Posted:2/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
If I was given a choice of mashed potatoes or cooked carrots, I would definitely take the mashed potatoes. If the choices were a fresh salad or that wonderful marshmallow, pineapple,cool whip,mandarin orange concoction appropriately named 'Ambrosia,' my choice would definitely be the latter. Fortunately, better judgment takes a hold and I eat relatively healthy 75% of the time. As caregivers, we are partly responsible for our family's nutrition and health. We are especially responsible if we have young children or pets....including our birds. We need to provide nutritional, healthy foods so that the choices they make are good for them. Seed, water and an occasional bowl of fruits and veggies isn't going to work. We need to balance and vary the diet for our feathered 'kids' as well as our human ones.
Seed is not a 'four letter' word. It is an important part of the general nutritional diet. A balance of a good quality seed, fresh fruits and veggies, healthful table food, pellets and nuts will help provide optimum nutritional health for your pet. We hear so many times at our store..."my bird won't eat veggies" or "my bird only eats sunflower seeds" or "mine only eats seed and nothing else." I come from a wonderful Italian family....If I sat at the table to eat and told my Mom I won't eat anything but the garlic bread.....need I elaborate? We are in control...we make the nutritional decisions. As intelligent as my Macaws and Grey are, not one of them fixes their own food! Let me share some suggestions which might make eating healthy easier for your bird. My three really like seed and nuts. I didn't feel they were eating enough fruits and veggies....so I decided to try a different approach. In the morning, instead of having one bowl full of fruits and veggies, one bowl full of seed and nuts and one bowl full of fresh water.....I have one bowl full of water and TWO bowls full of fresh fruits and veggies. When I get home from work, I remove the two bowls and replace them with a bowl of nuts and seed. I have found that my birds are eating much better and their seed consumption is minimal. Sometimes I fix fruits and veggies in one bowl and put Crazy Corn (a healthful supplement you cook) in the other bowl. They spend the day munching on good, healthy food, which makes me feel much happier.
Sunflower seeds are not bad for your bird in moderation.....but unfortunately, most birds find them quite delightful and will prefer them to any other food. These seeds are high fat, high protein and high energy. Birds whose diet consists of large amounts of sunflower seeds become pudgy and end up with liver and kidney problems due to the fat content and lack of nutrients, This is like eating my beloved Ambrosia at every meal.....I would have definite health issues also as well as having to widen doorways so I could pass through.
It seems that many birds love warm foods.....try oatmeal, cooked rice, scrambled eggs, cooked pasta etc. This is where Crazy Corn comes in handy. It comes in many varieties, easy to prepare and well received by your birds. We even serve it to our canaries and finches in the store. We have some 'birdie cornbread' recipes available if you are interested. In summary, you are in charge.....be creative, vary the diet and keep a healthy nutritional balance. 'Goodies' won't hurt, just keep them at a minimum. Give us a call, we will be happy to help you with any nutritional questions you might have. And if you would like, I'd be delighted to share my Mom's Ambrosia recipe with you.