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Care Guide

CARE GUIDE

Dear Valued Friend,

 

Congratulations on your very cool new pet! We are sure you are very excited to bring your new bird home with you.  How you start your first days at home will be very important to setting a good tone for the future.  This is where you will welcome your bird and begin to set acceptable boundaries. We encourage you to spend a few hours a day with your bird out of the cage when you start out at home. Practice coming in and out of the cage several times each day.

It’s important to note there are three levels of stimulation for you to maintain a good balance between.  The first stimulation is direct stimulation (cuddling together), the second is indirect stimulation (allowing your bird out of cage time without you holding or cuddling), the last is rest cage time (allowing your bird to rest in his/her cage).   If you allow your bird a nice balance of the three simulations your life together will be very rewarding.  It’s important to note if you allow too much of any one stimulation you will likely end up with a bird who needs remedial training.  We recommend using a small towel to handle your bird during your first few days to allow your bird to feel secure with you.  Keep in mind you are much larger than your bird and your bird has just come to a brand new environment.  Make your environment as quiet and calm as possible to help your bird gain trust.  If your household has small children or animals within it, make sure to monitor closely how they interact with your new pet.  Small children will frequently have a fear of being bit which can cause them to flinch and or make loud noises.  We especially recommend having children sit on the floor while using a small towel to give your little Aviculturist some much needed confidence while interacting with the new pet.  You are always welcome to come in for FREE training with your bird!  Call on us anytime to assist you in your avicultural journey!  Welcome to the EPBI family!

Food and Diet for Parrots

Diet is extremely important for birds not only what they can't eat but also what they should eat.

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FOOD-  What you feed your bird is one of the most important things in bird care. Just like kids and Adults, birds need their vegetables, grains, and many other types of foods to have a healthy balanced diet.

 

We recommend a chopped diet that 50% veggies and 5% fruit and a mixture of seed/pellet. It is important that your bird also transitions to a mixed pelleted Diet.

 

Our birds are weaned onto a seed/vegetable diet that has been developed for and by breeders. When the bird is ready to go home we recommend starting with a mix of 50/50 of seed and pellet and eventually working your way up to a 70/30 of pellet to seed. As social eaters, wild birds feed in flocks of hundreds to even thousands in the wild.

 

Pet birds, too, like to share mealtime with their flock-mates – either other birds in the house or their human caretakers. Eating with feathered companions is a great way to socialize them; however, there are some foods that humans love that should never be offered to pet birds because of potential toxicity.

Birds are sent home on one of our four blends please note these are not permanent diets but a part of a balanced diet

Toxic Foods

Among the most common foods that are toxic to birds are:

As with everything in this care sheet, not all information is final or exact.

There are some food that may be toxic to your bird that are not listed.


Avocado
While avocados are vegetables, and generally vegetables are good for birds, the leaves of the avocado plant contain persin, a fatty acid-like substance that kills fungus in the plant. When ingested by a bird, this substance may cause heart damage, respiratory difficulty, weakness, and even sudden death. While certain types of avocado have been safely consumed by some bird species, it’s hard to know which types of avocado will affect which species. It is also unclear how much avocado a pet bird would have to eat to be affected. Given the potential consequences, it’s best simply to avoid feeding avocado and avocado-containing foods (such as guacamole) to birds. Skip the dip, and offer your bird a carrot stick, pea pod, or another vegetable, instead.
 

Caffeine
We all love caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks, because they taste great, stimulate us, and wake us up. We might think of offering sips of these tasty beverages to our pet birds, but even a sip or two of these drinks can be toxic to our feathered companions. Caffeine can increase heart rate, induce arrhythmias and hyperactivity, and even cause cardiac arrest in birds. So, avoid the caffeinated products, and opt for water or an occasional taste of fruit juice for your thirsty bird.

 

Chocolate
Like us, birds have a hard time resisting chocolate or chocolate-containing foods. However, even in very small amounts, chocolate can be toxic to birds. Chocolate contains both theobromine and caffeine which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, increase heart rate, resulting in hyperactivity, induce tremors and seizures, and even cause death in birds. So, the next time you’re tempted to share an M&M or Hershey’s Kiss with your birdie buddy, offer him a piece of sugary fruit, like a mango, papaya, or grape, instead.
 

Salt
A dash here and a dash there. Many of us casually add this loved condiment to all sorts of foods without thinking. We also love salty chips, popcorn, pretzels, and crackers. But, just as too much salt isn’t good for us, it also isn’t good for our birds, and even a little bit is potentially toxic to a small bird. Even one salty chip or pretzel can upset the electrolyte and fluid balance in a bird’s tiny body, leading to excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney failure, and death. So, the next time you want to offer your bird a salty treat, choose a bite or two of unsalted popcorn or pretzels or a low-salt cracker, instead.
 

Fat
We all know that consumption of high-fat foods, such as butter, oil, fatty meats, and nuts can result in a build-up of cholesterol deposits in the walls of our arteries (known as atherosclerosis), predisposing to heart disease and stroke. Excessive ingestion of these foods also can lead to obesity and all the health problems that accompany this condition. The same processes occur in birds, and certain bird species, such as Amazon and Quaker parrots, are prone to developing high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and subsequent coronary artery disease. Therefore, just as we should limit the consumption of high-fat foods, so should birds. Birds can have an occasional bite of lean, cooked meat, but they should not be offered heaping quantities of these fat-filled items, especially if they are small relative to the portion size. Birds love nuts, but one unsalted almond or walnut every day is plenty for a medium-sized bird such as an African gray parrot. Larger birds that eat more fat in the wild, such as macaws, may have a few nuts a day, while smaller ones, such as cockatiels and budgies, should be offered no more than a few slivers of almond or a piece of walnut every day. Encourage your bird to be a lean mean flying machine, and limit fatty snacks.
 

Fruit pits and apple seeds
While most fruit is safe and generally healthy for birds to consume in small amounts, certain fruits containing seeds (such as apples and pears) and pits (such as cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums), should not be offered to birds without removing the seeds and pits first, as these seeds and pits contain small amounts of a cardiac-toxic cyanide compound. Without the seeds and pits, these fruits are completely safe for birds to consume. The seeds from other products such as grapes, citrus fruits, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, melons, mango, pomegranate, and berries, all are safe for bird consumption and can be fed without worry.
 

Onions and garlic
Many people expect that onions and garlic, like other vegetables, are healthy for birds. However, while these spicy veggies have heart benefits in people, whether fed raw or cooked, they are toxic to many animals, including birds, cats, and dogs. Onions contain sulfur compounds that, when chewed, can irritate the lining of a bird’s mouth, esophagus, or crop, causing ulcers, and can induce rupture of red blood cells resulting in anemia. Garlic contains allicin, another chemical that can cause anemia and weakness in birds. So, spice up your bird’s life with a small piece of vitamin A-rich hot pepper instead of garlic and onions.

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