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Why ‘feeding a wide variety of different foods’ is a recipe for avian malnutrition

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

When parrots first came into my life, more than twenty years ago, I belonged to three different bird clubs. At these meetings I talked with experienced aviculturists about the best foods to feed my newly acquired flock. The dietary mantra I was repeatedly told was, “Feed a wide variety of different foods.” However, when I followed this advice all it brought me was disappointment, sadness and grief.

Of the three bonded pairs I had purchased specifically for breeding, only my Crimson-winged Parrots survived. My Scarlet-chested grasskeets (an Australian parakeet) both died within two months of obtaining them. The hen died of cancer first and the male died in my avian vet’s hands during a blood draw. A vitamin K deficiency was identified as the cause because when the needle was pulled out his blood would not clot.

In my second pair, Amboina King parrots, the male remains healthy to this day. However within three months the hen developed a chronic viral disease and must receive supportive nutrition and healthcare. No breeding for this pair.

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