Diet ... No Veggies?

Jean Pattison

No Veggies?

From 1984 through 1992 I fed a varied diet with lots (bushels) of good veggies and just a bit of fruit. When my mom became terminal, I wanted to spend the year with her, so my husband took over all feeding. Due to the other business we owned, his time was a premium, so we fed 60% pellets and 40% seed, with no produce. This was done after much discussion with my vet. It was determined the birds would not die on this diet, and we could compensate when we did our annuals. Now remember I'm not talking one or two birds, I'm talking a few 100. I now feed 70% PB pellets/30% seed. When they have chicks I add 1 cup of Roudybush pellets. (That's another whole article.)

When it came time for our annuals, about 10 months into this diet, they were healthier than they had ever been and my production went from about 35% to 95%. My vet was amazed, as was I. I had been terrified of stopping the veggies.

I also had a species whose chicks were prone to lacking vitamin A. After my mom died, I started supplementing their diet with high vitamin A veggies when they were feeding chicks. I still had vitamin A problems. After about 2 years I finally gave up and quit the produce on them. It just didn't seem like it was helping. Well come to find out, it was doing more harm than good. Once I quit the veggies for them, the chicks now come in great with no vitamin A deficiencies.

Granted I do believe veggies are a great mental stimulation, but so are fresh branches with leaves/flowers still attached.

Nothing could have ever made me give up the veggies in my bird’s daily diet. I was a confirmed produce feeder. I recently had another breeder tell me that while he had surgery and recuperation he had to discontinue veggies so someone else could tend his birds. He called me and said ... "Jean, you were right. I never believed they could do better without veggies, but now I know first hand."

Veggies, in my opinion, should be given as one would give treats.

Just my experience.