Nanday Conure Forum

Message #3158. This is a followup to #3153.

Date:Thursday June 16, 2005 6:23:06 am MDT
Subject:Re: Zupreem vs Exact
Message:The only real nutritional research that has been done in parrots has been with cockatiels by Roudybush. Every other big name pelleted food (Zupreem, Harrisons, etc) have basically based their diets off of this research. They are all very similar diets and all produce much healthier birds than seed diets.

Currently, the best thing you can do for your conures is start with a pelleted diet base (and, in my opinion, any of the big names are equally good putting politics, price, and bird preference aside) and provide a variety of veggies and cooked food with the occasional piece of fruit. We don't really know how much of any given nutrient a Nanday Conure needs because we've never done any feeding trials on any South American parrot.

Most of the birds with weight problems, hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver), and ocular lipid deposits have been fed seed for most of their lives. Of course, a small amount of seed isn't bad for birds, but think of it as a dessert rather than a meal. In choosing your pelleted food, I would consider availability and bird preference above all else. Or do what Margaret does and try them all!

Another feeding tip: lose the bowls! One of the most successful treatments of feather picking/chewing (for non-medical reasons, obviously) is to encourage foraging behavior. Spread food throughout the cage and make your bird work for it. Try snow cone cups folded over at the top, cardboard boxes with lids (with or without holes punched in the side), or even a wiffle ball. And don't chop up your fruit/veggies unless your bird won't eat it any other way. In the wild, birds spend much of their time finding and manipulating food. In captivity we tend to provide a day's worth of food in one place, all in bite-size pieces.

Just some thoughts on feeding~ this is one of my biggest areas of interest. Hopefully we'll have some more species-specific research sometime in the near future and formulate more accurate diets for our birds.

~Diana (currently working on a literature review on all things avian nutrition)

(No name) wrote:
> The best kind of pellets you can feed your birds is either roudybush
> or Harrison's. These are the only two that do not use sugars in them.
> Pretty bird, kaytee and zupreem all of sugar in them which could
> result in our birds ingesting too much of this. Breeders should never
> be fed pellets other roudybush or harrison's because they need the
> best diet they can get.

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