The single biggest cause of parrot mortality in captive birds is malnutrition. Avian vets see this as a huge problem as many other diseases are triggered by a lousy diet. Liver issues, kidney problems and many other health complications all stem from malnutrition. Prevent this, and you’ve won half of the battle in keeping your birds healthy.
What it takes in getting these birds healthy is training the families to feed them right.
It’s a huge responsibility to learn about good food, proper nutrition and persuading the feathered set to eat what’s good for them. It’s also a lot of work.
I’m trying to get this across to a huge number of people. An all seed diet for a parrot is a killer. It’s impossible for a bird to thrive on just seed alone. Depending on the species, they need leafy greens, the dark orange and dark green vegetables, the grains and nuts to not only maintain health, but to thrive. It’s a crucial subject and it needs to be shared among people with birds.
Wild birds are taught by their flocks what to eat. They learn by their family’s side what to eat, where to find it and when it will be there depending on the season.
Even then, many experts have surmised that during bad years some parrots in the wild suffer from malnutrition. But in a domestic home setting, there simply isn’t any excuse for this. We’ve got grocery stores, farmers markets, online products and organic produce sections form which to devise their diets.
They are dependent on us to eat a well-balanced, healthy and fresh diet.
A good diet is probably the single best thing you can do for your bird. Is training important? Of course it is. I have taken the online classes, attended the seminars, read the books and practice it whenever I can.
When I got Parker, my first African Grey, I knew little or nothing about how to feed him so i went to work.
Day after day I sat at the computer and researched the subject. It was hard sledding because there wasn’t as much information available as there is today. A lot has happened online in 14 years and the information available now on practically every subject under the sun has grown exponentially.
So I read everything I could find which really wasn’t much, but I grasped the stuff I could find and did research not just on “Parrot Diet” alone, but on the subject of nutrition itself. I knew what Parker’s dietary needs were. I just had to find the foods that contained them and figure out a way to get him to eat those items without tossing them on the floor. That’s when the “Chop Concept” was born and that’s when I was able to move on to other methods of nutritional delivery, or as some people call them: “recipes.”
I tend to stress concepts over set recipes. There are people all over the world employing the Chop Concept so I have no idea what types of food is available in the area they live in. So teaching a concept just makes more sense to me. Once you learn a way or method of preparing the food, you can vary the ingredients as you see fit.
But what it comes down to is this: You owe it to your birds to feed them well.
They’ve got nobody else and depend on you for their very survival. Help them to thrive by feeding them well.