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This is probably gonna set off a fire storm of advise from owners who only feed speciality food to the p'lets but you know there are alot of healthy birds that are feed bird seed from the chain stores. Wouldn't you agree that if basic common sense is used , fresh seed, fresh water and vegetables or fruit that an owner could expect a healthy bird even without access to speciality seed? Human beings should also strive for optimum health also but some folks eat fast food( and live to tell it) . Alot of new p'let owners have been checking in on this site. Sometimes not everyone has the access or the ability to purchase the most premium seed. Basic advise of clean and fresh would probably be good don't you think? I have had my p'let for 5 almost 6 years, she's healthy with an attitude and she gets her seed from Wallyworld(Walmart);)
 

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I agree that seed should not take up a big part of a diet. I feed my parrotlets tropican lifetime granules (pellet) and they love them. I rarely feed seed.

Think of it this way, even tho those ppl eat fast food and live to tell, how healthy are they really? Most are obese, and have many health problems. Same thing goes for birds on seed diets (I'm talking all seed or mainly seed). On another forum I frequent one person had a bird that died that they had rescued, this bird was on a seed diet it's whole life and died from it. It's organs were so fatty and enlarged, it's was really gross.

I personally don't buy from anywhere like walmart or grocery stores because the quality of food they get in is very very poor. If you look at the ingredients the cheapest ones are in the most abundance and that is not good. I think it should be what's best for the bird, not what's best for the wallet. Just my opinion tho of course! :)
 

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I decided to do a combination of seeds and pellets. I mix TROPICAN lifetime granules (pellets) with TROPIMIX cockatiel and lovebird mix (part pellet, part dried fruit/veg, some seed), along with a little bit of an ultra-blend gourmet cockatiel seed mix. On top of that i sprinkle a little bit of that dried egg stuff. I give her some gritt once a week sprinkled on her food. Then she also gets a variety of frut and/or veggies every day. millet is a training treat only :)

the reason i have decided to not go 100% pellet is because of some reading I did a while back before i bought kiwi... some research has shown that some mutation type birds have difficulty digesting the protein in pelleted feeds.. has something to do with processing, or they are missing some digestive enzyme... and the recomendation from this research was to not feed 100% pellets. It can apparently cause some health problems. Unfortunately I cant remember the paper I read this in, but I'm sure you could do a google search for it. You can take that with a grain of salt, Im not sure EXACTLY how much research has been behind that... but I found it interesting regardless. Those of you who have colour mutation parrotlets might be interested in that.

now kiwi is not a colour mutation bird, but i figured the more variety of food she gets, the better she will be. I am working on my phd in animal nutrition, and although I have never studied avian nutrition (I am a dairy nutritionist LOL), i do know that pelleted diets are only as good as the research into the nutritional requirements behind the product. and most pets have had very little research done on them (even dogs and cats) because it is not as lucrative as doing research on requirements of production animals (cows, chickens, pigs) (where the money is). Im sure we know very little about parrotlet nutrition. so even though a pellet might be a good way to get uniform nutrition into a bird without excessive fat, it may still not be perfectly balanced for a parrotlet.

I think, as it is for humans, variety is best! :)

thats my two cents :)

Jen :)
 

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I totally agree Jen that pellets are not a complete diet, just like seed isn't. That's why I like to feed fresh food with loads of variety with the pellets we feed.

One thing I just wanted to say quick was (if it were me that is) I would stop feeding that grit. if you like I can find some references as to why your parrotlet does not need it, but for now I can tell you what I've found out. Parrots, unlike say... sparrows, have beaks that they use to crush their food, and so do not need grit to help break it up, since they hull their seeds and crush their pellets into dust before eating. Chickens, on the other hand, eat everything whole, so they require tiny rocks and pebbles to grind their food for them in the gizzard. When parrots are fed grit however, it can cause crop impaction and kill them. They do not need it.

I understand that I am new here, so if you would like I can find some references for that to show you, I dont' mind at all and I won't be offended if you ask for it, I promise. I know it's hard to know what kind of knowledge a new person might have, especially on the internet.

I also understand that the BOX states that it's good for parrots, but it's really not. Their just saying that to sell their product. It truly is unnecessary and could be a costly mistake.
 

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Hey! :)

Thanks for the reply. I know.. gritt is a controversial subject... I did some reading on it myself a few years back. What I am feeding is not gritt, per say.. i think... its that ground up oyster shells.. so i know its a good calcium source, but does it act like gritt too? maybe I am confused. :)

I decided to give kiwi a small sprinkle of it once/week just because she is still eating some seeds in her diet. I could probably do it even less often, like once a month or so. i remember reading something about how wild birds can keep gritt in their crop for 6 months! (or something crazy like that). I definately would be interested in seeing what you have read though!

now that I type this now i am confusing myself... i guess question for all.. is oyster shells the same as gritt? LOL

Cheers
Jen & kiwi
 

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Ok so after my confused reply, I decided to refresh my memory on what I had read on grit. lol. (too many things going into the brain, thus I loose things frequently hehehe).

I guess the difference between traditional grit and oyster shell lies within their solubility, soluble vs. insoluble, and oyster shells are soluble. this means it will get broken down/digested by the acid in the bird's stomach, vs traditional grit, which will not. SO... the message I took away from my reading was that oyster shells are safe, although how much they actually contribute to mechanical breakdown of food is questionable. At best, it is just a nutrition supplement.

Does this agree with what you guys know?

:)
Jen & kiwi
 

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Yes Jen, that makes sense to me. SO it's not grit, which is good.

A better form of calcium for your bird would be crushed egg shells that have been microwaved to get rid of anything that may be on them. Or a calcium block of some sort. Oyster shells contain large amounts of toxic metals and such that are in the oceans, but they are in higher amounts in shells and all, since they are more condensed, than say, fish or something.

If you can find another source, I would recommend switching. It's great to hear that you are doing something tho for a calcium and mineral supplement.
 
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