Tuesday, June 11, 2013

(Bird) Food for Thought

So I realized that I said I would share Mango's menu - don't judge, he eats better than Brian and I do.

As far as birds go - Eclectuses (Ekkies) are not "normal" birds. Short version: they have a different digestive tract - it's much longer than most other birds, and it is very efficient and getting nutrients out of whatever they eat. Also, Ekkies spend most of their days in the tree tops - so they don't eat a lot of standard "seeds" in their natural diet. A lot of the bird food out there is either seed based, or pelleted - which for most birds is great, since it is fortified with nutrients that they need. For Ekkies, that can cause problems because they can get too much of a good thing (nutrients).

After a bit of researching, and talking with experts - and this is what they recommended:

1/4 cup "fruit salad"
mango, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, pomegranate seeds (that's the "constant" - if something else is fresh when we go shopping, we add that, too)

1/4 cup "veggie salad" - warmed
corn, peas, butternut squash, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, zucchini, yellow squash, northern beans, brown rice and some sort of "green" (dandelion is recommended, but we couldn't find that, so it's varied from kale to brussels sprouts to broccoli)
1 capsule of Flax Seed Oil

(his breakfast)


1 TBSP mashed sweet potato - heated
1/4 Volkman's Eclectus Mix
10-15 Roudybush rice pellets
All of this seems like a lot of work (and don't get me wrong - it is!); but we are hoping it will help him be a happy, healthy bird (with maybe a few more feathers - that, or he gets a sweater this winter!).
It's been going pretty well for the past four and a half (!) weeks - we tend to go grocery shopping once a week, and then spend Sunday afternoon cutting up all our food for the week (his, and ours for our lunches).

(Mango taste-testing his veggie salad for the week)
He always looks forward to meal times (evidenced by his seed "beard" below from dinner tonight)!

(DISCLAIMER: there are a million different opinions and ideas on what's best out there (like parenting) - this is just what we're trying based on thoughts of our vet and a friend who has worked with Ecletuses and feather-pluckers)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Friends

Mango met a new friend this weekend - Maggie!
Maggie (and Pebbles) my parent's dogs; came to stay with us Friday and Saturday. As Maggie came to the door, I was standing in the kitchen (Mango on his cage), and as I said "Come here!" - so did Mango! It was the first time Mango has really said anything, with anyone in the room.
My parents came following in, and Maggie ran to the couch to see what this talking "thing" was (much bigger than the little cockatiel at my parent's house!). She could hardly contain herself jumping on the couch, wanting to get as close as possible, and either could Mango. He kept looking at Maggie saying, "Come here" and "Whatcha doing?"

The rest of the weekend was good. M&M continued to get some beak-to-nose time (on the floor), and they really seemed to enjoy each other. Best of all, Maggie seemed to help Mango break out of his shell - because he is now becoming a talking machine while we are in the room. It's been very fun listening to him. He definitely has shared some new words we hadn't "heard" before (from listening in the other room). "Shower" "uftda" - and lots of "garbling" where you can tell he is trying to say something - but hasn't figured it out yet. He has also taken more interest in toys (his purple ball on the floor and little boxes to chew up).

I'm sure we have more to share.. be patient with us :)