Nanday Conure Forum

Message #2314. This is a followup to #2306.

Date:Wednesday November 10, 2004 12:21:17 pm MST
Subject:Re: Buddy's 2nd Vet Trip
Message:Hi Nancy, we all continue to learn. I certainly don't "know it all" and I learn something new everyday. <smile> I get a lot of satisfaction helping others with their birds though. I can't imagine life without my flock now and I had no idea how my life would change because of my birds (all in good ways <smile>). I'm glad Randy lets me participate on his board here and that some of my advise has been helpful for you and your flock.

I'll share some info I've learned about foods, not so much what is healthy for your bird since that seems to be what your vet covered with you, but safe ways of handling and serving the foods.

Mouth cancers have been linked to pesticides with people who eat unwashed fruits and veggies. Of course, any bacteria on these items probably wouldn't hurt a human, but the bacteria could definitely affect your birds. Pesticides were also developed and improved to stay on after several rain showers, so it isn't just enough to rinse our fresh fruits and veggies in water and dry them. I scrub my own fruits and veggies (as well as my bird's) with antibacterial soap and rinse well, then I dry them with a paper towel thinking that wiping them dry might help remove any traces left after the washing and rinsing. Of course it isn't always easy to wash individual grapes, strawberries or greens with soap and water and in those cases you have a couple options. You can use an apple cider vinegar/water solution to soak these items in and then rinse them. There are also commercial veggie/fruit washes in some of the stores and I believe that Heinz makes one, for example.

Then fresh foods will stay longer than cooked foods as far as bacterial growth goes. Raw carrots can be left for your bird much longer than some cooked carrots can be left out, for example. In the summer your foods, fresh or cooked, won't last as long as they would in the winter (that is assuming that in the summer your home's interior temperature might be in the 80s or close to what the outside temps are, and in the winter your home may be in the mid-60s - but I realize that many people use central air or keep their homes warmer in the winter and this has an effect on bacterial growth). I might leave fresh raw veggies and fruits out for my birds for 3 hours in the winter and 2 hours in the summer. The cooked foods I tend to take away after about an hour in the summer and 2 hours in the winter.

Don't necessarily peel your bird's veggies either because making them work a little for their foods helps stimulate their brains and slightly mimics the foraging they would need to do in the wild. Leave the peels on the grapes, for example, and let them open them up and eat the juicy fruit inside. Mine discard the grape skins and only eat the inside.

If you have a choice, organic foods are always best but even they aren't always completely pesticide free. Even with washing, not all pesticides are always completely washed off, although you can pretty much get rid of the bacteria present.

I wish I could put my hands on the material I read where it told about (for example) strawberries coming from South America or Mexico and strawberries coming from California. In one's mind, you would naturally figure that ...well, gee, you can get "Montezuma's Revenge" in Mexico and if the fruit was irrigated with contaminated water, then that fruit is probably worse for you than fruit grown in California....but that wasn't always the case. Many times pesticides and contamination was worst in U.S. grown locations than in locations from other parts of the country. It also talked about the veggies and fruits that were most commonly contaminated with the highest incidence of pesticides/bacteria and the results were surprising. Darn, I wish I could locate that again!! It was very interesting.

I'm sure I'm not covering all bases here, but this should get you off to a good start.

Nancy wrote:
> The Vet didn't get into alot of the information about the food, he
> just gave me a list of foods that would be very beneficial for him.
> Do you have a place I could visit or could you give me some tips
> about the foods and what's the longest they should be left in their
> cage. I don't want my little ones eating food that is spoiled

> I'm glad that you and the few others that have offered me help are
> here for me and my babies... without you all, I would be lost.
> Once again thanks so much.
> Margaret wrote:
> > I figured something like this might be going on. The same thing
> > happened to a breeder friend of mine with a cockatiel chick that she
> > couldn't get to wean after 5 months or so.
> >
> > If you are giving Buddy an antibiotic, I would definitely ask for a
> > probiotic to give your bird once the antibiotic has finished. The
> > antibiotic wipes the gut flora clean and the good and bad bacteria
> > will need to re-establish themselves. Some pellets contain beneficial
> > bacteria, but by adding probiotic to their water this will help
> > re-establish the good (gram-positive) bacteria first so it gets a
> > strong foot-hold before any of the bad bacteria start to multiply.
> > This also helps prevent yeast infections from getting a hold in the
> > gut before the normal flora re-establishes itself. It is not possible
> > to overdose with the probiotic. My vet would say that a 90/10 bacteria
> > mix was normal, but 80/20 is certainly better than 60/40. You don't
> > want to give them the probiotic until after the antibiotic treatment
> > is done or else you're making the medicine work harder than it needs
> > to.
> >
> > Good, I'm glad the vet talked about how to give him foods and how to
> > keep the foods safe and as bacteria free as possible. He probably
> > talked about washing fruits and veggies with either antibacterial
> > soap and water, a vinegar solution or some other way too, and then
> > probably talked about how long you can leave out fresh raw vs. fresh
> > cooked foods too. That is all good information to have and to know.
> > Not that you caused this problem for your baby, he most likely came
> > to you this way I would imagine.
> >
> > I'm so glad that Buddy won't have to suffer any more and that he is
> > on his way to a healthy and happy life. This is wonderful news!
> >
> > Nancy wrote:
> > > I recently posted concerns about Buddy's (my Nanday) behavior. I
> > > called the place where I purchased him and talked with them about my
> > > concerns and they set up an apt. for him to have a 2nd opinion with
> > > another Vet. This is what I found out.
> > > For one Buddy has an infection, His was Gram-Positive 60% and Negative 40%.
> > > I was given some medicine for him for the next 7 days and will be taking him
> > > back to make sure this problem is cleared up.
> > > I was given some more information as far as foods go and what is the
> > > best way to give them. I was also told to just watch him and observe
> > > him for the next few months as far as his behavior to see how he
> > > progresses.

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