GNO Expo Info Sheet

So you want to be a Bird Parent ??????

For Info Contact: Ron Williams,  2908 Ridgeway Dr,  Metairie,   LA,  70002            Home: 504-831-7385        Cell: 504-650-9790


You are assuming the responsibility of providing for one of the most amazing and rewarding companions you will ever bring into your home. You must be prepared to give it love and affection as well as provide a clean safe environment. Your bird will also be dependant on you for food and medical care. You won't have college tuition, but in most respects it will be like bringing a new child into your family. If you are unable to give your bird the attention it needs to be a healthy, happy member of your family, then you need to re-evaluate the type of pet you want.


Amazon parrots, Macaws, and other large psittacines are strong sturdy birds. With a proper diet and preventative medical care they may live 40-60 years. It is important to select a qualified avian veterinarian in advance since it is instinctive for birds to mask signs of illnesses. When a bird shows obvious signs of illness it is usually very sick and should be taken to the Vet immediately.

Some symptoms of illness to be on the look-out for are: sudden changes in behavior, prolonged periods of watery droppings, bright green or black droppings, watery nose, lethargy and/or inability to stand on a perch. If any of these symptoms arise, or if you have any suspicion of illness, do not hesitate to call me or your Avian Vet. immediately. Any delay in treating a bird with these or other symptoms of illness may frequently result in the death of the bird.

Avian veterinarians recommend a yearly examination in order to maintain a record of weight, bacterial counts and heart and lung condition. Most veterinarians will treat birds, but it is best to use an experienced Avian Veterinarian. If you don't have an Avian Vet, the Association of Avian Veterinarians is an organization of Vets who have chosen to specialize in birds, and it would be best to use a vet who is a member of AAV.

Association of Avian Veterinarians

                                                      P.O. Box 811720 Boca Raton, FL 33481

407-393-8901          Fax 407-393-8902

I have used the Avian Veterinarians listed below and highly recommend them:

New Orleans: Baton Rouge:

Dr Gregory Rich Dr Tom Tully West Esplanade Clinic LSU Vet School 3640 West Esplanade South Stadium Rd

Metairie, LA 70002 Baton Rouge, LA 70803 504-455-6386 225-578-9557


The diet which I use requires no vitamin supplement. Excessive vitamins can harm a bird more than help. If you feel your bird needs extra vitamins, use a sprinkle of Nekton Vitamin "S" in the water every other day as a general supplement or Nekton-Bio to promote feather growth during a molt.

Nutritionists currently support a 50/50 ratio of seed & vegetables. You must remember that your bird’s diet is not what you put in the dish, it's what missing after he is finished. Birds tend to eat the seeds they like and leave the others in the dish. Always throw away the old seeds and hulls and give fresh seed each day. A full seed dish may not contain anything the bird can/will eat.

Fresh food & water should be given DAILY

I recommend a diet of good quality mixed seeds, vegetables and fruit. Macaws have the ability to burn off the extra fat accumulated from the use of Sunflower seeds in their daily diet, but Amazons and small parrots seem to develop fatty tumors and live shorter lives when their diet contains large amounts of Sunflower seeds so use them only as treats. Only use the Grey Striped Sunflower seeds. The black Sunflower seeds are extremely oily & should not be used for parrots.

The nutritional requirements for young birds (less than 1 Yr old) and mature birds are different. If you have just acquired a recently weaned baby, it is important to monitor your bird’s weight closely.

In addition to the basic seed, be sure to provide an abundant supply of a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as a high protein supplement such as Zu-Preen or one of the new weaning diets now available.

Feed young birds twice (2) a day to ensure adequate nutrition during this important growth cycle. If your bird starts to get fat, adjust the amount of food you are giving at each feeding.

After your bird is a year old (1 yr) cut back to one feeding per day. Always check the fruit and vegetables to be sure they don't spoil or get slime or film due to the environmental conditions in your aviary. If this occurs, it is necessary to change them more frequently.

Seed: 1/2 Cup (Large Parrot)

I use a 10 oz cup for each Amazon and a 20 oz cup for each Macaw or a 20 oz cup for two (2) Amazons.

Sleek & Sassy Garden Variety- No Sun or Kaytee Safflower Select

or Volkman no Sunflower

A small hand-full of Sunflower seeds (Grey striped only - never use the small black oily ones) can be added during weaning to help maintain body weight. I recommend that they only be used as treats after your bird attains full size and weight.)

Mixed Vegetables- 1/4 Cup

Frozen Mixed Vegetables are a convenient and effective way to give a variety of vegetables. Keep the bag in the freezer and only thaw the amount you need when you need them. Place them in a colander and run hot water over for a couple of minutes, to thaw - DO NOT COOK

Fresh Vegetables-

Since some vitamins are lost when food is frozen it is a good practice to include fresh vegetables in the daily diet. Add several small pieces, for each bird, of any two (2) fresh vegetables daily. Some of the vegetables I have found to be popular are:

Carrots Peas

Lima Beans



Green Beans




Corn on the cob- cut 1/2" thick rings & then cut into pieces Sweet potato- bake about 20 minutes

DO NOT SERVE AVOCADOS   (The seed contains poison)

Fresh Fruit:

Apple (the seeds are toxic) Grapes Oranges Peaches Pears Bananas Strawberries


Fresh Fruit & Vegetables, Nuts (Raw & Unsalted) Peanuts Almonds Goldfish Crackers Spray Millet Cheerio's Graham Crackers Vanilla Wafers Fruit Loops Cheese Honey Sticks TABLE FOODS: With a few exceptions, your bird can eat any table food that suits his taste, including Rice & Gravy, Spaghetti, Chicken, Pizza, Cheese and Eggs.



One special thing to remember is that in the wild birds can fly away from any mess they make, and nature blends everything together into useful products. Captive birds depend on us to provide a safe healthy environment. In addition to changing the food & water dish daily, the dishes should be cleaned with a cleaning agent such as Oxyfresh or hot soap & water. Clorox household bleach is an excellent product for killing germs and a small amount can be added to the soap & water when cleaning dishes & cages.

Droppings should not be allowed to build up on the cage bottom & grate. The type of bird you have will determine how often the cage & grate need cleaning. You should, however, clean the cage at least once a week to prevent an accumulation of dirt & germs and change the paper as often as necessary to minimize the mess.


Birds love to bathe. Spray baths help them to groom their feathers and stay clean. I mist our birds each day with a spray bottle. Fill a hand pump spray bottle with "hot" water from the faucet. When it is sprayed the water cools down to a warm mist.


Birds enjoy the outdoors, If they are clipped you can take them with you. Place the cage next to a window so they can look out. Avoid direct sunlight where he will become overheated, and direct drafts from vents and doors.


Hair spray, Deodorants, Perfumes, Colognes, Air fresheners, Insect sprays, oven cleaners and strong spray cleaners are all TOXINS. Be careful not to spray around the birds. Other hazards frequently overlooked are old paint containing lead, coatings on the back of mirrors and lead curtain weights.