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)

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