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Best Thing I've Done for My Birds!
posted 6 years ago
Only one month on Harrison's Hi-Potency pellets has changed my conure from a feather picker to a pellet eater growing in lots of new feathers that he doesn't pluck. Harrison's Bird Food (HBD) claims on their web site are true - changing to this diet can dramatically improve your bird's health, even if it doesn't appear to have health problems.
I've tried to treat my parrots as best as possible. They've been on Roudybush pellets since hatching, and as advised repeatedly in bird mags etc, I've offered them a range of fresh veggies and some fruits. I spent years supplementing the Roudybush with yams, carrots, snap peas (the fave), beans, sprouts, and other organic foods.
Well. The best advice was inadequate. One of my birds is a feather plucker, resulting from an accidental zinc toxicity that caused his skin to itch so he plucked so his skin itched so he plucked etc. He has worn a disk shaped collar for 8 years and every few years he has stretched his muscles enough to be able to reach around the disk and reach feathers to pluck. I finally found a local avian certified vet (Dr. Nicholas Weber in Magalia CA, at Whispering Pines Pet Clinic). He told me that my birds were eating only those foods that they preferred and thus were malnourished. All those veggies I've cleaned and cut allowed the birds to eat just snap peas, or carrots, instead of primarily eating the pellets, which have a more complete and higher nutritional value.
The vet did all the testing (>thousand $$) and found only an excessive amount of gram negative bacteria as a medical issue. He treated all my birds with an antibiotic and recommended they be fed ONLY HBD hi-potency pellets for awhile. And to not give them fresh food as it allowed them to satisfy their hunger without obtaining adequate nutrition.
The feather plucking parrot took to the HBD food right away - I tasted it and it is granola flavored. After two weeks of antibiotics and one month on HBD alone as food, his feathers are growing in the areas he can still reach while wearing the collar. And he isn't plucking them. He is happier, actively curious about toys instead of nervously picking his feathers, and speaking so much new human language I can barely keep up with his new expressions. He has almost learned his telephone number, in only two months!
The HBD package and website info indicates the amount of HBD pellets various sizes of parrots require, and the amount of supplemental food that could be offered (one tablespoon per Patagonian conure). The website has numerous testimonials and stories of how bird's health and feather picking problems have been resolved by using HBD food and I can verify that these claims are accurate.
Of course there is more to life than food, but foraging is a large part of a bird's day and ensuring they receive complete nutritional needs is the first priority in giving them "the best treatment". Other foods should be given as treats, and preferably in small amounts and wrapped in safe paper or other means of "hiding" the food to simulate the type of foraging birds do in the wild.
HBD costs more than other pellet food (about $10 per pound). But the cost of organic veggies (and the waste!) and the cost of paying vet bills for health problems greatly reduces once the birds are eating HBD. And really, that one pound bag will feed one or two medium size parrots (large conure and a Pionus) for a month -- or buy me 4 cups of hi potency coffee!
As I waited in the vet's office for the results of blood work etc, I was reading an article in a major bird magazine about the need to provide fresh food and combined cooked foods (eg Beak Appetite), in addition to pellets: the opposite of the information the vet was telling me. I decided to believe the vet, after all I was paying more than a month's rent for his advice. And only one month later I saw visible, significant progress in the health of all my birds, and in the re-growth of new feathers and the lack of feather plucking.
The fresh foods and cooked foods can be offered to birds who have a basic foundation of good nutrition. But in small amounts, like one tablespoon per day. And not until the birds do have normal, good health.
Not all my parrots have made a complete switch to HBD. Two of them still prefer the Roudybush, and the vet says that food is fine if it is what they favor. Just don't give them all the other foods that allow the bird to avoid the healthiest food and eat the treats as their main diet.
Now, I may share a piece of carrot from my salad as a social event between me and my parrot. But I don't give the parrots a salad of their own. Forcing them to focus on their pellet food has improved the feather quality on all birds; given them more energy in a positive sense that lets them play, chew up toys, and talk talk talk. The amount of screaming for no discernable reason is very limited. And I am so happy to see my feather plucking bird growing out lovely colorful feathers. Now I won't have to try to find him tiny socks to cover his legs during the cold winter nights. He is growing his own - and leaving them attached to his body!
Pros: organic, complete nutrient needs, aids medical problems
Cons: more expensive than most pellet food
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
posted 6 years ago
as i very often say i mix a lot of things into my tiel mis. pellets are one of tem. they don't really like to eat them but the will play with them in their beaks and as they crumble they do get some of it. thes pellets have in them a lot of things good for them that they don't necessecerly get from straight seed. so any bits they swalow are good for them
Pros: good for them
Cons: my birds don't like pellets
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
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