|Due to the flirtations of a male Crimson-winged parrot, he and his hen were the first birds to join my family 1. With them in my life I quickly discovered how little information there was available on using natural care methods with birds. Even more discouraging was the seemingly rote advice about proper nutrition for a parrot. The general consensus was to feed dry seeds, pellets made from ingredients I didn't consider to be safe let alone healthy, with an occasional piece of fresh apple or steamed vegetable. Crazy Corn™ a mixture of whole corn, legumes, and beans intended to be fed to birds after being cooked was also available. This product added variety and vegetable-based protein to the diet, but it was not organic. I knew there had to be more.||
A pair of Crimson-winged parrots, yummy sprouts!
Then I discovered sprouting and an entire world of healthier, more nutritious foods became a part of my life with my birds. This was coupled with the necessity of discovering and trying creative ways of encouraging my parrots to sample and begin eating the new foods so foreign to them, but vital for their health and well-being.
As my interests expanded I began breeding Owl finches. My work with them laid the foundation for the natural and holistic work I am now using with parrots. Seeing positive results in finches when using classical homeopathy, more complete nutrition, specific nutritional supplements, certain medicinal herbs, and healing and communication work illustrated that birds could receive the healing benefits of natural and holistic care too.
Providing a variety of foods is an important aspect of avian nutrition. Obtaining organic foods and ingredients can have such a positive impact on the health and well-being of your feathered companions. For a more detailed explanation please see "Why Feed Organic?" on the Articles page of this Web site.
I have seen the best results are achieved when a bird's diet is centered around a mixture of organic sprouts. Sprouts contain a power house of nutrients. During the sprouting process amino acids are altered creating a higher quality of usable protein. Vitamin levels increase dramatically and the minerals present become chelated. This means they combine with protein in a way that amkes them easier to assimilate. Sprouts are easily grown at home in your kitchen. Shortly, we will have an informative booklet and PDF available for sale on this topic.
In addition to sprouts, I suggest also offering an organic bird pellet diet, along with species appropriate nuts, fresh fruits, and raw or steamed vegetables. I blend an organic mixture of whole legumes and beans that after being cooked my parrots truly enjoy. You can also experiment with adding cooked brown rice, or cooked whole grain or vegetable pastas to their meals for variety.
Ensure that the water you have access to is free of chemicals and contaminants. Public water supplies are flooded with chemicals and pesticides that can tax the liver and can be stored in the fatty tissues of the body. Use filtered water or bottled spring water for all cooking and drinking. Do not use distilled water for drinking and food preparation.
When my first large parrot, a Blue and Gold macaw, petitioned to joined the family I realized I had no idea how to handle a 30-inch-long bird with a beak that can crack a broomstick. So, I began learning. For me, developing a relationship with this intelligent and sensitive, yet powerful, creature was very different from the ones I had with my dogs and cats.
It was apparent to me that my first Blue and Gold macaw and I were building deeper levels of trust between us one experience at a time. As I became more confident and my competency grew when handling him this bird began understanding that he was safe with me. Regardless of where we were or what was going on around us - he was safe with me. In return I became skilled at being able to understand the subtle signs distinguishing the difference between when he would enjoy being involved in certain activities and when he preferred being left where he was. For us trust grew from a place of mutual respect as we learned to feel safe with each other.
Critter Connection -- P.O.
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