This is how we take care of our babies before they go home.

 

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When you bring home your new baby, it should get a veggie dish 2 times per day. All day long, we leave available for our parrots a dish of seed and pellets. Always have SEED, PELLET, CORN, PEAS (mash), Fruits and MILLET in your new baby's cage during the first weeks. Corn and peas are carbo heavy and good for the young newly weaned babies.It is NOT ENOUGH to only feed seed and pellets and one type of fruit. They need a mash with grains, pasta, corn, peas, fruits and sprouts. It is NOT ENOUGH to feed a seed mix with dehydrated corn and peas in it. Birds need fresh.

Birds will not out-live you unless they are fed a good and healthy diet. Once your baby graduates from a brooder to a cage (click here to see the GCC nursery videos from 07), life gets much more interesting for them. The brooders simulate more of their nesting cavity and are kept dark and quiet in order for them to feel safe. When we turn on lights, they hunker down and think "predator." Sometimes, babies even develop stress bars on their first feathers from being overly stressed during this period.

But when they get to a cage, they get toys, perches, light, activity, millet, their own dry pellet/seed dish and their own dish of soft foods (please see our mash page and our sprouting page). This happens at a different age depending on the species. The bigger the bird, the slower they are to mature so they graduate to a cage when they are older than the smaller Green Cheek. Our Green Cheeks graduate to cages when they are about 4 weeks old. That is when they start feeding themselves just a bit.

Up until the babies go home, we feed, 2-3 times per day, a dish with veggies (carrots, peas, corn, grated squash, baked potatoes, yams, broccoli, okra, dark green leafy lettuces), chopped fruits (apple, mangos, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, orange slices), sprouts, hardboiled eggs and pieces of 12 grain bread, pasta and brown rice. Essentially, what they are receiving is a dish of pamperedpeeps parrot mash. I also have described how to grow your own sprouts on our site. Sprouts are a very nutritious food for your baby!

In addition to all of this, our babies always have a mixture of seed (as babies, they eat a deluxe small hook bill) and pellet (Zupreem fruit cockatiel size) always available. I also offer millet daily until they are 4 months old.The handfeeding formula our babies are on is Exact Handfeeding Formula. We have always used it, had no problems so we never even experimented with any other brand. 

Provide a mineral block, cuttle bone and clean fresh water daily. Provide water that you yourself would be happy to drink. We do put a squirt of Apple Cider Vinegar in the water. For more on the benefits of ACV, please go to:

http://www.naturalbird.com/mcwatters/acv_for_birds.htm

We never force our babies to wean, so predicting an exact date as to when your baby will come home is difficult. We use a process called "abundance weaning" with our babies. This term basically means that we don't deprive our babies of handfeeding in order to force them to eat on their own, but we always have many healthy good foods available for them to choose from, but keep handfeeding them until they refuse and want "to eat all by myself!"  We laugh at this similar attitude seen in a 3 year old human child who wants to do something "all by myself."

By the time, your baby leaves our home, he will be eating mash, sprouts, fruits, pellets (Zupreem and Pretty Bird are fed here) and seed.

When your new baby is young, place the mash dish low in the cage and raise it gradually to where you would like it to be. Your bird’s daily vegetables should be picked up a couple hours after they are put down so your bird doesn’t get a bacterial infection. When you bring home your new baby, it should get a veggie dish 2 times per day. As the bird grows older, you may reduce this to once a day. When you bring your produce home, make sure that you wash it. You want to get all the pesticides off. All day long, we leave available for our parrots a dish of seed and pellets. Always have SEED, PELLET, CORN, PEAS (mash) and MILLET in your new baby's cage during the first weeks. There are many good pellets, but we feed a mix of Pretty Bird and Zupreem fruit blend. In the past we have used Roudy Bush (click here to read about Ethoxyquin).

  We have a pellet/seed dish, a water dish and a mash dish all on the floor of the cage when they are young, I do this until I am sure they can find the food and water dishes that are up higher in the cage's holders. I place the mash on a paper towel or on a white piece of paper. That way,  if the babies kick food out overboard, it hits the paper instead of the grate.

There is nothing more critical than a "balanced" diet. I personally don't believe the actual pellet really matters. For the most part all the "premium" brands are about the same. When I talk about premium I am referring to Zupreem, Roudybush (read more about Roudy Bush by clicking here), Harrisons, Lafeber, Mazuri, and such. Not some brand that somebody dreamed up that has no history or research behind them. There has been a recent study done on know seed eaters like Cockatiels that were placed on a pellet only diet. After some time they developed kidney failure and or liver damage. It is coming out that birds need more than just pellets. Please don't fall for the marketing propaganda of some of the manufacturers. Pellets are a good part of a well balanced diet. However, they need other things in their diets like green's, veggies, seeds, fruits, sprouts, pasta,and grains.

If you feed your bird plain seed, they can “pick out the ice cream and leave the green beans.” Pellets have everything in one. They can’t pick them apart. Think of them in relation to us. We don't eat just dry Cheerio's everyday all day. We have to eat other foods to get all the critical nutrients that our bodies need. Parrots are no different........ If you feed your bird plain seed, they can “pick out the ice cream and leave the green beans.” Pellets have everything in one. The birds can’t pick the pellets apart.

Foods toxic to birds include: chocolate, caffeine of any sort, avocado and raw onions. Do not use the following around your bird: candles, non-stick cookware or appliances, pesticides, perfumes, air fresheners,  carpet deodorizers, Reynolds oven cooking bags, oven cleaners or self cleaning ovens, hairspray, scented candles and scented lotions. Be careful of anything with a strong odor. 

It is a good idea to have a variety of toys on hand to rotate in the cage every few months. The chewing on wood and rawhide helps keep their beaks the healthy length. The variety helps the bird deal with boredom. Having a foot toy on hand is a good idea as your baby learns the difference between beaking and biting. Birds do "beak" and this is acceptable. It is the way your baby will caress you and should not cause pain. Have you ever watched puppies play? They at first bite and nip until they learn how gentle to be. This is often taught to them by a more domineering dog (mom) getting after them when they clamp down too hard. Your baby needs to learn to beak, but not bite. When they want to chew hard, I will sometimes give them a foot toy for them to aggress on. Remember to read up on how to assess a toy for its safety.

Also, click here for games to play with your new baby!

With our babies, we switch cages and toys a lot. They have an inside cage and an outside cage on the screened in porch. In each cage, there are different toys so that they are accustomed to everything!

                            

Here are a few web sites with good articles:
http://www.qi-whiz.com/pu/pate.html

http://www.holisticbirds.com/Hbn02/autumn02/pages/foodpp3.htm

http://www.parrothouse.com/pamelaclark/feeding.html

All pictures are photographed by Pampered Peeps and are copyrighted. They may not be copied without permission.

 

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