K.I.S.S. Diet for Pet Eclectus
Recognizing that many pet owners have busy lives, I have prepared a quick and simple way for you to provide an excellent diet for your eclectus parrots. The focus is on natural foods, non-processed foods, and a good variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds, and fresh greens. Feed no more than one egg a month.
Basically, wash well all fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. I do not recommend any special items to be used in the wash water because some of these items do cause allergies in parrots. Never buy any food items from open bins at the pet store or farm store as these foods can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses and even toxic materials introduced by accident into the bins. Store foods in clean freshly washed containers. Seeds may be frozen in bags for three or four days to kill the seed moth eggs if you have problems with seed moths. Put a splash (1 teaspoon per 8 ounces water) of apple cider vinegar into each bowl of fresh water every day as this changes the ph and inhibits bacterial growth. If you use a water bottle, change it daily as food particles back flush into the water and promote bacterial growth. Remember to NEVER feed colored pellets as they often cause severe allergies in parrots.
A.M. FEEDING: Generally eclectus parrots want to chow down on a lot of food in the morning and I suggest that is when you feed the soft food mixture, 2/3 cup per eclectus parrot. You can remove this bowl in the later afternoon or early evening as the bird will have finished with the soft foods by then.
P.M. FEEDING: We feed the Volkman dry seed mix for eclectus parrots in the evening and leave that bowl until the next evening. We measure the amount. One quarter cup of dry seed mix should be sufficient for one bird for one day, including any addition of natural colored pellets.. ten pellets per day.
MID-DAY TREATS: With birds under a year of age, it is a good idea to leave special foods in the cage during the day, such as a quarter ear of fresh corn on the cob on a skewer, an eight inch wide bowl on the cage bottom with whole green beans, slices of lightly cooked yams, length wise slices of cucumber, clumps of broccoli, whole baby carrots, slices of red or green bell pepper, and a leaf of endive or kale.
FOOD PREPARATION. It is important to make food prep a simple process so that you do it easily and quickly. I recommend preparing the bean mix once a week and then freezing the mix. I use the Volkman Fancy Soak and Simmer because it is an excellent clean mix of various legumes, beans, corn, paddy rice and other items which provides for balanced vegetable protein. (See: http://www.birdseed.com)
You can also buy bean mixes at the grocery store, but be sure to add brown rice (not parboiled rice).
Once a week you can put 4 cups of the dry mix in a pot, cover with water and let stand several hours so the beans all absorb water. When the water is well absorbed, add more if need prior to cooking. You want the water to only reach the top level of the bean mix so that nutrients aren’t wasted during cooking. Bring the mix to a boil, cut the heat back and simmer for fifteen minutes. Turn off and let sit to cool. Drain the mix in a drainer to remove all excess water. Now, take out of your freezer two 32 0z bag of mixed vegetables and add these frozen veggies to the bean mix until you have added about a half of vegetables as compared to the bean mix. In other words, 1/2 bean mix and 1/2 veggie mix. Stir well. Place the mix into zip lock snack baggies, ½ cup per baggie, and place in freezer. Keep one baggie in the refrigerator section for the next day. To this you will add granny smith apples and grapes, about 2 grapes and about an eighth of an apple, chopped up, and about a half stalk of celery, chopped. One or two apples will last a week. You can also add other fruits in season: blue berries, cherries, pomegranate seedlets, cranberries, kiwi slices, papaya slices with seeds, melon slices with seeds, etc. Add these items to the defrosted bean/veggie mixture and serve in a bowl at least 6 inches wide.
©2014 Laurella Desborough