Anyone have a Macaw?

JoAnn_FlaOctober 8, 2013

I've had my Macaw 7 yrs now and wondering what you feed yours. Mine will only eat sunflower seeds and table foods (fruits & veggies) She seems to be getting pickier. Any food suggestions? I've tried all the parrot foods I can find.

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By 'parrot foods' do you mean pelleted food? My avian vet promotes feeding a good seed mix (Volkman's Featherglow) plus fruit and veggies. Table food is fine as long as it's not full of fat and salt. My macaws loved anything we ate, including pasta, meat, and chewing on chicken bones and pork chop bones.
The link below is the best source, and best price, I've found for bird seed. Great mix and very clean.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 1:25AM
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Personally I am not of fan of feeding Macaws much seed at all. I prefer they eat table food, actually, though pellets are the best option. Table foods can be both good and bad, depending on how healthful your own diet is... diets with lots of complex carbs, a huge variety of veggies, and some high calcium fruits are certainly a good idea... .cooked foods are generally OK unless full of onions, garlic or avocado. Excessive salt is not great, but most birds on high seed diets tend to b e deficient in salts actually. There are lots of great recipes for bird bread on line and in Bird Talk magazine. There are also a lot of casserole recipes for them that contain a lot of beans, peas, pastas, veggies and other nutritious items. Seeds and nuts unfortunately can be very addictive to birds (literally) and become the preferred foods of a lot of birds allowed to eat whatever seeds and fruits they want, usually resulting in a terrible diet overall. High seed and nut diets can even lead to obesity in some genera, including most of the Amazons... not seen too many obese Macaws, though.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Well, we'll agree to disagree lzrddr. : ) After nearly 30 years of working with, and raising, birds I have to go along with my vet. She's strictly an avian vet (treats only birds/fowl) and is highly respected in the avian community. She has seen too many kidney problems from a pelleted diet and doesn't recommend the food. Plus, the food coloring used in pelleted food is also now becoming a concern among avian veterinarians.
Seed and nuts are very much a natural food source in the wild and the problem in captivity is the poor seed mix offered and owners that don't offer a varied selection of fresh fruit and veges. I own birds that are 30+ years old and their diet has always been seeds, veggie, fruit, legumes, grains & bird bread. (You're correct that a bird bread mix is a great way to get birds to try a mix of veggies!) My birds have never had any health problems and any vet calls are usually due to age-related heart issues.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 1:23PM
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annz , What's your recipe for the bird bread? Do you have any other great recipes to share? Do you make a bird chop mix? I've never tried it my bird is so fussy I know know if she will eat it after I make it. I do make the sweet potato balls which she loves. She's very healthy.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 2:18PM
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When I raised birds I would start the weaning chicks on a chopped mix of corn, broccoli, sugar/english peas, zucchini (or other squash), leafy veges and carrots. You can try offering your bird such a mix so that she can't easily pick out one food and only offer about 1 tablespoon a day until you see her begin to pick at it. Even if she ignores it, keep offering it every day. I've found it's best to offer a mix of veges, vs just one or two, and I would suggest alternating the veges each week so your bird is exposed to a variety of foods.
I strongly recommend you try to wean her off the sunflower seed if she eats a lot each day. It has too much fat and will eventually damage her liver. You could make it a treat by sprinkling a few pieces each day on top of her veges mix.

There are a lot of bread recipes on the web but I'm not fond of the ones that use Jiffy Mix since it has too much sugar in it. I prefer to start with corn meal and make my own cornbread (recipe is on the box), then add whatever veges I want to add. You can add both large and chopped pieces of veges, then check her leftovers to see if she prefers either the larger or smaller pieces. You may find she leaves nothing!
You shouldn't have any waste with the cornbread since you can also eat it. : )

This post was edited by annz on Thu, Oct 31, 13 at 12:46

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 5:16PM
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