Ask Lafeber

Question:

May 26, 2021

Picky Parrot webinar – calories in Lafeber diets


I couldn’t find the calorie count on package of nutriberries or pellets. Is there a place on your website I can find it?


Answer:

Hi Nickie,

Dr. Lamb used calories because they are relatable, and it is a good way to demonstrate the amount of food that your bird needs daily. However, you should not get too caught up in counting them, because the amount needed can vary greatly based on a bird’s activity and individual metabolism. For example, I have two Severe macaws, the same size and weight, and one eats 6 Nutri-Berries daily while the other eats 12. But she is a very active, playful bird and plays with her toys and swings all day long.

Dr. Susan Orosz explains that parrots eat to meet their nutritional needs. If their diet consists of nutritionally balanced foods, the bird will not over eat. But he will over eat if he only gets seeds, or if you offer less healthy, fatty foods or even too much fruit or fairly healthy foods that are not nutritionally balanced for a parrot. These foods dilute the nutrition he gets from his pellets or our other diets, and since he doesn’t feel satisfied, he eats too much. This is why it’s good to know the calories of the fresh foods and human foods you offer, so that you do not let him eat too much of those foods. And it’s also why Dr Lamb demonstrated the calories in pellets and how much various species need. It’s not because you need to limit the pellets, but if you are trying to convince him to try new foods, and he is satisfied with eating a full serving of pellets, he won’t be hungry and isn’t likely to try something new. You don’t want to starve a bird into trying new foods, but you can let him get a bit hungry during the day, with new foods available, and then give him the rest of his pellets in the late afternoon or evening.

If you are feeding our foraging diet like Nutri-Berries or Avi-Cakes, these can be fed with pellets or instead of pellets. However, it is best that he eats most of each berrie or cake without wasting too much. If he is wasting a lot of each piece, then you need to limit what you give him at a time. He can have more when he has eaten most or all of what he has. Eventually you will learn how many he needs each day. And if you have concerns about limiting them, you can have a small dish of pellets available also.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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