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Allowing your pet to share occasional meals with you provides an excellent way to strengthen the human/animal bond and make your pet a real part of the family.  In so doing, please keep the following rules in mind:

Rules for feeding table foods:

1. Nothing greasy, salty, or sugary

2. No caffeine or alcohol

3. Stick with a “health food” type diet

4. Offer a wide variety of foods

5. Introduce new foods gradually

6. Do not leave fresh food in the cage for more than four hours

  (especially high protein foods).  Remove and clean the dishes for the next meal.

7. Remove all food from the cage in the evening

8. Wash food and water dishes daily

The Truth about SEEDS:


Most birds in the wild would not eat a diet of (high) oil seeds such as sunflower, safflower, peanuts, etc.


The use of seeds, particularly oil seeds, as a foundation of the diet leads to nutritional deficiencies and eventually death.


Typically birds that live out a longer life eat a wide variety of foods, usually with pellets as the basis.

Seeds are simply inadequate in their nutrition to supply the bird’s needs.   They have a nutritional value similar to common human “junk food”.  Think about the last time you purchased cooking oil.  The choices you had were sunflower, safflower, corn, canola (rape seed oil), peanut, etc.  Now visualize the average “deluxe parrot mix”.  They’re the same types of seed!  While it might be true that birds have access to and eat seed in the wild, the differences between wild foraging and seed-based captive animal diets are enormous.  The seeds most commonly encountered in the wild are young, growing (sprouted), less fatty seeds.  More importantly, they are available only at certain times of the year, and typically are harvested from leguminous trees, palms, and fruit and nut trees.

Supplementation will not fix a bad diet and is not needed if you have a good one.  Vitamins can be used to fix a short term problem, and there are times where higher levels of certain vitamins are beneficial.  A multi-vitamin can’t make a “junk food” diet complete or healthy.

We must recognize that we can never hope to provide our birds with all the things that would be available to them in the wild (mostly because we don’t live in a rain forest).  It becomes obvious that offering a formulated diet (pellets) as the staple, and a variety of healthy foods as a supplement (in reasonable and balanced portions) is the best option for long-term health.  It is also important to choose a diet that is easy and convenient to prepare, because if it is too complicated or time consuming it often becomes difficult to continue long-term.

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