That is such a weird concept to me. It seems to suggest you need a fancy diet to get your parrot into training. This is not my experience. The more parrots I meet, the more I find the strategy of micro managing of diets to be outdated.
I decided to write a blog on this topic because people who have signed up for my mailing list automatically get sent a series of three video clips in which I demonstrate how I trained my Amazon parrot to let me trim his nails. Some of the questions I keep getting are “What are you feeding him that he like so much?” or “What kind of diet is he on to be so motivated?”
It is funny to me because….I really have not done anything too special : ) Here is the lowdown. Every day I feed my parrot about 1/3 cup of pellets, 1/3 cup of mostly veggies and some fruit, a few sprouts and sometimes a small piece of birdie bread.
He usually leaves some behind, drops a few items he may not prefer, and sinks a few things in his water bowl. But essentially he gets a tiny bit more food than he likely needs to be satiated and maintain a healthy weight. Here is a photo of the leftovers in the morning.
For his training session I use sunflower seeds and pine nuts as treats. He only gets these for training, good behavior throughout the day and sometimes in foraging toys. But he pretty much never just gets them dumped in his food bowl.
First thing in the morning I open his cage door and pull out his leftover food. We usually have a training session within the next 30 minutes. After that he hangs out and plays. Usually late morning I offer him the rest of his diet and it stays with him until the next morning when we start all over again.
That is it! No fancy schmancy intricate scheduling or manipulating of diets or weighing of my bird daily to calculate the perfect amounts of food.
I think a few important elements that have made this work in my house is
1. The diet amount is more than he needs, but not excessive
2. I save treats for training and to reinforce good behavior
3. I train when he is likely to be most receptive…right before breakfast
So rather than getting too wrapped up in strict diets and regimens, try these simple strategies and see if they can help your parrot gain some enthusiasm for what you have to offer. Check out the videos and you will get an idea of what can happen.
Copyright Good Bird Inc 2009