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Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience:  25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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I have an Indian ring neck parrot who adores polo spearmints

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I have an Indian ring neck parrot who adores polo spearmints l only let him have one a day is that safe.

Peter

Hello Peter,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you,

Shantal

Greetings, I am Dr. Pat. I have worked with birds for many years. I will do my best to help you.

Can you copy the ingerdients as listed on the package? Then I will get back to you more specifically.

If there are no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and the main ingredient is sugar, there is not immediate danger. If there is artificial sweeteners, then NO stop giving them immediately! There are many many more nutritious and fun treats you van offer. I know that ringnecks (from personal experience!) have a sweet-tooth/beak, but they also love food of almost any kind. better choices include sweet peas in the pod--teach him to open it and find the "prizes" inside; fresh green beans; treats made from fresh or cooked carrots; you can make a cornbread with cooked yams mixed in for a very special "cake" I certainly know they love this.


Here are a few suggestions that I give everyone: important!

The following guidelines help with basic issues such as nutrition, obesity (a VERY common problem in ringnecks), good immune status. Surprising how the following can make a bird healthy, and how infrequently birds are ill if they are on the following regimen. No amount of medicine is going to work if the birds' basic needs are not met.


Birds should be on a high-quality, preferably prescription, pelleted diet: I prefer High-potency Harrison's
http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/products/harrisons.html

http://www.hbf-uk.co.uk/
http://www.mah-shop.com/

TOP
http://totallyorganics.com/t-pellets


Hagen
http://www.hagen.com/uk/birds/addinfo/tropican.cfm


In addition, they should be offered dark leafy greens, cooked sweet potatoes, yams, squash, pumpkin; entire (tops and bottoms) fresh carrots and so forth. No seeds (and that means a mix, or millet, or sprays, etc. etc.) and only healthy, low-fat high fiber people food. A dietary change should be closely monitored and supervised by your avian vet.

Daily Maintenance

Birds should get 12-14 hours dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep at night. Any less and they can suffer from sleep deprivation and associated illnesses. They should be covered or their cage placed in a dark room that is not used after they go to bed.

The cage material should be cleaned everyday, and twice a day if the bird is really messy. Paper towels, newspaper, bath towels are ok. Never use corn cob, sawdust, wood chips, or walnut shell.
Food and water dishes should be cleaned and changed daily. Keep one set cleaned while the other is in use.

Fresh, perishable food should be placed in separate food bowls. Remove fresh food from the cage after a couple of hours to avoid spoilage.

Change cage papers daily, and clean the grate and tray weekly.

Clean food debris or droppings from toys and perches as needed (which can be as often as once a day).

Grit is not necessary for birds, and will cause digestive problems and death. The best sources of minerals (and vitamins) are leafy greens. Never give grit, gravel sandpaper or cement perches. A bird will eat those to excess when it is not feeling well or if there is a nutritional deficiency. They do not need it at all (an old myth from the poultry days, even poultry do not need it). It can cause an impaction and lead to serious or fatal consequences.



Dietary Notes: You really mean no seeds?

Seeds as a sole diet are deficient in essential amino acids, calcium and vitamins. Reduced levels of vitamin A, a common problem with all-seed diets, alter the immune system and make a bird susceptible to severe bacterial, viral or fungal infections. Remember: seeds are the storage units for baby plants. Plants make their own nutrients. Seeds are very high in fat and low in almost every other nutrient. Think of seeds as rocket fuel: in the wild, extra fat has positive survival value.

To alleviate the problem, you can feed your companion bird vegetables and pellets. Vegetables high in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, dark leafy greens, and winter squash.

A quick note about dietary protein: most pet birds are herbivores or granivores. Their digestive system is very efficient at extracting amino acids and proteins from plant material. Their liver and kidneys use a different method of processing proteinaceous material than the mammalian system. Animal proteins are especially harmful (egg, meat, fish products).Overloading with protein, especially animal protein, will lead to severe kidney dysfunction, gout, calcium/phosphorus imbalance, reproductive disorders, feather-picking, and death. Pet birds should be offered a minimum amount of legumes (never give tofu), sprouts, or other high-protein plant material.

Conversion
Dietary conversion is a very stressful time. It is up caretakers to observe EVERY bird and make sure there is poop and food consumption. No poop = no food intake. It may take 2 days or 2 months. It can be very frustrating and stressful for all concerned; however, I have never failed to see a psittacine convert to pellets. Canaries and finches generally dive right in.


Conversion Diet for Pet Birds: Parrots, Finches, and Canaries


YAM BREAD (cornbread mix+cooked yam)
1' cube per bird daily



RICE MIX (cooked short-grain brown rice plus fresh veg)
1/4 cup per bird daily


PELLETS (we recommend Harrison's and T.O.P.)




VEGETABLES

Entire leaves of greens poked through the cage wires or on branches

Corn wheels

Cooked yams or squash

Whole carrots, tops included

Half of apple and whole (opened but not peeled) banana poked on sticks (in the aviaries)

Grapes, citrus, pomegranate, persimmon, etc. One small slice per bird. Put on twigs etc.


Dr. Pat, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 4244
Experience: 25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
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