Storing Harrison’s Bird Foods

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Storing Harrison’s Bird Foods

On all bags of Harrison’s you will find the following usage/storage suggestions.

directions

Please see below for further line by line detail.

• Smell the product for freshness prior to feeding
Please check to see if food is within date (printed on bag). Food should smell “farm fresh” or like fresh grains.

• Squeeze all air out of the bag and zip it shut at the top.
Removal of air from bag is critical as it is oxygen and moisture that fuels the breakdown (going stale) of grain based foods.

• If the zip lock gets removed or damaged, fold the top over several times and close with a clip.
Unless you’re feeding birds in outer space or high atop a mountain, the air pressure inside and outside the bag should relatively be equal. This means air will not “push” its way thru a tightly rolled-down bag – so if the zipper fails, rolling-down and firmly clipping will equally work to keep contents fresh.

• Keep food in original bag. Do not repackage into plastic bags or containers.
The foil-lined Harrison’s bag is the best measure to keep contents fresh. Oxygen, the main offender in grain spoilage passes through plastic (bags, Tupperware etc). It does not pass through foil. Light can also damage nutrients. The foil liner blocks light as well. Store Harrison’s in a cool, dry place.

• Use contents within 6 weeks of opening bag.
This is regardless of printed dating on bag. If a bag is opened for use on Jan. 1, contents should be used up prior to Feb. 14. It may be handy to make a note right on the bag indicating what date the bag was opened.

• Purchase Harrison’s foods only in their original packaging.
We do occasionally encounter places that have replackaged food for resale. It is impossible to qualify freshness, dating etc. of these foods if they have been repackaged. Harrison’s will honor no claim arisen from repackaged foods. Purchase Harrison’s only in the original Harrison’s bag.

• Refrigeration after opening may help maintain freshness.
Refrigeration and/or freezing the foods typically slows the breakdown process of the ingredients. All above recommendations still apply to food that is refrigerated or frozen.
Never store Harrison’s in warm/hot areas or in direct sunlight.

• Bugs, bugs, bugs!
Bugs LOVE certified organic grains and they will find their way into any (even partially) opened bag. Some bugs will bore through a bag to access contents.
Don’t store Harrison’s next to bird seed in the pantry. To be certain you are not attracting bugs – store all of your grain based bird foods in the freezer.

CHRONIC EGG-LAYING: What You Can Do

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What Can You Do?*

If the hen seems ill or is producing eggs that look abnormal, it must be seen by an experienced avian veterinarian.† If the hen seems healthy but fits the description of a chronic egg-layer, there are some home treatment approaches that can be tried; however, the bird should be taken to an avian veterinarian† immediately if there are any signs of distress or illness.

 

DUMMY EGGS

Artificial or “dummy” eggs (available from many online stores) may be used as a form of birth control. If an egg is laid, it is replaced in the cage or nest box by a dummy egg that is similar in size, shape and weight as the real egg. Most hens shut down egg production after they lay the typical clutch size. Substituting dummy eggs at the upper end of the clutch size may cause even a prolific hen to stop laying.

RELEAVES

Releaves (LINK) is an organic red raspberry supplement that works synergistically with continuous light cycle therapy but may also be used on its own. Rasp­berries have a hormone-like action that stops hens from further ovulations and may ease the passage of eggs already in the oviduct (Click here to read the Releaves Mode of Action). Take note of the bird’s egg-laying cycle, and for best results, Releaves should be started about 4 weeks prior to the anticipated date that the first egg would be laid or start of the breeding season. If this information is not known, Releaves may be started at any time.

LIGHT CYCLE THERAPY

Manipulation of the light cycle is a simple way to interrupt egg-laying. Leaving the hen in a cage exposed to continuous light for 3-7 days in a row may disrupt the circadian and annual rhythms to “reset” the reproductive hormones to a resting state. Most birds will rest with 3 days of continuous light; however, others may need up to 7 days.

The light needs to be about as bright as a room in the middle of the day. Bright white incandescent bulbs (approximately a total of 300-400 watts or 4200 lumens daylight compact fluorescent bulbs [ie, 95 CRI, >5500°K]) may be used in the room with the cage. A nest box or anything the bird could use to hide from the light should be removed from the cage. If the hen stops eating or starts to appear fluffed or stressed, the natural day-night cycle should be resumed.

DIET

While a healthy, certified organic formulated diet is ideal, changing a bird’s diet during egg-laying may be dangerous and must be done under the guidance of an avian veterinarian. For more information about diet conversion, click here. All high-fat and high-sugar foods, such as corn, grapes, apples, nuts and sunflower seeds, should be discontinued. If the bird is on a seed diet, switching to a lower fat diet, such as white or grey millet, may also be helpful.

BEHAVIOR

A thorough assessment of behavior by a veterinarian or a qualified animal behaviorist may help determine the reason for the bird’s egg-laying. If a pet bird is exposed to sexually stimulating styles of owner interaction, has little competition for attention, and has no other options for interaction, it may likely become sexually active and perceive its owner as a mate. Examples of inappropriate pair-bond behaviors by owners include regular, prolonged cuddling or caressing of the bird, frequent carrying on the shoulder or inside of clothing, and sharing food directly from the mouth. Many owners are unaware that their interactions may be sexually stimulating, even when birds pant or demonstrate coital-like spasms in response to petting. Replacing this type of interaction with games and other non-physical touch interaction may be helpful.

LEUPROLIDE INJECTIONS

Some birds may not respond to home treatments. A veterinarian can perform a physical examination and may recommend additional diagnostic tests to better assess the bird’s condition. It is not unusual for older hens to have a diseased ovary that has sparked the egg laying. Injections with leuprolide acetate or other hormones may be recommended. Leuprolide may need to be repeated multiple times to reach the desired effect and may need to be continued for the lifetime of the bird. Addition­ally, some birds may not respond at all to leuprolide, and there is also the possibility of side effects. veterin­arians may recommend Releaves and light cycle therapy in conjunction with injections or instead of injections.

SURGERY

In some cases, surgery is necessary. Removal of the oviduct (salpingectomy)requires an expert avian surgeon but may prove practical for birds that are chronic egg-layers with seemingly healthy ovaries. This surgery leaves behind the ovary but removes the oviduct and thereby breaks an important part of the hormone feedback loop that governs egg-laying. Thisworks very well; however, there is a risk that a hen may ovulate into its body cavity if the feedback loop continues to function (common in chickens).

 

Click here for help in finding an avian veterinarian and select the link “Find a Vet.”

 *Adapted from Excessive Egg-laying by Kevin Wright, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Reptiles & Amphibians), unpublished.

CHRONIC EGG-LAYING MYTHS

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Common Myths about Chronic Egg-laying*

MYTH: A hen needs a mate in order to produce eggs.
Some species require either the male courtship calls or displays or copulation in order to induce ovulation, but the majority of birds have reproductive cycles cued to the light cycle or photo­period. Single birds that do not have any avian companions make up the majority of birds seen in veterinary clinics with excessive egg-laying issues.

MYTH: A hen needs a nest area in order to lay eggs.
If the hormonal cycle is working, an egg will be produced whether or not there is an appropriate place to lay it. Eggs may be laid anywhere — on the bottom of cages, in food bowls or on stuffed toys. A designed nest area or “sleeper tents,” however, may stimulate egg-laying in birds that are already primed.

MYTH: A hen needs a special diet or extra calcium to lay eggs.
Many birds will produce eggs on startlingly poor diets. Malnourished birds are at higher risk of becoming ill, as the hen’s eggs withdraw vital nutrients. Calcium, fat, vitamin A and trace minerals are rapidly depleted in malnourished birds, which can lead to life-threatening problems.

MYTH: A bird that has never laid eggs is probably a male.
Even DNA sexing is not 100% accurate. The only way to be 100% sure of a bird’s sex is to have the bird surgically sexed via endoscopy.

*Adapted from Excessive Egg-laying by Kevin Wright, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Reptiles & Amphibians), unpublished.

Chronic Egg-laying

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Recognizing Chronic Egg-laying*

Many pet birds that lay too many eggs become sick. The most common species with chronic egg-laying disorders are canaries, Gouldian finches, zebra finches, budgies, cockatiels, small conures, cockatoos, and macaws, although any species may be affected.

   The clutch size varies depending not only on the family of bird, but also on the species (see expected clutch sizes for common species). For some hens, it is not unusual to double-clutch or triple-clutch in a year, while in other birds it is extremely rare to produce more than a single clutch. This variation in egg output by family and species makes it difficult to know when too many eggs are being produced in too short a time. In general, you have to know the breeding particulars of a species in order to recognize excessive egg-laying.

ARTICLE: Excessive Egg-Laying in Birds
LINK: WHAT YOU CAN DO
LINK: COMMON MYTHS

 

What is Chronic Egg-laying?*

Egg-laying is excessive when a hen:

•  continues to produce eggs after reaching the upper end of the reported clutch size.

•  starts to lay more eggs several days after the first clutch is finished and before the first clutch’s last egg would have hatched.

•  lays one or more eggs outside of the normal breeding season, particularly if the eggs are laid at irregular intervals.

•   is producing eggs with one or more of the following: thin shells, abnormal coloring, undersized, oversized or misshapen.   – is steadily showing signs of illness (loss of appetite, labored breathing, change in stools, fluffed appearance, lethargy, unsteady posture, sleeping a lot on the nest rather than being watchful, or spending a lot of time on the bottom of the cage).

*Adapted from Excessive Egg-laying by Kevin Wright, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Reptiles & Amphibians), unpublished.




clutchsize-chart

25. JUVENILE HAND-FEEDING FORMULA

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*Day 7 Hand-Feeding Formula
(purchase online)

 

USES
•For hand-feeding psittacine chicks until weaning.
•For chicks following feeding of Neonate Formula for selected parrots.
•For birds recovering from illness or injuries and birds that are losing weight during a diet conversion.
*Cockatiels should remain on Neonate Formula until Day 21 Persons inexperienced with hand-feeding should consult a professional before attempting.

 

For feeding directions please visit:
HarrisonsBirdFoods.com/Handfeeding

 

Ingredients:

*Hulled Grey Millet, *Ground Hi Oleic Sunflower Kernels, *Ground Hull-less Barley, *Ground Yellow Corn, *Ground Soybeans, *Ground Shelled Peanuts, *Ground Split Green Peas, *Ground Green Lentils, *Ground Toasted Oat Groats, *Ground Brown Rice, *Tapioca Maltodextrin, *Psyllium, *Ground Sun-Dried Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, *Algae Meal, Montmorillonite Clay, *Ground Sun-Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Natural Trace Mineral Salt, *Vegetable Oil, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

 

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude protein (min.) 18%, crude fat (min.)11%, crude fiber (max.) 4%, moisture (max.) 10%.

 

 

26. NEONATE FORMULA

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A Complete Balanced Hand-feeding Food for Hatchlings
(purchase online)

 

USES
• For hand-feeding psittacine chicks from hatching to 1 – 3 weeks of age.
• For young birds needing an easily assimilated source of nutrients.
• Smooth texture for acceptability by birds until they are eating on their own.
• A nutritional handfeeding diet for growth from hatching to fledging of passerines such as swifts, swallows, the large-sized flycatchers and warblers, shrikes, chickadees, titmice, larks, woodpeckers, jays, mockingbirds, robins, grosbeaks, song sparrows, towhees, goldfinches, finches and more.

Persons inexperienced with hand-feeding should consult a professional prior to attempting.

 

For feeding directions please visit:
HarrisonsBirdFoods.com/Handfeeding

 

Ingredients:
Soy protein isolate, Hi-oleic sunflower oil, Corn starch, Sugar, Calcium carbonate, Potassium chloride, Di-calcium phosphate, Phosphatadylcholine, Vitamin supplement (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, vitamin B12, riboflavin, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, d-biotin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium carbonate, vegetable oil), Methionine, Vitamin E.

 

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude protein (min.) 26%, crude fat (min.) 14%, crude fiber (max.) 1%, moisture (max.) 10%.

8 Most Common Disorders of Psittacines – Owner Perception vs. Reality

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8 Most Common Disorders of Psittacines – Owner Perception vs. Reality*

 

1) PERCEPTION: Scruffy, lethargic “sick” bird
Reality: Malnutrition leads to issues, such as:
• Hyperkeratosis
• Malformed and mal-colored feathers
• Fatty liver. Liver detoxification ability is reduced, causing lethargy and a poor appetite
• Weak immune system
• Susceptibility to common environmental bacteria
• Enteritis, loose stool, passing whole seeds

 

2) PERCEPTION: Self-mutilation
Reality: This condition has many varied causes that affect multiple organ systems.
• Malnutrition is frequently involved at some level and may be pansystemic, including disorders of the reproductive system.

 

3) PERCEPTION: Trauma
Reality: Malnutrition leads to increased risk for injury.
• Malnourished birds are more fragile and thus more susceptible to injury (i.e., long beak and nails, persistent pin feathers).
• The actual injury is usually related to husbandry issues, such as flight, toys, other pets, or wildlife or owner roughness.

 

4) PERCEPTION: Breathing difficulties
Reality: Malnutrition and poor husbandry lead to:
• Loss of columnar epithelium, goblet cells and increased stratified squamous epithelium in the entire respiratory system.
• Increased cellular debris (liths) in the respiratory system, including nares.

 

5) PERCEPTION: Behavior issues
Reality: Malnutrition leads to aggression.
• High-fat and carbohydrate-rich diets lead to aggression from overactive hormones, resulting in biting, screaming and other inappropriate behaviors.
• Getting the bird to follow the correct diet is the first step to proper behavior.

 

6) PERCEPTION: Tumors and growths
Reality: Malnutrition leads to general susceptibility to growths.
• Early growths are often lipomas.
• Later, these are often complicated by xanthomas.
• Associated muscles may weaken and droop.
• These tumors are often difficult to suture.
• Correct diet with preconditioning

 

7) PERCEPTION: Overgrowth of beak and nails
Reality: Malnutrition leads to increased unnatural growth.
• Major sign of underlying illness
• Hyperkeratosis adds layers of keratin
• Fatty liver causes vessels in beak and nails to proliferate like founder in horses
• Wild birds do not need beak/nails trimmed

 

8) PERCEPTION: Heavy metal toxins
Reality: Malnutrition drives unnatural appetite.
• Pica (malnutrition symptom) is the driving force for over-consumption or seeking metals like lead and zinc.
• Obvious exposure is self-explanatory.

 

The easy solution?

Prevent malnutrition by properly feeding Harrison’s Bird

*The 8 most common disorders is based on a survey of predominately avian veterinarians (Feb 2012). The ranking does not reflect the incidence of disease, but rather the “ease” in which an owner recognizes a problem and seeks assistance. The results are from hundreds of histopathology reports. Illness in birds generally becomes pansystemic rapidly, involving the liver, kidney, intestines, heart, lungs, skin and reproductive system (especially females).

*Adapted from a 2012 presentation at Iowa State University – College of Veterinary Medicine by Greg J. Harrison, DVM, Dipl Emeritus ABVP- Avian Practice, Dip ECZM (Avian) (retired)

VETERINARIANS: Is Your Clinic Info Current on Our Site?

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Is Your Clinic Information Current?

Harrison’s includes veterinary listings for clients on our “Where to Buy” feature on the front page and HERE
Please review your clinic on our web site and email additional details (website, phone number) to us.
If you are not listed or if you would like to revise your listing or add a website link, please contact us so we can add you and new clients can find you! Contact Jean at jean@harrisonsbirdfoods.com.

VETERINARY USAGE: Harrison’s Hand-feeding Formulas for Sick or Injured Birds and Other Animals

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At a recent AAV conference we spent time with Dr. Friedrich Janazcek of Germany and he shared his method of success using the Harrison’s hand-feeding formula in ill birds (also applicable to other species).
Dr. Janazcek utilizes the opportunity to convert newly recovered birds to Harrison’s rather than return the patient back to the previous diet that may have contributed as a cause of illness via improper nutrition.

Indications for use of the Harrison’s hand-feeding formulas in adult animals – successfully used in varying levels of weight loss, dehydration and nutritional depletion in birds and other animal species.

rec-thumb

Recovery Formula:
For tube-feeding of emaciated and/or dehydrated animals with a moderate to excessive loss of body weight. The consistency of the freshly prepared formula (warmed to animal’s body temperature) depends on the degree of dehydration and the general condition of the animal. The formula mixture should be more fluid to nearly watery in significantly dehydrated animals and for the first feedings. At this consistency the formula easily passes through the GI tract and as the hydration of the skin normalises the mixture should be gradually increased to yogurt consistency. Fauna Flora may be added to Recovery formula to stimulate the digestion in the GI tract. The addition of HEALx Booster as supportive treatment in animals with infections may be beneficial.

Upon improvement of body weight (to just under animal’s normal weight) switch to Harrison’s Juvenile formula

 

neoNeonate formula:
For tube-feeding of emaciated and/or dehydrated animals with a light loss of body weight. The consistency of the freshly prepared formula (warmed to animal’s body temperature) depends on the degree of dehydration and the general condition of the animal. The formula mixture should be more fluid to nearly watery in significantly dehydrated animals and for the first feedings. At this consistency the formula easily passes through the GI tract and as the hydration of the skin normalises the mixture should be gradually increased to yogurt consistency. Neonate formula can be mixed with Harrison’s Fauna Flora to stimulate the digestion in the GI tract. The addition of HEALx Booster as supportive treatment in animals with infections may be beneficial.

 

Juvenile formula:
For tube-feeding of animals with normal body weight for the purpose of oral medicine or x-ray contract medium gavage. Juvenile formula contains psyllium which is hygroscopic and contains 10% crude fiber. Both may be Benificial in cases of Removing foreign bodies from the GI tracts by gavage over several days. Juvenile formula should be preferably used for hand-feeding sick animals with reduced body weight from species requiring higher fiber content in their food (Recovery and Neonate do not contain psyllium and are easily digestible in most animal species).

For pet birds: As bird stabilizes and returns to normal health this is the ideal situation for conversion to appropriately selected Harrison’s Formulated foods.

Dr. Janaczek encourages soft, flexible silicon tubes with round-end and side opening (attached to a syringe with a large tip) be used for all three formulas. The crop tubes Dr. Janaczek uses are available in 7 different diameters and two lengths (18 cm and 80 cm).

 

recovery-uses

Understanding Your Parrot

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Understanding your Parrot

July 3, 2014 at 4:56pm
By Laura Miles (Archonny Corner)

 

By introducing such a magical creature to our domestic setting, I often wonder just how much the Parrot was thought about, less than their colors & song I bet. Parrots are not well suited to captivity at all, their mental & physical health suffers greatly when made to live without another Parrot of their kind in an artificial environment without adequate nutrition. Whether you own a Parrot or not, please come on this magical journey with me & discover just a few of the needs of a Parrot, you never know when you could help a Parrot’s life improve.

 

THE CARTOON VIEW ON PARROTS:

For such an exotic creature we can all be sure that we know some things about them from cartoons or television, but the image painted is totally wrong & as a result thousands of Parrots worldwide are suffering every day. You can’t simply put a Parrot in a round cage with a swing & mirror with some seed & give them the occasional cracker, it just isn’t going to allow your Parrot to thrive. Parrots can fly through subtropical regions & savannahs for hundreds of miles a day, it allows the Parrot to build strong flight muscles & maintain a lean shape, good muscle tone is vital for Parrots should they stay healthy & fight off any infections they may pick up, wing clipping is very bad for their overall health & damages them mentally also. Small cages are not good enough for Parrots due to how much they fly, legally a Parrot must be able to spread their wings in the cage, but this is still too small for many Parrot species. Parrots are very demanding & take up all of your time & a lot of the space in your house, to truly thrive & be exercised mentally Parrots need a very large Parrot cage with natural wood perches & many breed suitable toys, they need a playstand to be on all day because Parrots should never be locked in a cage during the day & a Parrot proof aviary to fly in & safely feel the wind through their feathers & the sunlight on their back.

 

You may have seen Parrots play with cats & dogs in cartoons, but Birds must NEVER be allowed direct contact with cats & dogs. The very important reason is that their saliva & claws contain something called gram negative bacteria, a type of bacteria that the Parrot’s body is not able to deal with. This means that your Parrot should not be allowed contact with the claws, fur (as they lick their fur to keep it clean), toys, feeding areas or cat scratching areas because it can be picked up from these areas too. All mammal saliva contains gram negative  bacteria so be sure to never let your Parrot kiss you, share a spoon, cup or anything your mouth has come into contact with also. The other reason is that Cats & Dogs can suddenly attack & kill your Parrot after years of them getting on well & cuddling up together, all of the excuses & the ‘it won’t happen to me’ speeches are not worth it, because if they don’t attack them then the bacteria will.

 

TIME & YOUR PARROT:

Parrots take up a shocking amount of time because they are so smart & require intense stimulation, many Parrots are sold on to home after home because new owners don’t understand just how demanding they really are. Parrots require puzzle toys & enrichment activities if you are not there to prevent feather plucking, depression & self mutilation, saying this Parrots should NEVER be left alone for more than 2 hours at a time, especially if they are an only Bird as they can become depressed. You can’t own a Parrot & work full time unless you have a travel cage to take them with you or a friend or neighbour who can pop in & keep them company for some of the time you are gone because your Parrot will become depressed & this could lead to other behaviour issues. Many Parrot owners won’t know that their Bird is depressed while they are gone, this is because they will be so excited to see you that they will become excited & sing to you when you return home. When you are together in the same house your Parrot should go everywhere you go, excluding the kitchen, bathroom & garden (without being caged or harnessed outside) if you are on the computer or watching television in the evening, they should be out with you, not confined to a cage. You can’t do many things without a parrot on one hand & what you are doing in the other, this needs to be fully understood before a Parrot comes into your home. A parrot is much like having a 3-4 year old child because they should never be left alone & need so much time, space & attention.

 

EXERCISE: Parrots fly for hundreds of miles a day in the wild & captive Parrots still have the same body as wild Parrots & require the same amount of exercise. Whilst it is not possible to recreate the exercise they would have in the wild, it is possible to make it much better. Parrot proof your house (place all wires in wire protectors, cover mirrors that they could fly into & remove any toxic wood that they could chew) & have them out on a playstand with mentally stimulating puzzles & games, hang toys from your celling for them to land on & offer many great perching places so that they can fly around as they wish. A small Parrot proof aviary is essental for the Parrot to display natural behavior & get plenty of fresh air, sit & play with your Parrot in their aviary or make plenty of enriching activities for them so that they can have plenty of flight. It is very important to only use natural wood perches for your Parrot as they are the only type of perch that stops bumblefoot, pressure sores or imbalancing. Make sure that the natural wood perches are shop bought from a Parrot specialist, never provide your own as you can’t effectively treat it for fungus & bacteria, domestic Parrots have not built up a natural resistence to bacteria & fungus present on trees. Make sure that the perches vary greatly in width, allowing the foot to be exercised which will prevent artheritis in later life. Make sure that your Parrot gets great mental exercise several times a week, Parrot specialist shops & online stores stock fantastic ranges of puzzle, forraging & enrichment toys to keep your Parrot’s mind very busy.

 

DIET: To get the diet of your Parrot right is to ensure that they will thrive for a lifetime with minimal illness & disease. Parrots are commonly fed seed diets which lack at least 37 essential nutrients as well as being too high in fat & containing traces of herbicides & pesticides that can kill your Parrot if they build up in their system. Many Parrot  mixes contain seeds of the wrong type & no shop bought seed can be eaten plant fresh like they would in the wild. Even if you supplement your Parrot’s diet they will be deficient in most nutrients still, fortified seed doesn’t work because the hulls contain the nutrients which is the part of the seed your Bird leaves behind. Sour crop, tumors, fatty liver disease, kidney disease, arthritis etc are all preventable & often reversible with correct nutrition. Most pelleted diets are like feeding junk food, however to feed the certified Organic preservative free Harrison’s Bird foods is like feeding them life food. Harrison’s contains every vitamin & mineral needed in the Bird’s diet as well as it being batch tested under a microscope for microtoxins. Unlike most any other pellets & seed mixes, Harrison’s was developed with care & attention by one of the world’s leading avian vets & avian nutritionists. Your average seed mix will be put together by a company who is run by people with no Bird knowledge at all. Feeding Parrots food from your plate/ food made for humans, no matter how small the bit of food is or how rarely it is given, human food is highly toxic & puts your Parrot’s body into the perfect state for illness & disease to take hold, Parrots hide illness very well so you may not even notice how sick your food is making them. If you never give your Parrot human food they will never expect it. Meat for protein, calcium & essential fatty acids: Meat causes a whole host of disease in Parrots because of the bad fat it contains, Parrots get protein, calcium & essential fatty acids from plant based sources such as Palm nuts. The only animal products that are safe for Parrots to consume is egg & insects such as live mealworm, their lava stage or the darkling beetles once they pupate. Unlike what is thought by many, Parrots do not feed on only seeds, they feed on a wide range of grasses, berries, barks, leaves, mineral cliffs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses & legumes, all of which offer a wide variety of nutrients, something which can be recreated in captivity. The fruits we can offer our Parrots are very high in sugar & if over fed can cause gut issues, feed a wide variety of natural & organically grown foods very often. Flowers such as pansy, rose & dandelion are a favorite amongst captive Parrots, you can also feed home grown grass seeds still on the stem in the spring & summer months, but just grass in the autumn & winter months. Be careful to avoid toxic fresh food & remove any stones/ pits from fruits as they contain cyanide.

 

SHAPED CAGES: Shaped cages such as round, sloped rooves or corner cages may seem convenient, however they are just not practical for the Parrot. Round cages are small & offer no climbing space or space for large Parrot toys & perch variation at all, this means that the Parrot who should be living an active lifestyle has to sit on one perch all day every day. Corner cages may fit conveniently out of the way, however their shape offers no easy climbing for your Parrot & the cages are far too small to keep Parrots in. Cages with sloped rooves are not practical for Parrots at all as Parrots love to climb along their roof when they are playing or showing off. All 3 cage types mentioned are not easy for the Parrot to climb in & drastically reduce their living space in order to allow you to have more room or a pretty cage sat in the corner.

 

INTELLIGENCE: The intelligence of the Parrot is often over looked or mocked, however Parrots are smarter than you may think. In recent scientific studies in which Parrot intelligence was measured, they have found out that Parrots don’t only mimic what you say, but they fully understand everything you say to them & everything they say themselves also. In puzzle solving speed tests Parrots solved the complex puzzle way before a human child or dog could understand where to start. After many years of closely studying the cognitive abilities of Parrots, they have found that Parrots have the cognitive ability of a 3-7 year old human child. The memory & forward thinking of the Parrot has proved to be outstandng, overtaking humans, apes & dogs in countless memory & intelligence tests. You have to be responsible with your Parrot, they are not a mentally blank thing sitting in a cage, they are in effect little humans with feathers.

 

With the right lifestyle & care a parrot can fast learn to trust you & form a bond like no other. Treat them right & you will have a lifetime friend & companion.