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Low fat gone overboard

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Skyes_crew
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Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:22 am

I will start by saying I am a dunce :oops:
I am an obsessive compulsive control freak and I messed up big this time.

In an effort to correct skyes past overweight eating issues I have managed to deprive her of so much fat that I have caused a beak peeling condition. And of course it carried over to hamlet since they have the same diet. Cyrano seems to have avoided it since he gets spoiled with treats by the rest of the family. It is also causing flaky skin and dry feathers. My vet basically read me the riot act. So lesson learned. He said I tried to make their diet too "perfect". He asked me how many wild birds did I see eating a perfectly balanced diet? They're foragers. So he has me on a seed pellet mix for the birds. 10% pellets to 90% large hookbill parrot mix. I have to add a broken capsule of vitamin E. I should start them on 1 almond per day. My birds hate almonds lol. But he said peanuts offer the wrong kind of fat needed.

So I just thought I'd share my latest discovery in how we can actually make our birds diets too "perfect" when they're anything but. Go ahead and tell me how stupid I was lol.
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InTheAir
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:42 pm

Oh no. You poor things! Hopefully it will improve quickly.
I'm so paranoid about depriving Nila of essential fats, I'm sure I'm going to get the opposite lecture from Nilas vet when Nila has his next check up!
Did the vet recommend linseed? I barely understand nutrition, but i know eating a bit of oil is great for making horses and humans shine. Nila likes a few linseeds in his breakfast too.

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:09 pm

I believe that was what the vitamin E was for. Ill have to call and check and see if I can add linseed. It's funny lol, I use linseed oil on my saddles :D
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InTheAir
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:13 pm

And I used it in my horse...

Do you want to give us a run down on your unsuitable diet, so we avoid making the same mistake?

Thanks

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:38 pm

So sorry to hear about that. It's amazing how you think you're doing the right thing sometimes, and you're really not! Story of my life!

Ellie.

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by MissK » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:05 pm

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Sorry you had to have that experience! We all have something like that happen one time or another.

BTW, for those not yet in the know, linseed = flax seed.
-MissK

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:42 pm

InTheAir wrote:And I used it in my horse...

Do you want to give us a run down on your unsuitable diet, so we avoid making the same mistake?

Thanks

I can do that :)

Breakfast is about 2 tbsp of my birdie salsa. That is made up of kale, dill, jalapeño, broccoli, apple, banana, cantaloupe, cranberry, and watermelon. Give or take a few of the fruits.

Lunch I skewer snow peas or green pepper or sweet potato or half a guava or half a plum or a combination of a couple.

For dinner I give them a bit of what's on my dinner plate. Carrots, chicken, fish, even red meat sometimes.

They get a small handful of pellets a day...once a week a small amount of hard boiled egg. I thought it looked pretty balanced :(
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:20 am

It sounds yummy, but I can see the missing food group there.
I'm a firm believer in the importance of fat in diet, which is probably why Nila had really high cholesterol last time he had a blood test! :( I hope I have got a better balance for him now.

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:57 am

What are some of the essential fats you feed Nila? I'm picking up the seed mix I had made from the feed store tomorrow. I hope it doesn't take long to see a difference. The only thing that stinks about this whole situation is having to add fat to skyes diet this close to breeding season. She's already becoming a little feisty, but she's usually pretty well behaved. I'm afraid she's going to become a biter or an out of control hormonal nightmare lol.
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:43 am

She won't become a biter! She may bite a bit, but at least there will be a reason :wink:

Now I feed whole linseeds, hemp seed, coconut oil (about once a week), I think that's the meal sources. Sometimes he also gets some homemade balsamic salad dressing made with olive oil on his salads too.. How much of these he gets depends on how much training we are doing that week. He also has pellets available at all times, but he has only picked at them for a few weeks, he would rather eat kitty litter at present. He does get a wee bit of seed in foraging toys occasionally too.

Training treats are mostly fatty; almonds, more cashews and sunflower seeds than he should probably have, oat groats have some I think too. I've been using more sprouted sunflower seeds for training lately, I don't know much about the composition of sprouts though.

He is also allowed to pick over lamb marrow bones sometimes... There are probably other sources I've forgotten to mention too. .

Ummm that's my attempt at a low fat diet, he used to be allowed as much seed (minus sunflowers) as he wanted plus treats... he ate almost half a sausage at a parrot society event once (pre- vet visit).
I think if a body is deprived of a food source that contains enough fat will try to store fat, so I avoid diet products like the plague and use full cream milk products lol

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InTheAir
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:03 am

If you are worrying about her weight you could use recalls for her to earn her efas. Nila will do them for a linseed :D

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:28 am

She's got focus issues right now lol. She clings to the side of cyranos cage and makes goo goo eyes at him. It's pathetic. She wants nothing to do with hamlet thank goodness!!! I have a basket in the tree where my conure likes to burrow but I think I have to take it down soon because she's been going in it the past couple of days. I call her and she literally turns her back on me...no matter what treat I'm holding. And we still have two full months till breeding season begins. This is a case for super trainer Claire :wink:
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:46 am

Hmmm.... after evaluating your situation in great detail I can safely say get her a sex change operation in Thailand. It's cheapest there. :wink:
I'll email you my latest reading on nutrition in the morning, it's only slightly relevant though.

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by MissK » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:17 am

Because almond is not the favourite, would another nut do? I understand peanut, and maybe even cashew, may provide the wrong substance - they're not tree nuts in the same way an almond, walnut, etc is. IF almond/walnut/pecan would do as well, maybe she will like one of the others better. I don't suggest hazelnut because Rocky doesn't like them (more for me) but could be another possibility.
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Melika » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:50 am

InTheAir wrote:It sounds yummy, but I can see the missing food group there.
I'm a firm believer in the importance of fat in diet, which is probably why Nila had really high cholesterol last time he had a blood test! :( I hope I have got a better balance for him now.
Well, since cholesterol is produced by the body itself (and an extremely integral part of cell walls to boot), dietary cholesterol doesn't really make a difference. Well, it makes like a 0-4% (if at all) difference in blood cholesterol.

Some studies are also showing that diets high in GOOD fats for some reason lower cholesterol. You mean if I eat real food that isn't processed, it's good for me? Amazing. (sarcasm)

Also, high cholesterol hasn't actually been linked to heart disease- not in the way people seem to think, if you read the studies anyway. Some are studying now whether or not high cholesterol is actually a symptom of heart disease/health problems, and not a causal factor. Especially now that doctors are starting to see the holes in studies that "prove" high cholesterol causes heart attacks/disease.

For example, 50% of people who have heart attacks have 'high' cholesterol (recommended cholesterol values are completely made up anyway if you dig a little, like blood count (though science is finally studying and finding that the blood count can go way waaaay lower than they thought)). So let's say that 50% of people who had heart attacks last year were under 5'6" in height. By the same logic that some people come to after seeing such a statistic, then being 5'6" or shorter means you're at extremely high risk for heart attack! Go check into a hospital now, before it's too late! Maybe they have a medication to make you taller. :roll:

Please excuse my sarcasm, it's been a rough week and I'm get tired of hearing how bad cholesterol is- it's part of you cells! You cannot live without it! It's part of your hormones and your brain! If you aren't eating enough good fats, your liver will produce cholesterol for you. Excess insulin will increase your TG/HDL ratio- which means eating sugars and grains increases insulin, and increases TG/HDL ratio.

If you change your definition of carbs from bread/pasta/grains and switch it over to veggies, then you fix much of the problem right there.

---

But that's all for humans. Birds? They have different diets- even across species. Here's what I glossed from one interesting study. "Although the study previously mentioned demonstrated that dietary fat could influence cholesterol concentrations, the diets in that study contained very high saturated fat concentrations that would only be used experimentally and not in captive parrots kept under normal conditions." The pionus group of this study was fed a diet with a lower saturated fat content than either of the diets used for the African grey parrots but had higher LDL by the end of the study. "This suggests that there is a genetic difference in cholesterol metabolism in parrots as in man, and it might explain why some species are susceptible to disorders of cholesterol metabolism. Traditionally, South American species eat diets very low in fat in the wild, essentially being consumers of fruit. The variation also demonstrates that different psittacine species should have specific diets developed for individual species requirements." http://avianmedicine.net/content/upload ... sterol.pdf

In this study they were looking for a link between cholesterol and atherosclerosis in parrots, but could not find one, stating it was possible that the early signs of the disease were too difficult to detect and diagnose. What they did find was a link, in a collection of nine birds, between fatty liver disease and cholesterol; those birds with evidence of hepatic lipidosis also had high LDL cholesterol. But what gives? How can the birds (the pionus group) with the least fat intake have the highest LDL in the study (since we all know high fat diets increase cholesterol- sarcasm)? Why, in the African Greys, was there no difference in cholesterol between dietary groups? Can we really make a baseline of what, in all parrots, cholesterol should be, or what fat intake should be, based on studies like this, which have such small sample groups? Why is there medication for lowering cholesterol in parrots when there hasn't been enough study done to make it safe???

End rant. Stepping off of soapbox.

Hane only likes almonds if they're sliced.
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by MissK » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:26 am

Melika, thank you for raising the side issue that different species of parrots have different needs and tolerances. This has been a "thing" for me since I got my bird. I'm very dissatisfied that I can't find information specific to the IRN species. I know that certain species are getting individualized attention, like African Greys and their calcium needs, Lories and their nectar, Eclectus and their whatever it was I didn't pay much mind to since I don't keep one. But I feel my little Rocky's need are being painted with the same broad brush as most of the other similarly sized parrots. I'm convinced he's getting shortchanged, and thus my little tiny effort to give him what he needs includes seeking foods native to his native area. It's all I can think of to do!

This has nothing to do with dietary fat, just sayin'.

Rocky just had an almond in the shell and he thought it was great.
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:39 am

Thank you Melika for that wonderful rant :wink: I know how it feels to be passionate about something. Unfortunately I'm one of those frustrating people you probably encounter who refuses to eat a lot of fat for fear of high cholesterol. But I do agree that a birds diet should be more tailored to where the species hails from. I believe Claire had volunteered to go live in India for a year and study their eating habits. She just needed to do an exchange program with someone :D anybody want to go to Australia and put up with Dave and Nila for a year lol
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Melika » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:17 am

Skyes_crew wrote:Thank you Melika for that wonderful rant :wink: I know how it feels to be passionate about something. Unfortunately I'm one of those frustrating people you probably encounter who refuses to eat a lot of fat for fear of high cholesterol. But I do agree that a birds diet should be more tailored to where the species hails from. I believe Claire had volunteered to go live in India for a year and study their eating habits. She just needed to do an exchange program with someone :D anybody want to go to Australia and put up with Dave and Nila for a year lol
Egh, people can do their own research and make decisions on health (we have the right to accept/deny medical treatment), but animals cannot. My sister's dog nearly got killed last month because the vet over-prescribed a NSAID, too high a dose AND was overkill anyway for the problem- not to mention the known side-effects. She was in Cali and he was a new vet to her, so I think she felt uncomfortable asking questions or saying no. Thankfully she only gave him half of one tablet and stopped immediately because of the side-effects, which continued for several weeks after just one half a tablet. The vet swears it had nothing to do with the med- but wants to do a full blood panel, for no reason, of course, since the pill didn't actually make him ill.

So I'm left wondering how often this happens with vets. Have you ever gotten a list of side-effects with a med prescribed to your pet? I never have. I just raked the vets/techs/assistants with questions and did more research when I went home- because I know how little research really gets done before these things are used on animals. How can we decide, based on nine birds, what cholesterol levels in all parrots should be and medicate based on that???

So basically, I don't find it frustrating that you are afraid to eat food with fat. What I find frustrating is the way research in the subject(s) has been twisted to support ideas that aren't proven and medicating people. When I see this happening with animals, it distresses me more. :(
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:01 am

Don't get me started on vets. That's how I lost my 9 month old puppy. I will never trust a vet the same way again. My puppy was displaying classic symptoms of spinal meningitis. Took her to the vet, asked them to do a spinal tap. The vets office is a group practice and I was assigned one of the newer vets straight out of NYU. So I guess she was trying to prove her extensive knowledge in diseases or something. She tried to diagnose my puppy with a degenerative spine disorder. I asked if we could please go the simpler quicker less expensive route just to rule out meningitis and she felt it would be a waste of time and refused to do it. I trusted her. Instead I paid for an MRI, blood panels, and expensive neurological medication flown in from New York. When all was said and done i had spent $5000 and my puppy died in my arms in a lot of pain. The night I brought him in to have him put to sleep, I asked the on call to schedule the necropsy and a post c-tap. One week later as I was handed his urn and the report, I found out my dog could have been saved with a high dose of prednisone and antibiotics. He tested positive for meningitis. So always go with your gut. That is definitely a hard lesson I learned.

And I'm learning another lesson now...you can't always trust everything you read on the Internet. I have a really good AV. I actually do trust his opinion. And he's the type that if he does give you medication for your animal, you get a list of possible side effects with it. I trust that he's giving me the closest possible acceptable values to my birds species when I get a blood panel. I believe eventually the avian world will get closer to the actual levels for all the species and sub species. It may take awhile. We've come a really long way in the last 20 years so I'm confident we will continue to make progress. I don't think anyone was prepared for all the birds that were smuggled out of their countries and sold off as pets. My vet had heard of an alexandrine, but had never actually seen one in person. They are just not common here in Hawaii. But he's grouped in with parakeets. Obviously not in the same weight or size class as your average parakeet lol.

It was a joke about Claire spending a year in India. Since no one can actually answer what specifically they eat we thought we'd get a first hand experience. :)
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by allira » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:31 am

Hi,
I'm not sure if this can be applicable to your situation but as I'm studying Veterinary Nursing (specialising in Wildlife) I just recently learned about something called Beacon Feather Disease.
I'm unsure if your birds go outside and have any contact at all with wild birds but this is a very common disease found in a lot of wildlife and it affects a lot of parrots and lorikeets.
Any contact at all meaning birds simply climbing on your cages or dropping feathers as they pass by can infect your birds.
I'm unsure of the type of Vet you saw but many vets aren't trained in a lot of wildlife diseases in relation to captive or pet animals and I've found out that this is commonly contracted to birds who go outside often and socialise with other birds.
Heres a link to some information:
http://www.avianbiotech.com/diseases/pbfd.htm

I'd recommend just watching your birds, especially monitoring their beak growth and feather condition because it sounds to me like early simptoms of this.
Not trying to scare you at all, but just keep your eye out and maybe do some quick research.
Best of luck! ;)

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Redzone » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:02 am

allira wrote:Hi,
something called Beacon Feather Disease.

Is that where the bird's feathers light up to warn approaching ships?

:P

Gotta love smart phone autocorrect fails!

It's Psittacine Beak and Feather disease :)

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:29 am

I know the condition well...very funny redzone :mrgreen:

Thank you allira. But my birds do not have PBFD. They are inside birds. They don't come into contact with wild bird droppings. And that particular disease is quite rare here in Hawaii. The symptoms of PBFD are quite different to what I am experiencing. They include extreme shedding of feathers including new feathers. Overgrowth of beak or lesions on the beak and nails. Weight loss. And loss of powder down. My birds are experiencing none of that. Their beaks are flaking slightly, their feathers look slightly dry, and their skin is a bit flaky causing itching. They were tested for mites and lice. They were given blood panels and gram stains. The cause of their issues is thought to be a lack of fat in their diet which I am correcting at this time. If the condition persists or worsens I will of course take them back to my vet. Thank you for you concern :)
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by allira » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:56 am

Didn't realise you were in Australia ;) its quite common here.

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:12 am

allira wrote:Didn't realise you were in Australia ;) its quite common here.
I'm so confused right now!

What part of Australia are you in? I'm in se qld.

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:20 am

I think she meant didn't realize you WERE'NT in Australia lol.
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by InTheAir » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:41 pm

My last phone was so smart it would change the word Dave to fave or rave every time. It wouldn't learn his name no matter what. Every time I previewed my posts I'd find that error!
Lol

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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:25 pm

Hmmmm....what was your phone trying to tell you???
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Melika » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:50 pm

Skyes_crew wrote:Don't get me started on vets. That's how I lost my 9 month old puppy. I will never trust a vet the same way again. My puppy was displaying classic symptoms of spinal meningitis. Took her to the vet, asked them to do a spinal tap. The vets office is a group practice and I was assigned one of the newer vets straight out of NYU. So I guess she was trying to prove her extensive knowledge in diseases or something. She tried to diagnose my puppy with a degenerative spine disorder. I asked if we could please go the simpler quicker less expensive route just to rule out meningitis and she felt it would be a waste of time and refused to do it. I trusted her. Instead I paid for an MRI, blood panels, and expensive neurological medication flown in from New York. When all was said and done i had spent $5000 and my puppy died in my arms in a lot of pain. The night I brought him in to have him put to sleep, I asked the on call to schedule the necropsy and a post c-tap. One week later as I was handed his urn and the report, I found out my dog could have been saved with a high dose of prednisone and antibiotics. He tested positive for meningitis. So always go with your gut. That is definitely a hard lesson I learned.

And I'm learning another lesson now...you can't always trust everything you read on the Internet. I have a really good AV. I actually do trust his opinion. And he's the type that if he does give you medication for your animal, you get a list of possible side effects with it. I trust that he's giving me the closest possible acceptable values to my birds species when I get a blood panel. I believe eventually the avian world will get closer to the actual levels for all the species and sub species. It may take awhile. We've come a really long way in the last 20 years so I'm confident we will continue to make progress. I don't think anyone was prepared for all the birds that were smuggled out of their countries and sold off as pets. My vet had heard of an alexandrine, but had never actually seen one in person. They are just not common here in Hawaii. But he's grouped in with parakeets. Obviously not in the same weight or size class as your average parakeet lol.

It was a joke about Claire spending a year in India. Since no one can actually answer what specifically they eat we thought we'd get a first hand experience. :)
I remember the thread about sending Claire to India. XD I'm not sure we'll ever know exactly what wild birds eat. We assume too much!

I'm glad you found a good vet. I miss my old one, and hate having to find a new one. But it had to be done. For the dog, it was easy, because I happened to meet a vet that wasn't practicing (teaching at the local school) and was able to tell her what I was looking for and she told me exactly what office and which doctor to see. And he's exactly the kind of vet I wanted. :) Avian vet... this one is gonna me the rough part. I think I'll start with asking my new dog vet. All the avian clinics I've stopped into haven't impressed me so far. We have a big vet school here and they're waaaay overboard, expensive, and/or all book knowledge around here with no real experience, so far.

I do have a question, what information from the internet misled you now?
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Skyes_crew » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:15 pm

Oh nothing new has misled me...I was referring to the diet thing. I read so many contradicting things regarding pellets and seeds and fat and protein. It's enough to make my head spin lol. I just meant I've learned not to trust the Internet over my vet. :D
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Re: Low fat gone overboard

Post by Melika » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:05 am

Skyes_crew wrote:Oh nothing new has misled me...I was referring to the diet thing. I read so many contradicting things regarding pellets and seeds and fat and protein. It's enough to make my head spin lol. I just meant I've learned not to trust the Internet over my vet. :D
Agreed. I don't like reading articles, I prefer reading the actual research study, since I get the actual information unfiltered by prejudices. Too many people, since the advent of pellets, say seed is bad even though seed diet problems arose from seed-only eaters. But now researchers are wondering if the increase in pellet-only diets is causing other problems, for instance in the case of hemochromatosis which was rarely seen outside softbills but is becoming more prevalent suddenly in hookbills. Or is it other dietary changes from bird keeping, junk food perhaps? Hard to know, hard to study even because of the possibilities. Roudybush itself lists a warning not to supplement calcium while using their pellets. So are they good, bad, or something in-between?

It leaves us in this swirling vortex of "then what is good or bad???". Even the researchers aren't sure, which means the vets don't always know either, so we all just churn along at what we think is best. I just take the middle road (middle child, after all) and say any diet that has only one food is bad. If we try to eat seasonally then we'll get a bit of everything, as nature intended. :) Of course, then we also have to keep in mind the species of parrot we have... LOL. It's never-ending.
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