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Re: Feeding birds HELP Please!

Posted by GreyLady on 4/15/09
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    Lori. Sure heard that about the economy. I'll be interested
    to hear what others have to say also. First off, on the
    feeding of dog or cat food to a parrot, I'm personally
    against it. This opinion comes both from my own research and
    from talking to vets. Most of those foods are much too high
    in protein for birds. Also, they can contain Ecoli.
    Apparently it's in amounts that are easily handled by a dog
    or cat's system but not a parrots. Some think you can get by
    with it if you microwave it first. I'm not yet willng to
    take the chance but here is an exerpt from one of Judy
    Leach's articles:

    E-coli

    This bacteria is not fatal if it is recognized and treated.
    It causes droppings to have the look of diarrhea and to have
    a strong odor. This bacteria can be remedied by mixing 1/8
    tsp. of Vetisulid per 8 ounces of water for 10-14 days.

    The E-coli bacteria is normal in human saliva. It can be
    transmitted to a parrot by "wet" kisses and by letting them
    eat out of your mouth. E-coli is also normal, and common, in
    the saliva of monkeys and dogs. Therefore, it is also found
    in dog food and some monkey biscuits. If this food is given
    to parrots, it should be microwaved for at least 15-30
    seconds, depending on quantity, to kill E-coli bacteria,
    before feeding it to your birds.

    Actually, it would be better to get your bird on to a good
    extruded pellet formulated for birds than a food that was
    developed for another type of animal. (End of article.)

    As for what I feed, it varies just a bit because my flock
    ranges from Tiels to a Macaw. They all get a good quality
    seed mix that does not contain any sunflower seeds but still,
    that is 20% or less, of their entire daily diet. For my
    Tiels, the rest is Lafeber pellets. For the rest of the
    flock, they get a portion of Vita Kraft Super Fruit
    Cocktail. That is the single most expensive part of their
    diet. Last time I priced it in a store, it was over $10 for
    a 20 oz. container. I buy it in bulk multiples of 6, (24 at
    a time) and I get it for About $7. each. Except for the
    Tiels, they get Pretty Bird pellets, formulated for the type
    of bird. (African, Macaw, etc.) They also get whole
    walnuts, unshelled almonds and a couple Nutriberries each
    day. Their "people" food meals are mostly whatever we are
    having. Pasta, eggs, cooked bean and rice mixes and so on.
    They also get fresh fruits or veggies 3 times a week. Mine
    like some of the cooked meals on the market so to save money,
    I get them but also mix in some of my own ingredients to make
    the mix go further. I hate cooking so I make a big batch at
    once, separate a daily portion into sandwich size zip locks,
    mash flat and stack in the freezer. Here is one recipe that
    was given to me that works well but obviously you can use
    different items, mix and match, to keep up their interest.

    RECIPE
    If you are making rice and beans for the family, set aside
    some for your bird — minus any salt or other spices you've
    added. Mix it together with peppers, chili peppers and corn
    to make an attractive, homemade meal for your bird.
    The key to this recipe is the mixture of textures and colors.
    Your bird will love the soft rice and beans with the added
    crunch of peppers and corn. Colorful foods can be as
    stimulating mentally as they are healthy. In an article on
    the benefits of cranberries, Jill Patt, DVM of the Arizona
    Mesa Animal Hospital noted that colors are a key part of the
    overall benefit of healthy food. “Birds enjoy colors, so a
    mixture is not only healthy but is beneficial mentally,” said
    Patt.

    Ingredients
    1 cup whole-grain rice
    ¼ cup 16-bean mix
    Colorful peppers (orange, red, green, yellow)
    Chili pepper (fresh or dried)
    Corn
    Chayenne

    Cook rice and beans as instructed by their packaging. For
    added color, use a 16-bean mix. Included in the mix are
    various beans (red, lima, white, kidney, etc), split peas and
    lentils. Let cool. When rice is cooled, sprinkle with
    chayenne pepper.

    Thoroughly wash your peppers and corn, and when chopping,
    remove all seeds. Add sliced peppers in whatever style you
    like (chunks or strips), depending on the size of your bird.
    If not dried, slice chili peppers and add to the mixture. Mix
    with cold corn either in chunks or, for added fun, in tiny
    cobs.

    Immediately wash your hands after handling chili pepper. It
    can cause irritation to your eyes or mouth if you are not
    careful!

    This recipe makes about 3 cups, which you can keep fresh in
    your refrigerator for roughly three days. Your birds will
    enjoy it cold, too!

    Hope that helps.
    GL