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Food Habits of Parrots

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  • Food Habits of Parrots

    I 've seen some discussions on the subject and thought it is a worthy topic. Some interesting explanations about food and parrot behavior.

    http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-beha...cm_mmc=5208781

  • #2
    interesting article! Thanks
    Everything and one has a chance, if someone has the heart to give them one!

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    • #3
      Great article it has good points to take note off.I have recently bought a parrot at my place and I was unaware of these things.
      pet shipping

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      • #4
        The people from that bird magazine usually get their facts wrong and this is not an exception. They don't 'play' with their food, the picking through the bowls and throwing some to the ground as well as chewing part and dropping the rest is a natural behavior and part of their ecological niche. It helps propragate plant species (no bees in the jungle) and feed ground species (sunlight doesn't reach the floor of a forest so there aren't that many nutritious plants growing there). The 'food' soup only happens in captivity, it doesn't happen in the wild (a parrot would have to be suicidal to go to ground and wet his food in a stream and become a sitting duck to predators) and it's only because most people feed them too much of unnaturally dry food (pellets, seeds, dehydrated food and veggies, uncooked pasta, etc). Parrots were created to eat plant material which is almost all water (leaves and tender stems are 85 to 95% water - even wood has more moisture than pellets -12% vs 4%) so the smart ones make up for it by dunking it.

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        • #5
          Birdamor.... Why would some do it more than others? I have conures that eat every crumb and others that want to dump food all over the floor and then decide what they actually want to eat.
          Last edited by idrial; 02-25-12, 04:34 PM.
          idrial's flock
          Felix & Delenn (sun conures) | Luka (roseifrons conure) | Judas & Opal (turquoise GCCs) | Zack (fiery shouldered conure) | Emmy (blue headed pionus)

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          • #6
            http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...FaFeTAoddxXsMA

            Automatic water bowls (there is one with a fountain also) become fun but help cut back on bacteria. Cover those electric cords. Cake likes to put rubber ducky in the water. I don't use a lot of pellets so not much soup from that but they do put other foods in the water dish. The gliders also put their pellets in the water to soften them. Interesting I thought...not just one species trying to soften up pellets.
            peggy

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            • #7
              Originally posted by idrial View Post
              Birdamor.... Why would some do it more than others? I have conures that eat every crumb and others that want to dump food all over the floor and then decide what they actually want to eat.
              I don't really know why some do it and others don't. My guess is that it has to do with the way they were weaned, the diet they get on a regular basis and individual preference. My birds don't do it so I don't really have any experience with the behavior -meaning I haven't had the opportunity to observe a number of individuals of different species dpoing it for any length of time to figure out why. I had more than 200 birds when I lived in Pa and, of all of them, the only one who continued soaking food after transitioning to the diet I give them was Mami (older, female zon -I still have her and she still does it) but only on the very few occasions I give them commercial bread, never anything else. The others who did (not all of them) stopped but I feed fresh gloop, raw produce and a seed/nut mix for dinner, no pellets, no dehydrated anything, no commercial treats, no human food which migh contain salt), no nothing but what I mentioned and birdy bread (which I make myself with yeast -very dense/moist- and gets baked overnight and served in the morning) so I guess they no longer feel the need. But they do throw food all over the place -LOL

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Birdamor View Post
                The 'food' soup only happens in captivity, it doesn't happen in the wild (a parrot would have to be suicidal to go to ground and wet his food in a stream and become a sitting duck to predators)
                I really don't know about the rest of this question, but I can say that seeing the wild parrots on the ground is a common sight in Australia. I've not seen them dunking food in water, but Toos, Galahs & the like are constantly on the ground foraging. It's natural behaviour for them.




                Last edited by TWR; 02-26-12, 09:33 PM.

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                • #9
                  I put the cage water bowls far from the food bowls, which seems to help prevent dunking by all but ELF. ELF would walk a mile to dunk nuts, pellets, and wood. Lol. He has a birdie butler water bottle and it's great. I do still give him a water bowl too, but the bottle gives me peace of mind that he always has clean, fresh water.
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                  • #10
                    The article does have one thing right - macaws are notorious dunkers. All of mine dunk food, including fresh fruit, fresh veggies, pasta, every kind of food. They also dunk toys, wood pieces that they've chewed off of blocks or wood. Pretty much everything that they can carry in their beaks gets dunked.

                    The macaws are my only dunkers, though.
                    Last edited by Ziggy; 02-27-12, 03:44 AM.

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=TWR;150515]I really don't know about the rest of this question, but I can say that seeing the wild parrots on the ground is a common sight in Australia. I've not seen them dunking food in water, but Toos, Galahs & the like are constantly on the ground foraging. It's natural behaviour for them.

                      Yes, some species of psittacines are partial ground foragers (grays, tiels, budgies, jardines, quakers, toos, etc) and it's not as if the canopy feeders NEVER drink from a puddle or a stream or whatever, the comment of danger was directed to the habit of dunking every piece of food they eat.
                      Last edited by Birdamor; 02-27-12, 10:54 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Someone once corrected me when I said parrots are wasteful. He/she said, they aren't wasteful, they are scatterers - I never forgot that (forgot who said it though). Just like the article said, their place in the food chain is very important for the little critters down below that rely on their scattering habit. I found the perfect solution though. Dino gets his breakfast and lunch in his outdoor cage! Now if I could only get him to tell me when he's about to do the morning's nuclear poop, which is always before I take him out, we'd be all set.
                        The love of my life, my Big Red Bug, Dino - CASADINO.com
                        The little Belizian visitor, Oli - CASADINO.com/Oli

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Birdamor View Post
                          Originally posted by TWR View Post
                          I really don't know about the rest of this question, but I can say that seeing the wild parrots on the ground is a common sight in Australia. I've not seen them dunking food in water, but Toos, Galahs & the like are constantly on the ground foraging. It's natural behaviour for them.
                          Yes, some species of psittacines are partial ground foragers (grays, tiels, budgies, jardines, quakers, toos, etc) and it's not as if the canopy feeders NEVER drink from a puddle or a stream or whatever, the comment of danger was directed to the habit of dunking every piece of food they eat.
                          Tinga (SC) never dunks. One of my lorikeets dunks and one doesn't I have the water bowls a long way from the food bowl which seems to have solved it for now.

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                          • #14
                            My sun conure never dunked either but I would imagine that lorikeets would because they need very wet food (I can't have lorikeets, their dietary requirements are too specific and could not share a birdroom with 'regular' eaters).

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                            • #15
                              Mine do share a bird room, but it's true that I don't allow the lorikeets access to the SC food. They would eat it too, if given the chance, but they certainly should not.

                              They do need wet food and they have their wet nectar available for breakfast and from when I get home until lights out, as well as sufficient dry nectar powder to last while I am at work. I cannot leave sufficient wet food to last while I'm at work, as it would spoil.

                              One of them, even though I used to have the water bowl and the dry powder close together and therefore dunking would have been easy, never dunked. It is his mate, the new comer, who is the dunker.

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