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#136501 - 10/01/07 06:19 AM "reproductive season " and diet  
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1wingwonder Offline
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Does anyone worry about "soft" foods and the times their birds are "in season"? This is particularly important for hens.

I attended a seminar in Burnsville MN last year @ parrot Island. (no birds sold There)
Speakers were: Sally Blanchard & Tammy Jenkins, DVM. It was recommended to remove the soft foods during this hormonal time & NEVER any warm foods(anytime of the year if bird is over 1 year old). It was also recommended to remove 1 full day of feeding once a week yearly. This once weekly removal is thought to reduce hormonal levels in general.
What do others think?

#136504 - 10/01/07 07:05 AM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: 1wingwonder]  
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I won't say we worry about feeding warm, mushy food during hormonal periods. We don't do it and I think it is reasonable.

I understand the theory behind the once a week food removal. It seems that more and more people are espousing the practice as a way to keep hormones from peaking and it really is rather natural for many parrots. They do not get to eat well everyday. Nature is just that way. Peg and I do have trouble actually practicing it. smirk I particularly like to cut back to very basic green food once a day every week or two. This seems natural enough and doesn't fully deny feeding. I got the idea from David Poole, an Australian botanist, horticulturist and bird keeper.

Quote:
I also think that we tend to overdo and provide too good a diet all of the time. My birds get one or two days of lean times' about every couple of weeks. This does not mean they go for want of food, simply that they might miss out on the pellets and even the mash. The seed mix may then be bulked with millet, sorghum etc. and together with greens and fruit, nothing else of offered for a day or two. In the wild, there are times when they have to eat just greens and or fruit, while at other times they eat nothing but seed. I try to emulate this, while at the same time, ensuring they get ample carbohydrate to keep them going and feeling OK.


EDIT to add: I also think withholding food, even for a day, is not a good idea if the bird has ANY health problems. Birds that undergo daily fasts should be well cared for and seen by a good avian vet at the very least. I hope they brought up that point.

Last edited by Charlie; 10/01/07 07:11 AM. Reason: addition
#136511 - 10/01/07 09:11 AM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: Charlie]  

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Dangit, I didnt know ANY of this information. I think I am doing EVERYTHING wrong and I wonder if this isnt why Frankie {goffins} is so incredibley hormonal.
Morning..scrambled eggs, oat meal. or sweet potatoes and I usually mix coos coos{sp} weat berries barley or something like that with what I am offering.

After and hour, I take that away and give fruit and veggies

Next time I think of it, I take that away and give seeds and pellets or maybe a fruit and nut mix

Next when me and Nicota s having a snack I take some to all the birds..penut butter and banana or something like that.

Then dinner..what ever we are having...agian WARM

After dinner is done {for them} I change out the dishes agian and give bed time snacks. Pellets in one dish, volkman just fruit or goodies in the other dish and them each of them have favorites, pickles likes babana chips, Frankie like almonds and nutri berries, Fred likes pine nuts and nutri berries and beebop like walnuts. Three times a week I hand feed Beebop before bed to help a little with his weight gain but not to much.

I throw a lot of food away, they never eat all of that food. Am I offering way to much and all the wrong stuff??
I wonder if I will EVER get this right.


#136515 - 10/01/07 09:53 AM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: ]  
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I truly wonder if there *is* a way to "get it right". When it comes down to it, all we can do is approximate what they would be living like in the wild....without the drought, rainy seasons etc...

I think I'll pare Bill down a day or two with just greens. He does seem to be getting a titch 'nesty' again. It's pretty subtle with him (to me anyway).


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#136516 - 10/01/07 09:58 AM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: spinnyspoo]  

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I wonder if my birds would eat BETTER if I offered less food? I dont fill the bowls up, I just spend all day bringing more bowls!

#136522 - 10/01/07 10:49 AM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: ]  
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I think I would be really nervous cutting down on Cassies food. She eats really well but only maintains her weight at 300 gms. The vet did she she was perfect because she is petite. She seems to go through periods where she eats almost everything, then she barely eats anything for a day or two. She has been eating like this for a long time. Do any of your birds do this? She will even go off the pellets for a few days in a row per month and then eats the whole bowl when she goes back on them. She does this with everything. Even her seed mix at night. Nancy


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#136533 - 10/01/07 03:04 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: Charlie]  
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Yes Charlie thank you for adding that "edit" they did mention it & I left it out, sorry. crazy


Originally Posted By: Charlie
EDIT to add: I also think withholding food, even for a day, is not a good idea if the bird has ANY health problems. Birds that undergo daily fasts should be well cared for and seen by a good avian vet at the very least. I hope they brought up that point.




Mom2beebop: This was also the time I learned of "meal feeding" twice daily only, with a measured bowl of whatever "dry diet" they are eating left out for them all day. Any "snacks" I want them to have I hold out and use for training exercises &/or foraging.

Consult your avian vet, read published articles, do your research to see if diet changes could help your parrot during these times.........However any petting from the shoulders down will negate the good you are doing with the diet!

#136607 - 10/01/07 08:46 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: 1wingwonder]  

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I just cant believe this. Last night I went ahead and took a bunch of the stuff out of the dishes before I went to bed and only left a little. When I got up, I cooked up bird breakfast and everyone of my birds have a horrible case of messy beak syndrome! I can not believe how much of there breakfast they actually ate today. Im going to do my best to not obsess over dumping the dishes and giving something different as much today and see how it goes. THANK YOU! You have no idea how tickled I am that my Beebop has messy beek syndrome. LOL

#136618 - 10/01/07 09:13 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: ]  
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Quote:
she eats almost everything, then she barely eats anything for a day or two...


Yes, our birds do this. I really think they are quite capable of nourishing themselves if we provide enough of the basic needs and let them choose. It's wasteful, so what? LOL

I see the lean days as another way to vary life, as well as nutrition. Variety! smile

#136640 - 10/01/07 10:08 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: Charlie]  
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Our Avian vets told us to make sure that our RB2s have access to thier food at all times, especially Harry who is very hyperactive and a little underweight. This appears to be also good for Hannah "robusto" that although she is overweight, the vets said if you withhold food periodically then they get so upset when it is not there and binge when the next meal comes. I guess that is sort of us like when on a diet....... laugh


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#137092 - 10/04/07 04:38 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: RB2sMom]  
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I guess WE should do the same...good advice for humans! grin Not binge, but definitely cut back.


Gail
#137102 - 10/04/07 05:47 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: Bird Mom]  
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WHAT??? Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving, Christmas, umpteen birthdays!!! I don't cut back until February thank you very much.


...kinda explains my girth...


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#137175 - 10/04/07 10:51 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: 1wingwonder]  
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Originally Posted By: 1wingwonder




Mom2beebop: This was also the time I learned of "meal feeding" twice daily only, with a measured bowl of whatever "dry diet" they are eating left out for them all day. Any "snacks" I want them to have I hold out and use for training exercises &/or foraging.


Well Chewy is used ot having food at all times of the day along with treats in the middle of the day. I'm not going to change that on him.


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#137191 - 10/04/07 11:26 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: Chewy]  
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I used to do the fasting days. But, I found that they are calmer when they are well fed. The idea behind not offering fresh foods and smaller portions at breeding time is if there is less food available their systems won't kick into breeding cycle. When there is plenty of food, there is a population explosion. Lean times, there are less babies.

#137321 - 10/05/07 07:56 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: Elliott]  
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Went to my AV yesterday and I was told to do exactly this. Less good pellets, less sprouts and yes, put him back on seed temporarily! He has become so aggressive and crazy. I dunno, thinking on it. Lots of good info here to consider.


jaz
#137697 - 10/07/07 08:24 PM Re: "reproductive season " and diet [Re: jaznblu]  
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My birds also have days when they eat very few pellets and days when they eat lots. I thought they might be on an "every other day" schedule, but it probably isn't that consistent. The really weird part is that nearly the whole flock will follow the same schedule. They are in different rooms, so it is not a "birdie-see birdie-do" situation. It makes me wonder what environmental factors we have not even considered are coming into play.

For those of you considering offering more seed to "lean-up" their diet, I think millet is the seed to consider. It is mostly carbohydrate, little fat. Charlie's post references millet and sorghum (also known as milo and marketed to us as "mega-millet", a notoriously poor and cheap filler in wild bird mixes. Most of our favorite wild birds crave FAT). These millets offer busy work for the birds as well, since they are small and take time to eat. Switching to seeds is pointless if you are offering rich, fatty sunflower and safflower. It may even make the diet richer than what you were offering!

P.S. If you notice your bird has eaten less than usual one day, you MUST observe carefully to be sure they eat lots the next day. You must know what is normal for YOUR bird and be alert to changes that may indicate the subtle signs of illness. To simplify the concept, I believe that a bird not eating for one day is the equivalent of a human not eating for a week. This can severely affect their health and turn a fixable problem into a possibly insurmountable crisis in very little time.

P.S.S. Personally, I wouldn't restrict food intake even if my vet DID recommend it.

Last edited by Birdfriend; 10/08/07 12:25 AM. Reason: P.S.S.

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