by Mathew W. Bond, D.V.M., Diane Downs, Dreama Skidmore, and Sharon Wolf, C.V.T.
from the Avicultural Breeding and Research Center
A second formula, ABRCís Palm Cockatoo Formula, was developed specifically for palm cockatoos because many of them exhibited digestive problems when fed the standard formula. Palm cockatoo chicks at ABRC were fed the Monkey Chow Formula like any other cockatoo chick until digestive disorders became present. They were then typically switched over to a 50/50 mixture of the two formulas. Their digestion usually improved after the switch. Chicks that continued to have problems and did not seem to have a medical etiology sometimes required a few days of straight Palm Cockatoo Formula until digestion improved. They would then be returned to the 50/50 mixture. A number of palm cockatoo chicks were successfully raised to weaning on the Monkey Chow Formula alone. In 1996 and 1997, ABRC experienced gout problems with their palm cockatoo chicks using the two diets they developed and Prettybird 19/12 Formula. They suspect the cause of the gout was due to an increase of vitamin D3 in the manufacture of the Monkey Chow. The makers of the Monkey Chow have been raising this level over the last few years to further refine their diet for monkeys. They do not reccommend feeding it to birds. ABRC worked closely with Kaytee to develop a palm cockatoo hand-rearing formula. Kaytee analyzed the old Monkey Chow diet and came up with a formula which should come close to it. The following is the diet ABRC started using in 1997.
70 g Kaytee Exact Macaw Hand-rearing Diet
20 g sunflower seed (hulled)
40 g apple (fresh)
40 g broccoli (green)
230 g water
Everything is blended together and fed as described above. The first couple days the chicks receive diluted Kaytee Exact Macaw Hand-rearing Diet only and then the rest of the formula is slowly added. After using this diet, ABRC has seen an improvement in the condition of their chicks. (Updated by Mike Taylor from phone conversations with Sharon Wolf)