Which are healthy for Ekkies?
Which you should avoid
rice, grains and sprouts
Popular pellets & decisions
about seeds or nuts
Eclectus are some of the SLOWEST, COMPLICATED and MESSIEST eaters in the avian companion world. Dont be surprised if food is thrown, regurgitated, spewed and painted across your walls constantly. The way Eclectus eat and process food provides an interesting dilemma for owners: often coming as a surprise as cages, dishes, walls, platforms and stands need to be disinfected daily (or risk fungal and bacterial infection).
Regardless of digestive upset- the composition in pellet diets create health concerns. Things like red dye, excessive vitamins, minerals, lack of glucose, fructose, Vit A, acids and most importantly: Dehydration. Eclectus do not consume water efficiently. They receive most of their water from the items they ingest- so feeding a dry diet will result in digestive upset and dehydration (which can be deadly causing renal failure).
Feeding soft fleshy foods, which need to be removed from the enclosure within a few hours and fed multiple times a day (or risk bacterial and fungal infection), high maintenance cleaning/disinfecting, emotional support and care cost is not for most companion bird owners. The variety which needs to be fed is pretty expansive- but this basic recipe will get you in the ballpark. It is up to you to create the enrichment and foraging to fill in the gaps.
Create a diet that is nutritionally compatible and easy to prepare utilizing readily available ingredients. This gives Eclectus a chance to thrive as companion birds. Additions to this diet formulation are HIGHLY recommended in the way of foraging (fruits, vegetables, nuts, greens, flowers, etc). Variety is the spice of life!
After reading through diet, please go to the 'Enrichment' portion of this website. The main diet is only a portion of what is needed to maintain a healthy Ekkie.
The natural diet was broken down and replaced with commonly found substitutes with the same wild diet composition, providing a diet that is nutritionally (macro and micro) balanced. The simplified, 'Functional Eclectus Diet' is easily executed by the average person living in most counties.
No Fortification or Dyes
High Moisture, Low Fat (+/- activity level), Low-Moderate Protein, Soluble Fiber
Protein 7%, Fiber 8%, Fat 5%, Moisture (+) 70%
Baseline for Caloric and Nutritional Intake: 450g Crossbred Solomon/Red Sided
Basic metabolic rate: 41 – 69 kcal/d depending on activity level
broccoli, white potato, carrots, peppers, corn, green beans, spinach, lettuce
apple, banana, grapes, strawberries, blueberries
rice, pasta, garbanzo beans
whole sunflower seeds or a seed mix for parrots
In 27% of subjects, one or more of these items was on their daily diet:
bacon (or lunch meat), cheese, cooked chicken bones, chips, peanuts, commercial sugar cereals
Primarily Pellets, Vegetables and minimal fruit
Kitchen Scraps & Seed mix
Sunflower Seeds (main diet) plus a few fruits
(Potential digestive upset, 1-10, 10 highest level of upset)
Protein: 13.6%, Fiber: 8%, Fats: 5%, Moisture: 10.3%
Protein: 13.0%, Fiber: 3.5%, Fat 7%, Moisture: 11%
Protein: 14.0%, Fiber: 5.0%, Fat: 4.0%, Moisture 10%
Protein: 15%, Fiber: 6.5%, Fat: 5.5%, Moisture: 10%
Protein: 14%, Fiber 11%, Fat 19%, Moisture 15%, Ash 3.5%
(Potential for digestive upset 1-10, 10 highest level of upset)
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Swiss Chard, Corn, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Mustard, Turnip Tops
*Careful with oxilic acid found in swiss chard, spinach and beets. These can cause renal issues in eclectus.
Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Kale, Bok Choy, Winter Squash, Summer Squash, Yams, Green Beans, Beans (like kidney)
*Should be steamed, not raw (more on that later in this page)
Guava, Passion fruit, Figs, Pomegranates, Mango, Cantaloupe, Plantains, Banana, Plums, Apple, Blueberries, Papaya, Apricot, Nectarines, Cherries, Kiwi, Dragon fruit, Berries, Gooseberries, Breadfruit, Jackfruit
Cooked whole grains, Cereals
As you can see, fresh items have less propensity for digestive upset... however the ratios need to be exact for nutrition. Below you will find a simplified diet plan that any human can prepare. No excuses.
Similar composition as in the wild, with the vitamins, minerals and composition your bird deserves
1 Cup Mixed: Plums, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Mango
*Always look for frozen if there is no fresh- you will be surprised what you find in the freezer section. Freezing actually maintains nutrient content more successfully than fresh ingredients. Fresh ingredients start to break down quickly once ripe.
1 Cup Mixed: *Butternut Squash, *Carrots, *Sweet Potato, Zucchini, Bok Choy
DO NOT BOIL (boiling removes most of the vitamins and instead things like Vitamin A are in the water).
1/8 cup sprouted seed/bean mix
*This is an important part of the diet but must be kept to a bare minimum, note this recipe is for 1 months worth of food.
We personally add:
Fresh flowers, herbs, Microgreens, bee pollen, 2 tablespoons Sprouted Seed/Bean Mix, Tossed in Blessed Gourmet Lorikeet nectar.
Total Calories: 127
TOPS pellets / Wild Origins Eclectus pellet mix / Freeze Dried fruit/veggies
Pieces of: Rice, Sunflower Seeds, Pine nuts, Walnuts, almonds, whatever they desire ( I have one bird who prefers blueberries- who knew!?)
As you can see, the Elegant Eclectus Diet has the proper ratio of Macro and Micro nutrients to best mimic the ideal wild diet. It has been deconstructed to provide easily sourced ingredients and preparation with 5 veggies, 5 fruits, and a few extras!
With the Elegant Eclectus Functional Diet:
1/2 cup is fed early in the morning- the same time everyday.
1/2 cup is fed at dinner time (4pm) giving the digestive system 3 hours before bedtime to digest.
Foraging opportunities should be provided mid day
Zucchini, red peppers, spicy peppers (more capsasin the better), Green Beans, Bok choy
Yams, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, * cooked beans- please make sure they are cooked through!
Guava, Papaya, Cranberries, Jackfruit, Pineapple, Cherries, Apple, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Mango, Plantains, Coconut, Dragon fruit, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Plums, Figs, Apricots, and more...
Kale (not collard greens), Dandelion greens, Aloe Vera, Corn on the cobb, carrot tops, Moringa (this is a MUST for ekkies or make tea) for often consumption. Or just about ANYTHING seasonal that is parrot safe!
Tea: Tulsi, Moringa, Herbal blends
FREEZE DRIED- anything.
A few different each day:
Pansies, aster, bottlebrush, carnations, chrysanthemum, daisies, gardenias, hibiscus, honeysuckle, impatiens, lilac, magnolias, marigolds, nasturtium, roses, sunflowers
A multitude of variety of sprouted items
Given in moderation:
TOPS pellets, freeze dried mix of 25 fruits and vegetables, dehydrated items, Wild Origins Eclectus mix, fun bird bread recipes for Ekkies.
For treats, foraging, training:
rice, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, kisses- everyone in this house prefers kisses vs food.
Because Eclectus require such a specific diet, you will find yourself spending copious amount of time daily- chopping, packaging, shopping, feeding and cleaning. Eclectus are one of the most expensive parrots to feed and without a proper diet they will require expensive vet bills. On average it will cost $3.00usd a day to feed an Eclectus ($90 a month), this does not include vital foraging, toys or housing.
However there are easier ways to provide the variety and nutritional balance Eclectus require DAILY. Note that this is the master base recipe I use, then add seasonal items. Note the color is predominantly ORANGE, YELLOW or RED. This ensures they are receiving the right balance of vitamins and minerals (like Vitamin A).
This is what the master recipe for Elegant Eclectus looks like when frozen.
1/2 cup each: Green beans, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, yam
1/4 cup each: zucchini, cauliflower, radish, broccoli, red spicy pepper
1/2 cup each: papaya, mango, apple, pomegranate, plantains
1/2 cup Quinoa (cooked all the 9 essential amino acids needed for bodily functions and feather growth)
1/4 cup: beans (cooked)
2 tablespoons crushed egg shell
1/2 cup each: Green beans, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, yam
1/4 cup each: zucchini, cauliflower, radish, broccoli, red pepper
--- To steam, place the chopped items in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave on high for 4 minutes (or until tender but not mushy). DO NOT BOIL (boiling just leaks the nutrients into the water)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Sprinkle the mixture on a sheet pan. Ensure there is adequate distance between ingredients so once frozen you can easily break it apart (you may need to use multiple sheet pans).
Place the sheet pan in the freezer (freezing retains the largest amount of vitamins and minerals). Ensure any unused mixture is refrigerated for up to 2 days (DO NOT leave at room temperature).
Once frozen, place in plastic bags and store in freezer until ready to serve.
*I use quart size bags, only filling them 50% (so in this case, I made 4 bags)
Find new items, in this case, the next day I found Guava, Dragonfruit and Kiwi.
Follow steps 1-3
However, once chopped and frozen, add a small amount to each bag (this creates variety).
Find new items yet again: Repeat steps 1-3 a few times a week when new produce is available. A few days later I added strawberries, blueberries, peas, apricots and plums.
A walk through of 1 month of Eclectus food being prepared. Set your bird up for success with the proper diet to avoid illness.... Dont simply your birds diet, simplify the prep time.
(Above is an extremely sick Eclectus)
Eclectus have dietary irritants and allergies that can be fatal. Some are universal and some are specific to the individual bird.
- Common Eclectus allergens and irritants
- Homeopathic solutions
- Eclectus Tea
Fact: Eclectus parrots will naturally seek out more acidic items when showing signs of illness- even lemons and limes. Do you ever wonder why?
- Cleaning rituals (owners must do specialized cleaning multiple times a day)
- Eclectus Safety (bacterial and fungal infections)
- Poisonous items
- Items not suitable for Ekkies
-Common medical issues with eclectus: liver, renal, toe tapping, wing flipping
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