The Trials & Tribulations of Lorenza (My Yellow-naped Amazon With FLD)

I’m trying to research this, but not finding the answer so far…

On our visit to the vet about a month ago, our vet said that last year Lorenza’s feathers were worse, that they are growing out without the feather fungus.

I’m like, “Say what?” because she never mentioned this before. I had thought her feathers didn’t look ‘right’ but she had not addressed it on the last visit. So, I’m going ‘I think I missed 3/4ths of this conversation!’ Ugh!

Alright! I think I just solved the mystery! Diet/too much fat.

It looks to me like Lorenza’s feathers also indicated FLD (Fatty liver disease). — You can read my blog on Lorenza’s FLD HERE, where I talk about the symptoms and what we’ve done for her) I don’t know if she’s molted all her feathers, but it’s been a year (so I would have thought that they would have all molted by now). Maybe she did, maybe her body is still “catching up” and unable to produce good feathers. I guess we’ll see.

The vet said that her numbers are now normal (the FLD indicators), so I know her diet is fine. Confessions: She’s a monster when it comes to eating. She wants sweet fruits, meat and eggs. Not good! I give her limited fruit – I’d feel comfortable giving her more if she ate anything green! Meat she steals: someone left a rib on the counter, then it had several beak-sized bites taken out of it. Fortunately, meat on the counter or in my house is uncommon. She also gets eggs, which are the ‘perfect food,’ but only a couple of beak-fulls. Fortunately, she’s really good at eating her pellets. I think that’s her saving grace!

She’s as bad as you and me around our favorite treat… but, she’s my buddy and I love her. So here’s to her outliving me!

A Seedless Diet

Most commercial parrot mixes have seeds. Ugh. I don’t think vets would approve…

Here’s a few facts you should know about feeding your parrot seeds:

  • Seeds are like french fries – they are fatty, don’t satisfy your need for nutrition and can get expensive.
  • Seeds with vitamins are a great marketing idea, but a poor nutritional provider for your parrot because the vitamins are on the shell, which your parrot doesn’t eat.
  • Small parrots needs seeds as part of their diet, about half seeds, half pellets and 30% to 40% fresh foods. Check with your avian vet as to what your species of parrot should be eating.
  • Seed mixes let your parrot eat the seeds, ignore the pellets, and, in this way, waste your money.
  • If you have an Amazon, like me, or a cockatoo or eclectus, then seeds shouldn’t be a part of your parrot’s diet. Try using nuts for treats or dry fruit, like papaya, which provides beta-caratine (which they need a lot of).


To Drive The Seedless Point Home:

My parrotlets, the 2nd smallest parrot species, were burning through their seeds and then begging for more food. I asked my vet about this. Her first suggestion was that something might be wrong and that I should do a gram stain (a test for bacteria the vet runs). I said it was a recent development and they didn’t seem sick – then we figured out that the cockatiel mix I was feeding them had sunflower seeds. The vet told me to use a parakeet mix instead because the cockatiel mix includes sunflower seeds. Parrots get addicted and then that’s all they want to eat — and they basically go without nutrition while getting fat.

And So Lorenza’s FLD Saga Continues

All in all, I’m thrilled. My Lorenza acts like a parrot now, which she did not do when we first got her. She gets down from her perch and looks to see what trouble she can cause. She climbs the parrotlet’s cage to see if she can go up to it- I always stop her. She walks around the kitchen looking for wood on my cabinets that need to be stripped. I stop her before she does real damage. She walks around on the couch looking for our Chihuahua’s but to bite, just because!

All because she no longer has a poor, seed-based diet.