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Feeding Facts: Some Mechanics of Parrot Eating

Spreads for web 1

Complete Psittacine
By EB Cravens

As the days continue to shorten and we move into the winter cycle, most of my parrots are starting to change their summer eating habits. No longer do they rush to consume raw greenstuffs, sprouts, and the like at every feeding. Many are opting for the protein and sometimes fat rich nuts, seeds, boiled peanuts, soybeans, and such. We see this nearly every year when hormones begin to wane and moults proceed heavily. Whenever my psittacines change their taste preferences it prompts me to reflect upon all the idiosyncrasies I have encountered in my years of designing hookbill diets. Among some of the most interesting are the following:

(1) Satisfying those good cravings

Intelligent parrots with a wide variety of exposure to many types of foods frequently have an uncanny ability to pick and choose what their bodies most need at any certain time. When I find a bird of mine selects the same kind of nourishment in heavier doses for a period of weeks, I make it a point to provide that in ample amounts. I do not have 'sunflower junkies' or 'pellet junkies' in my flock simply because I feed such a good variety of healthy food. But there are times when single birds or pairs indicate they wish to eat specific seeds or nuts or grains. I feel I would be remiss in not honouring that good craving as long as it falls within the realm of a fine balanced diet. For example, ”I want more boiled peanuts; I no longer eat pomegranate seeds this month; I’ve had enough cooked beans; please give me more papaya pips.”

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