The Parrot's Opinion on Dinner

Variety, whole, raw and feeding their natural needs.

The Parrot's Opinion on Dinner

Most Parrots are omnivores. Which is to say they eat meat and vegetation. Lorikeets of course are an exception as a nectar, soft fruits and flower eater. One fact is certain, in the wild companion parrots of all makes and models eat a wider variety of items than they are offered inside the human lifestyle. There are no pellet bushes in the wild. The flip side to that coin is that the wider variety of items requires work to locate and eat. There are no food bowls in the wild.

Our companion's evolution did not create a bird that eats out of bowls or consumes pellets. That was not the plan biologically or physiologically. We tend to look at food through mandates, nutritional checklists, and a biased (sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly) opinion on product lines, and celebrity opinions. We look at the latest fad foods and preparation from our perspective of satisfaction. We look at conveniences. I'd like to include a new line of thought. The Parrot's Opinion on Dinner.

Their opinion includes the need to forage, store, inspect, collect and share. And let me take that one step further. A companion with a healthy level of food stuffs, locations and knowledge of same is a calmer more confident parrot. Their opinion includes a drive for certain nutrition via their body/brain chemistry and signals. Their opinion is reasonable. If our birds are omnivores then meal worms and protein meat cravings aren't unreasonable. If they steal eggs from other birds (and some do in the wild) to eat, then their wanting eggs is not unreasonable. If the general science supports the truth that most parrots eat nuts, flowers, fruit, buds, seeds and insects then the desire to eat seeds and nuts is not unreasonable. Companion parrots will eat flowers, buds, fruiting and fruited flowers. More strongly stated; Companion parrots need to eat these things.

Take all that into a conversation about pellets, any brand any ingredient list, and ask yourself this; how reasonable is it to consider a pellet a good food source holistically? Yes, they are convenient. Yes, they fill nutritional gaps by delivering vitamins (synthetic or naturally derived). And yes, they are a measurable item. But, no, holistically they aren't the answer at all.

Again, I'm on the parrot's perspective with this subject. I'm not preaching against any one thing, I am evangelizing toward conversation to provide a whole lifestyle answer for the betterment of all companion parrots. I do this because we humans get tunnel vision pretty fast. One simple idea of transitioning a parrot off "seeds" onto pellets and the next thing you read all seeds are evil. When in reality there are seeds in state of growth to fruit, there are seeds that contain Omegas, there are seeds that deliver very important health support. But somewhere down the human conversation on this matter we end up with a food bowl full of pellets. Which then forks off to the next tunnel. WHICH pellets and why?

I ask why pellets at all.

I asked that here in our flock and waited for my companions to answer. Their answers were found on the floor. I counted those answers. I measured those answers. I paid close attention to those answers. I modified our world for those answers. I have 2 pellets that make it into our home. They are the last elements left in the bowl end of day. The raw nuts, flax, hemp, safflower, pumpkin, sunflower and squash seeds, chopped green and orange veggies, apples, pineapple, squash, oranges and raw foods are gone before 2pm. The pellets are always last and lingering. Felix wouldn't eat a pellet if I bribed him with a pistachio. I don't even bother, as it's just left overs for the squirrels. Pellets always end up in the backyard, along with the shrapnel that was nuts, seeds and raw veg/fruit.

Blood panels prove we are on track around here, and I have no intention of changing anything other than expanding the menu in the raw, insect, flower direction. Butters and Kirby LOVE large mealworms. When I feed our Geckos those two come flying in knowing they get their share. In a rather EW! inducing way Kirby only eats the heads. Butters, only the body. The floor is littered with casualties. These are live mealworms. No one wants a dead mealworm.

I'm into broth. I will bake bone broth and whole local farmed chicken and kosher turkey to create bone broth for myself and our dog's achy joints. I buy a whole baked chicken once in a while to tear down and serve to every birdy. Cartilage, bones, meat and tendon. Snickers is a surgeon at cracking bones to get to the marrow. Butters is a pro at removing all signs of meat and cartilage from her's. And Felix, he will turn chicken bone and meat into bone meal with great joy. Kirby and the cockatiels gorge on the meat and tender bits. 

Sprouting beans is a great method of offering the tender shoots and living plant nutrition.

Orchard grasses (dried or if you are lucky, local) are a magnificent way to deliver foraging and food to your grass/ground foraging keet and tiel companions.

Of course every flock has their own story and lifestyle. Pellets may be the only answer you have due to economics or location. Pellets may allow you to deliver your best nutrition inside your personal schedule of work and the like. I am an agent of balance to be sure. I am also an evangelist for wider views, open minds and creative logic. And yes, I am first and foremost the parrot's advocate. 

An avian vet was proud to proclaim to me that a companion parrot could successfully subsist on pellets alone. I thought a moment on that word subsist. Subsist means to support oneself at a minimal level. I responded that I am more interested in making sure our companions flourish.

I feel confident in saying that's the parrot's position as well.

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