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Discussion Starter #1
There was an old thread that has been closed re this subject.

While at least one person, at least considers from scientific studies that animal protein is bad for birds. And tells to not feed them.

Well that seems a shame such information can be propergated, when facts show that it is well known a lot of parrots, parakeets, parrolets have been seen and Do Eat insects.

In-captivity.
Meal worms have been fed to these birds for many years in live and dead forms.
 

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Worms

Recently I visited a walk-in aviary and they gave us food for the birds, mainly seeds AND worms.
Here is a cockatiel eating a worm:
 

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Yellow on the head of a lutino is not indicative of gender. However, the yellow markings on the body are pearls, so assuming that this bird is more than a year or so old, then yes that indicates this is a female.
 

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Yellow on the head of a lutino is not indicative of gender. However, the yellow markings on the body are pearls, so assuming that this bird is more than a year or so old, then yes that indicates this is a female.
I was just "looking" at this page by one of our members/mods, and it appears that the male has more yellow:
http://www.justcockatiels.net/lutino.html
I only looked at the pics. I haven't read the whole article yet.
The facial mask is difficult to see in my photo of course because she (?) is keeping her head down while eating.
 

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I think that's just individual variation. :)
There is a pic in the article that says (concerning the facial mask)
Hen -> just a little around the beak
Cock -> full yellow facial mask
It's a mask though, and not really "on" the head.

(It's approximately after the first half of the article.)
 

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I mean, it's hard to tell because it's just about as rare to find a bird that's only lutino as it is to find a bird that's only a normal grey these days and splits can change coloring. But there are many examples of lutino hens with full yellow masks on this forum and elsewhere. I think this is one of those traits that may indicate a bird's sex in a pure bred, but is much less reliable than other dimorphic traits (like pearling).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In the link Tielfan posted refers to Unconfirmed reports of Parrots Eating Meat.
Quote " I've heard unconfirmed reports that some wild parrot species have been observed foraging on carcasses."
I do not know who wrote this and why they did not do any research before writing.
But the truth is that parrots do eat meat.
Example: Kea are well documented seen eating dead bodies.
Quote " The kea (/ˈkiː.ə/; Māori: [kɛ.a]; Nestor notabilis) is a large species of PARROT of the superfamily Strigopoidea found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. About 48 cm (19 in) long, it is mostly olive-green with a brilliant orange under its wings and has a large, narrow, curved, grey-brown upper beak. The kea is the world's only alpine parrot. Its omnivorous diet includes CARRION,[2] but consists mainly of roots, leaves, berries, nectar, and insects. Now uncommon, the kea was once killed for bounty due to concerns by the sheep-farming community that it attacked livestock, especially sheep.[3] It received full protection in 1986.[4]". So please do not believe everything that gets circulated, as factual.
 

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I was talking about common pet species like African greys. Meat-eating IS confirmed in keas but these aren't commonly kept as pets, and they are the ONLY parrot species confirmed to eat meat. We're not talking about insects either, these birds eat SHEEP. The Strigopidae (New Zealand Parrots) branched off from the rest of the parrot family a LONG time ago, even prior to the split between the cockatoos and the "true" parrots, and their subsequent evolution has taken them in some strange directions. So I wouldn't look at them as an example of a typical parrot. The kakapo is also one of the Strigopidae, and they're seriously cool but their characteristics are pretty far removed from anything else in the parrot family. They look like a cross between a green chicken and an owl, and they weigh about 8 pounds. They're flightless, nocturnal and engage in lekking to breed. NOT a good example of what kind of behavior you can reasonably expect from an African grey, macaw, or cockatiel. The kea is more closely related to the kakapo than to any parrot species outside the Strigopidae.

Here's a phylogenetic tree that I constructed a few weeks ago. The actual purpose of it relates to figuring out whether it's likely that the cockatoos had an ancestor with green coloring (and the answer is yes, it's more likely than not that they did). But it also shows how ancient the split is between the Strigopidae and the rest of the parrot family.

Edit: when I say that I constructed the phylogeny, I meant that I took an existing tree and marked it up for my own purposes. It was all in black and white to begin with. It's a very up to date tree, since it gets the family relationships in the cockatoo family right and that information was just published in 2011.

 

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I am vegetarian myself, so obviously my boy doesn't get any meat.
Once though they delivered the wrong pizza (chicken instead of vegetarian), so I gave him the chicken and he LOVED it.
Of course chicken is not meat in the real sense of the word though. (At least some people think it isn't.)
 

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BTW the recommendation to not feed animal protein originated with highly respected veterinarians who are exceptionally well informed about nutritional issues. As my article explains, I do think they've gone overboard with the recommendation to avoid animal protein completely, probably because they frequently have to deal with stupid humans who can't grasp the concept of moderation. But these people are not flakes by any stretch of the imagination. They're better informed about the issues than anyone here so their opinion carries a considerable amount of weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
While not everyone can grasp the idea of all things in moderation.
A little meat where it be chicken, beef, or insects, it will bot cause any health issues.
Proven point that flooding does cause problems, even with normal foods. I.E. All basic seed diet, all pellet diet. Too much salt, too much sugar.
A good diet is a varied fresh food one.
As far as I can gather protein in normal diet should be around 12%, but this can be increased when in molt of female in egg laying conditions. The only other time I would add extra protein is when I have had a meeting to discuss a problem with my A.V.
 

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A good diet is one that provides an appropriate balance of all the essential nutrients. There are different ways to achieve this balance.

The "Expert Panel" recommendation from 1998 recommends 12% protein in the diet. It looks like some of the recommended nutrient levels may have changed since then (especially Vitamin A), but the preferred protein level still seems to be about the same since most pellets supply protein in the 11-15% range. I have charts showing the Expert Panel recommendations for assorted nutrients at the bottom of http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/nutrition-misc-pellets.html

A study on cockatiels found that they could tolerate a diet of 70% protein for 11 months without problems. I don't think the researchers expected that outcome lol. They were looking to see if high protein levels caused kidney problems, due to allegations that pellets contained too much protein, but they were unable to induce problems even at a ridiculous level of protein consumption. Current thinking is that high vitamin A levels might have been a problem, which is why the charts at the link above show that most pellets now have less vitamin A than the 1998 expert recommendation. The study used soy protein not animal protein. This is obviously an abnormal diet and definitely not recommended. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/7/2014.full.pdf+html

Edit: it's good to have a reminder at this point that the medical concerns about animal protein aren't related to the protein itself. Rather it's about the cholesterol and fat content, and even though the cholesterol is being mentioned prominently I suspect that the real concern is more about the fat. It's doubtful whether there's any real risk from eating modest amounts of cholesterol. But obesity and atherosclerosis are huge, widespread medical problems in pet parrots, and they're directly related to calorie consumption.
 
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