How do I get a bird who loves millet to lose weight?

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Hi Kelly

Whereas most people are scared of heights, I am scared of width’s.

To that point, call me crazy but I find that little box on Google plus is a bit narrow.

Plus (is that google speak?) I’m feeling rather chatty after taking a five hour energy.

“who’ya callin’ a bird brain”?

First things first, budgies aka, budgerigars, parakeets, keets, shell parakeets and disposable pets are seed eating (which we will get to momentarily) long tail birds from Australia.

Parakeets are not meek little feather balls.

Most budgies have survived savage environmental conditions in the interior of the Australian continent for million of years.

They are close cousins to lori “keets” and although “parakeet” defines budgies, “budgie” does not define parakeets.

There are roughly 372 species of parakeets i.e. Bourkes parakeets, African ringneck parakeets, blue Crown parakeet, red throated parakeet, scarlet fronted parakeets – you get the idea

to some sort of point

Kelly Lewis commented on a Google plus post entitled Is Higgins millet really organic? (I’m not going to post the link to the Google plus post page because I still find Google plus a little like the Escher vault on Warehouse 13)

the g+ thread

Kelly – My budgie Charlie loves these♥

mitchr – just be careful – it’s considered birdie crack and can add unneeded weight easily – your bird should be 30 – 35 grams – we stopped serving millet to our tiel bcause she’s at 109 (down from 129 when egg laying) and needs to get under a hundred g.

Kelly – +WindyCityParrot.com thank you so much for the advice, I did notice that he looked a bit plump, he’s about 6yrs old and very fussy with his food, what would be the best food and treats I could try him with?

the Escher vault from Warehouse 13 reminding me of trying to navigate google +

which brings us tooo

Getting a seed eating bird to lose weight, is a bit of a conundrum (you’re a Hill William if you think that means birth control).

In the wild they are always flying somewhere & doing budgie stuff – which burns lots of calories.

Flighted but caged birds in the home, not so much. They are “seed eating birds” but we do have a couple of options to talk about. I

n a perfect world getting them to eat something like Harrisons Organic High Potency Fine Bird Food Pellets would put you in total control of the weight and diet thing.

Problem is not all birds convert to pellets. The good news is understanding that birds will usually eat until the crop is full, offers another path.

Try to get them to embrace leafy greens. Preferably dark greens (to fill the crop) as iceberg lettuce has virtually no nutrients.

Kale, arugala (see video below for definition), Steve Martin in the movie “My Blue Heaven” and spinach which comes with a “yes but.”

The reason spinach is good for you, me and our caged birds is it’s uber nutritious.

A good source of iron, folic acid, beta-carotene and magnesium.

It provides a lot of fiber while being low in fat and offers vitamins A, C and K. 

The “yes but” is Oxalic acid which is prevalent in spinach.

This stuff actually bonds with calcium and leaches it out of a birds body.

If your bird is eating a lot of spinach make sure you’re providing a good calcium supplement.

If your bird is laying eggs she should probably lay off the spinach.

How do you get your bird to eat leafy greens?

Popcorn our cockatiel will fly to any lettuce open on the kitchen counter and serve herself.

If a big chunky piece of lettuce scares the dickens out of your caged bird try clipping some outside of the cage (lettuce not the bird).

Most of us have learned by now birds are inquisitive and they love with they can’t have (much like humans).

Securing it just within reach but outside of the cage may make it more tempting.

If you’re adventurous you might want to try this “Budgie Fantasy (leaf) Bath” (see video below).

We can’t promise your bird will eat any of the lettuce but he should have a bunch of fun.

 

While on the topic of nutrition we can’t forget Avi-Cakes which many people mistake as purely a treat but if truth be known a bird can live a happy healthy life for many years eating nothing but Avi-Cakes 

They contain ground millet but in much smaller quantities than your bird would get eating straight from a sprig and has many nutritious ingredients like cranberries, dates, mangoes and papaya’s.

They also contain pellets which are ground up in the bar bound by molasses, which by the way make them ideal to sprinkle powdered bird supplements on which makes them the perfect delivery system to get said supplements into said bird.

And let’s not forget the other side of the diet is exercise.

We are committed to help you keep your caged bird healthy and safe whether it’s flighted or not.

Need birdie exercise ideas? click here

Clearly flighted birds benefit from the calorie burn necessary for flight as well as helping keep muscles in tone. What’s the cheapest health insurance for your caged bird? Weigh it weekly!

Hope some of this helps – lettuce know <pun

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

your zygodactyl footnote

 


Also published on Medium.

Author:

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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