Should We Share Table Food With Our Birds?

Hyacinth macaw

Q: Is it okay to feed my new blue and gold macaw the same foods as I eat at dinner?
– Devin B., Bethesda, MD

A: Yes. And no. Most of the foods we eat are good for parrots: fruits, vegetables, pastas, grains, fish and small amounts of  lean cooked meats. The term table food generally is used in reference to our preparation of these foods, at which time they begin to get unhealthy.We add salt, sugar, butter, sour cream, and dressings to make the foods more palatable ...

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Feather Discoloration

Camelot Macaw

Your parrot’s feathers speak to its overall health.  A healthy parrot will have soft, vibrant and well-formed feathers.  Flaws in the feathering, such as discoloration are often a sign of poor diet or the lack of sunlight, but can also be attributed to illness and the subsequent use of antobiotics.   It can also signal serious organ problems or PBFD.  If you have noticed a change in your parrots feathering, you should seek the attention of an avian certified vet to rule out any significant health issues.

A good, varied ...

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Vegetables in the Parrot Diet: Fresh vs. Frozen

Umbrella Cockatoo

I made an interesting discovery this week. I had planned to be away for five days starting this weekend, and my daughter was going to take care of the parrots for me while I was gone. Since she works full time, I decided to simplify things and buy frozen vegetables for her to serve to the birds. Normally, I buy fresh, often organic, with the exception of things like lima beans, which my birds love, and out-of-the-pod peas.

My plans were unexpectedly cancelled, and I was sitting on a freezer ...

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Molting Season For Parrots

There are feathers everywhere in my apartment, from little gray or green ones to large white ones. Do I mind this extra mess? Not even a little bit!  It signals the end of breeding season, which is a beautiful thing. Of course, the one rule...

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Enrichment For Parrots

Blue throated macaw

The word enrichment means to enhance and make fuller.  It has become a very popular word among bird owners.  It’s a wonderful thing that humans are considering ways to improve their parrots lives.  I usually hear the word enrichment used in connection with toys and foraging opportunities.  These are huge ways to better a parrots life, but there are SO many other applications.

Enrichment means maintaining or improving health through diet and exercise. When our finicky eaters turn their beaks up at the new food you have introduced, ...

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Obesity In Parrots

Congo African Grey Parrot

Veterinarians say that obesity is the most common health problem they see in companion parrots today.  Many experts say that owners tend to overfeed their birds, offer too many snacks, or are just poorly educated about nutrition.

Parrots suffer from the same ill effects from obesity as do humans. An obese parrot is predisposed to cancer. They are at risk for  atherosclerosis, where fatty substances are deposited on the walls of thick and hardened arteries, including the ones leading to the heart.  This can lead to collapse ...

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