Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:47 am Post subject: What do u feed your Kikes?
We are just small scale 'hobby' breeders...not anywhere as experienced as most of the members here.
Our birds started off with a std parrot mix and a good supply of salad, fruit and veggies.
After a bit of experimentation, we found:
Puha, dandelion, celery, capsicum, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, carrot, Silverbeet mainly stems, cauliflower mainly stems, Broccoli mainly stems. peas, runner beans, sweetcorn, cabbage stems, nasturtiums leaf flower seed.
rose flowers and hips, fusha berries, grapes, apple (no seeds) pear (no seeds), oranges , grapefruit, NOT avocado
Occasionally a few cat biscuits, old weathered animal bones , cuttlefish, worms.
We found there was a huge wastage of veggies if pieces where too big, and also messed up the bottom of the flights. We noticed that peas, sweet corn bean sprouts where not part of this debris, the diff being their size.
So the stems and leaves where chopped up into pea size, and a salad mix made of all the veggies. This produced a lot less waste with the birds tending to grab a piece and moving to another perch to nibble and consume. Their feeding tended to be more grazing, over longer periods on fresher food.
A mix is made up to last 3 to 5 days, kept in the fridge a sealed container.
From mating season thru to end of weaning, feeding is 2x a day, 'rationed' at 1 good hand full /small bird(Kike)/day And 1 very generous hand full/large bird (crimson/king)/day...just over 1/2 this out of breeding season. (see further notes below)
Grapes, fusha berries etc would not be mixed with the salad mix as it would tend to go mushy, instead would be added to the veggies at feeding time. Apples citrus etc cut in 1/2 and stuck on small branches to be consumed over several days. 1 or 2 fruits at a time, alternating and depending whats is in season and on our fruit trees at the time.
Personally I think there is a relationship/natural balance between diet requirements and the season in which fruit is abundant.
These are always available to the birds, either mounted (cuttle fish) or on the floor of the flight (weathered bones).
Worms we dig out of the compost bin. We lightly wash and leave them in the container for several hrs, then wash well. I read a study somewhere on the wild feeding habits of Kikes and the grubs/insect/ protein intake was rather high. I do think this area of feed needs more investigation. This is why we raid the cat's dish occasionally and feed a few cat biscuits.
Has anyone tried giving the birds fresh chicken/chop bones left over from the dinner table?
Comparing the volume of seed with fruit/vegetable, the latter seems to be the greater source of food for the kikes, estimated at 60 to 80% of the total. Approx 2kg of the salad for pair Kings, pair Crimsons, 3x pair kikes will last 4 days plus fruit. I don't know if the % add up, they are a guesstimate, and wastage is very little.
As mentioned in another thread I had a Sulphur Crested yrs ago...he used to waste food bad. Working on the assumption that parrots are rather intelligent, and have the ability to learn and remember, I would hold food back, ration for couple days. He stopped wasting after several sessions over few weeks and learnt to 'respect' his food, it was a continuing process.
We do the same with all our birds, now they grab what they want, fly up to a perch eat and return for the next piece. Also of concern is over feeding/lack of activity and over weight. As this is a continuing process, occasional rationing keeps over weight in control.
By watching what and how much is on the ground at each feed, one gets a good idea how much they get for that feed....it also reduces contamination and dirty flights. Similar to the principle to over feeding fish tanks I suppose.
When ppl visit, experienced bird ppl, and casual visitors, they are amazed at the intensity and almost 'florescence' of our bird's plumage, along with their size. I am sure much of the size has to do with the genetic source of our birds and they are not artificially raised, letting nature follow its flow as much as possible.
Please post thoughts on the above, what u feed your birds, and why?
These forums are here to share, question, suggest, and disagree. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Last edited by Steptoe on Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:28 pm; edited 4 times in total
We saved the chicken leg and hip bones from dinner, and gave them to the parrots At 1st They (kings, crimsons and Kikes) next day...leaving a little meat on and cracking the leg bones.
1st we put them up to them by hand, They all tasted a little meat 1st and spat it out as if to say " what, u think I'm a cannibal!"
We then left them poking thru the netting and observed.
They eventually came down and very quickly got into the cartilage on the end, then into the soft bone on the end. Next it was the meat, that was eaten with great enthusiastically.Soon they found the cracks in the bone, broke them open and got stuck into the marrow.
By the end of the day there is nothing left but a few bone splinters on the bottom of the flights.
The manner in which they relished the chicken, it was apparent that it was more of a diet requirement/ lacking rather than enjoyment.
The same was the case with Sam the Sulphur crested I had yrs ago. On Christmas, birthday and any other 'special" occasion he would have the whole remaining carcass from our dinner!!!
The odd chicken bone will now be part of our parrots diet every so often. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Last edited by Steptoe on Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
The kikes and kings love the meat, tried them on a couple morsels of roast pork today....
The male Kike starts chewing and calls the female to come out of the nest, feeds her up...watching, them I'm sure protein is very important and don't think this part of their diet is normally considered in parrots..???? _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Last edited by Steptoe on Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
Do your birds loose their feathers when they breed. Most of mine vary from very scruffy to one female that lost / pulled out virtually all the feathers she could reach. With her second clutch, she is in perfect feather but since the first chick hatched today I see she has a plucked patch on her chest.
My cinnamon pair look terrible when they breed. Other breeders around her say that kikes won't breed / aren't ready to breed if they don't look scruffy. I think that is nonsense and that there is perhaps something missing from our kikes diets as they certainly are different to other parrots.
I am tempted to feed my kids silkworms to my birds. I am sick of picking leaves and maybe the birds will enjoy something different LOL.
Do your birds loose their feathers when they breed. Most of mine vary from very scruffy to one female that lost / pulled out virtually all the feathers she could reach. With her second clutch, she is in perfect feather but since the first chick hatched today I see she has a plucked patch on her chest. .
No..the female looks a bit scruffy, but since she spends most of the time in the nest and not as much time pruning, I'm not surprised
Yes she has often has what looks like a small bare patch on her stomach, as if she has wore the feathers away on the eggs...After she has been out for a feed and quick prune to straighten her feathers out, she once again looks normal with no bare patch.
My cinnamon pair look terrible when they breed. Other breeders around her say that kikes won't breed / aren't ready to breed if they don't look scruffy. I think that is nonsense and that there is perhaps something missing from our kikes diets as they certainly are different to other parrots..
Our yellows and red look their best coming up to breeding and during, other than the females as mentioned above, once she has put her 'makeup on and straightened her self out' she looks good. I think that u may be right in your, opinion, diet etc
I am tempted to feed my kids silkworms to my birds. I am sick of picking leaves and maybe the birds will enjoy something different LOL.
Is that leaves for the silkworms? I don't know anything about them _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Last edited by Steptoe on Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
Silk worms are like measles and chicken pox (), children pick them up at school. They are worms that hatch from eggs in Sept, spin a yellow silk cocoon and hatch as a small white moth that lays about 100 eggs in Nov and ly dormant till the following spring. They only eat mulberry tree leaves, so lots of leaf picking as there are usually lots of them in your kids second year as keepers. Mulberry trees are unobtainable here as it is illegal to plant or sell them (no indigenous water glutton). If you have one you may keep one. We have one and evry local kid is in our yard after school, the tree looks like it was hit by a plague of locusts.
I am sure there is lots of protein in a silk worm.
Our birds feathers are much better lately and my wife's theory is that the kikes need plenty of green vegetables for folic acid and calcium (same as a pregnant woman). I used to feed planty of fruit but vegatables rather infrequently, lately I am feeding chopped carrots and spinach mixed with other soft food daily.
My 1st post describes the veggie feed in general...
This is the recipe
All veggies/leaves are chopped into green peas size and measured as such
3 cups of dandelion, puha(milk thistle) nasturtium leaves/flowers/seeds
1.5 cups silver beet and/beetroot stems
2 cups silver beet and/beetroot leaves
2 cups celery stems
1 cup celery leaves
1.5 cups green peas
1.5 cups sweetcorn kernels
1 cup green beans
1.5 cup sprouted Alfalfa/mustard seeds
1 cup capsicum including seeds
1 cup cauliflower and/or Broccoli stems
2 caps apple cider vinegar ( 1 for me the other for the birds )
Often add broccoli/Calli flowers when have 'just gone past it' (matured) in the chiller.
This makes up approx 2 kg and lasts 2.5 to 3 days, kept in the fridge.
Feeds 2 kings, 2 crimsons, 15 to 20 kikes, few brown quail running around the bottoms, couple burkes, flock finches.
6 kikes will go thru 0.75 cup fed 2x a day (total 1.5 cups)
or pair with 6 chicks
In addition 0.25 cup of cat biscuits/day, fresh fruit always available, and teaspoon lean cooked meat (mutton/lamb/beef/pork/chicken) or left over chop bone. (i enjoy chewing on my chop bones so the kikes don't have much left )
There is very little wastage feeding 2x a day.At the end of a week there would be less than 0.25 of a cup wastage in each flight, 99% of this silver beet leaf. So clean up at the end of the week is simple. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Last edited by Steptoe on Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
phew, thats some diet! my kaks, get fed parakeet food "jungle mix" also an egg substitute for hens, any greens, and veggies that are in the fridge, meal worms which are 33% fat 67% protein! and anything which i cant move out of the way fast enough! my male will eat most things, and recently landed on a plate of my bolognase! his beak went straight for the pasta. quite funny now but not at the time when i had just sat down with a few beers and a dvd. he just flew kamakaze at the plate and landed directly on top. no manners what so ever one question, why dont you give the kaks apple seeds? ok two questions, whats a kike? and whats a king? male and female i presume?
Apple/pear seeds have arsenic...now as to levels being high enough to have any effect, personally I don't think so...anyone seen flocks of birds dead around an apple orchard lately .
Same goes for ZINC poisoning from unpainted aviary netting, heaps of scaremongering around but anyone actually know someone that has had this sort of problem....I do add any 'dags' of Zn on the netting remove, and don't add Zn based toys.
TEFLON now thats a big killer, I lost a few birds years ago because of it!!!
DON'T use Teflon cookware and if u do DON'T over heat it, u will get crook also!!!! Ever noticed feel a bit 'off colour' or feel as if u are getting a cold that doesn't happen, after cooking steak or something in a very hot Teflon pan? or cakes at higher temps? The later killed 3 of my birds including a Sulphur Crested.
Use a cast iron pan and ONLY clean in hot water, after some ageing it becomes non stick. Or when new fill with oil, heat to just on smoking temp for 20 mins and let cool, never use detergents/soaps to clean.
Kak, well that has a diff meaning in Dutch based languages
NZ has a high incidence of Dutch/SA heritage breeders/conservationists.
So I suppose Kikes as shortened for kakariki has a better 'ring' to it.
I don't know if the above explanation is right, it just a guess on my part.
It does sound better than a 'crappy' nick name thu _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Last edited by Steptoe on Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
Have been finding that i have to take the seed out to get bird to eat veg mix...... is this normal or am I mean..... it gets taken out at about 8am and put back in about 5-6pm this is the only way he will eat the vegs I have found he LOVES strawberrys kiwi fruit and apples but still if the seed is in there he will only have a tiny nibble??????? have been giving corn, broc, pear, alfaf, but I was told by the man I bought him off not to give lettuse is this true???? I cant see how or why, could sombody please shed some light. also going to buy some mealworms for him but how do I give should I put a few in his scratching tray as a treat or put some in a dish????
I have also read several places not to give lettice...as far as I'm concerned, load of rubbish, like a few other questions asked in these forums.
1/have feed lettuce for yrs nps
2/If it was so bad why do the birds play havoc in the lettuce patch?
Just keep in mind lettuce is one of the rare foods that takes more energy to eat than what is in there...so if u want to exercise and loose weight, eat a lettuce ...I must admit there is nothing like a fresh letuce picked out of the garden and eaten like an apple
Removing the seed...
yep your reasoning is fine, so long as they get a feed at sun up and sun down, limiting during the day to fruit and variety of veggies for a week then break for few days will get a kike back to a 'natural' diet
Add few frozen peas, frozen sweet corn (it thaws out) chopped celery, dandelion.
If you have a pair breeding don't suddenly restrict or change diet, but give more options for them.
Protein...meat, worms. Buying meal worms, that can get expensive , then there is wastage.... give him a chop bone off the left overs of your plate...theres enough meat left on it after u have finished, or a teaspoon of diced roast beef/pork (they love pork no fat thu) or the remains of a chicken leg bone, after a KFC order.
If u want live food, cultivate fly maggots, wash them or washed earth worms, put these in a container over night , then wash them before dishing up
Don't leave meat , espec chicken laying around in the cage, bacteria etc.
In a flight a couple small quail will soon clean up anything left over.
And fejioa are our parrots favourite, right in season now here, and the ground under the tress is covered with fruit faster than we and neighbours can eat....makes a very nice table wine to. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
I give my kikes germinated seed everyday. In my opinion every bird needs it. At least, the ones that eat seed.
Sprouted seeds have a high nutritional content. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, chlorophyll, amino acids, fatty acids and more.
In the wild dry seed is a strangeness. 9 times to 10 it is moistened.
Recently, i bought a kike who was not so young. At that time i gived him a diet of dry seed, eggfood and some fruit.
He was lethargic in his movement until the day i began to give him germinated seed. Within a day he transformed in to a piece of dynamite.
There was alsoo an increase of energy in the other birds.
My birds get apple almost everday , I make no effort to remove the seeds, some do fall out during chopping up but most of the birds enjoy the odd seed that they do get.
"Lettuce has no nutritional value and may give birds green and watery stools and therefore should not be given to birds", so says many books that I have read about budgies and cockatiels. I think kakariki have far more robust digestive systems than budgies so I don't think lettuce will ever do any harm but I only ever include it in my birds diet when there is left over from my families consumption in the fridge. I will get lettuce just for my birds.
Fruit...Im finding their seasonal preferences interesting, espec at spring going into and during mating, and autum, as the last batch is still in the nest, and not starting a new lay, going into moult.
We have plums persimun, grapes, orange,manderin grape fruit, fejoa, apple, rose hips, fusha, olives (borer has just finally killed the lemon tree)
Plus a host of native srubs/trees, from puriri to flax, all growing in our gardens.
From the above we tend to have a continus supply of fresh seasonal fruit all yrs around. I chose these fruits while dersigning the gardwens around 13 yrs ago for just that reason
During the periods (Sring /autumn) they have a very strong preference as to what is ripening at that time. They (all the parrots) still get into eg kiwi fruit/grapefruit, out of season, will hit what is in season more.
Im sure that there has to be something in the 'balance of nature' beteen what the prefer/need and what is avaliable at that particular season.
This is just a personal theory from observation.
Vegitable material, I THINK there maybe also a seasonal perference, but from obsevation, I it is not defined vet well at all, and would be very hesident to make a call, yes or no.
Protein...meat is also well defined, starting as the 1st batch hatches, to the when parental feeding finishes. Keep in mind a pair will have 4 or 5 broods, hatching eggs every 7 weeks thru a season, so at anyone time they are feeding chicks. It seems to be Dad who goes for the meat more than Mum.
Further to the Letuce 'thing' I have never seen any detrimement with letuce, thu as Allen comments, abnd I aggre with him...letuce does have nutritional value with vitimins/mineral, just no energy value
So it u eat only letuce u will be heathy but die of malutrition
Allen mentions someone else mentioning, parrots getting "runs" with letuce, never observered that , thu if a parrot, or even your children are not habitually give cabbage, it will certainly , 'clean them out'...they soon adapt and get used to it. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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