Fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables have always been available and provide an excellent source of additional nutrition for your Quaker. Most knowledgeable Quaker owners already recognize the value of adding fresh food items to their birds’ diet. Not only are vegetables rich sources of vitamins, carbohydrates and fiber, they also stimulate a bird to chew and experience a variety of textures.
The psychological benefit of handling and tasting food items has untold positive effects on our birds’ well-being. I recommend supplementing your Quaker’s diet with fruits and vegetables at a minimum of at least two or three times a week. Remember that a bird’s stool will be influenced by the diet and if colored foods are ingested, the stool color will also be affected. Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables carefully before giving them to your Quaker. Bananas, grapes, apples, oranges, pears and strawberries are all fruits that your bird will most likely enjoy.
Cut into serving size pieces that your bird can grasp with one foot has been the most common way of serving them, although recently several bird-safe skewers have come onto the market enabling you to offer food to your Quaker on a “stick”. Using a kabob with fruits threaded on it is an interesting deviation from bowls, as is stringing food on a cotton or leather cord and hanging it in the cage. Grapes are offered in small clusters; however, some Quakers will toss out the fleshy part to reach the seed–apparently this is considered a delicacy.
Fresh vegetables are washed, cut into chunks and put into the food bowl or wedged between bars. Other foods that are good for Quakers are low-fat yogurt, or an occasional bite of cheese.
They sometimes enjoy lean meat such as chicken or turkey. Cereals are a good addition, like corn flakes or crisped rice. Fresh broccoli and spinach seem to be especially appealing to Quakers–(maybe because they’re green??). Nuts should be used only as an occasional or special treat because they are high in fat and salt. Beware of moldy peanuts–they can give your bird aspergilliosis. Basically, anything that is healthy for you is healthy for your Quaker.
All Quakers love to eat, and it is difficult to resist overdoing the food treats with pets. Avoid giving too many sweets, salty food, tea, colas, or anything containing caffeine. Fruits and high-fiber breads are a good alternative to sweets, and Quakers will attack either of these with as much enjoyment as the sweets they relish, and will be all the better for receiving the healthier foods. They also thoroughly enjoy potatoes, rice and pasta, and people food such as pizza crust, popcorn and crackers. Above all, do not give chocolate to your bird at any time! Chocolate is toxic to birds, and even a tiny morsel can have deadly results, as can avocado, which is also toxic.