Are Bird Food Pellets Right for My Bird?

lovebird birdon top of pie

My sweet little lovebird eats about 4 different varieties of pellets, some dried tiny fruits and vegetables, and shows little interest in seed foods. She gobbles her bedtime snack of FRESH Millet (never bagged) and will eat almost anything I eat.

Grapes, melon, carrots, chicken, pasta, cookies, cereal, and drinks filtered water. She sleeps lying down in her tent in her cage, and spends her days on her private playpen at the opposite end of the room where her cage is. She plays with anything I offer her, and knows Give, Put, Get, Stay, and most everything she understands. I raised her from 7 weeks. She is my second lovebird. 

 Neither bird ever showed any form of anger, biting, destructiveness, etc. I can pick up her food dish while she’s eating in or out of her cage, and she would never think of biting. She is extremely social, loves changes in her cage or playpen, loves going in the car, and has always been happy and secure when he travel. She also has a great love for toys that move, and/or make sounds. 

My one request of the companies which sell pellet food would be small jars or 1 pound or less bags. It’s simply too expensive to buy a bag and find your bird won’t eat it.
Many thanks, Sue M. and Blueberry

Hi Sue

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and great pics of Blueberry. They are appreciated. FYI, Harrison’s offers USDA organic bird food pellets in one pound bags found here:

So what’s the deal with parrot food pellets?

They’re popular for many reasons but on the flip side, there are no pellet trees in the rain forest. With all the bird foods on the market, why would you select pellets over a seed diet? Can a bird survive on an all pellet or all seed diet?

Parrot food pellets came about to provide better nutrition for caged birds. Although many soft bill birds (like canaries & finches) have been living on a seed diet for years. Larger birds require a more balanced diet. Early on, parrot food consisted mainly of sunflower, peanuts, corn and dried chili peppers which made it high in fat and except for the chili peppers and there wasn’t a whole lot of nutritional value. It was also thought at the time feeding your bird fresh fruits and mixed vegetables would cause diarrhea. Further, parrots in the wild don’t eat a lot of dried seed. It would be very difficult to duplicate a wild parrots diet unless you want to import ingredients from different continents. Things like insects, flowers, plants and tubers. At-the-end-of-the-day many seed diets are typically deficient in vitamins, amino acids and minerals.

Choosing the right parrot food pellets can be a daunting task. The list of brand names and ingredients is long. One of the first things you want to look for is that you’re buying factory sealed bags. If you receive your food in a Zip-Loc bag or buy bulk bird food at the pet store, the origin of the food is unknown. Why is this important? Let’s start with freshness. Factory sealed bags of bird food have expiration dates, the date you should no longer serve the food to your bird. There’s no way of telling the date your food expires with “re-pack” bird food. The food may have been exposed to other birds. A benefit some manufacturers add like Hagen bird food & Goldenfeast They extract all the air out of their food and inject CO2 (carbon dioxide). This guarantees their food will be bug free. Yes bug free. All bird seed contains bug eggs which may or may not produce live bugs or moths in your bird food over time. Score one for bird food pellets – generally bug free.

According to Mark Hagen, prime developer of Hagen bird food “More pelleted food needs to be eaten by birds to maintain their weight, in fact almost twice as much volume as the high calorie bird seed kernels. Fat has more than twice the energy value per gram than protein or carbohydrates and this accounts for the energy differences. The cost of feeding a bird is not based on the price per kilogram of food but the price per kilo-calorie of digestible energy. Extruded foods are able to incorporate more efficient fat levels into the texture of the “kibble” read more on Avian Nutrition: Trends and Philosophies here. Which brings us to the money thing. I feel overall parrot food pellets give your bird a good bang for your buck. Your bird can live a long and healthy life on pellet bird food without seeds. Harrison’s parrot food pellet diets are fully organic and are especially useful for birds that are molting, over or under weight, highly active, live in a colder area or recovering from an illness.

Parrot food pellet manufacturers can more precisely target different species nutritionally. Pretty bird parrot food pellets offer some species specific pellet blends like Pretty Bird African Grey and (large) Conure specific foodRoudybush pellet bird food offers each formula in different size pellet “pieces” depending on the size of bird you have. Scenic pellet bird food was originally developed for parrots kept in zoos. Zupreem offers several different varieties of pellets that can appeal to a wide variety of birds.

Parrot food pellets are by far and away cleaner to feed than a bird seed diet. If you feed your bird a seed diet and if you look under your bird’s cage, what do you see? Unwanted seeds and lots of seed hulls. By the way our most popular alternative to an all seed diet for those birds that won’t embrace a pellet diet alone should try Tropimix seed fruit and pellet blend. The seeds in this yummy and nutritional hulled seed, fruit, veggie and pellet mixture have no hulls making it a very clean bird food blend, almost 100% of the food is edible. What’s interesting, seed blend ingredient panels include the meat and the shells the hulls. In that parrots hull seeds before eating them, your birds is receiving lower fiber levels that are actually noted on the bags.

Overall if you’re considering a pellet diet for your bird, why not try using the pellets as a base 50%-70% pellets, some veggies fresh or frozen, legumes (beans), fresh fruits, table foods (in moderation) and some seeds never hurt. If you want learn more about the differences between bird foods, read this.



Is Wing Trimming Easy?

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Keeping your parrot’s wing’s properly trimmed is an essential part of owning a parrot. Not only does it aid in keeping you, the owner, as the dominant member of the bird-human relationship, it is very important for the safety of your pet. The vast majority of “lost bird” reports come from people who claim to never have clipped their bird’s wings, or to have “forgotten” to do this. Even birds who owners claim “they never even attempt to fly” are prone to a startle reflex when suddenly frightened. In this case even a hand raised bird’s instincts tell then to attempt to fly off. If the bird’s wings are clipped, the parrot will flutter harmlessly to the ground – if not, this act of owner negligence could result in the loss of a bird and a death sentence if it happens in winter.

Even birds who never go outside benefit from clipped wings. A fully flighted bird in the house is much more prone to wing, head and leg injuries resulting from crashes into doors, walls, ceiling fans, windows, mirrors, etc. Sometimes these injuries could prove fatal! Furthermore, an unclipped bird is more likely to act dominant to its owner, since it knows it can fly away to a high, “superior” spot if it needs to assert itself.

For those feeling pity for stripping our feathered companions of their unique and beautiful flying ability, fear not. Any bird will learn very quickly to get what it wants using their two wonderfully adapted feet and that marvelous hooked beak (if you don’t believe me, ask Birdmart’s feathered CEOs!). Think about it this way, in the wild, birds fly (expending lots of time and energy) to find food, shelter, safety, things to play with, places to bathe and companionship. In a proper human-parrot home, all of these things are provided in abundance. If let out of the cage often, and offered plenty of opportunity and variety of food, playthings and companionship, a pet bird with clipped wings will be perfectly content and will never attempt to fly (unless startled).
Checkout faster than a speeding parakeet

There are a few different styles of feather clipping. The first ones mentioned are not the ones we recommend! They were designed more for aesthetics and can provide a true false sense of security.

The first is called a Window or Vanity Clip. This means that the two outermost flight feathers (see diagrams below) on both wings are left uncut, and the next 8 or so are cut. It gives a bird a more “wild” appearance. However many birds, especially aerodynamic types like Conures, Macaws, Parakeets, Lovebirds and Cockatiels, can still fly with this cut! The next common style is the Single Wing Trim. This is a full cut of only one wing. With this trim, birds can get lift and propulsion on only one side. As a result some birds may fly in circles, which could result in severe injury. Another common trim is an Every Other Feather trim. In this case, every other flight feather is cut or shaved. This gives the bird a totally wild look, but in many cases does not restrict their flying ability, as a result it can be very dangerous!

The wing trim recommended by WindyCityParrot.Com is the Bilateral Wing Trim. With this style, the first 8-10 primary flight feathers on both wings are trimmed to the point of the dorsal major primary coveret feathers. This is a safe cut because you will not hit a blood feather if done correctly. The following diagram describes the method and logic to this trim:

The feathers we are most concerned with when trimming a bird’s wings are the Primary Flight Feathers and theSecondary Flight Feathers. The Primary Flight Feathers are the long feathers at the outermost portion of a bird’s wing. The provide provide forward propulsion. The Secondary Flight Feathers are those feathers between the Primaries and the bird’s body. They provide lift.

When we trim the first 8-10 flight feathers ( on some parrots, like African Grays, only cut the first 6 flight feathers), we are cutting away the primaries. This takes away the bird’s forward flight propulsion. Without this, the “lift” part of the flight system is fairly useless. So, if the bird tries to fly away, he will flutter safely to the ground, without falling too hard. 

When trimming your bird’s wings always aim the scissors away from the bird’s body. Otherwise, serious injury could result. Also, be sure to have someone competent holding the bird. You could easily get bit or even suffocate your bird if your holder is not careful. 

When you cut your bird’s primary flight feathers, use the dorsal major primary coverts as a type of “dotted line” guide. These are the smaller feathers just above (towards the bird’s head and wrist) the primary flights. If you cut just below (towards the tail) these feathers, you should never accidentally cut an immature or “blood” feather, which could result in pain and bleeding. Normally, the part of the feather sticking beyond the coverts is mature and without blood supply. 

Clipping the wings in this manner can be as painless as cutting hair. Usually, the bird has more objection to the restraint involved than the actual wing trimming. As shown in the diagram, when the wing is fully extended, we can see the area cut. However, once the wing is pulled back into a folded position, the cut portion folds under the secondary flight feathers and cannot be seen.

Another note, when your bird is first clipped, place it on the floor or the bottom of its cage, so if it decides to “take off”, it will not get much loft and will not go crashing to the floor thus possibly harming itself. It will realize it can’t fly in a short time then.

If in the several months it takes to molt the cut feathers and the new flight feathers have grown back in, the bird shows little interest in flying or behaves itself AND if you have a double door entryway, allowing it to fly again is fine. But if you have only a single door that goes “outside” or the bird gets aggressive/elusive then a fresh clipping is advised.

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Mitch Rezman
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Windy City Parrot, Inc
Simply Everything for Exotic Birds – Since 1993

2, Gretchen Rubin. All rights reserved.

My Cockatoo is throwing out his food

unidentified man playing with white cockatoo parrot cacatua alba or umbrella cockatoo in park utopia. bahan . israel
I have a 6 yr. old Umbrella coci-a-too that has started throwing his food out! I mean he empties his bowl. What can I do to keep him from doing this? I remove his bowls but I’m sure he’d like to eat! Appreciate any help! Linda L.

Hi Linda – first some questions

  1. When you say “started” how long a go? 
  2. What may have changed in his environmental to cause this behavior?
  3. Has his diet changed?
  4. What’s his current diet?

Read moreMy Cockatoo is throwing out his food

Using Higgins Intune Bird Food for My Flock

Higgins InTune Natural Bird Food Pellets - Parrot 18 lb
Hi Cat,
I won’t make it two or three weeks without the Intune Macaw and I don’t want to switch them back to the Hagen just because I don’t want to keep messing with their diet. Which one is easier for you to get? I want to stick with the one I can get easily and that you can get easily also?
My flock is eating like a bunch of pigs right now that is why I ordered again so soon. Yes I have been working with Carmel via phone and once one on one with her. The bird is attacking her BUT she keeps handling the bird while stressed and she is simply just trying too hard? I just got off the phone with her again as she was just bitten badly again.
The Cockatoo is handicap and this was news to her. The bird also has a lump on her foot which I believe is causing her pain, she is taking the bird to the vet this week. She is really taking everything I am saying and implementing it : ). I had so many Cockatoo calls in Dec. that I put the group together and did a power point and some one on one handling techniques with all of them. They all pitched in and gave me a wonderful card that they all signed and put what they could afford in, which made me feel really good and appreciated. BUT the whole group needs more help. I must have said go to Windy City Parrot 50 times during the power point and talk. None of them knew what a boing or a booda perch was?????? None knew you sold toy parts?????? And none of them knew you shipped so quickly for this area?????? Doing my best to help all of them and send hopefully an abundance of orders your way??????
Oh well, I spent the weekend being puked on by kids, doing tons of laundry because the girls just would say “Mommy I don’t feel good” then PUKE! Finally the puking has stopped and the laundry is all done, birds scrubbed, house scrubbed, God help me I actually made it through the weekend! I will most likely be the one puking tomorrow, ugh! If you have the smaller bags of the Macaw Intune I think two bags would get me through until the big bags come in? You can just credit my account with what is left over and leave the other order there for when it comes in and I will pay for it, or if it is easier I can place and pay for another 18lb. bag???? Let me know? I do need the Cockatiel Hagen and the Booda perches sooner than later if possible? Have a great night!

I suggest the Intune Parrot size, it is closer than to the Intune Macaw than going back and forth to the Hagen parrot sticks. I am bringing a bag in tomorrow. Let me know and I will ship it tomorrow. If they are out of that size too (doubtful) then all I have is the Hagen Parrot Sticks.
I do have 2 Intune Macaw 3# bags in stock now, I can send out of your payment today. I will give you the amount you have left over and when the 18# bag is back in stock send you a Paypal invoice for the remainder to pay.I am still bringing in the 18 poudn Intune Parrot tomorrow, so left me know.
I hope my distributor gets in Higgins sooner than 2-3 weeks but I have to under-promise and over-perform. I will try to find out today if they placed their Higgins order yet, I doubt it as their delivery guy says they have a lot of Higgins still.
The cockatoo is a larger bird for her and I think she has always had smaller ones. I think she is overwhelmed by this cockatoo. If it is in pain, I can see why it may be lashing out, no matter what she does. I did tell her that if it is mean, she does not have to let it out every day. As long as the cage is large enough and it has things to do and food, it can cool its heels in the cage a bit.
We have Boodas and Bungees but how to make them buy? I am not sure. Our having to move 3 times since Milwaukee did not help retail biz, so Internet sales are our main sales platform. Toy parts are fewer and far between since we have have no way to create them and the mills are not offering the thick pieces anymore. I also have no way to drill, dye and prepare them anyway. Times are hard. We have Marbella beads, plastic chain, some hardware. The only wood parts are ABC blocks. Sucks. I tell people to go to the lumberyard and get bags of cut up wood chunks, they often call them kindling.
Hope the kids recover soon. And you don’t catch it too. I just got my flu shot Saturday, I have a doctors appointment after work for med refills, etc. Monday’s are always rough, so I have to run.
Miss you.

“What’s bad for my bird to smell and eat?”

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Captive Birds don’t always understand the concept of safe, so it’s up to you to keep them out of harms way. For this discussion we’re going to focus on toxins that can work quickly, or take their time killing your birds.

Look under any kitchen sink or bathroom cabinet and you’ll find it filled with lots of household dangers. If the name on the can or the bottle ends in “Sol” think Pine-Sol or Lysol – don’t use it around your bird, it’s a phenol derivative. You may want to save money by cleaning your bird cage with bleach (find a suitable bird cage disinfectant here) but bleach gives off chlorine gas which can be deadly (Remember Canaries in Coal Mines?). Spray deodorant, hair spray and scented candles are bad for bird’s respiratory systems. Even hand lotions have killed birds as well. Hand sanitizer is full of alcohol. Plug-in air fresheners, Febreeze. Ammonia, rubbing alcohol or even perfume can be deadly. Treated wood and new carpet, and even the cleaner Endust can negatively impact your bird.

That’s a pretty straight forward list of the usual suspects but let’s look at some subtle items that could be mighty interesting to your bird – file under simple sugars. The discarded sweet roll Danish or donut. Anything with the glazing, even high sugar fruit cocktail. The simple sugar problem is when a bird ingests simple sugars these items ferment in the lower bowel and change from an aerobic (something with oxygen) environment to an anaerobic (something without oxygen) environment. Most birds have a certain bacteria that is in the small intestines and the bacteria tends to grow quite well under anaerobic conditions which then creates a toxin which causes an illness that can kill your bird in 24 hours unless antibiotics and fluids are administered rapidly.

Speaking of food, let’s look at foods with low pH, low pH means the food is acidic like oranges, raspberries, pineapple and tomatoes that all can produce symptoms similar to sugar toxicity. It’s thought that when these highly acidic foods are added to the bird’s crop they lower the pH which slows or stops the crops normal function as a passageway to further down the gastrointestinal tract. So what happens is, toxic food byproducts are absorbed into the system which can cause dehydration, regurgitation, depression and sometimes even death. This also explains why we are telling people with plucking parrots not to give your bird any citrus/acidic foods or fruit.

Overall birds need more calories than humans relative to their body weight but a third to half of these calories should be made up of high quality carbohydrates. Excess fat in birds gets stored in the liver cells or goes back to the bloodstream. If too many fats enter the birds body that can’t be utilized the fat gets stored in the birds liver. If a birds liver is overloaded it will gradually degenerate which can cause weakness, paralysis, seizures and even death.

And although it might be cute for your birds take a sip of beer it’s important to remember birds have the ability to ingest more volume compared to their body weight than humans which means liver failure occurs very quickly.

You’d think that avoiding tobacco arround birds would be a no-brainer but even chewing tobacco and marijuana can cause things like lung disease, feather picking and heart disease. A smoker who has tobacco residue on his hands or body can transfer that residue to a birds feathers during petting which then gets ingested when the bird begins to preen.
Zinc can be a problem for birds, especially big birds like Moluccan Cockatoos because they are capable of chipping off pieces of metal. You have to be careful with cages that are pre -1995. The brass or bronze coating on metals can be harmful. Anything galvanized, and remember, brighter galvanized metal means there’s more zinc in it. The zinc could be found in costume jewelry and sequins, metal zippers especially the zipper key, loose screws, nuts & bolts.
Speaking of heavy metal, things like tin which is in aluminum foil, gum wrappers and tin cans can be fatal AND there’s no antidote. Copper – think extension cords, pennies made after 1982 which have almost a pure copper coating. Exposed copper water pipes. 
Iron is certainly bad, which your bird can find in anything like the rust on an old bird cage. Culprits from curtain weights to costume jewelry, ceramics, stained-glass windows, Tiffany lamps, glitter from fancy clothing and even Christmas ornaments and foils. Celebrating with some wine? The foil top of wine bottles can contain lead. Miniscule amounts of lead can kill your bird especially those from South America like Amazons because they are very sensitive to lead poisoning which cause death in as little as 48 hours. 
Oh those Swarovski crystals that look so good around your neck contain a good amount of lead. These crystals don’t release lead in the bloodstream so testing won’t detect the lead but your bird can die quickly from internal hemorrhaging and the only way to fix this would be to surgically remove them once they’re identified via x-ray
If you think you have a green thumb and have a bird you’ll not want to have a Japanese Yew, Philodendron, Oleander, Poinsettia, Dumb Cane, Redwood, Bird of Paradise, Mistletoe, Nightshade or Around-Sherry in pots around your home. The seeds and/or the pits of apples apricots. peaches and cherries are all toxic. 
Speaking of pits, in 1989 it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that avocados are toxic to birds and they can die within a couple of days after just one drop from avocado paste diluted in water. Avocados will cause kidney failure in birds so it’s just best not to have any avocados in your house if your bird is out of its cage and roams.
Birds are lactose intolerant so theoretically you should never feed a bird cheese but birds don’t know they are lactose intolerant. Even if your bird’s system is strong and can handle small amounts of milk products let’s remember a lot of cheeses have certain kinds of gums that give it shape and texture which are non-digestible which can lead to gastrointestinal inflammation and possible obstructions.
Coffee, caffeinated tea, soda pop, cocoa, chocolate can all affect your birds body muscles and may induce vomiting or make your bird appear tired or cause muscle tremors, seizures and possibly even death by heart attack or respiratory failure. Keep your bird away from all of these foods.
Most seasoned bird owners are aware of the issues caused by no stick cookware but for those of you just researching a parrot as a pet please take note. Teflon or Silverstone that’s been heated to temperatures above 530° create vapors that are emitted from this cookery which accumulate in the lungs which cause fluid production and then anoxia or the lack of oxygen necessary for a bird, so it dies in literally minutes. 
I never understood growing up why I wasn’t allowed to play with fire or sharp objects unless of course I was in the kitchen. Kitchens are a bad place for a bird if you’re doing cooking of any sort.

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Mitch Rezman
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Windy City Parrot, Inc
Simply Everything for Exotic Birds – Since 1993

2, Gretchen Rubin. All rights reserved.


Seeking a play stand for my Macaw parrot

Parrot Play Stand Large Ring by HQ 503
The 503 is a great Macaw stand because we were told by many Macaw owners it’s a great Macaw bird play stand. Our responsibility is to the birds, “we took them out of the sky and it’s our obligation to provide the best care possible” our corporate message.
The dowel perch may be a tad small for Macaws feet but I wouldn’t dwell on it. We’re told by many HQ 503 buyers “the only place he stands is on the side of it” on cold tubular steel having a smaller diameter than either of the perchWe recommend introducing toys and or food to the ring area in attempt to bring him to the center. Rope wrapped around the perches will not only make them more inviting, it will challenge the bird’s feet for better foot health and offer preening opportunities
Parrots will always poop on the floor. They will sit on top of a cage and poop over the edge onto the floor. So we get a cage with seed guards and they sit on the edge of the seed guards and poop on the floor. Or they jump off their stand and poop on the floor. And if it’s not on the floor it’s on the grate of the stand or the cage. 
If you have a bird, you are never not cleaning poop. This is the nature of an animal with a standing heart rate of 200 bpm. If your bird’s pooping on your floor is a problem we recommend an office chair floor mat or piece of sheet linoleum which is much easier to keep clean than the 40 plus individual bars on the grate of the stand.
 At-the-end-of-the-day we take a bird that would cover 50,000 – 100,000 acres of land in it’s daily search for food in the wild and expect a bird cage and or play stand that occupies less than 10 square feet to solve the animals captive needs. There is no such device found at any price. 

Question on Full Spectrum Lamp Ordered

Full Spectrum Bird Cage Floor Lamp for Birds or Craft Use
Hello, I rec’d my order for the Trademark Home Collection Sunlamp. It’s listed as a full spectrum light on your site, however, the box nor instructions say full spectrum. I’ve looked online as well and can’t seem to find where its a full spectrum lamp. It says “sunlight simulator”. My understanding is that there is a difference between “sunlight simulator” and “full spectrum”. Would you be able to confirm that this bulb is indeed full spectrum? If its not, do you sell a replacement full spectrum bulb that will fit this lamp fixture safely?
Thanks so much!
Dawn M

Hi Dawn
First of all it’s important to note there is no technical definition of “full-spectrum” lighting which makes it impossible to measure. If you need to compare “full-spectrum” sources you have to compare spectral distributions. This is because even “sunlight” itself changes throughout the day depending where you are on the planet, what the time is and weather conditions.
Color temperature and Color Rendering Index (CRI) are the standards for measuring light. “Full-spectrum” is actually a marketing term and lacks a scientific technical definition and can not be measured. If you take a small block (think ice cube size) of carbon “C” it will radiate light of varying spectral power distribution (SPD) as it is heated. At 0 Kelvin the block of carbon “C” would appear pure black, but if you heat it up to somewhere between 5,000 Kelvin to 5,500 Kelvin, that cube of carbon “C” would glow as brightly as the Arizona sun at noon in August on a cloudless day.
The Kelvin temperature of the lamp (bulb) you purchased is 6500 Kelvin and gives off 1300 LUMENS It has a C.R.I.(Color Rendering Index) of 80-85, gives as much light as an 
ordinary 150-watt bulb, but uses far less energy. The bulb can last up to 5000 hours, 5x longer than other bulbs- for years of normal use.
Much has been written on the effects of UVA and UVB rays emitted from certain “Full spectrum” bulbs. It’s said that these rays may help with a bird’s assimilation of vitamin D and perhaps other nutrients. What science we can find on the subject has not convinced us. 
The metal coatings on the interior of “Full spectrum” bulbs is necessary to replicate the additional portions of the ultraviolet spectrum, double the cost of the bulb and yet if you evaluate a bird on a seed diet vs. a pellet diet vs. natural grain with fruit and vegetable diet tests would all yield different nutritional results.
At-the-end-of-the-day we feel there are two goals of “Full Spectrum” lighting for caged birds. The first is to make the bird feel better about itself as most exotic birds are found naturally in equatorial regions of earth, areas where light can usually be measured at 5,000 Kelvin or above throughout the day. 
The second is to make those 10,000 feathers look great to you.
Hope that helps

Birds unlike humans have no emotional attachment to food

Higgins Worldly Cuisines Cook and Serve Bird Food African Sunset 4 oz
In our email news letter dated 12/30/2012 I began with
Old guy that I am I’ve always enjoyed a steaming bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning. What makes me feel warm at the beginning of the day is the same thing that will make your tropical bird a little more balanced in their counter intuitive environment we call winter. Read 

A thoughtful reader responded

Every time you feed your birds warm gooey food you are infantalizing them, denying them maturity and not accepting them them as fully formed adult individuals. Birds unlike humans have no emotional attachment to fool, they don’t need food to “feel cozy” and be reminded of being a baby.

Not to mention that feeding them gooey warm food can increase hormonal and mating behaviors inappropriately towards care takers. This is the time of the year when particularly African birds are thinking about going to nest, why add fuel to the fire?

The only times parrots get fed warm food is when they are hatchling and to a lesser degree as a mate bonding experience. Are these the types of relationships, as care takers we want to promote with our parrots? Not I, I want to be my parrots’ flock mate and buddy, not their mother or their mate.

I understand you are selling product, but can we have some actual education some fact based reasons for doing this rather than just pray on emotions.


Our response 

Hi Erin

Thank you for the thoughtful comment. It is our belief birds do have emotions at many levels. These emotions can be illustrated by an abused bird who has been re-homed and continues to lash out at the new caregiver because of “emotional scars”. A flighted bird is much more confident (another emotion) than a clipped bird. There was a long thread in a Facebook group recently on birds having car sickness with regurgitation taking an “emotional” toll on the birds experiencing it and giving the bird a negative emotional experience with food.

By providing care to a parrot using a holistic approach, a few warm meals alone should not trigger additional hormonal activities. Those activities are already programmed into your bird and unfortunately many bird companions fail to recognize them thus enabling these issues without addressing core issues like allowing nesting behavior or rubbing a parrots beak

At the end of the day there is little information available regarding the correlation between parrots and their emotions towards food. We know crows are smart enough to play dead next to a carcass that has recently been killed by another predator – by playing dead other crows flying above think the carcass is bad and has poisoned the crow on the ground. Birds in general operate on a much higher plain that we give them credit for.

We feel if we’re going to feed a bird for 50 or 60 years, a little variety really won’t hurt now and then.

Mitch Rezman
General Manager


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