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Psittacine Breeding Tips, Volume V

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Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

It is not always inexpensive to feed one or more psittacines over the course of a year. Certainly if one has a flock of multiple pets, or a hobby breeding facility, costs can add up, especially if one does, like April and I, and buys mostly human grade and organic foods for a goodly portion of our parrots’ diet. Add to that the fact that most of us over-feed our birds, and that psittacines are notorious food wasters, and you have an annual maintenance recipe for extra expenses that might run into the hundreds of dollars range.

Over the years, I have developed a few strategies for saving pennies on daily food expenses. Partly, this has to do with cost, but most likely it has to do with my care in running a green household and the coincident abhorrence of waste. It also bears mentioning that the less unused food in a parrot diet, the easier it is to determine just exactly what my birds are eating.

Let us start with the over-feeding habit. I, too, am guilty of giving extra food to my flock. The key here is to do it in a calculated manner. Feeding extra amounts of vegetable pieces, germinated seeds, tiny cooked grains and the like is a far cry from giving surplus peanuts, safflower seed, pet bird treats, and things like birdy bread, etc. Whenever I heap extra food into one of my parrot pairs’ bowls, I think, “Watch those calories.” I also am careful which parrots I give large portions to. Some of my parrots are picky and do not eat as much as others. Seasonal preferences can affect them more that different pairs. Some pairs are gluttonous and will eat everything in the bowl, so they need to be regulated about calorie intake and higher fat items. Pay attention to which birds need more and waste less for an efficient feeding regime.

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