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
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.
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
1 cup whole-grain rice
¼ cup 16-bean mix
Colorful peppers (orange, red, green, yellow)
Chili pepper (fresh or dried)
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
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
Immediately wash your hands after handling chili pepper. It
can cause irritation to your eyes or mouth if you are not
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.