Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

For those that celebrate Easter, I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

I think most parrots enjoy Easter for one simple reason - hard boiled eggs. I give my parrots one serving of eggs a week, far less than they feel they deserve. I have received numerous complaints on this subject, needless to say. Despite that, one serving a week, or on rare occasions perhaps two, is all I allow.

As Easter is a time of excess eggs for all, I thought I would share my viewpoint on feeding eggs.

-First of all, it is in no way cannibalism. Really. Humans are as closely related to cows as chickens are to parrots. This is the absolute truth, 100%. Cows and humans are both mammals, and chicken and parrots are both birds. For some reason public opinion places all birds as being closer related than all mammals, I can not say why. If you would like further information on this, here is a good post written by Rebecca O'Connor on the subject.

- You should be careful of how much egg you feed. As with everything, too much of a good thing is often quite bad. (As a note, this is often taken to mean avoid the good thing all together, as with the seed controversy. As bad as too much of a good thing is, none of a good thing is often worse.) When I say one serving, I am referring to one parrot sized serving. For the budgies, this is only a third a teaspoon; for the tiels, a scant half teaspoon; for the quakers, 3/4 a teaspoon; for Yaz, a 1/2 teaspoon; and finally, for the ekkies, one egg white. These are all estimates, but it gives you a general idea of how much I feed the size parrots I have. Also, another important thing to remember, all my parrots except for Yaz are caged in pairs, so if you have a single parrot, it would be about half what I said.

- I only ever give my ekkies egg white, because of the amount of cholesterol found in the yolks. When ekkies are hormonal, they naturally build up their cholesterol to high amounts; therefore, to avoid encouraging hormones, ekkies do better on a lower cholesterol diet. I am not sure if this applies to other parrots, though I have never read about in regards to any other species. Because of this, I do not worry too much about giving my other parrots some egg yolk along with the white.

Also, a quote about egg nutrition from this article by Carolyn Swicegood:
EGGS--Considered by many to be the perfect food, eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients. Eggs have one of the highest biological values of all protein sources. Offering all nine essential amino acids, they are an excellent source of high quality protein and they are a natural source of calcium when offered with the shell. Although capable of creating a new living being, one large egg contains only seventy-five calories and an incredible amount of nutrition. Scientists frequently use eggs as a standard for measuring the protein quality of other foods. Protein quality is expressed as biological value which measures the rate of efficiency that protein is used for growth. At 93.7% eggs score higher than any other food. Eggs are an affordable protein source for parrots and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks without affecting their quality. When my adult eclectus parrots are feeding babies, hard boiled eggs are a sought-after food.

Easy to see why I include them as a part of my parrot's diet!


Mary said...

Our parrots also get fewer eggs than they think they deserve. And fewer pizza crusts, jellybeans, and a million other things :) If Max chose her own diet entirely, she'd probably be dead from heart disease in a year.

Susie Collins said...

I love eggs! As you know, I have chickens, who are pets as much as your parrots are your pets. They are my garden buddies. Every single egg they lay is treasure to me. If I had birds like you do, I'd give them hard boiled chicken eggs, no problem. Fabulous food.

Meg said...

Mary- I think my parrots agree with Max completely!

Susie- No need to tell me about chickens being as wonderful companions as parrots! I couldn't agree more.