Quaker Parrots are fun animals to be around. If you want to play then they are ready. If you want to talk then they are amongst the best talkers per price around the bird world. If you want to sleep, they’ll let you sleep…mostly.
I bought my Quaker, Boom Boom a couple of years ago. In fact he recently turned two. And, yes, he has a Facebook page.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is feeding their Quakers seed. When parrots are bred they are often hand fed to make for a more accepting human bond when they go to an owner. As the breeder hand feeds the birds a special formula they are always offered their own food in the cage as well. This way the breeder knows when the bird is eating on its own and can safely end the weaning process. The issue is that in many cases the food that is offered is seed.
Parrots should be offered a diet that as closely mirrors their natural diet as possible. All animals should. But unless a person is going to scavenge for grubs, wild berries, leaves and small nuts then that will be difficult. And unless we are willing to offer our dogs and cats small, live animals that is not the right thing to do either. For parrots, seed is not the answer either and I would ask that you don’t start collecting squirrels for your dogs.
Seed does not have all the proteins, minerals and amino acids that these birds need. In fact they are deficient in those areas. Some are fortified, or will claim to be, but even that doesn’t do much good. The answer is pellets.
But there arises another problem. Parrots are much like little children. There taste buds do not always do them justice. Parrots, like kids, will eat a whole bunch of stuff that they like but not enough of the stuff they don’t or are not used to eating. This is where a bird that is weaned on seeds becomes an issue.
They just don’t recognize the pellets as food and they should be the base of their diet (about 70%) with the rest being made up of healthy treats such as vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits and even some table food. Never feed a parrot avocado, onion, apple seeds, most fruit cores, chocolate or dried fruits that are bought packaged.
There are many good brands of pellets, amongst them are:
- Pretty Bird International
- PELLETS INC.
- Lafeber Company
Pellets can come in different shapes and colors that make them more attractive for your bird. The brand that I use is actually a multi-colored, multi-shaped variety that is very nutritious.
If you have troubles getting your bird to eat the pellet try eating a few pieces in front of them. They will want what you like. Make pleasurable sounding noises as you chew so they know you like it. I’ve done it and it is not that bad. Kind of tastes like hard rice cake actually.
For more stubborn birds there are many pellet switching techniques that you can look up on-line.