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 African Grey diet guidelines

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Irina
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PostSubject: African Grey diet guidelines   Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:00 am

To make sure your african grey is going to be healthy, happy and live a long life you have to provide him with a suitable diet. Currently there are two options you could follow.
The first option is to base your bird's diet on good quality pellets, which should make up from 60% to 80% (according to the manufacturers) of their diet, with the rest being made up with dark leafy greens, orange vegetables, like carrots and sweet potatoes, any other suitable vegetables, fruit, nuts and berries, with addition of birdie bread if desired.
If you follow this option, no supplementation with vitamins is required. On the contrary, it can do more harm than good, because pellets already supply all the necessary amount of nutrients, and additional supplementation can lead to overdosing on vitamins
The second option is following a natural diet, based on a large variety of fresh foods, with addition of a good quality seed mixture and nuts. This diet is loosely based on what parrots eat in the wild.
The diet of African Greys in the wild consists of seeds, nuts (especially red palm nuts!), fruits, berries and nectar.
It is often hard to guess the quantities of each individual item to be served for parrot each day. Here is an approximate menu for a day for a Congo African Grey. The amounts should be slightly smaller for Timneh African Greys
2,5 tbsp of good quality seed mixture
2 tbsp of sprouted mixture (seeds, grains, legumes)
1/2 apple (1/2 orange or pear)
½ red pepper, courgette or tomatoe
5-6 cherries (5 strawberries, 2 grapes or 2 apricots)
3 - 4 tbsp of unsweetened natural yoghurt once a week
1 tsp of low-fat cottage cheese or a small chunk of low-fat mozarella – once a week
Unlimited greens (organic rocket/arugula, dandelion, wheatgrass, etc)
5-6 tbsp of unsweetened natural juice (juice meant for babies is the best) - apple, pear, apricot, peach etc.
It is important to supplement your African grey’s diet with either whole red palm nuts available from some pet shops or red palm oil (a combination of red palm and canola/rapeseed oil is available from most supermarkets. A few drops can be added to soft foods or served on a small slice of whole wheat bread).
The vegetables mentioned above are only used as an example. You can use any combination and variety of vegetables you desire. Just don't give avocados and uncooked white potatoes to your bird.
Papaya is a great fruit for African Greys and they eat lots of them in the wild. However, unripe papayas are toxic. So if buying a papaya fruit for your parrot make sure it says on the label "Ripened on the tree". If you get a fruit like that you can give it with skin and pips - they love those too.
Grape seeds (these are full of antioxidants), pomegranate seeds, and even citrus fruit seeds in minimal quantities are safe for your parrot to give. Apple, pear, plum, peach, apricot seeds contain cyanides and should never be given to your bird.

As for the nuts, you can offer your bird 1 walnut or 3 hazelnuts or 4 pine nuts or 5 pumpkin seeds a day as a treat, obviously not all at once. If combining different nuts, reduce the amount of each variety accordingly.
There are some edible flowers you could offer to your bird. They include: apple blossom, lilac blossom, roses, dog roses, linden tree flowers, passion flowers, flowers of such herbs as dill, chives, basil.
All flowers must be free from pesticides, fertilizers and should never be sprayed with any chemicals.
It is recommended to use good quality vitamin supplement and administer it for about two weeks every three months for the duration of the bird’s life, provided your Grey has a generally healthy and varied diet. The diet of picky birds, not used to fresh foods, must be supplemented with vitamins more often. However vitamin supplements are not a replacement for a healthy varied diet, because it provides much more than just vitamins, but also enzymes, phytonutrients, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

Another important element of the diet is fibrous materials. Fresh branches of desiduous trees (willow, apple, crab apple, linden, birch tree) must be present in your Grey's diet. Branches is a source of fibre and microelements. Additionally, they help to wear the beak down and provide hours of fun.

Fresh water should always be available. In a separate dish some juice or cooled rosehip tea or hibiscus tea (100% herbal teabags) can be offered, especially if your Grey likes going for your cup of tea. Rosehip tea is full of vitamin C and other beneficial elements, as well as hibiscus tea. Chamomile tea (cooled and diluted with water – 50% tea 50% water) can be offered once a week or if a bird has just been in a stressful situation. Chamomile is calming, and good for digestion too.
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PostSubject: Re: African Grey diet guidelines   Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:01 am

wow, great post! thanks!
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MandyT
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PostSubject: Re: African Grey diet guidelines   Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:18 pm

Irina knows how to write a great post..thanks hun xx
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