As mentioned previously, Quakers are hardy animals. When they are in their natural habitat, their survival instincts make them strive to look healthy and behave normally. Unfortunately, captive birds will mask illness in the same way. In some cases, individual Quakers have lived for years on a seed-only diet. However, improper nutrition can result in general poor health, decreased fertility, egg binding, poor parenting skills, weak chicks, increased susceptibility to disease and, eventually death.
Good nutrition is the most important step in maintaining the vitality, health, and longevity of your bird. A nutritious, well-balanced diet helps to maintain good feathering and proper weight. Quakers that are malnourished can and will reproduce, but their reproduction may not be as good or continue for as many years as it might if they ate a balanced diet.
Any animal that expends as much energy as birds do must have a highly nutritious diet. Fortunately, most hand-fed Quakers are introduced to a wide variety of foods while they are young, so they will eat almost anything you offer them. And their natural curiosity is an added bonus when trying to introduce new foods!
You want to keep your Quaker away from certain foods tho. Things like fried chicken or fast food french fries are a huge no no. NO soda, beer or Milk products including cheese! NO chocolate, Raw Peanuts, candy, Asparagus, Rhubarb, Olives or Avocados. NO apple seeds from fruits like peaches, nectarines, grape seeds, etc. NO coffee, tea, caffeinated or decaffeinated beverages. These are just some of the biggies.
To maintain optimal physical condition, Quakers rely on a variety of foods that provide a balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. A proper diet is important in developing and maintaining t he immune system, which helps defend birds against disease. This chapter provides a closer look at the different types of foods and supplements that should be a part of your Quaker’s diet.