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 Post subject: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:33 pm 
Chick
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Name: Janey
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I bust my butt to make sure my 2 get fed a pretty good diet. they get chop plus mashed veggies (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, something orange) a cereal mix of kamut, millet, brown rice, steel cut oats , crushed flaxseeds all cooked. that is their breakfast. after dishes are cleared, they get tablespoon of seed mix and tablespoon of pellets until dinner time. they get worldly cuisines and some mash for dinner. I try very hard to keep their breakfast amounts to about 18 to 20 grams each and dinner is about 15 to 17 grams each. Sweet Pea's weight is about 85 to 90 grams. Bebe has gain some weight but I don't know how much. he is not easy to get on the scale. they get forging toys with Nutriaberries, millet balls, a few sunflower seeds daily also.
Dr. Tony showed me this diet on line, it's basically what they are already getting fed but in one portion. I am very skeptical about it. What Do you all think???

The 'Circus Diet' for Pet Birds | The Parrot University, llc

this is what their current chop is:
4 oz. of cooked brown rice
7 3/8 oz. yellow squash/ zucchini, fine chopped
4 oz. of blanched carrots, finely chopped
4 oz. mashed cooked pumpkin
1 oz. of frozen blueberries
1 oz. pomegranate seeds
3 oz. kamut, cooked
2 oz. quinoa, cooked
3 oz. each: black beans, Great White Northern, red beans/ calico beans, cooked
1 3/4 oz. organic steel cut oats, raw
1 tbsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano


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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:56 am 
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I could do that food every day......
And every day it would all end up in the bin.....
Obi just won't eat veggies...fruits etc for some
reason.... he does get juiced carrot
Every day given by spoon.....
What's good for our birds and what they will eat
seems to be two different things....
All the birds get fresh veggies etc each day.....
But boy, what a waste I've been trying with the p'lets
for nearly 9 years.....maybe time to give up!



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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:34 am 
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Chop usually doesn't aim for nutritional completeness, so while it's better than an all-seed diet it's going to be missing a few things. Like Vitamins D3 and B12, which are simply not available from plant sources. Birds can meet the B12 requirement easily by eating their own poop, but meeting the Vitamin D requirement can be a major problem. Getting enough minerals from plant foods can be tricky too, since plants tend to contain a lot of anti-nutrients that interfere with mineral absorption, especially calcium.

The Circus Diet is listed at https://theparrotuniversity.com/circusdiet and consists of:

20% Parrot Pellets
20% Sprouted Sunflower, Millet and Other Seeds
20% Bean, Rice, Corn Crock-pot Mix
20% Fruits and Vegetables
20% Treats

The 20% pellets is a good foundation for the diet as long as it's a professionally formulated pellet and not "organic fad" crap like TOPS. The only organic pellet that's professionally formulated (and therefore the only organic pellet that's better than throwing miscellaneous fresh foods at your bird) is Harrisons. The non-organic pellets are absolutely fine too. No one has been able to find a significant difference between organic and conventionally grown foods in terms of either safety or nutritional value, and they've spent decades looking for a difference. Going for a higher percentage of pellets than 20% would not be a bad thing at all.

20% sprouted sunflower, millet and other seeds: this is not particularly a bad thing but not particularly necessary either. The miraculous nutritional benefits of sprouting are an internet myth. In reality, the nutritional value of lightly sprouted seeds and grains is only slightly different from the nutritional value of the unsprouted seeds, and not all of the changes are beneficial. The last section of my sprouting article talks about the nutritional changes: http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/i ... uting.html

The biggest benefit to it is that soaking or sprouting makes the seed softer and easier to digest, and helps reduce the antinutrients. Of course you're also going to lose some water-soluble nutrients, so there's both an up side and a down side. Don't go overboard on sunflower seeds whether they're sprouted or not, because either way they're nutritious but high in fat. Do NOT sprout sorghum, it can develop a dangerous level of cyanide when sprouted.

20% Bean, Rice, Corn Crock-pot Mix: the recipe is on the page at https://theparrotuniversity.com/circusdiet and it's mostly beans. The basic recipe for getting enough protein from plant foods is combining beans/legumes with grains/seeds/nuts. So this is basically a good thing. Brown rice is not my favorite grain since it may have arsenic issues, there's no advantage over other grains, and my birds don't like it. So I would use some other kind of grain instead of rice. For anybody who wants to see a nutritional comparison of the common grains, there's an excellent chart at http://www.einkorn.com/wp-content/uploa ... Matrix.pdf The overall nutritional value is really pretty much the same for all of them, although each one will have more or less of any specific nutrient compared to the others.

20% fruits and vegetables: it's desirable to have a lot of vegetables. Fruits are not necessary and not even particularly desirable. Fruit is high in sugar and lower in vitamins etc than vegetables are, so it should be viewed more as a treat.

20% treats: that's an awful lot of treats. I'd scale back on this one and go for more pellets instead. Some of the things they're calling treats (like fruit) are already represented elsewhere in their diet and others (like nuts) are very high in fat which is already represented by the sprouted sunflower recommendation. Most tree nuts are even higher in fat than sunflower, and 20% nuts in the diet would probably be a bad thing. Nuts are nutritious but the fat content is disproportionate to the benefits, so you need to go easy on them.

Some of the most "in the know" avian vets are currently recommending 20-30% pellets for small birds like budgies, 30-50% pellets for cockatiel-sized birds, and 50-70% pellets for large parrots. The rest of the diet should be as well balanced as possible. Pellets are not the only way to achieve a balanced diet, although it takes a lot of knowledge and work to get enough of the hard to find nutrients. The Circus Diet's recommendations for 20% vegetables (without the fruit) and 20% bean and grain mix are both pretty solid, although you need to be aware of the Vitamin D problem and make sure that need is met somehow. It would also be wise to provide a mineral block to help make sure the mineral requirements are being met. The 20% sprouts recommendation is more or less equivalent to saying 20% seed mix, and the recommendation for 20% treats should be viewed with great caution.



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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:50 pm 
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Name: Janey
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Location: minnesota
Gave happy chirps: 27 times
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tielfan wrote:
Chop usually doesn't aim for nutritional completeness, so while it's better than an all-seed diet it's going to be missing a few things. Like Vitamins D3 and B12, which are simply not available from plant sources. Birds can meet the B12 requirement easily by eating their own poop, but meeting the Vitamin D requirement can be a major problem. Getting enough minerals from plant foods can be tricky too, since plants tend to contain a lot of anti-nutrients that interfere with mineral absorption, especially calcium.

The Circus Diet is listed at https://theparrotuniversity.com/circusdiet and consists of:

20% Parrot Pellets
20% Sprouted Sunflower, Millet and Other Seeds
20% Bean, Rice, Corn Crock-pot Mix
20% Fruits and Vegetables
20% Treats

The 20% pellets is a good foundation for the diet as long as it's a professionally formulated pellet and not "organic fad" crap like TOPS. The only organic pellet that's professionally formulated (and therefore the only organic pellet that's better than throwing miscellaneous fresh foods at your bird) is Harrisons. The non-organic pellets are absolutely fine too. No one has been able to find a significant difference between organic and conventionally grown foods in terms of either safety or nutritional value, and they've spent decades looking for a difference. Going for a higher percentage of pellets than 20% would not be a bad thing at all.

20% sprouted sunflower, millet and other seeds: this is not particularly a bad thing but not particularly necessary either. The miraculous nutritional benefits of sprouting are an internet myth. In reality, the nutritional value of lightly sprouted seeds and grains is only slightly different from the nutritional value of the unsprouted seeds, and not all of the changes are beneficial. The last section of my sprouting article talks about the nutritional changes: http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/i ... uting.html

The biggest benefit to it is that soaking or sprouting makes the seed softer and easier to digest, and helps reduce the antinutrients. Of course you're also going to lose some water-soluble nutrients, so there's both an up side and a down side. Don't go overboard on sunflower seeds whether they're sprouted or not, because either way they're nutritious but high in fat. Do NOT sprout sorghum, it can develop a dangerous level of cyanide when sprouted.

20% Bean, Rice, Corn Crock-pot Mix: the recipe is on the page at https://theparrotuniversity.com/circusdiet and it's mostly beans. The basic recipe for getting enough protein from plant foods is combining beans/legumes with grains/seeds/nuts. So this is basically a good thing. Brown rice is not my favorite grain since it may have arsenic issues, there's no advantage over other grains, and my birds don't like it. So I would use some other kind of grain instead of rice. For anybody who wants to see a nutritional comparison of the common grains, there's an excellent chart at http://www.einkorn.com/wp-content/uploa ... Matrix.pdf The overall nutritional value is really pretty much the same for all of them, although each one will have more or less of any specific nutrient compared to the others.

20% fruits and vegetables: it's desirable to have a lot of vegetables. Fruits are not necessary and not even particularly desirable. Fruit is high in sugar and lower in vitamins etc than vegetables are, so it should be viewed more as a treat.

20% treats: that's an awful lot of treats. I'd scale back on this one and go for more pellets instead. Some of the things they're calling treats (like fruit) are already represented elsewhere in their diet and others (like nuts) are very high in fat which is already represented by the sprouted sunflower recommendation. Most tree nuts are even higher in fat than sunflower, and 20% nuts in the diet would probably be a bad thing. Nuts are nutritious but the fat content is disproportionate to the benefits, so you need to go easy on them.

Some of the most "in the know" avian vets are currently recommending 20-30% pellets for small birds like budgies, 30-50% pellets for cockatiel-sized birds, and 50-70% pellets for large parrots. The rest of the diet should be as well balanced as possible. Pellets are not the only way to achieve a balanced diet, although it takes a lot of knowledge and work to get enough of the hard to find nutrients. The Circus Diet's recommendations for 20% vegetables (without the fruit) and 20% bean and grain mix are both pretty solid, although you need to be aware of the Vitamin D problem and make sure that need is met somehow. It would also be wise to provide a mineral block to help make sure the mineral requirements are being met. The 20% sprouts recommendation is more or less equivalent to saying 20% seed mix, and the recommendation for 20% treats should be viewed with great caution.


Sweet Pea and Bebe get 1 Tablespoon of pellets and 1 tablespoon of a good seed mix (Higgins). plus they have forging toys that have Nutria Berries in them. with the chop mix I am making they get good protein, veggies, some fruit (my tiels are not big fruit eaters), they are getting clean grains. they also get vitamin supplement with vitamin D and B vitamins mixed into their chop.
I really don't like their ideas for treats at all, too much sugar and salt in Rice Krispie cereal, Jiffy corn muffin mix, I thought raisins were a huge NO NO yet they show raisin bread for treat. my guys get a nuts such as walnuts, pecans, hazel nuts, almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts about 3 times a week. most of the nuts they do get are finely grated into their chop or dinner.


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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:49 pm 
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The pellets (including the Nutriberries) do have Vitamin D in them, and all the other vitamins too. So if your bird is eating a significant amount of pellets it's best not to add supplemental vitamins, because you can get into vitamin overdose/toxicity issues that way.

Raisins usually have been treated with sulfur as a preservative, and sulfured fruit is frowned on for parrots. I don't know how much of a problem it really is, but raisins have a high sugar content too so they're not the greatest choice.



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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:48 pm 
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my 2 throw their raisins to the cage bottom even the unsulfured ones. they are anti fruit big time.


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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:37 am 
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I spent a fair amount on purchasing these Nutriberries,
all my birds have just looked at them....
Yes, I did crush them still no takers.....
I use multivitamin drops in there water three
Times a week.....
I put flowers and herbs in with Obi.....
for a week....he must have thought I was mad,
cos he didn't touch any of it.....



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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:15 am 
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Jan, your post made me laugh! "He thought I was mad for putting flowers and herbs in this cage" LOL! I can just imagine his face looking at you putting flowers.



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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:33 am 
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I also have mixed feelings about Nutriberries. I buy them. I smash them. I see them eating some. Then every evening we have a bowl still rather full that I will have to throw outside to wild birds every next morning



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 Post subject: Re: the Circus Diet for birds
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:28 am 
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With Nutriberries, I find that it works best if I don't provide too many at a time. If I give them a lot they'll pick out their favorite bits and leave the rest behind. If I don't give too much they'll eat it all.



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