When it comes to your bird’s diet – do your research and thoroughly! For all of Fiji’s life (my Swainson Toucan) she has been on a Mazuri pellet diet (the rest of her diet is explained in detail here) but right now I want the focus of this post to be on her pellet diet only.
Photo by Jamieleigh Mazuri Toucan Pellets
We picked this diet because of its low parts per million (lack of iron) and it is by far the lowest we have found with the least amount of iron. So to our knowledge – this is the healthiest pellet diet for her on the market today. However, we met a lady who also had a Swainson Toucan in Sandpoint, Idaho whom I have mentioned before and she is where we adopted Meaka from (our second Swainson Toucan) and she was on a different diet. We were always envious that Meaka didn’t poop as much, or as often, or as messily, as Fiji would. Well, it was because of the difference in diet. Meaka was on a diet made by Kaytee Exact.
Photo by Jamieleigh Kaytee Exact Toucan Pellets
The Exact pellet diet has more iron in it but it controls her bowels much better. Less splatter (if I haven’t mentioned it before – a toucan’s poop is like splattering paint!) and less often. Fiji normally goes to the bathroom every few minutes. We have also found she physically and mentally feels better if she has the option to eat either pellet diet instead of only being given one. Even though she has the variation of fruits in her diet, I think the variation of pellets as well makes a huge difference. Although it isn’t as good for her, she is now getting the option of the Exact pellets along with her Mazuri ones but her Exact pellet intake is monitored and is not as much as she is given the Mazuri pellets. Because as much as we want her to eat what she likes, we also know how important it is she doesn’t accumulate iron in her system. I think people would have digestive problems too if they only ate one thing. I also change the pellet diet for my parrots as well – they will eat any pellet you give them which I see as a very good thing. One too many times I’ve been traveling and a shipment of bird food hasn’t come in – then what? The pets tore chains don’t sell organic pellets and in that situation, you have to provide them with something. My parrots will eat any of the following brands of pellets; - Harrison’s (organic) - Feed Your Flock (organic) - Mazuri - Kaytee - Zupreem. I have actually switched them onto Feed Your Flock from Harrison’s (but sometimes they get a mixture of both depending on availability as I order FYF online and pick up Harrison’s at my vet’s office) the reason I switched was that I wanted my birds to like more than one organic pellet. The other was that I realized how much easier the FYF brand was for them to eat. It falls apart so easy that it was the easiest pellet to wean my galah, Bandit, onto from hand feeding formula.
Photo by Jamieleigh Feed Your Flock organic pellets
They prefer it over the other pellet brands – I can tell because I’ve mixed pellets together to see just that! I’ve read in various human-health related books that for people to eat the same thing every day is very hard on their systems. I believe the same is true for our companion parrots and we need to change it up as much as possible – that includes with their pellet diet. And just as a side note, I have not yet tried giving my toucan the toucan pellet made by Pretty Bird but I do plan to once I get my hands on it!
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.