Ask Lafeber

Question:

June 7, 2021

in shell almonds


Hi!
I have a 22 yr old sun conure. He loves to eat in shell almonds as a part of a treat and foraging all day. He averages 6 almonds per day or sometimes more. Is this a safe amount? I didn’t know if almonds would affect liver function, health, etc of a bird his size. He also loves your el Paso Nutriberries!


Answer:

Hi Diane,

I did see you asked this last Friday during the webinar, so I’ll mark it as answered since I’m replying here. J

I know your little guy loves his almonds, but really a single almond a day is the most he should have. And this is assuming he is actually consuming each almond. If he spends his time shaving them, and you see a pile of shaved almonds, then he is likely playing more than eating. Dr. Lamb gave examples of caloric needs recently in her Picky Parrot webinar, and a Sun Conure would need 20-30 calories per day. A single almond has about 7 calories, so even one entire almond is a bit more than he needs. Six is more than his daily caloric need, and he is still eating other foods. Which is why I suspect he is not consuming a lot of each one. But to be safe, I would find other foraging activities for him. Almonds are high in protein, “good” fat, calcium and other nutrients, but too much of anything can be bad. As far as how it might affect him, it’s hard to know. Birds can have liver issues related to diet. The good news is his Nutri-Berries are formulated the same as a pellet, so they can be fed alone or combined with pellets to make up 80% of his diet. The rest of his diet should be fresh foods, nuts and healthy table foods. There is always an ongoing debate about nutrition, because there is still so much we don’t know. But there have been ongoing studies on live flocks for decades, and for now, the recommendation is 80 of a diet formulated by science based nutrition. We have some great nutrition webinars and foraging webinars. All are available on our YouTube channel. Here is the link to all webinars, where you can browse the titles to select what you want to view.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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