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Dear Parrots magazine,

Foraging is good!

I have read that Amazons can get overweight very easily and very quickly if not fed a good nutritious diet, and I can understand that. I was given a Blue-front around nine months ago that was owned by an elderly couple who had had it for over quite some time. It has been difficult to find out much information about this bird, as one of the couple is now in a care home and the other is not very coherent. From what we can gather, this bird had evidently been kept in a small cage all of its life and fed a poor diet. I had previously kept two parrots for many years, but sadly, lost them to old age, and it was only through a brief conversation with one of the carers that lead to us being asked to take this bird on.

We know this couple had owned this Amazon for a good number of years, but cannot find out how old it is. We were told its name is Joey and was clearly over weight, which is not surprising seeing the amount of sunflower seeds in his feeding bowl. So we set to work on getting Joey to a much healthier lifestyle and a better nutritious diet.

Over the time we have had him, we have slowly, but surely, changed him to a better diet including some seed, some pellets and a lot of fresh fruit and veggies. At first he was very wary of these different foods and it was only by a lot of patience over the past eight months that he is now eating well and enjoying his food.

What he likes most is the foraging toys we make up by wrapping treats in paper and cardboard boxes to which he loves to tear apart. Also we hang in his new larger cage, veggies of the day including cabbage leaves, runner beans, carrots, pomegranates, oranges, apple, cherries and grapes. He also loves cooked beetroot (no vinegar) and podded peas when in season.

He now looks totally different and a much healthier ‘slimmed down’ Amazon. He is also much brighter and loves to come out of his cage and sit with us when watching TV. It is so sad that there must be hundreds of birds that are suffering through lack of care, or simply ignorance. I just wish more people would take more care and try to understand their birds, as what might appear to be impossible, can be achieved.

Marion Constable, by email




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