Sunny day out

I think both my parrots and I will miss summer. They got to spend 6 hours every day outside, enjoying fresh air, sun and other birds in the trees. They loved it and I think all of my neighbors are now accostumed  to parrot contact calls.

I’m not a fan of full spectrum lighting and always try to provide as much sunshine as possible. It would be wonderful for them if we lived by the seaside year round, so they could enjoy life outdoor more. Back home is a lot more colder than here so I can’t take them out until well into spring. 

Sunshine provides ability for vitamin D to be synthesized and along with that it helps to absorb calcium into bones.

Here’s an interesting link about vitamin D.

Swing Ringo is on is Oliver’s Garden Tri- Swing. This is the only swing she will use. She doesn’t have all of her toes, so gripping onto things can be a bit difficult for her. In the 5 years I have her, I have bought her dozens and dozens of swings and this is the only one she is more than comfortable using. She sleeps on it, swings, eats, plays.

On the menu this morning ….

…are blackberries, carrots, peppers, parsley and kohlrabi greens!

Carrots, blackberries and peppers, along with my favorite topping for their food- Avian Organics Pura Vida and Pear’ngs I’ve placed in their bowls. I haven’t chopped them, just used as is. I think they really enjoy shredding whole vegetables and it seems to be very enriching for them, too. I do, however, feed them Chop through out most of the year. Summer is exception to that, because there are so many fresh, in season items that it would be a shame not to take a full advantage of them.

Blackberries are truly a superfood, not only for parrots, but for humans, too. They are high in vitamin C and fiber, a combination that has proven to be very helpful in fighting certain types of cancer. They have, also, the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit regularly tested. Blackberries are  high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Ringo enjoying a carrot. Both of them really like carrots and I’m glad that I don’t need to be a magician to get them to eat fresh foods.

Parsley, kohlrabi greens with addition of lavender and petunia flowers were made into small buqets for them to shred and chew 🙂 Over the years, I have come to a conclusion that even though they do shred their fresh foods, some, it not most of it does, in the end, get eaten.

Unfortunately, summer will end soon, so if you have the opportunity to offer your parrots fresh foods, do it while you still can. Soon enough fall rains will come and before we know it, it will start snowing. 

P is for pine cones!

I try to offer as many natural toys as I can. Pine cones are shredable, so they make wonderful edition to any toy.

This time around I decided to attach pine cones to a basket and wave through the basket some lavender flowers.

I’ve attached my little basket to cage bars and let them have fun! Pine cones make great foot toys, too. If you have a pine tree, after you collect pine cones, you should boil them for 20 min, sun dry them and than give to your parrots. There are also few sites that sell them and have wonderful variety of different sizes of pine cones.

Eating breakfast outside

Today’s breakfast was baby carrots, zucchini and nectarine topped with Avian Organics Pear’ngs and Pura Vida mix with some Mango Ginger Minis.

It such a warm, sunny day with little wind so I rolled out Ringo’s and Lino’s cages so they could enjoy lovely weather and a nice breakfast!

Lino enjoying a zucchini! They really like to be able to hold their food. Simple, yet so enriching 🙂

Ringo on her little balcony enjoying veggies 🙂

A balanced diet

I believe in a well balanced diet. Honestly I do. When it comes to parrots it’s very difficult to pin point what exactly is a well balanced diet. Maybe in a ten years we’ll have a better understanding of what they eat  in the wild and how to incorporate that in what we feed them in our homes. For now, we have to work with what we’ve got.

These days every magazine you open, every show you watch is screaming- “Eat healthier! Eat more fruits and vegetables”. I don’t know about you, but I always thought there’s a bit more to a healthy eating than going after a bowl of fruits like there’s no tomorrow.

My father is a chronic heart patient, he had a massive heart attack a decade ago. I was with him in the car when it happened. I was just kid. With that one blow, it left only 30% of his heart working. Soon after that, he was diagnosed with diabetes. Few years after the heart attack, I was with my mum talking to my dad’s cardiologist while my dad was being prepared for yet another heart stent surgery. That was his third and to knock on wood, his last to date.  She was all teared up asking how is it possible his health just isn’t improving when though we are all eating healthy. She was right. We were eating more greens than your average rabbit, only ate hole grains, chicken and fish. I really don’t like fish. Never did. Never will. The doctor answered ” If only eating healthy would be enough to get healthier, I would be out of a job!” His answer did help her, she was no longer all teared up, she was confused. He said that we should eat things our body needs, more than just items labeled heathy. Not everyone has same deficiencies, not everyone has same needs. We do, how ever, all have to eat better and listen to our body while doing it.

I’ve always had those words of wisdom in the back of my head and the same principle can be used when feeding our birds. It’s not only about the food we give them, it’s also about enriching their lives. A balanced diet and enrichment are not two mutually exclusive terms, they go hand in hand, making our feathered companions healthy.

Different species of parrots = different habitats = different nutrition

Some parrot species in the wild eat seeds as a part of their diet. Indian Ringnecks are one of those types of parrots; along with flowers, fruits, nuts they also eat seeds and seeds should not taken away from their diet. Budgies and Cockatiels also eat seeds in the wild, along with many other “grass parakeets”. Now, when I say seed I do not mean your regular garden variety seed mix you get from your local pet store. These parrots eat grass seeds. I have read many studies that all suggest the same thing- grass seeds are very beneficial for health of our feathered friends.  I will discuss this topic in detail in my next post.

I always try to feed my parrots a lot of fresh foods. This is why I love summer so much- a lot of fresh items, readily available, locally grown. No need for chopping or any other preparation. I love seeing them shred jalapeno peppers and carrots to little pieces. Very enriching for them.  I’m also a big fan of the Chop movement and I applaud the work Patricia Sund has done and is doing, trying to teach parrot owners around the globe how to feed their parrots better, on daily basis. She has made wonderful how-to videos that are super easy to follow. Sharing information is vital to help other parrot owners provide the best care possible to their parrots. Knowledge you do not share is dead knowledge.

Fresh flowers, herbs and branches are a wonderful addition to parrots diet. I know not everyone has an opportunity to get fresh branches from bird safe trees, but many safe and healthy flowers you can grow on a balcony. Flowers and herbs have so many benefits, not only for their physical health, but they also provide a stimulating and enriching environment.

A balanced diet, in my book, first and foremost means trying to educate your self on what do your parrots eat in the wild. From there you can build up and create a wonderful pallet of healthy items, knowing in what direction to go. It really isn’t that difficult. Just take it one step at a time.