feeding amount ?

Scott199

Regular Member
Hi all.

when Bert came, he came on Harrisons high potency pellets and eats them like they are going out of fashion, we had no info on amount to feed, so went with the Harrisons guide, we also mix Harrisons lifetime in but he's not that keen on them yet.

I've been reading a few blogs/books and I think I might be over feeding him, can anyone give me an idea/weight of the daily food yours has.

At this point he gets around 30 grams of pellets per day (20grms in the morning and 10grms around 7:30pm, bed at 8:30pm) and he'll clear his morning/evening food almost instantly, then he gets some form of lunch (usually sprouted mix), then at 4:30/5pm he gets a bowl of fresh veg, around 6:30 he has a avicake (when we have our meal)

veg wise he only nibble's on broccoli, carrot, sweet potato, cauliflower, but 80% of the time its only broccoli or cauliflower. odd piece of apple and a grape.

I seen a few blogs/pictures of the "daily" amount other feed and compared, it seemed a very tiny amount, now he never eats all his sprouted mix or veg.

ive also read 15-20% of body weight but that seems a lot, is this total food intake do you think ?

but I'm wondering how to know what "enough" is ?

(he's still not very hand tame, so weighing would be a real issue)
 
I'm not sure on amount of pellets for Greys, but as an idea, our bg macaws currently get as standard (can vary in additional food) ....
Breakfast in a foraging tray.
10 x Harrisons High Potency Course
3 x Power Treats
5 x Pine Nuts

Dinner in a normal bowl.
5 - 8 x Harrisons HPC (depending on rest of meal or what snacks they've had through the day)
Veg chop mix

Ideal weight for ours is 1kg, Gary can be up to 1.1kg. We just adjust food accordingly to try and maintain weight, and to avoid the nightmare of hormonal birds!

Still probably vague, but I hope it gives you an idea in relation to a Grey! We had been feeding as per the instructions, and they were happily eating it, but the birds were turning into little chubbers, so we had to work out a balance that suited their needs.

As our vet reminded us, think of how much effort wild parrots go to, for a little food, when our birds get handed it on a plate..... literally!
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Harrisons HP should only be fed for the first six months then ideally switch to Adult Lifetime. If the fresh stuff is not as tempting to Bert then give this first when he is most hungry. I'd give my back teeth if my girls would eat Cauli and Brocolli! Really! Try and add something orange or red to the likes and you'd be doing good in my book? Feeding a parrot is never perfect, however much we try, just do your best. Aim for approx 10% of a birds body weight a day total as a starting point. We all over feed, it is our nature. :)

PS have you tried sugar snap peas? The can be an activity and food. My Rubes absolutely loves those, but just the insides?
 

Scott199

Regular Member
Hi tried most things, he does also eat sweet potato and carrots now on occasion.
but this was more about an idea of quantity really.

just trying to get an idea of how much others feed their greys

so your saying around 10% total food (pellets/veg/sprouting) or 10% pellets and the rest as it comes ?
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
about 10% total so a 400g bird would get approx 40g over the day as an idea. Obviously if all eaten then you wouldn't starve him/her but it gives an idea, somewhere to start from. Veggies, sprouting, fruit and nuts should be the larger amount, pellets should never be the biggest quantity ideally. Each bird is different, their activity levels, preferences etc so just an idea as we do tend to over feed, don't we? If you measure the whole days intake it is a good exercise for you to see and perhaps avoid waste?
 

Scott199

Regular Member
Oh also I spoke to Harrison’s about the difference and they say that the HP is more specifically designed towards greys, and looking on the packets, no mention of amount for greys on the lifetime but there is on HP.

I’m still mixing HP and lifetime at the moment and will continue for now.

about 10% total so a 400g bird would get approx 40g over the day as an idea. Obviously if all eaten then you wouldn't starve him/her but it gives an idea, somewhere to start from. Veggies, sprouting, fruit and nuts should be the larger amount, pellets should never be the biggest quantity ideally. Each bird is different, their activity levels, preferences etc so just an idea as we do tend to over feed, don't we? If you measure the whole days intake it is a good exercise for you to see and perhaps avoid waste?
Thats perfect, thanks you, he does get a lot of veg and eats a little but he won't touch it if its cut up, so has to be a branch of broccoli or an inch of carrot or he'll ignore it, he has to be able to hold it and nibble the insides out, so we do waste loads but that's fine, I'm probable under estimating how much veg he eats.

From what I've seen he's certainly on the upper side of the greys size wise, so I guess (until I know) around the 40/50/60g mark a day.
 

Scott199

Regular Member
So going back to this, im kind of managing the scales idea, what an acceptable variation in weight ?

im not 100% the scale idea is working as its on his cage bottom which is tin, but would you say a 10/20/30g difference is ok as an average ?
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Weight the same time every day first thing in the morning before breakfast and after the morning poop.
The weight of a bird is relevant to that bird ..... I have three african grey hens two are sisters one is perfect for the average hen bird weight the other is a larger in stature bird and weighs in more like a cock bird ... and then there is little Henni only just bigger than a timnah grey if she weighed anywhere near the other two girls my vet would probably hang me by my toes from a ceiling lamp!!
Have a look at Scott E McDonalds website he's an avian vet and click on the article about body weights of the average for species that he has done of birds that come into his practice it's very enlightening http://www.scottemcdonald.com/articles.html
 

Scott199

Regular Member
Weight the same time every day first thing in the morning before breakfast and after the morning poop.
The weight of a bird is relevant to that bird ..... I have three african grey hens two are sisters one is perfect for the average hen bird weight the other is a larger in stature bird and weighs in more like a cock bird ... and then there is little Henni only just bigger than a timnah grey if she weighed anywhere near the other two girls my vet would probably hang me by my toes from a ceiling lamp!!
Have a look at Scott E McDonalds website he's an avian vet and click on the article about body weights of the average for species that he has done of birds that come into his practice it's very enlightening http://www.scottemcdonald.com/articles.html
Thank you, i do weigh roughly the same time but its around 6pm when he does his training (at this point i have to put scales in his cage and target to them, so he stands on the them for a treat)

i just wondered what kind of fluctuation in weight is acceptable ?
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Thank you, i do weigh roughly the same time but its around 6pm when he does his training (at this point i have to put scales in his cage and target to them, so he stands on the them for a treat)

i just wondered what kind of fluctuation in weight is acceptable ?
Keep a diary of weighings hun, this will be easier to see if anything is amiss. Things like moulting can affect their weight, too busy to eat very much?
 

Scott199

Regular Member
Keep a diary of weighings hun, this will be easier to see if anything is amiss. Things like moulting can affect their weight, too busy to eat very much?
Yes i ve got it on my phone, date, time and weight, before/after tea, did he eat much, so set it out like this

Date-time-weight-all evening meal, half evening meal etc. and any notes under that, eaten well, not eating well, had veg, refused veg etc.

ideally one day i can do the morning thing but at this point its something and considering 2 months ago he would of chomped me for putting this strange alien appliance in his cage, i happy, well happy ish, id rather he wandered into the kitchen hoped on the scales then popped back in to tell me his weight. :) if i manage the latter, ill let you know :oops:
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Right time to make a graph instead of information on your phone then.
Group readings together mornings with mornings and evenings with evenings and work out the mean weight (add all weights together for each group and divide by total number of times weighed - for those not into maths) and then so long as your birdie is thereabouts you know average weight of your birdie and if the vet is happy with that figure then that's where you try to keep it and only weigh once a week or in my case once a month unless I am suspicious there is something wrong.
 

Scott199

Regular Member
I need a little advice, ive asked the vets and they just said do what ever you’ve been doing but I’ve done a lot.

the vet has told me he should be on Harrison’s HP always, im not sure about this BUT I’m not going against the advise of an avian vet, I’ve seen a reply from Harrison’s and they said


Thank you for writing to us with your question about High Potency.

It is the fat/protein ratio to consider between the two diets.
High Potency Coarse is 3 times as high in fat (or twice as high in HP Fine) as Adult Lifetime, but only 3% higher in protein.
Sick birds need extra energy. So via such a ratio a bird actually eats less protein per gram of fat on High Potency and the bird will eat less, by weight, thus less protein than AL
Obese, fatty liver, elevated cholesterol and birds with atherosclerosis are sick birds and are not able to metabolize/store fat but instead use muscle for energy. Thus it is a common presentation for a thin bird to still have areas of stored fat (liver, peritoneum).
HP is also slightly higher in vitamins and precursors, fiber and minerals. HP will turn a sick bird around quicker.

As liver disease is considered invariably a result of improper nutrition Dr. Harrison's traditional approach to liver patients involves the recommendation to use High Potency - but feed smaller amounts and be very strict in regard to any other foods that are being fed. In addition to HP only offer leafy greens (seed, tablefood etc. home-made diet concoctions should be removed). This is a long established measure to primarily treat the nutritional deficiency used by Dr. Harrison with years of excellent result – the liver subsequently improves.

The protein content is perfect for a variety of needs, not limited to diet change, bird healing, molting, growing or recovering from an illness. More importantly, we have decades of outstanding results in feeding High Potency and no protein issues when fed as directed (ie limited supplementation).
However if the bird is currently is experiencing full organ failure your veterinarian will make specific diet recommendations.

These are decisions your veterinarian can help you with.
Please let us know if you have any other questions..”

but Berts on 23/25g a day and he just seems hungry, he’s eating the crumbs from the bowl.

so in theory a 600g bird should be having roughly 60g in food, he won’t touch his veg at all, ive tried the morning thing and left it till 9/10/11am and he’s still not eaten a thing which is when I’ve given in and given pellets.

should I just let him eat how ever much he wants ?
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Hmmm a conundrum
Personally I would ponder why the recommendation of the Harrison's by the vet mine was pushing it for a long time but purely as he said it's easier to get people to feed correctly he doesn't tell me to feed that anymore as he admitted that their bloods and body condition showed I was feeding correctly and varied enough.
I really wouldn't allow a bird to be hungry especially one that has been so poorly recently I would let him have his pellets but I am not a vet ........ Have you talked to your vet about how much he's eating?
could forage feeding help?
There must be something he likes like Apple or grape or pomegranate?!
 

Scott199

Regular Member
I did speak to the vet and basically I couldn’t get a straight answer about amounts, I said I was feeding around the 25g mark a little more if he seems hungry or a little less depending upon what other stuff he had eaten and they said just keep doing what ever you’ve done, which wasn’t a solid answer.

he does eat apple and grapes, he loves grapes but again I’m worried about the sugar content and his liver, he does get a grape and a piece of apple daily He’ll eat both of those.

the vet did say about fruit and veg and if I can mimic the perfect ratio of pellets and be sure he’s eating them then it would be fine but I can’t so that’s out of the question.

It just seems so counter productive to allow him high protein, high fat content food and let him eat as much as he wants.

but again I’m not happy about him being hungry, well if he is, he is a proper guts with his pellets, he can’t leave a single pellet in the bowl, he gets 4g hand fed with heart meds morning and night, the other 9g goes in his bowl with liver meds in but he’ll eat them within minutes leaving himself no food by 9am.

I do sneak a few pellets around his cage for him to find during the day.

5pm he gets another 4g with heart meds, then his fruit and veg and then 7pm his final 9g with liver meds.

but tonight after his last pellets he almost licked the bowl dry of the dust and such (he did have a bowl of veg next to it)
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
Will he eat sprouted seeds?
What about cooking and mashing the veg?

You might have already tried these options so apologies if im teaching you to suck eggs.
 

Scott199

Regular Member
Hi yes I have tried nearly everything I. An think of or that I’ve been recommend he generally doesn’t seem to like anything mushy and he has to be able to hold it.

he will sometime eat sprouted popcorn but not very often.

on the Harrison’s packet it says “birds may eat all that they want but use the table as a guide”

On the Harrison’s HP packet it says African greys 15-30g per day that’s what I’ve always worked on.

do any of you know would a bird store more fat if underfed like other animals do ?

I’ve read about animals that are underfed storing fat, almost like they do in winter when food isn’t abundant.
 
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