Hello. I have come across some very interesting birds lately and I was wondering if someone can help me figure something out.
There has been so much talk over the years about how birds should eat mostly veggies and minimal seeds.
My cousin had a parakeet, teeny, TINY, probably about the size of my thumb. All they ever fed the bird was bird seeds from Wal-Mart. No veggies. The bird never came out of the cage and didn’t want to be covered at night. That parakeet lived for 15 years which is great for a little bird!
Next story is even better. A friend of mine had a cockatiel. All he ever ate were bird seeds from the plastic container at Wal-Mart. The bird refused to eat any veggies. The bird was never sick and never came out of the cage. That cockatiel lived for 33 years!
Now, this leaves me scratching my head because I know people who feed their birds chop, veggies and all and those birds die before their time. Can someone please help me figure this one out?
The untimely death of a parrot isn't necessarily related to the parrot's diet. Lots of other factors may come into play. The recent passing of my Grey Scooter had nothing to do with what she ate, and she was only around 20 years old, not elderly for a Grey.
Years ago there was limited information on what consisted of a good diet for parrots. I got my first parrot in 1969. Of course, there was no internet then, no forums like this one for the exchange of information. It was even difficult to find a good parrot book back then. Our public library had only one and it was published in the 1920's, and much of what it said was outdated. A seed diet was the standard then. My YCA George lived to be close to 70 years old. His diet included a lot of seeds, but as more information came to light over the years, we were able to improve George's diet and emphasize healthier foods.
Variety is important in a parrot's diet. Ralph gets a large variety of vegetables along with things like cooked pasta and quinoa. He also gets a small amount of a quality seed mix every day, once he's eaten his pellets and healthy foods. While many parronts don't believe in feeding any seed, I'm not among them. But seed shouldn't be the main part of a parrot's diet, just a minor part or even restricted to the status of a treat.
If those small birds were getting a good amount of flying in, that can help combat the obesity heart and liver issues that can happen to pet parrots fed only seeds. More flying means they burn off the extra calories.
Also, budgies and cockatiels feed on grasses and grains in the wild. Do a seed based diet is more ok for them than for other birds.
I would not feed a Quaker a seed based diet unless it was only a little % seeds and lots of veggies. Quakers are more prone to heart and liver issues. This is why people are more often leaving their bird’s wings unclipped. With full wing feathers they can fly and hopefully get more exercise.
I have an 8 year old finch and yes she eats seed, my finches do love a piece of romaine lettuce and the occasional bit of egg and egg shells but like heatherg says they do lots of flying around their cages. Casey is in full feathers but is not a flyer since he was probably clipped before his first flight when he was young and got injured, at least that’s what we think He only occasionally flies so he eats a variety in his diet and the only seeds he gets are a small plate of finch seeds on top of his cage for a treat
Thank you everyone for your feedback and comments. And yes I agree that an untimely death isn't necessarily related to a parrot's diet. I just thought it was interesting. It makes sense that the smaller birds like the parakeets and cockatiels can eat more of the seed based diets while the larger birds like quakers and other birds should eat more veggies. I'm enjoying the communication on this forum. It really helps to get this feedback as if I ever get another bird, I will keep all of this in mind.