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. Don't 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 when feeding soft fleshy fresh foods cover cages, dishes, walls, platforms and stands needing to be disinfected daily (or risk fungal and bacterial infection), removed from the enclosure after a few hours and spend hours creating the proper variety. Unfortunately 'just fresh' can be dangerous-example: feeding overage of broccoli, cabbage, kale or collard greens daily can cause seizures in eclectus.
The composition in pellet diets create numerous health concerns and almost instantly stresses the liver and kidneys. Things like red dye, added vitamins, minerals, lack of glucose, type of amino acids, anti-nutrients and most importantly: lack of moisture = 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).
Create a diet that is nutritionally compatible and easier 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, greens, flowers, etc). Variety is the spice of life and a skewer a day can help prevent self mutilation!
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 Vitamin/Mineral 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%
Low sugar, anti-nutrients, high fiber
Protein: 13.0%, Fiber: 3.5%, Fat 7%, Moisture: 11%
Moderate sugar, fortified
Protein: 14.0%, Fiber: 5.0%, Fat: 4.0%, Moisture 10%
Low sugar, fortified
Protein: 15%, Fiber: 6.5%, Fat: 5.5%, Moisture: 10%
Low sugar, fortified, high fiber
Protein: 14%, Fiber 11%, Fat 19%, Moisture 15%, Ash 3.5%
Low sugar, high fiber, incomplete aminos- just throw it away...
(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 swiss chard, spinach broccoli, green tops and beets. These can cause renal issues in Eclectus beyond digestive issues.
Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Zucchini, Kale, Bok Choy, Summer Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Beans (like kidney- never garbonzo)
*Should be steamed, not raw (more on that later in this page)
Guava, Mango, Cantaloupe, Plantains, Banana, Plums, Apple, Blueberries, Papaya, Apricot, Nectarines, Cherries, Kiwi, Dragon fruit, Berries, , Breadfruit, Jackfruit
Cooked whole grains other than rice, 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.
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 in skewers or toys
You need to have the right ratios- an overage of certain vitamins and minerals, or malnutrition can cause serious side effects.
Master Recipe below is better. Similar composition as in the wild, with the vitamins, minerals and composition your bird deserves
1 Cup each: *Butternut Squash, *Carrots, Zucchini, Bok Choy, Okra
*DO NOT BOIL (boiling removes most of the vitamins and instead things like Vitamin A are in the water).
1 Cup each: Apple, Blueberries, 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.
1/8 cup cooked bean mix
*Beans have a multitude of good aspects, but they are also a incomplete limiting amino acid, anti-nutrient and contains some undesirable compounds.
We personally add:
Fresh flowers, herbs, Microgreens, bee pollen, a few sprouted seeds (1 teaspoon), Tossed in high quality Lorikeet nectar.
Total Calories: 127
TOPS pellets / Freeze Dried fruit/veggies
No more than a couple pellets gets consumed per day.
Pieces of: Rice, small portions of seeds or nuts (not more than 1 sunflower seed a day). Oven dried birdie bread.
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.
Zucchini, Peppers (more capsasin the better), Green Beans, Bok choy, Okra, Brussels Sprouts, Radish, Turnip, Rutabaga, Ginger, Turmeric
*very sparingly use peas and corn but I prefer to omit them.
Sweet potato, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Butternut Squash, Yam, Parsnips, *Cooked Beans, *Beets, *please make sure they are cooked through and use very sparingly, not a daily item!
Guava, Papaya, Cranberries, Jackfruit, Pineapple, Cherries, Apple, Cranberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Mango, Plantains, Dragon fruit, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Plums, Figs, Apricots, and more...
Skewers with variety, Kale (not collard greens), Dandelion greens, Aloe Vera, Carrot tops, fresh Peas and Corn, Celery, 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. Sprouted seed must be kept to a minimum.
Given in moderation:
TOPS pellets, freeze dried mix of 25 fruits and vegetables, dehydrated items, 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 - 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, vet bills 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 the right amounts of Vitamin A, E and C ).
This is what the master recipe for Elegant Eclectus looks like when frozen.
1 cup each: Zucchini, bok choy, carrots, butternut squash
1/4 cup each: Green beans, okra, cauliflower, radish, broccoli, red spicy pepper
1/2 cup each: papaya, mango, apple, blueberries, plantains
1/2 cup Quinoa (cooked all the 9 essential amino acids needed for bodily functions and feather growth)
1/4 cup: beans (cooked- NOT garbanzo beans)
2 tablespoons crushed egg shell
3 minutes: Carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, yam
2 minutes: cauliflower, radish, broccoli, red pepper, okra
--- To steam, place the chopped items in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave on high 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.... Don't simplify 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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