There could be many reasons
why a parrot does not eat a particular fruit or vegetable. Birds, when on a
instinctively know which vitamins and minerals their body requires. A good
example is a bird eating the stem of Kale and then ripping apart the leaves.
Kale, Broccoli, Mustard Greens are just a few of the vegetables having
increased nutritional values in the stem. Some root vegetables have combined
nutrition. An example would be Dandelions. The Dandelion Greens and Root as
a whole plant have more complete nutritional benefits.
There are various reasons why a bird may not eat that
piece of papaya you are longing for him to try.
fruit could be out of season and donít think for one second that your avian
friend does not
Keep the FAITH! If once you do not succeed, try, try, try
again! Things that can influence whether your bird eats that particular
piece of produce or not.
Is the fruit ripened? Some birds do prefer some
fruits just before they ripen. Some like them sweet and juicy.
Is the fruit expired? Parrots know if the fruit is
not good or not
Is the fruit out of season?
Is your bird a "clean beakie" bird? Your
bird might be dying to try that sweet piece of Cantaloupe but he sees
the juice is dripping down and he is thinking "Too messy for my
taste". Yes there are finicky eaters out there, so we have to
find the means to make them all happy.
Hot and Spicy. Does your bird love chili peppers?
Try adding dried chili peppers to cooked sweet potatoes. This may
encourage your feathered companion to taste test a healthy vegetable.
Sweet and Tangy. Does your bird love tart apples?
Shred up some Granny Smith Apples and sprinkle them over another
fruit you want them to try. They will love to find the surprise underneath the apples!
For the Garlic Lover. Mince up some garlic and add
it to your broccoli. Stand back and watch your bird ravage it!
Slice, Dice & Chunks. There are those little
rascals who prefer their fruit or vegetables cut a certain way. Here
are some tips on fitting the "cut" with your birdís
Julienne: Great for birds who use their talons
Chunks: What else, other than for the hearty
Diced: Ideal for those who like petite bites.
Bite size pieces is also helpful in attaining less waste.
Shredded: Nice alternative for those who might
like a certain vegetable/fruit but are afraid to try it (Try it
with carrots or apples).
Warm vs. Cold. If your feathered friend does not
enjoy a particular vegetable, try offering it steamed. You can also
puree it in the food processor till it is a "pudding" consistency. Often
times parrots will enjoy a specific produce item served warm on a spoon.
Consider it quality time spent for you and your avian companion.
Particular items I have explored with my flock and
have been successful are: Yams, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash and
Zucchini. It is an inventive way of aiding your feathered friend in
eating specific vegetables with high nutritional values.
Note: Some parrots have an extraordinary sensitive
beak which may cause them to dislike warm foods. I would recommend you
observe your pet parrot and watch their eating habits. This will help
you to understand the individual needs of your pet bird.
Fun Tip: Be sure to include your bird in
the preparation process of chopping your fruits and vegetables. Feel
free to offer them a piece. You soon will see how excited they become
in anticipation of the good things to come.
your fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove pesticides from the skin.
Avicine (bird safe disinfectant) or GSE are two good products to try. Although
I personally peel most fruits, I opt to leave a few items with the peel on.
Birds have a natural ability to peel anything and everything because of the
unique shape of their beaks. Most of the
time, they just shred up the peel for the fun of it. Let them enjoy a slice
of papaya with the seeds.
If there is a significant portion of the fruit or
vegetable that is leftover, you can throw the unused portion in the food
processor for later use.
Useful Tips for Birds and Humans:
Crushed Ice added to ground up fruit ~ makes for a
refreshing Fruit Shake! Try it with Papaya, Mango or Pineapple.
Left over Broccoli or Carrots. Steam it with some
fresh lemon juice and serve. Steam it and chop it up in food
processor, add half and half and you have Cream of Broccoli soup!
(Note: Cream of Broccoli notation is meant for human consumption only)
Grind up leftover fruits and vegetables and add
them to your favorite birdie bread recipe!
Try to use some fruits and vegetables which your
family will also enjoy during your meals. Meal planning at its best.
Fruity Oatmeal. Add a teaspoon of ground up papaya
or apple to some warm oatmeal. Your bird will love to try it. (Note:
Replace milk with either water or Soy Milk. Birdís bodies cannot
process the lactose in milk. Also measure the temperature, a birdís
crop can be burned if the temperature is too high. Keep it under 105
The ideas are endless!!!
Variety, Variety, VARIETY! I cannot express enough the
importance of giving your birds a good variety. Just think if you had to eat
the same food day in and day out ~ it becomes quite boring rather quickly
Fruits are an essential part to an avian diet.
Even though some fruits contain a high water content, they excel in providing
your avian companion with protein, carbohydrates, Vitamins A, C and B. Many
fruits even contain fiber, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium, and
natural fructose to support their energy level. The natural sugars in fruit
are absorbed through the oral cavity providing an immediate energy boost and
may aid in re-hydration.
A variety of vegetables provide minerals that are not
available in some fruits.
Optimal health starts with a nutritionally enriched diet.
We all need to realize the positive impact natural live foods can
have on our feathered companionsí lives.
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