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Calcium supplements


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We have a rescue CAG that came to us with some slight barbering, not full fledged plucking. I haven't noticed him doing it since we got him, but I'm still concerned about improving his calcium intake, since he had a really crappy diet before we took him in. (Pretty sure he lived on peanuts and cheap seed.)


I know about all the foods, and am doing everything I can in that department, but someone told me to give him a TUMS 2-3 times a week until his feathers grow back. I know they have extra calcium, and of course I will call my vet and ask about that, but has anyone else ever heard of this?


He's a little picky with his greens. I can't give him anything else when I offer them, because he will choose almost anything over the healthy stuff. I started using Chia seed and sesame seed in with his food yesterday. He isn't overly fond of eggs, but loves fruit - except the ones that I need him to eat that are rich in calcium.


Any thoughts on anything else I can do? (I'm not beyond doing anything - I'm cooking beans for them all right now.)

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I mix things in with birdie bread. I also cook up a batch on Sunday mornings that lasts about 2 weeks. Lots of veggies, pasta, rice, quinoa ect. I put them in small containers and freeze it. I take one out the night before for my birds each day in addition to their regular food. Disguise disguise disguise!

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Tried the birdie bread, he won't eat it - actually, my ringnecks are the only ones who will, but they are like feathered garbage disposals. His diet consisted of peanuts and cheap seed before I got him. I literally have to chop up his fruit and veggies together in hopes that the leafy stuff will stick to the fruit juice and he'll accidentally eat some of it. I do shave cuttle bone into his food. Just feel like he needs more calcium rich foods than I can get him to eat. Not really used to this, my other birds will eat anything, but the two rescues weren't exposed to fresh foods and have no idea what it is. The only fresh foods Kya was given are apple and grapes, neither of which he needs a lot of. I am trying to undo 10 years of damage!

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I have seen antacids recommended for laying chickens. But I wouldn't consider using supplements for a parrot w/o deficient blood panel levels & a vet's say so.


Odds are good that Kya was over preening out of boredom. And he ain't bored anymore is he? And if he starts over preening now, it's very possibly sensory overload. I don't know if you need to do more than sort his diet & keep an eye on him, at this point. Can't hurt to get him out in the sunshine while the weather holds either. Adequate Vitamin D from sunlight or a lamp is also needed to metabolize calcium.


Since you think he's conditioned to eat peanuts & cheap seed, he should be cut off now. No more peanuts or sunflower seeds, either. These are a very common addiction for many parrots from 'uninformed' homes. Fids fill up on as many of them as available & have less need or desire for better foods.


Most parrots are extremely attracted to any nuts, which are a good source of calcium. Nuts in the shell are good foraging & exercise. If you gave him a bit of a head start by slightly cracking a few walnuts, Kya can have a healthier new addiction pretty quick.


From now on peanut butter will be to use Penny's word a good "disguise" for new foods. Think of it as ketchup for a certain type of human palate. lol Peanut butter in warm quinoa? Or on dandelion w/extra cinnamon? In fresh snap peas? With hard boiled egg yolk & apple sauce, maybe?


Don't worry if you wouldn't like it. They certainly have different sensibilities. And of course you can start by experimenting w/calcium rich foods like dandelions, oranges, broccoli buds, etc.


After a while you could try to transition to Red Palm Oil instead. Palm nuts are a part of a grey's diet in the wild. My flock recommends Nutiva RPO because they apparently think it's quite yummy. I second that because it's reasonably priced, found in my local grocery stores, is organic, Non-GMO, supports Fair Trade, no deforestation or habitat destruction.


You might also gain surprising ground if you'll share your food. Greys learn by example (Google ALEX Studies if you haven't already been introduced). You could use your fingers, utensils or better still a cup. Some fids love to drink from a cup! If Kya gets into drinking regular juice from a cup, you'll be able to start concocting some healthy smoothies which would be helpful. btw Simply Limeade gets Phenix' highest recommendation!!


From there, hopefully he'd graduate to "nasty" smoothies. Chunky, seriously noxious concoctions that will serve as precursors to mash. Suggest spending a while in the Health Room, reading about mash & chop. Basically what you've been doing on a larger scale. With a little practice you can feed a much more varied & healthy diet for a ton cheaper than pellets. It's also a lot easier than people tend to think, once they get the hang of it.

Edited by birdhouse
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