
- onion and garlic.
Important! You cannot feed a parrot with white bread dipped in milk. The bird does not know how to digest milk, and fresh bread crumb, in addition to yeast, also contains a lot of salt.
Even more dangerous is bread made from rye flour: swollen, it causes stomach cramps and indigestion, and thanks to a special glycoside it inhibits beneficial microorganisms. If you want to pamper the bird, give it a try white cracker.
And the last: do not feed the parrot from your mouth. With this method of feeding, you will give him fungi that live in the microflora of your oral cavity, safe for you, but dangerous for the bird.