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Dear Parrots magazine,

Correct diet

I enjoy reading the magazine and especially articles by Eb Cravens but the article on ‘Breeding Budgerigars’ in the December issue quite surprised me with its advise on the budgie diet. It is bad enough that a fruit cake is suggested as an occasional treat - why?! such an old fashioned practice as giving bread soaked in milk is mentioned too! And there is no doubt anymore about the fact that budgies, or other parrots, can’t digest milk properly, so why would you use it? It doesn’t make any sense and the article just continues to reinforce the old-fashioned and even harmful feeding techniques for no reason at all.

Fruit cake is not nutritious food at all, it is full of sugar, which can promote yeast growth in the gut, white flour and fat, which are more harmful than good. If it is given for just a small amount of dried fruit found in there, why just not offer unsulphured raisins, apricots etc. separately?

Why is milk given? As a source of calcium? Then why not to offer dandelion greens, kale and purslane, which are great sources of calcium, and of course, cuttle bone, which was mentioned, or just a calcium supplement, like Calcivet a couple of times a week.

Another myth was reinforced in the article, stating that excess amounts of greens causes diarrhoea! It is just plainly not true. If anything, the greens can cause an increased amount of water in urine, which is called polyuria, rather than diarrhoea, which is absolutely normal, and not harmful at all for the birds. Green foods provide a range of nutrition and must be fed to all pet birds regularly and such myths only confuse people! What does cause diarrhoea, is milk!

I really hope there are no more myths like that mentioned in the rest of the article regarding other aspects of budgie breeding - I am not a breeder so don’t feel confident to comment on the rest of the article.





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