Yvonne S. wrote:
I would like to ask you a question about my parakeet.
I have been thinking she could use a vitamin/supplement.
She has a very good appetite and is active but she is eating like nobody’s business.
I eat mostly organic pasta, and fruit, and a lot of baked potatoes.
Also some fish now and then.
She loves black olives, organic or regular corn when I have it, and lately, she is eating my pasta too.
Sometimes potato. Also likes watermelon.
I was thinking she might need some zinc.
She is picky and only samples things.
She loves my organic 5-grain cereal and her red millet.
I just wanted to know that she is around 16 yrs old and is very active.
She is not playing as much recently, as it has been rainy here, but loves her music and our time together.
She cannot get enough of being with me or on me.
Especially following me to see what I am eating.
She also sampled some organic tortilla chips.
She likes the longer seeds from her special mix but prefers sampling fresh fruit.
It seems to have most of the vitamins for healthy birds.
I also use coconut oil and they have that too.
I eat larger portions than she does but she is eating so often I feel she is missing something.
She also likes to chew on my metal Rosary beads and likes shiny stuff.
So still not sure what.
I am also giving her a bit of Spirulina organic powder to get her greens.
She also likes her bath time.
I like the Tweeky Clean no-mess outside dish.
And the metal round one to attach inside she can drink from that is large enough for bathing.
Standing on the edge of things seems to be a stumbling block for her.
I hope this is not too much info for you.
You are very knowledgeable and helpful. I have plenty of seed and I am giving her the mineral supplement I purchased from you and the coconut charcoal which she eats too.
I love her so much and she likes hearing other birds and looks out the window wistfully not realizing her life would be in jeopardy outside.
She is happy and likes to sing and hear me sing. She talks a little but I can only understand “prettybird”.
Have a good weekend.
Thank you for your expert advice.
Sincerely, Yvonne S in Florida
It sounds like you are doing everything right for your parakeet.
A bird multivitamin does sound like it could be helpful, but it would need to go onto her food or in her water and if she doesn’t care for the taste (something new), she may hold back on drinking the treated water or eating the food.
And at her age, that would be harder on her than introducing a new vitamin.
We have added vitamins to our bird’s water and they noticed it for sure.
So I have gone to half strength on it in the water for a few months so they get used to it, that is better than none.
The longer seeds in your Volkman Parakeet seed mix sound like the canary seeds and they are more nutritious than the millet in the mix, however, at her age. Let her eat all she likes.
At 16 years old you may find that her feathers are not as bright, may appear a little rough and she may not be as active as she used to be.
And at 16 I would tend to be more likely to spoil her with whatever she likes as, well, her days with you are fewer.
Her stumbling is likely due to her age, arthritis, and even her vision may be not so good.
Wood dowel perches might be harder to maneuver than before.
Have you tried to give her a small rope perch?
They can be very helpful attached to the cage so she can just climb it to her dishes and then go back to the other end to sit.
I hope this helps. If you need further help or I missed something, please let me know.
Hello again. Thank you so much for the info!
You would be surprised how much energy she puts out for an older bird.
She chews paper though and was chipping paint and my Venetian blinds.
But not anymore.
When I got to keep her about two years ago I was able to teach her two words and I know she has learned some more.
She loves the birds outdoors and I was taking the upper cage outside in the spring months and she loved it.
She hears everything and is very alert.
I think her beak is browner than it was and she was almost in nesting mode on my curtains playing and arranging them to her liking and disappearing in them.
She drops her two cat balls all the time and is mischievous.
And seems to like biting me.
I have gotten her the Higgins Grit which she also eats more.
I did not have it for her for a long time.
She only slows down a bit when molting.
I just cannot get her to hold still when I try to trim her toenails.
She makes what I call mewing sounds when she wants me to cover her.
Like a question. I tell her to say cover me but she won’t.
If I cover her too early she comes down and opens the door or rattles it and then she pesters the cover.
She loves my sink and the water and chirps all the time when water runs.
She also loves bells and her mirrors.
Doesn’t play much with her toys as she did.
She always responded favorably to music for many years and she loves to hear me sing.
And sits on my hand quite a bit. She even checks out my computer and my cell phone when I hold it.
Because I used to play the music from it I now have it on television.
I don’t know if she can see cartoons but she responds to all kinds of new sounds and wants me to speak to her and loves getting near my mouth and tries to get me to make kissy sounds.
Some sounds I can’t make.
She is very smart, she once imitated a baton clicking in a movie over a year ago.
She was in her cage then and I did not have her.
She heard the conductor tap the baton and right away she imitated it perfectly.
She makes me laugh and wants to get into my cell phone.
She is very protective of me.
She looks up at me as if I was another bird but she also likes people too.
She startles them when she flies over to them.
I love her and she is precious.
She was enjoying avocado for a while and fresh corn when I have it.
She still likes the different grains and seeds.
I had some Lavash crackers which were white and made from an old-time recipe with seeds on them.
She loved the seeds but I am not sure what kind they were, they were multi-seed.
She used to munch on my guitar case and then went for chipping paint and paper.
But now she is content when I am nearby and is always wanting to see what I am doing in my bathroom, which I also use for a kitchen.
I am in one room in an ALF. She just sits on the edge of anything she can even if it tips over.
She was even going in the dirt of my plants for a while.
I had to put dowels in her cage she uses one at night and sometimes a swing.
She likes to get her toes around things.
She would chew on wood but I don’t have anything available like applewood.
She used to eat the grit from the other perches and a rock I got from the beach which is the shell and lime calcified.
Also a calcium block from a pet store with seeds.
She still gnaws on it.
I have a theory that a bird in nature eats bugs so the black olives would be like her eating a bug.
But it should be enough.
She always ate the store-bought seed for many years and when she began eating the avocado and the corn she laid three eggs within a few weeks.
I used to buy real Greek olives wholesale from Tarpon Springs and eat them which is where she acquired a taste for them.
Then Covid came along and I don’t have use of a car so now I can’t get them.
So I am using black olives which are browner from the health food store.
She loves them and I drain them and rinse off most salt.
I give her pure water to drink.
The one smaller dish is the dish she uses.
She had the old plastic kind and stood on the edge on the side and not on the perch part. When she was using them for dishes.
She is very fluffy I will send a picture of her to you.
Thanks for your help.
Loving life and little tiny birds that talk and sing.
Well, she is a chowhound for sure. LOL.
It sounds like you care very much for your bird.
One thing I would change right away.
No avocado for your bird. It can be toxic for birds.
Why don’t birds in the wild die when they eat it?
One, because they likely take a bite from the outermost portion of one, never getting deep into the flesh. The toxic area is mainly the area between the seed and the fruit.
When we cut avocados in our homes we use a knife that can spread the toxins through the fruit that do not affect us but could poison our birds.
Two, birds that live around avocado trees have likely built up some natural immunity from the toxins and are less likely to succumb from consuming it.
Best to be safe than sorry. Ditch the avocado.