Nymphs are psittacine, which means that they belong to the parrot family, and are therefore very intelligent animals with very special needs in terms of mental and social well-being. It is important to note that we must take into account their feeding behaviour. It is not as easy as just putting a food dish on them as we can do with other pets. We have to stimulate the animal so that their natural behaviours appear and we will do this with the different presentations of food.
With animals as highly intelligent as parrots, boredom is our super enemy. In fact, one of the most important behavioural indicators of animal welfare is their expression of natural behaviours, which can confirm that they are in good condition.
In the wild they are granivorous animals, i.e. they eat seeds. Occasionally they eat berries and small fruits. They also like tender seeds, not those that have been on the ground for a long time. Wild seeds are found in nature and have nothing to do in composition and nutrients with those found in supermarkets and pet shops. So we have to create a diet that is really based on meeting the nutritional needs of the animal based on the composition of the food we have at our disposal. Let’s say that what we are going to do is try to imitate as much as possible the natural diet, taking into account what we have at our fingertips.
So in captivity what we are going to do is try to create a diet divided in three:
- 30% of FEED = 6-10g per animal per day: this is what is going to ensure that the nutritional requirements are covered because they are super balanced to cover everything. However, feeding only this would be very boring for the parrot, and we have already said that they are very intelligent animals and boredom is our enemy. So what we recommend is:
Harrison Lifetime Fine
Versele Laga B14
There are many other brands but the most important thing to avoid with these animals is to give them feed with different shapes or colours, because they tend to choose the colour or shape they like the most, and the ones they don’t like they throw them on the floor of the facility when in fact they taste the same.
- 40% of VEGETABLES and fruit = 8-15g per animal per day: this is what gives them their share of vitamins but above all what gives them entertainment and fun. We must be careful with fruit because it has a lot of sugar, and we have already said that these animals in the wild do not eat a lot of fruit. Some recommendations:
Vegetables: 60%. carrot, tomato, red pepper, broccoli, pumpkin, green pepper, cauliflower, kiwi, orange.
Leafy vegetables: 20% spinach, various types of lettuce, chard, chard, recula, watercress, endive, lamb’s lettuce, endive, cabbage.
The rest: 20%. Apple, pineapple, celery, beetroot, courgette, cucumber, green beans, fig, grape, banana, melon, pear.
- 30% of GIFTS 6-10g per animal per day: and it would also be interesting to give them a surprise every day with these gifts. What do we recommend? That every day we give them ONE of these:
- Fresh unsalted cheese
- Natural yoghurt (unsweetened and unflavoured)
- Cooked rice + a cooked legume (chickpea, white bean, pinto bean, lentil…)
- Seed mix sold in shops.
- Cooked pasta + a cooked legume (chickpea, white bean, pinto bean, lentil…)
- A little bit of WHOLE WHOLE WHOLE BREAD
- Cooked quinoa
- Cooked egg IN SHELL
- Cooked vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, pumpkin…
But remember! This is not mathematics… we must adjust the quantities according to how we see the animal evolving. Also, it would be great to use parts of the diet for environmental enrichment, but we will talk about this in the next post.
What else is important to know?
They should always have sufficient and, above all, clean water.
Remember that an exotic animal does not have much chance of surviving outside its natural environment. So you should always, always, always have a specialised vet.