I’ve owned NEO (my lovebird) since 2000. My husband believes that NEO owns me and he’s probably right. She’s loved and spoiled by us both.
Over the years, we’ve come to know what types of foods are safe and not; which toys are safe and not; and which foods she will eat and not. One of the foods that she loves is basamati rice. Actually, she’ll eat any rice as long as it’s not instant rice. She loves pasta plain or with tomato sauce on it. But she’s not a fan of pasta that is often added to boil and mix soft foods for parrots. She eats the usual bird foods such as seed and organic pellet food (for birds), but she doesn’t like sunflower seeds or safflower seeds. I don’t know if she doesn’t like them or she just doesn’t favor them, but I end up sifting them from her seed hull scraps for the bird feeder in our backyard. She’ll eat 9 grain whole wheat bread but she won’t eat white bread, at least… not as enthusiastically as wheat.
When I reflect back on her preferences, I do see a pattern and it’s not because I don’t feed her these things. In fact, I do. I offer her instant rice when we’re out of basamati. I offer her Italian (white) bread when we’re out of wheat, and so forth. Sunflower and safflower seeds are high in protein and a lot of high protein foods are not good for them. Could it be her body doesn’t need more protein that she already receives in her usual diet so she doesn’t crave it in seed form?
Considering the fact that white bread is not as healthy as 9 grain whole wheat, and instant rice is less nutritious than wild rice, basamati, etc., I might think that her preferences are worth noting.
When my sister was young, she was often teased because she picked at her food and ate small portions. Our family use to say she “eats like a bird,” referencing the small portions and the pecking order.
The funny thing is, I now wonder since birds know or at least sense what is good for them or better than, if given a choice, whether it might behove us to consider eating like a bird.
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