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8 Responses to “Foods for Different Avian Species”

  1. Layna Scheunemann

    Why are grapes, bananas, citrus fruit, and flour based foods not recommended for birds?

    Reply
    • spotdvm

      Layna,

      Grapes and bananas are very high in sugar. Farmed citrus fruits are also high in sugar and ingredients that may increase the risk of iron storage disease for susceptible species. Flour based foods are generally high glycemic (meaning they rapidly turn to sugar in the blood shortly after ingestion). For the same reasons (high sugar content), I don’t recommend feeding fruit juice to pet (or really even people).

      Sincerely,

      M. Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice)

      Reply
  2. Michael Weinstein

    Do the dietary restrictions (nuts, meats, seed, ) that apply to African Grey apply also to pineapple green cheek conures?

    Reply
    • BirdDoctor

      Michael,

      We do know that different species of parrots have varied dietary requirements in the wild and likely in captivity. I don’t generally recommend any meat or seed, and rarely nuts, for most pet birds. For the typical sedentary pet bird, these foods tend to come with more long term negative consequences than benefits. Until we better understand the inter-relationship between diet and health better in pet birds, I don’t recommend feeding meats, nuts and seed to most pet birds (which includes green cheek conures).

      M. Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice)

      Reply
  3. AA

    Hi
    Sir/ madam
    I want some solution for ring neck I have 4-6 years old birds this season I have too much dead shell please advice me what shall I do thanks,

    Please e mail me
    I will be very great full to you thanks,

    Reply
    • BirdDoctor

      These types of problems are best served by working with a bird veterinarian. Unfortunately, these problems can be complex and are not always appropriately be addressed via the internet. A hands on evaluation of the situation is best here.

      Sincerely,

      M. Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice)

      Reply
  4. Jennifer

    Hi Dr.Echols,

    Your info “Foods for Different Avian Spieces” were very interesting and helpful for everyday feeding, and came under question on why feeding larger birds (such as africangrey ) “cooked” grains are better. Does 100% pellet diet not likely wanted in all species? Are there any books I could study for further nutritional facts?

    Sincerely,
    Jen

    Reply
    • BirdDoctor

      Jennifer,

      Nutritionally speaking I cannot easily say that cooked grains are better or worse for birds (and there are likely nutritional differences). However, my experience suggests that larger parrots prefer cooked grains while smaller birds (budgies, cockatiels, lovebirds, etc) like dry grains.

      We have no published long term studies in birds that can tell us the ‘ideal’ diet. So long term pet bird nutrition is a work in progress- we learn more every year! This is one of the reasons I am not comfortable with feeding a single food item for an animal’s lifetime. Doing so assumes we know all the nutritional needs of that animal and when it comes to pet parrots I don’t believe we have that information at this time. Additionally, feeding a single item diet can be monotonous and may not be in the best interest behaviorally for our companions.

      There are lots of books on poultry nutrition. And, there are numerous scientific studies that look at very specific nutritional aspects of a bird’s diet. However, there is currently no pet parrot nutrition book that ‘has it all’. You will find lots of opinions and recommendations on bird nutrition. However, there is not a lot of hard core scientific fact when it comes to pet bird nutrition that is easily found. My best advice is to work with veterinarians familiar with bird nutrition. You can also join us on ‘Nutrition for Pets‘ on Facebook for discussions on pet nutrition!

      I hope this answers your questions!

      M. Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice)

      Reply

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