>My vet, while an advocate of pellets, recommends a diet (for macaws,
>anyway) of mostly veggies. I've been feeding my bird mostly fruit and
>pellets. I was a bit hesitant. I didn't think Jupiter would like
>vegetables. I was wrong. A few days ago I started feeding him steamed
>brocoli, carrots, cauliflower, and water chestnuts, with a few pellets
>and apple slices thrown in for good measure.
Water chestnuts? (Hmm. have to look into the nutrition of that).
I have no problem with it. It's a good way to help avoid pellet boredom.
There are a few gotchas, though.
1) You need to make sure that what you're serving is complete and balanced.
2) More importantly, you have to make VERY sure that what is being eaten
is complete and balanced (if the bird is eating all the corn and very
little carrot, it's still an unbalanced diet. Veggies are not by
definition healthy if they're not eaten in a healthy manner).
3) Anything that's cooked can not be left in the cage long (15-30 minutes
is the max my vet recommends) because it becomes a bacteria sponge. Raw
stuff isn't bad, but even taking frozen corn and defrosting it in the
microwave is enough to change the cellular structures so that they can
become contaminated quickly. So instead of steaming the stuff, serve it
raw (my 'too had recently discovered raw broccoli. Until I had to take
her off veggies completely, she loved it)
4) Use organically grown produce. The guy (who's name I forget) who's doing
all the research on Beak and Feather disease down in Texas has become
convinced that pesticide traces in veggies are going to be found to be a
serious problem. Research on this is evidently just beginning, but he's
seriously worried about it, according to my vet. She's now 'encouraging'
her clients to either use organic foods or do without (which is new
within the last few weeks. It used to be a good idea, now it's an
important consideration). That's one of the reasons why my 'too has just
been put on 100% pellet -- in her current situation, there's no safety
net, so we can't take a chance on any questionable practice. We'll deal
with the boredom issue somehow if it occurs.
>Veggies are much cheaper than Lefebers!
Yup. But veggies also put a lot more responsibility on the owner to make the
right diet choices and make sure that the bird is getting a proper diet. The
nice thing about a pellet-based diet is that when you're too busy or the
veggies are out of season or the bird has decided it suddenly doesn't LIKE
carrots that you still have a balanced diet to fall back on. Building a
balanced diet on your own is rather tough (as I keep finding out. The more I
learn, the less I find out I know).
Member, SFWA =+= Editor, OtherRealms =+= GEnie: MAC.BIGOT =+= ALink:CHUQ