Ruby had a bout of feather plucking back in November, most likely because her mom went away for a week. We took her to her regular avian doctor in December because, although her weight was fine, we wanted to be 100% there was nothing physically wrong.
The bird doc did a full check-up and gave her a clean bill of health and now, 5 months later, I'm happy to report Ruby is back to her former glory and has her feather sexiness mojo back.
One thing he did recommend though, was that we switch her food. Instead of just the Zu-Preen pellets that we were using (and she liked quite a lot) he suggested we switch to Vita Seed, which we did. We still mix in some pellets and we give her a lot of "human" food (veggies, some fruit, etc.) as well. For sure she likes the Vita Seed mucho, especially when combined with her pellets which she loves to dunk in her water.
Now, Vita Seed definitely contains A LOT of sunflower seeds in addition to other stuff. I have read in countless places how sunflower seeds are not good for your grey.
I'm not particularly worried about Ruby because of the diet variance we're providing, but I just wonder why a pretty well respected avian vet (who's been around a very long time) would recommend something that seems counter to what I've heard so often.
Any commentary or thoughts appreciated. At this point it's more a curiosity. Whether or not the change in diet helped her feathers who can say!
I don't know why an avian vet would recommend a diet high in sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are considered the junk food for birds. They are high in fat and low in nutrition.
Chyloe just had a checkup at the end of April. Her blood tests came back normal and she is in good health. She too loves Zupreem fruit blend which she likes to dunk. She also likes Nutriberries and a big variety of fruit, nuts and vegetables. She also likes a little of whatever I am eating.
Max, CAG (In my heart forever) Taz, Tiel (Rest in peace my sweet girl) Chyloe, CAG
It is all about balance. Does it say what the actual percentage of sunflower seeds is? As their daily dry food mine have a 32 ingredient human grade mix which contains sunflower seeds but no more than 10%. I mix this with Tropican pellets. They also have Nutriberries which are a mix of seeds, pellets, fruit and veg.
They don't really say what is the percentage of sunflower seeds, only the overall nutritional information.
One thing I can say about this mix is that Ruby ends up spending a lot more time eating. She loves to dig through the mix and pick out what she likes. It seems like a lot more work for her than the pellets, and of course that may keep her busy which is good.
Next time I visit my bird doc I'll ask him about this.
She is enjoying the new variety. I see it does include a lot of ingredients as well as the sunflower seeds. In the wild they forage a large variety of food - nuts, flowers, leaves, stems, berries, fruits and seeds, and the fruits of oil palms (the outer orange fibrous flesh is eaten rather than the inner kernel). Foraging is a natural activity and they spend time foraging, hulling seeds, peeling skin off fruit etc. so it is an important aspect to provide in captivity.
It is important they don't eat too much of any one ingredient at the expense of others so make sure she isn't eating just the sunflower seeds as that would not be healthy. I would remove the peanuts in their shells to be on the safe side.
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She is funny with the peanuts. She loves to open them up but when she finally gets to the peanut she throws it on the floor haha. I guess you're right - I should remove them completely. Definitely she doesn't like them.
Generally speaking my impression is, other than the peanuts, her preferences vary from day to day. And as I say we include some pellets and give her a lot of varied people-food.