Feeding Lady Gouldians isn’t so complicated. Sometimes I feel like we make it complicated. Part of this is because there are many different brands of food on the market, and everyone has their favorites. Part of it is an educational issue; some people haven’t learned yet what they should be feeding their birds, others have learned only part of what they need to know and share that, and so on.
On top of that, a good Gouldian breeder will constantly be improving upon their feeding regimen. Mine has evolved almost constantly in the years that I have been feeding them. Most recently, I’ve tried to make an improvement on the seed/pellet/fresh food diet that most people use. That’s what I want to talk to you about today.
This article will probably get one for a month or more. I want to address three things: whether an all-raw diet is an improvement for parrots, cockatiels, finches and canaries, the cost involved in doing so, and whether it is a significant change in the amount of vitamins they receive each day.
I don’t think any of us start out trying to change the entire diet, although that’s what I ended up doing. The one diet that always needs changed is the seed – only diet, which does not offer any nutrition at all. I kept hearing about these avian nutrition experts, and one day I decided to learn about them, and learn from them. There are several, and I’m studying all of them. I hope to share as much as I can. At least one asks that the education they give not be shared outside of the group, which limits what I can tell you.
Anyway, so one thing they teach right away is that pellet food is possibly not as nutritious as everyone thought it was in the beginning. (I already wrote about that here). All the experts recommend TOPS pellets, so that was one change. I had some TOPS on hand, but since they changed their formula or something and most of my birds haven’t liked it. I bought some in 2 different sizes, since now they offer Small Hookbill size, and went back to using it.
The second thing I had to do was greatly increase the variety of fresh foods I was feeding. Most of us tend to provide only four – eight different foods over the course of a week. If those foods contain, say, vitamin C and K but no vitamin A, then our birds are left with a deficit. I’m going to be honest with you – I was really failing in this regard. Here’s what I was feeding:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green beans
- Red, green, or yellow peppers
- Boiled Eggs
Now of course there were other foods, as you know from my posts and photos. But on a consistent basis, those were the foods. And they are good, nutritious foods, don’t get me wrong. But look at my “consistent daily” list now:
- Sprouts (many kinds, from several suppliers)
- Sweet potato
- Red, Yellow, Green Pepper
- Banana Peppers
- Hot Peppers
- Hibiscus flowers
- Dried Meal Worms
- Ground Flax Seed
- Chia Seeds
- A powdered supplement- there are a few. China Prairie’s contains: Wheat, Triticale, Mung Bean, Buckwheat, Fenugreek Seed, Rice, White Millet, Red Millet, Flax Seed, Mustard Seed, Fennel Seed, Quinoa Seed, Red Clover Seed, Alfalfa Seed, Radish Seed, Dill Seed, Amaranth Seed, Red Lentils, Green Lentils, French Blue Lentils.
- One of several types of avian tea blends: Jasmine, Green Tea (decaf), Tulsi, Turmeric, Rose Petals, Papaya Leaf, Lemon Grass, Coriander, Chamomile, Peppermint Leaf
TOPS lists their ingredients as follows: Organic alfalfa, organic barley, organic hulled millet, organic rice, organic sunflower seed hulled, organic sesame seeds unhulled, organic quinoa whole, organic pumpkin, organic buckwheat hulled, organic dandelion leaf powder, organic carrot powder, organic spinach leaf powder, organic purple dulse, organic kelp, organic rose hips powder, organic rose hips crushed, organic orange peel powder, organic lemon peel powder, organic rosemary whole leaf, organic cayenne ground, organic crushed red chili peppers, organic nettle leaf. Visit their webpage to learn more.
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