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Dear Parrots magazine,

A Rounded Diet

The conflict between pellets and seed diets seems to be rumbling on and on, and we read quite a bit about both sides of the debate. But above all else, particularly over the last few years, a lot has been made about fresh food, fruit and vegetables.

I feed my birds on a very wide variety of foodstuffs, including some pellets, some seed, but a lot of fresh fruit and veg. I think common sense tells us that we shouldn’t just feed one particular type of food, but because our birds are in a captive environment and are unable to forage as they would in the wild, it is important that we offer the widest range possible. I think there are merits to all. I would think a pellet only diet would be quite boring to the birds, although of course, it contains a wide range of vitamins and nutrients. I think with seed diets, there is a large therapeutic value in cracking open the shells to get to the nuts inside, which is what would happen in the wild. But of course we wouldn’t want to feed only seeds.

Fresh fruit offers important nutrition, it could be fun for the birds to deal with and, of course, throughout the year the variety of fresh foods will vary. For example, my Amazons just adore peas in the pod, and to watch them open the pod, remove the peas, skin them and eat the kernels is very satisfying.

So all in all I can see benefits in all of them, which is why I feed the widest range of foods I can find, but will always ensure, where possible, that fresh fruit and vegetables are organic and are always thoroughly washed before giving them to the birds.

Annabel Smithson, by email



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