Practices & Products We Use
We use Roudybush Daily Maintenance pellets with all of our birds, along with fresh foods. Roudybush has been proven to do well by my Eclectus and many other breeders that I know. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet concerning Eclectus diets, which have resulted in less healthy birds. I have improved quite a few bird's health by changing their diet and care over to my method. I recommend 40-90% of an Eclectus' diet be fresh food and the rest a good natural pellet like Roudybush.
A good idea is to make a fresh chop, and freeze it for convenience. When served, add fresh seasonal food along with it.
Sprouts are the main fresh diet of my birds. Sprouting increases nutrition significantly and even springs up new nutrients! My sprouts may include different types of lentils, wheat, oats, corn, chickpeas, radish, millet, flax, adzuki beans, safflower and sunflower. Sprouts are a super food to humans and birds alike!
Some of the fruits I offer my birds regularly (fresh and/or frozen depending on season) are apples, oranges, mandarin oranges, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, pomegranates, raspberries and bananas.
Kale, collard greens, baby spinach. Wild weeds from the garden, including dandelion and plantain.
I have a herb garden and add herbs like oregano, sage and parsley to the seasonal fresh food and the frozen chops.
Plain cooked beans may be given. I find a 15 bean soup mix (no seasoning) works well and gives great variety.
Corn, peas and cooked carrots are a big favorite here. I often buy the large organic frozen bags from Costco, defrost and serve. Other veggies such as squash, cucumber, steamed sweet potato, broccoli, etc are also given.
Cooked whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa can also be offered. Although I occasionally add grains for variety, I feel it isn't needed if pellets are a part of the diet.
We use Tropican handfeeding formula by Hagen for our babies. We use a syringe and/or a spoon for feeding.
Wing Feather Trimming and Flying:
Many breeders trim flight feathers of babies after their first flight. I disagree with this method and allow my babies to be free flighted until they have mastered flying; they can hover, turn, and land successfully. Allowing babies to fully fledge gives them a measure of confidence that will help them mature into well-adjusted companions. After that time I will clip a few flight feathers with the new clip being recommended by the Association of Avian Veterinarians, which is to clip a feather very short on the shaft. There are quite a few reasons I feel this clip is superior, especially for Eclectus parrots because they are one of the parrots that are prone to feather destruction.
If they are ready while they are here, I introduce my babies to a flight harness.
I believe all types of perches should be used. I use natural branches from my magnolia tree, dowels and specialty perches in all different diameters. The different textures and sizes are important for foot health. I also like to supply a pumice perch to keep nails trim (I like the Safety Pumice Perch).
I make my own toys and use natural branches for enrichment. I give all my birds, breeders included, toys and things to chew on or forage for. The easiest and most inexpensive toys are baby toys found at garage sales or thrift stores- cleaned and sanitized. My favorite store-bought toys are the Prevue Calypso Creation Octopus and the Prevue Acrylic Dice and Dominoes with Keys.