FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We hear from bird parents all around the world who have questions about our raw whole food feeding and bundle boxes. Below are some of the most frequent that come our way.
Q: I want to offer better nutrition for my birds and I know by moving away from processed foods and moving towards raw feeding would help me achieve that goal. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. What bundle box is best to begin with?
A: Increasing the amount and diversity of raw whole foods helps to diversity the microbiome and taking any step towards that is beneficial to improving the lives of birds, even if it’s small steps at first. We always say, do what you can afford to do if you can't transition all at once. Progress not perfection is good and small steps are better than none!
The VERY BEST is to begin with our Top Seller called the Ultimate Bundle Box which will give you what you need for a diverse dry mix (over 80 unprocessed ingredients) AND what you need to make a weekly raw food mash via a variety of sprouting mixes (you add your own chopped produce and can also add on some dry ingredients to your order for the mash such as Prairie Blossom, Hemp Hearts and Unsweetened Shredded Coconut). If you don’t already have an EZ Sprouter we strongly suggest that you add one on to your order.
If that is too big of a step then we suggest to go with the Best Bird Box which will give you what you need for our diverse unprocessed dry mix which includes the only pellet we can recommend which is TOPs Parrot Food Pellets which contain no cheap fillers, are unprocessed and USDA organic. Also consider adding on the new Freeze Dried Parrotsrus Raw Food Mash that can be fed separately as a ready to serve out of the bag (blend of veggies, sprouts, spices, etc) and the THRIVE! Soak & Serve (both in which we suggest be fed separately and in addition to the dry mix for more complete nutrition).
Q: Why Raw Whole Foods over Processed Foods?
A: Many ask about our birds' dietary needs and there are rarely easy answers. However, it is safe to say that whatever food we offer must contain nutrients that are bioavailable. Bioavailability involves the nutrient being in a form that the body can readily absorb and use. Raw foods take the form of fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts (both dry and soaked and/ or sprouted), legumes, teas and flowers, and other healthy whole food items.
Food items in their whole form not only possess important vitamins, but also the compounds that help the body actually absorb them. This is often a problem with vitamin supplements that contain the primary nutrient but not the associated compounds that help that vitamin to become assimilated into the body's tissues. This can also be seen with the different types of fats as some species better assimilate the fats found in plants over animals and vice versa. Through fats are often seen as "bad", they are critical since our birds require a great deal for optimal physiological functioning.
Processed foods are generally heated at high temperatures which causes bio-chemical changes. In seeds, grains compounds form that can cause disease (e.g. acrylamide) that are inflammatory compounds that can lead to disease. Processed foods are simply not good or healthy for our birds. If you do choose to offer the processed pellets its recommended to also offer a diversity of raw whole foods (if it's best to do this any way why not stick to 100% diversity raw whole food?).
Q: I often hear you say "there's no such thing as a complete diet" or "there's no such thing as complete diet in 1 kibble bite or in a highly processed pellet", can you expand a bit more about this?
A: When we talk to birds owners, breeders, and zoo staff about avian nutrition, we often tell them that there is no "complete" diet for birds. What do we mean by this?
Basically, we cannot expect to completely replicate the wild diets to which our species have adapted. Even in the wild, many of the foodstuffs that were once plentiful are on the decline.
So what do we do?
We should offer as much dietary diversity as we possibly can in an effort to satisfy all of the bird's individual needs. Food in its raw. whole form is the best, most efficient way overall to cover all of the bases. That is why we brought together some of the very best small businesses to create the Thrive! Bird Bundle Boxes: to allow you to provide this critical diversity in the diet to help support the wellness of your birds.
Birds, like most animals, require carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Some birds have more substantial requirements than others when it comes to certain nutrients but in general, we can be fairly confident in what we offer is safe and beneficial. Raw, whole foods may take many forms but the key is to offer unprocessed, unheated food in its whole form so that the nutrients are available to the cells that compose their bodies. Many oils fill the great need birds have for good, healthy fats. Carbohydrates found in fruit and vegetable matter are necessary for efficient energy expenditure. Proteins from foods like legumes and even edible insects can be a wonderful addition so that birds can get the protein they require.
What you need is whole, raw food that is fresh and clean. My philopsophy has always been that avian diets should be predominately unadulterated, unprocessed food that includes a great variety of items on any given day. What you don't need is anything with added salt, unhealthy fats, soy, soybean oil, fried foods, dairy product, synthetic ingredients, or foods with additives and preservatives. We strive to bring these healthy ingredients to you, all in ONE box!
Q: My bird is currently eating processed pellets and I want to offer better nutrition, can the Parrotsrus / C4AW bundle box way of feeding replace processed pellets?
A: The short answer is YES!
Our birds need and like choices. The truth is feeding birds in human care is not an exact science despite what we might be led to believe reading some existing labels typically found on mass produced processed foods.
Our philosophy is to offer a diversity of raw whole foods so that not any one thing consumes the diet and when we achieve diversity in what we offer we have the best chance to meet their nutritional needs.
Q: I received my Best Bird Bundle Box (Dry Mix), wow lots of great food … now what do I do?
A: You should also receive inside your box a pink sheet that provides instructions of what to do…. And the good news is, It’s Easy! … just Mix all of the ingredients together. I have videos on the helpful video section of this website and @parrotsrus on IG for additional reference.
You will also receive a postcard that provides some helpful tips in how best store the dry mix and best practices on how to handle unprocessed, organic bags of bird seeds, grain, etc.
Here’s a breakdown of those suggestions:
Best way to store our Dry Mix once mixed is inside an air tight covered container kept in a cool dry place such as your kitchen counter or kitchen pantry closet.
Although insect activity is RARE, with organic unprocessed ingredients a hatch can happen especially in warmer weather months. (if a hatch was to occur there's no harm to our birds, its simply a nuisance to us!)
Here's some tips on what to do:
- Freeze any of the seed, grain and nut based mixes for 2-3 days in the sealed bags they arrive in (e.g. All in One, Napoleons, Oh Mega, Dream, Delight, Milk Thistle, Power Mix, etc). Do not freeze the freeze dried items such as Garden Chop or the Raw Food Mash.
After 2-3 days, remove the bags from the freezer, allow to reach room temperature and then proceed with mixing with the other ingredients as per instructions.
TOPs Pellets: Once opened it's recommended that pellets be consumed within 3 months but to extend this period of time, if you don't utilize all of the pellets in the dry mix they can be kept in the original bag, closed tightly and stored in the freezer to extend that period of time to 6 months.
We DON'T recommend keeping any of the dry mix or the ingredients in the fridge due to moisture.
Q: Do you ship Worldwide?
A: Yes we do! We have happy customers and birds all around the world.
We now offer international ordering and shipping to all countries including the UK, with the exception of the other non-UK European Union Territories (*for non-UK EU see below) and Australia.
Please note, in order to ship to the UK (as Sophie's video mentions), you will need to utilize a US shipping resource such as: MyUS - Get 20% off Your First Shipment* utilizing Sophies referral link.
You would place your order with us here. MyUS will provide you with their US shipping address which we will ship to on your behalf for FREE and then they will arrange to ship directly to your UK shipping address.
*For international shipping to European Union Territories here's a few resources to consider utilizing (i.e. we would ship to their US shipping address for FREE and they will arrange to ship directly to you): Shop2Ship.com, Parcelux.com, Borderlinx.com. Once you decide on a shipping solution you can place your order by emailing us.
For all other international orders you can now place your order here and we will follow up with an electronic shipping invoice which will be sent to your email address.
Q: My parrot is under 12 months of age, is it too early to begin your feeding system?
A: After your baby is weaned, it’s never really too early to begin! In fact, the younger and earlier in life you can offer a diversity of raw whole foods the sooner your baby will have bio-available nutrients to fuel their immune system and overall wellness!
Q: What are the ways other bird parents have successfully transitioned their birds to consume this great nutrition?
A: Most bird parents have shared that they successfully transitioned right away using a “cold turkey” method… stop offering the old food and begin offering the new Parrotsrus / C4AW blends. Most birds accept the new food right away yet there are some birds that can take a few days or weeks to accept (this is likely due to the fact they don’t recognize it as food believe it or not!). Oftentimes, its us humans that need to stay consistent and not give in or abort the mission too soon (parrots can be bossy lol and try to train us! when we really need to encourage what we know is best for them.
To help transition birds who are slower to accept here’s a few helpful tips:
- Pretend to eat or eat some of the food in front of your bird so that they see it as good food and “safe” (anything new introduced to their environment instinctually might be seen as threat to them). Birds are instinctually flock animals and tend to enjoy eating with other members of their “flock”
Once offering the new food to them, try to observe closely what components they are going to first to consume. Having this knowledge can be useful as only if it becomes necessary increasing the amount of those items in the mixes has proved helpful to get the birds to accept the other components over time.
Birds are so keen to and like colors/ texture so if you have to, you can take your current seed mixes they are eating and soak them to help jump start the conversion. So giving them some wet seeds will offer their tongue, their eyes and sensory system a chance to adapt to dynamically changing food. This will give them exposure to wet seeds which will help them eventually accept fresh foods such as sprouts, veggies and fruits. This is essentially a method if you will of weaning them away from the essentially dead mass produced perhaps even pesticide treated seed mixes often found on store shelves to this wholesome diversity of raw foods.
Q: How much should I feed by bird?
A: There’s no exact science to feeding our birds yet we realize having specific guidance can be very helpful especially when it comes to the amount we should feed.
Here’s what we recommend and how we feed our own flock:
- 1 - 3 Tablespoons per bird, per meal, per type of meal (i.e. raw food mash and dry mix). This is a great place to begin where through your observations you can make adjustments as you deem as best.
Q: Where can I find more information about the F10 and F10SC Disinfectant?
A: F10® product
Professional user guidelines for practice in infection control & hygiene in companion animal veterinary clinics/hospitals.
Q: What dilutions are suggested for the F10SC product?
The dilutions will vary based on your use. For, General disinfection for hard surfaces; dilute 1:500 (2ml for 1 liter of water) High level of disinfection (such as for hospital-grade); dilute 1:250 (4ml for 1 liter of water) For most resistant: dilute 1:125 (8ml for 1 liter of water) At Viva Pet supply, we use 1:250 dilution for reptile cages. The dilutions mentioned above are based on 1-liter water spray bottles. If you use the common 24-ounce bottle, the concentration is required to be 30% less. 1 liter is equal to 34 ounces. (approximately)
Q: Any articles or videos you can share as a source of inspiration as to why I should consider offering a diversity of raw whole foods to my bird? A: Although I have done lots of research and continue to learn, a main source of truth and inspiration for me has come from Dr Karen Becker.
Q: What are some good forms of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for my birds?
At the top of the list are Walnuts, Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Pine Nuts, Filberts (Hazelnuts), Hemp seeds and ...Almonds are okay but not a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Soaking these nuts bring out the bio availability of the nutrients making them more digestible.
Q: What makes Omega 3 Fatty Acids so important for my birds?
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are going to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is known to cause all sorts of disease. They play a role in a lot of things such as nervous system development. Other Fatty Acids that we should be feeding our birds can get from insects such as meal worms.
Q: Why is it important to offer both Omega 3's (tree nuts and hemp) and Omega 6's (seeds)?
Omega 6's which are part of seeds actually create inflammation which is not a bad thing IF we are also offering omega 3's which reduce excessive inflammation so both are needed for our birds. The source of your food such as tree nuts, hemp and seeds is important! We only offer here human grade foods and ingredients NOT feed grade as there is a big difference.
Q: What can my pigeon eat?
A dry pigeon mix PLUS Soaking and sprouting our mixes are great for them along with adding some dried items such as our avian teas, our herb salad and prairie blossom.
Q: Don't nuts make birds fat?
This is a MYTH! Tree nuts will help birds balance their weight. They provide healthy fats, healthy fiber and minerals.
Q: I heard on social media that I shouldn't offer fresh fruit because it's all sugar. Is this true and recommended?
NO! Fruits have SO many different nutrients that aren't available in other foods. Generally speaking, berries are low in natural sugar and offering a diversity of fruits is beneficial for our birds! Some of our favorite and recommended fruits are (organic whenever possible): Apples, Pears, all Berries, Grapes, Papaya plus it's seeds, Banana, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew, Apricots, Dragon Fruit, plus so many more. The general rule with all foods, offer a diversity and not too much of any one thing.