I believe this diet has several advantages, not the least
of which is that I can feed fresh foods to over 40 birds on a daily basis, while
only chopping fruits and vegetables once a week. I'll try to explain this in a
step by step manner for clarity.
Layer 4 - dry, uncooked pasta. This will absorb some
of the moisture from the mix and soften nicely.
Layer 7 - frozen mixed vegetables.
2. Parrots are very visual creatures. If you stick a bird feeder outside, it will take the wild birds at least two weeks to start to feed from it. When fruits and vegetables are fed singly, or in large pieces, or in small combinations, and you add something new, it is likely to be rejected solely on the basis of the fact that it is visually unfamiliar. When you feed a mix like this, you can put anything into it and it will be accepted because the appearance of the mix hasn't changed overall.
3. This mix is exciting for the birds, and allows them a foraging experience. They never know what they're going to find in their food dishes and show considerable interest when I feed them. A huge amount of variety can be achieved. Greens and the types of vegetables used vary from week to week. The pasta shapes are varied (alphabet, whole wheat, elbow, etc.). You can use other types of citrus instead of oranges, including grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, etc. Instead of grapes, you can substitute fresh blueberries and pitted ripe cherries, or fresh cranberries. Instead of the 17-bean mix, you can use a soak and cook mix. Instead of grated carrots, you can use cooked and chopped sweet potato or winter squash. The possible variety is endless. I also vary the type of seed I use. I buy the Volkman's brand, since it is so clean, but will use Hookbill Super one day, and Parrot Super the next, or sometimes canary seed, or a combination of seeds from the health food store (sesame, pumpkin, etc).
4. Parrots that won't eat pellets, often will when they are combined into this mix as directed above because (1) they are part of an exciting mix, and (2) they will be slightly softened by absorbing some of the moisture from the mix.
I leave this in the cages from 7:00 am until 4:00 pm, which you can't do
with mixes that have been frozen or cooked. Since the majority of the
foods are neither cooked nor frozen, they stay fresher longer. Bacterial
growth is increased by temperature, moisture, and the break down of cell walls.
This mix tends to be relatively dry, because the pasta and pellets absorb
the vast majority of the moisture. Further the cell walls in the fruits
and vegetables are largely intact because they have not been broken down by
either freezing or cooking. In hot weather, it tends to desiccate rather than
6. Seed junkies can easily by converted to a fresh food diet using this mix and a methodical approach, which is outlined on the Nutrition Page.
Last Update: 01/28/01