Your 60 second list of good & bad fruits for birds

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It’s summer and we all eat more fruit in the summer. Birds like fruit too, but………..

 the skinny
Unsafe fruits for birds: Avocado – Rhubarb
The seeds and pits of: apples – apricots – cherries – nectarines – peaches – plums – they all contain a cyanide-like substance (the fruit “meats” are OK)
 Australian King Parrot eating watermelon isolated white background
Safe fruits for birds: apple – apricot – banana – blackberry – blackcurrant – blood orange – blueberry – cantaloupe melon – cherry – cranberry – dried dates – figs (fresh) – gooseberries – grape – guava – honeydew melon – kiwifruit – lychee – mandarin – mango – melon – nectarine – orange – papaya – peach – pear – pineapple – plum – pomegranate – quince – raspberry – red currants – strawberry – tangerine – watermelon – yellow plum – (all included in a lot of manufactured bird food)
Safe seeds & pits for birds: grapes – cantaloupe – cranberries – watermelon – pomegranates – oranges – grapefruits – lemons
cut up pomegranates & leaves
Pomegranates make a great foraging food
(only the seeds are edible)
You’ll be foraging for paper towels & a mop
 but that’s your lot in life being owned by a bird 🙂
if you feed your parrot dried fruit, make sure it’s free of sulfides and sulfates.
it is our unscientific belief that citrus fruit may be a possible plucking trigger (birdie heartburn)

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

The Problem with Feeding Corn to Parrots

Read in 4 minutes
Alexandrian parrot eating corn on the cob
Hello Catherine and Mitch,
Thank you for your ongoing interesting, informative and helpful narratives. I have one question that has yet to be answered. Today’s writing has a sentence (below) Offer corn only as a treat (popcorn’s a favourite) as it’s used to fatten animals.
Corn is always the #1 ingredient in every single bird pellet food that I have seen. I interpret that to mean that corn is the most prevalent ingredient in the pellet. As stated above, I also view corn as a high carb (not to mention GMO) food that would not seemingly be one’s best choice for a cherished family bird!
You have access to much more info that I do. Please advise me (and all your other fans) why corn is the #1 ingredient in all pellet foods. Or maybe there are other brands I am not aware of that do not have corn as the #1 ingredient!
Cynthia T. ( )
Hi Cynthia
Actually corn is the majority ingredient in low-cost bird food, which you can see through the bags on the shelves the stores like Walmart. You’ll see far less corn proportionately in a quality engineered product like Harrisons or Hagen. That said, the difference between the corn going into packaged bird food and the corn coming in your table is the manufactured bird food corn is tested with tests like the Charm Rosa test which can check for aflatoxin, fumonisin and DON (vomitoxin) levels in finished pellets. Unfortunately the “corn on the cob” coming to your kitchen table comes directly from the farm never having been tested by the USDA 
The issue is mold which translates to toxins (mycotoxins, aflatoxins) that can have negative impacts for you and your pet bird. What’s interesting is these ghost poisons that you can’t smell nor taste, will appear on one farmers crop of corn but not his neighbors. The fungus can present itself in huge amounts but doesn’t produce any toxins, and sometimes strangely enough just the opposite happens. These toxins sometimes are found before the harvest but they may not manifest themselves until the corn is stored. No amount of cooking heat can destroy these insidious poisons.
If you check with the US government you will find that they allow a maximum of 20 ppb (parts per billion) of combined aflatoxins in human food which is much more generous than Canada and Europe allows. Birds being birds are less resistant to these poisons than most mammals. When US corn exceeds 20 PBB you’ll find it in bags of wild feed for deers or on ships heading for ports outside of the US. Generally speaking we haven’t seen a problem with corn but we just want to make you aware of the downsides.
If you are thinking of getting away from corn totally, the pellet you would like is Goldenfeast Goldn’obles. it’s peanut and corn free, no GMO or synthetic vitamins. No high-fructose corn syrup and no artificial flavors.
Goldenfeast is currently making a new batch (they make small, fresh batches to insure freshness). 
Hope that helps
Hello Mitch,
Thank you for such an informative answer. I had no idea that corn is a possible killer for my pair of cockatiels. (They are 15 1/2 years old). You delivered their Kings Cage I bought from you years ago on your motorcycle! And then assembled it.! I was very impressed with your customer service. You have conducted a repeat performance now! Thank you!!) 

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Can My Bird Safely Eat People Food?

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My parrots love eating any kind of fruit or juice, nuts or seeds, but aren’t interested in any other kind of food I think is good for them. How can I change this?

This article is written with the understanding that you are providing a high quality formulated parrot pellet to your bird. Seed diets are ok but many nutrients are lost from “vitamin fortified” seed diets when the hull of the seed (where the vitamin fortification is applied) is discarded by the bird. We advocate a multi vitamin supplement to insure optimal nutrition with an all seed diet.
Continue reading “Can My Bird Safely Eat People Food?”

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Can My Bird Eat Dairy Products?

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It’s important to remember, that although birds are warm-blooded unlike mammals, they hatch from eggs. The placenta is the delivery system for mammals providing nourishment to their embryos. Colostrum is the substance mammalian mothers produce which provides antibodies and essential nutrients for newborns.
Within a few days mammalian mothers produce milk which is a combination of water, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and other nutritional necessities. Mammals produce enzymes (lactase) which enable the digestion of lactose. 
Continue reading “Can My Bird Eat Dairy Products?”

What Does Hundreds of Dollars of Free Bird Stuff Look Like?

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Why is this girl and her parrot smiling? 
They just won Hundreds of Dollars of Free Bird Stuff (a Facebook promotion) 
(Deep announcers voice) “Previously on the great birdcage makeover contest, Mitch went to visit Amberly and Jenga to talk about Jenga’s needs and current caged environment. For scenes of that prior episode click here
Last Saturday I returned with all the stuff. Amberly’s disposition was for lack of a better term was “giddy” like a kid on Christmas morning. Jenga seemed rather pensive but did climb onto my hand and we then walked back to the room with her main cage.
You can see the list of everything she won at the bottom of this page. For those of you who are fearful of changing anything in their bird’s cage because it may upset your bird, the following may be painful – stop reading now and back away from the Kindle. 
The following occurred between 12:15 PM and 2:15 PM CST Saturday March 1st. 
It was early in the day so we decided to “gut” Jenga’s cage and start fresh – why not? Amberly was a cross between a ninja and Xena, Warrior Princess when it came to redoing the cage (I like to call it Cage-Scaping). Parts flew into her her hands from magic compartments around the room like a Sorceress. She pulled cable ties from some quiver she wore on her back. It was breathtaking. 
Jenga to that point had been simply an observer and, something I knew – an aficionado of almonds. Part of the loot I had brought was a bag of Higgins Boca Nuts. While Amberly was moving about the room with the precision of a hummingbird I stood next to the cage and introduced Ms. Jenga to the virtues of walnuts. 
A single whole walnut can be a bit intimidating but if I have three in my hand and squeeze real hard at least one will crack. Once she got a taste of the walnut meat, I had a friend for life. 
Jenga the African grey in her primary cage
 Not only is Amberly efficient, she’s creative. I brought one of our most popular forging toys which was designed by (literally) an Umbrella Cockatoo. Quick story, the maker of this toy was in his workshop before it was one of his toys. Like most woodworkers he had lots scraps lying around the shop which is a U2’s nirvana. He had this one block of wood that had been used on the bed of the drill press and had lots of holes.
The bird hopped over to the block of wood and started cutting channels between the holes and had a grand old time for about 30 minutes, which is how this toy was born. I think it’s a great toy. Amberly made it a greater better super better toy thing. Wow!
Foraging Delight Big Bird Chew Up Toy 106 Read more:
Straws, popcorn it’s all a blur but it ended up as a tremendous cage asset. Cage assets are items that promote the physical and mental well-being of your bird’s captive environment. It’s also always helpful to have a second set of hands when installing accessories on a large parrot cage, requiring the two-washer-single-wingnut thing that’s 10 inches farther than your arm will ever reach on the opposite side of the cage. 
The entire process was quite fluid and I think the end of the process speaks for itself.
California bird cage filled with foraging & interactive bird toys
And there were other treats included in this package a steam cleaner, a play stand for Jenga so she could sit at the end of the couch and watch TV with Amberly. We also introduced a large swing, a beak conditioner, some flat perches and other bird cage accouterments like Bird cage crocks for that big ole Cal cage. For a diversion from Zupreem we included a 3 pound bag of Higgins Sunburst Parrot with lots of fruits & nuts to break the monotony of the pellet. 
In the interest of full transparency, here’s the actual “invoice”. Amberly is a hard working young woman who deserved it. Congratulations Amberly. 
winning amount of free bird accessories
Mitch Rezman
CMO, Windy City Parrot

Overweight Rose Breasted Cockatoo

Read in 3 minutes
Hi from Arizona,
I have a Rose Breasted Cockatoo named Poppy. He will be 17 in April and I would like some advice on controlling his weight. His maintenance diet is Zupreem Fruit blend. He also gets cooked food with various kinds of beans, broccoli, egg (white only), some fruit like a berry or piece of mango or apple. I have also used Higgins Worldly Cuisines but he tends to avoid eating the lentils. He could probably use more exercise time on his play stand but there has to be someone to watch that he doesn’t fly off and get into mischief. I use foraging toys but he masters them very quickly so not much foraging.
On your web site I saw some coconut oil, or palm oil, I think, that was helpful for controlling weight. Do you have any suggestions that would help and not destroy his wonderful personality. He is extremely intelligent, has a vocabulary of ~400 words and often uses complete sentences.
Thank you,
Carol Justice
HI Carol
what is Poppy’s current weight?
His last weight was 516 grams. He is a large bird 13 inches from head to tail.
Hi Carol
Your bird is significantly over weight, the average weight for a Galah’ is 280 – 390 grams – Poppy is the average length for Rose Breasted C2 but weighs as much as an Umbrella. In that the number represents a 25% overage I would encourage a vet visit at your earliest convenience 
In that I don’t know if your bird is over sized or over weight, I’m concerned about any recommendations. If your bird is over sized thats fine but but a 100 grams overwight could be an indication of a tumor, fatty liver disease or any number of maladies that only a vet check could determine. I don;t want to give you exercise tips and have your bird keel over because of high cholesterol – sorry. 
that said, and Zupreem will argue it, but Zupreeem is high in sugar. their argument is that it’s no more than bird get from eating fruit in the wild. My argument is it’s an “added ingredient” sugar will add weight to humans or birds. You might want to move to Harrisons High potency 
Re :Harrisons High potency
• Diet Conversion: All birds should start out and remain on a High Potency Formula for a period of at least 6 months.
• Special needs: for birds that are molting, overweight, underweight, particularly active, housed in a cold climate, recovering from an illness or affected by liver or kidney disease.
• Weaning Birds: Feed High Potency Formula for at least 6-9 months.
• Breeding Birds: Birds s
After 6 months change to Harrisons Adult lifetime –
Hope than helps