39 – African Greys and Amazons

AFRICAN GREYS
African
greys seem to be unique among parrots in their nutritional needs. The
two most commonly observed syndromes in this species are calcium
imbalance and respiratory disorders. New research sponsored by
Harrison’s indicates that African grey parrots must have direct daily
access to sunlight or UVB full spectrum lighting in order to obtain the
ideal levels of vitamin D3 and normal calcium levels in the blood. Diet
alone may not produce the ideal levels.

Although
African grey parrots may have a tendency toward atherosclerosis,
aggression and feather picking, feeding the High Potency Coarse
formulation exclusively, with no addition of seeds, nuts or table foods
to the diet, appears to minimize these negative characteristics. Birds
that are from parents selectively bred for their calm nature and are
parent-reared for several weeks before they are removed to be hand-fed
are the least likely to show these characteristics.

Geriatric
African greys may need some additional high quality fat in the diet.
One good source is organic Brazilian red palm oil, which is available in
Sunshine Factor as well as Harrison’s Power Treats.

Recommended Harrison’s Formula for African Grey Chicks: Neonate Formula through Day 7, then Juvenile Hand-Feeding Formula for faster weight gain and reduced numbers of feedings daily.

Recommended Harrison’s Formula for Adult African Greys:  High Potency Coarse.

AMAZONS
Some
Amazons have a tendency to develop atherosclerosis and become obese as
they get older, which is suspected to be related to a  metabolic
dysfunction involving glucose regulation, the thyroid gland, ovary or
liver. In contrast to what might be expected, these birds seem to
respond to the higher fat, higher protein formulation of High Potency
Coarse, as long as it is carefully measured by the piece to help
maintain their proper weight. Additional food items, such as sweet
potatoes, celery, bok choy and leafy greens may be added for bulk. Other
table foods, nuts or seeds are prohibited.

Amazon
parrots are best known for their excellent ability to mimic. Double
yellow-headed, yellow-naped and blue-fronted Amazons seem to have the
best potential for talking, laughing, coughing or even imitating a
baby’s cry— perhaps males more than females. Other species may whistle
or scream. All Amazons tend to form a bond with a specific individual,
which may turn into aggression toward other family members, especially
during the breeding season. 

Recommended Harrison’s Formula for Amazon Chicks: Neonate Formula through Day 7, then Juvenile Hand-Feeding Formula for faster weight gain and reduced numbers of feedings daily.

Recommended Harrison’s Formula for Adult Amazons:  High Potency Coarse.

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