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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 03:39 PM Thread Starter


 
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A few things we should consider when choosing foods for our loved ones

Yet another take on processed foods by Dr Jeannie Thomason.
There is so much great info in this, one should read it carefully.
It is our loved ones that need us to do our research and not just be blindsided by flashy misleading advertising.
I was following up my search for more details of Enzymes and where these are destroyed when pellets are heat treated and where or how they replace them in there so called complete nutritional pellets.
Well I think this answers a lot of those questions.
And certainly follows very close to my own research, and the lies told to us, with so much misleading false propaganda.
As she says. More and more of us and taking to feeding real fresh foods and they are rich in natural enzymes which are so important, to a healthy life.
This is copyrighted material and DO NOT COPY without consent.

Commercial Bird Pellets Good Nutrition??
Dr Jeannie Thomason


Finally, I have noticed an ever slowly but increasing amount of skepticism among my bird owning friends towards the many commercial bird foods available these days. Many of the manufactures of these pre-packaged and processed foods claim that their diets duplicate nature or even boast that they are an improvement over nature itself. PLEASE!!!

Is it really realistic to think that we finite humans could duplicate nature in its wholeness and complexity? Improve upon nature? Are they serious? How in the world could a dry, processed, fabricated diet ever match or exceed the outstanding quality that can be found in foods God produces in a natural foods diet?

With all the pre-packaged, prepared food choices now on the market, many bird owners have become somewhat dazed about the dos and don't s of good avian nutrition. From the comments and emails I get, it is clear to see that confusion and frustration abound! While most feed products are touted to be "balanced" or "complete". (just like processed dog and cat food) the manufactures all say that their products are superior in quality. But, are they really?

For some reason, people think that just because a food product is advertised in a magazine or is on your favorite store's shelf that it is safe and healthy to feed your feathered companions. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. If you haven't already done so, it is time you take a closer look at these feed product labels and make sure you can define each ingredient for the future welfare and love of your birds. I will warn you though; you may be very surprised and not very happy with what you find.

The way in which you feed your birds is of course a very personal choice. However, this choice should be based on information gathered from many sources and some research on your part. I know that you have heard from your bird's Breeder, your veterinarian and even your well meaning friends, as well as advertisements in avian publications that will all influence your decision. Just remember though, while you may receive advice on feeding from well-meaning individuals, you need to do your homework and research this advice before putting it into action.

Many bird owners have decided recently that they do not want to feed their birds a dry, fabricated diet (pellets), as it does not meet their standards as a quality or a "natural" diet. Some bird owners have never fed a fabricated/processed diet to their birds, but have always fed a whole foods diet that is fresh and varied in content. This natural diet usually consists of fresh sprouts and organically grown foods when they are available. Certified organically grown produce is usually your best option and can supply your bird(s) with the top quality nutrition they deserve. Why would anyone want it any other way?

Along with the invention of the "scientifically" formulated feeds ("meals in a bag") so in demand these days, more and more bird owners, with good intentions, are relying on pellets and manufactured hand-feeding formulas. They have come to believe these to be the proper source of all nutrients and are so convenient. Sure, the manufacturers promote their products in a very convincing manner with the "nutritionally complete" written in bold print on the label and after all, a pellet diet is a neat, convenient meal in a bag, sure to stay fresh for months while waiting for you to purchase it off the pet store or veterinary office shelf. And of course, they claim that this bag consists of wonderful ingredients that could not be found anywhere else on earth and includes everything your birds will ever require for health and a long life. Come on people! Really! Some of these meals in a bag are also very pretty in color, they are sure to brighten up any birdcage with their presence, even if they don't brighten your bird's appetites. Sheesh!

Have you ever stopped to wonder what on earth made some of these pellets so colorful? Could it be fresh fruit and vegetable juices? Sadly,the answer is: not usually. It is almost always the chemical dyes so commonly used in these products to make them so eye appealing. Was that the color No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 40, or all of the above? Shouldn't you also be questioning what magic trick was used to keep these foods fresh on the shelves for who knows how long?

Then finally, don't forget that they have to make sure those little shapes in the bag taste good. Is artificial flavoring used as well? Or perhaps just a scoop or two of sugar is added to each "healthy" batch of feed. Yes, that will make the product complete! almost... whoops, now don't forget to add all those synthetic nutrients and vitamins since any true nutrition that may have been in the ingredients to start with have all been destroyed and cooked away. "Just a scoopful of pellets a day keeps the doctor away". Again, PLEASE! This is certainly not what I would put my faith in for a healthy avian species appropriate diet.

There are surely, many bird enthusiasts that use commercial diets and therefore, the manufacturing of such "food" is BIG business. But does their "guaranteed adequate nutritional balance" automatically come with the convenient pellet form? How many wild parrots you have heard of or seen on a T.V.show; fly down to their local pet shop and buy pretty colored pellets for the week?

There are so many nutrients, live enzymes and natural medicinal components that have been discovered in fresh foods, so many more that are currently being investigated and some that we aren't even aware of yet. So to call a commercial feed complete and even close to nature is a huge exaggeration to say the least!

Here are just some of the risks involved in feeding your birds some of the commercial bird feeds available.

It is nearly impossible to provide your birds a healthy diet out of a bag, jar or canister. Extruded and heat-treated diets leave much to be desired. Most all of these feed products undergo extreme high heat in order to kill any bacteria that may be lurking in the ingredients used. The heat-treatment destroys the naturally-occurring enzymes contained in the original food, which had they remained would have assisted in the digestion of those foods. Food enzymes are an important factor in your bird's diet and they come from fresh raw, uncooked foods.

Feeding a dry, fabricated, pellet diet is kind of like feeding a crushed vitamin and mineral supplement without the fresh foods required for digesting and assimilating it. Eating a food with No enzymes will lead to impaired digestion and in turn lead to a weakened immune system and disease. Actually, the vitamins they add to pelleted diets are synthetic in the first place so are never going to be as healthy or as easily assimilated as the vitamins and minerals obtained from fresh food.

Commercial bird food manufactures would like you to believe that our birds' bodies can't tell the difference between synthetic nutrients and nutrients found naturally occurring in whole, real food. The reasoning goes something like this - "Synthetic vitamins are manufactured to produce the same chemicals that a vitamin is made of, so our birds' bodies can't tell the difference." Hurray for technology! We've outdone Mother Nature. I have even heard – "Don't feed too many fresh foods like fruits and vegetables to your birds, it is too difficult to make sure you feeding a balanced diet. Pelleted Feed is much more healthy and perfectly balanced." With my own busy schedule, believe me, I wish this were true. But it isn't. Again, we have been deceived.

Please be aware that one of the biggest myths today concerning food is that we can make food healthy by enriching or fortifying it with synthetic vitamins, minerals, amino acids and so forth after the natural nutrients have been destroyed by the heat/high temperatures of processing. Synthetic nutrients are not the same as the nutrients nature produces and, in many cases, are actually useless to our birds' bodies.

Beyond proper utilization, many trace minerals are toxic, if our birds try to eat them in inorganic form. Zinc can be toxic as an inorganic chemical, such as from zinc-coated toy parts, galvanized hardware cloth, or supplemental zinc (i.e., zinc oxide), but is a necessary and very important nutrient in food. Elemental copper is considered a heavy metal; if a bird absorbs too much, it can be poisoned. Iodine can be poisonous in its elemental form, but is essential in food. I personally find it is quite remarkable how nature converts something that's toxic to our birds in the inorganic form to a safe organic form - nutrients in food. Your bird can never be harmed from the trace minerals in live food because nature balances the elements out and gives them to our birds in the form their bodies can safely use.

Additives and Preservatives
Remember,that in order to maintain a shelf-life, the majority of these diets contain potentially toxic chemical preservatives, i.e., BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin. BHT and BHA are used in rubber and petroleum products. Ethoxyquin is used as a pesticide for fruit. These synthetic antioxidants are used in human and animal foods to preserve their fat content. They help break the chain of "free radicals" and prevent microbiological spoilage and rancidity.

Oh The Lies!
This one really cracked me up, one of the major brands BRAGS the following: "Extrusion cooking enhances carbohydrate bioavailability. More digestible than cold-pressed pelleted diets or seed mixtures, and offer maximum digestibility and nutrient absorption". This is totally nuts folks! Birds were not designed to eat cooked foods, ever seen a parrot roasting grain or frying a bug up in a pad with some flowers? Cooking grains may enhance carbohydrate bioavailablity for a human but not for a bird!

Have you looked at the ingredients used to make the pellets? Listed below are the ingredients of the most popular pellets on the market today. While you read through the ingredients, remember, these are not only cooked ingredients but ask yourself if these are things a wild parrot would seek out and eat in the jungle:

*Ground Shelled Sunflower Seeds, *Ground Hulless Barley, *Ground Soybeans, *Ground Shelled Peanuts, *Ground Green Peas, *Ground Lentils, *Ground Yellow Corn, *Ground Rice, *Ground Toasted Oat Groats, Psyllium, *Ground Alfalfa, Calcium Carbonate, Spirulina, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Ground corn, soybean meal, cracked wheat, wheat germ meal, vegetable oil, sucrose, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, iodized salt, DL-methionine, choline chloride, ascorbic acid, natural mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract, citric acid, natural and artificial colors, artificial flavors, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D3, vitamin K, vitamin B12, thiamine, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, rib

Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, Peanut Meal, Soy Oil,Soy Meal, Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate, Yucca schidigen Extract,Salt, Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine, DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Lecithin, Silicon Dioxide (carrier for liquid antioxidants), Sodium Selenite (on Calcium Carbonate), Niacin, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Zinc Oxide, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vit. A Acetate, Thiamine, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vit K), Cyanocobalamin (VitB12), Vit D3 Sup. Folic Acid, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Propionic Acid, Ammonium Hydroxide, Acetic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Tartaric Acid, and natural apple flavoring.

Now looking at these ingredients, please consider these questions...

"Do YOU know if the feed package ingredients you are serving your birds lists chemicals?" (If not, it is time to read the label.)

"Do you know whether or not chemical preservatives or pesticides/herbicides were added to the ingredients BEFORE the manufacturer purchased them and created the final feed product?" (If the manufacturer themselves didn't add the chemicals to the feed then they do not have to list them on the label.)

Were you aware that sugar is often added for palatability in the form of sucrose or corn syrup and artificial coloring to please YOUR eye? Did you realize that artificial colors are derived from coal tar dyes or petroleum. Both refined sugar and chemical dyes can cause short-term as well as long-term damage, by weakening your bird's immune systems and compromising their complete line of defense. For example, over the short-term, sugar can cause illnesses, such as yeast (Candida) infections and long term has the potential to cause other health threatening diseases.

Since most of the ingredients in bird foods are actually foreign to them in the wild or even toxic to the body, your bird's body attempts to expel them through the process of detoxification and elimination in the liver and kidneys. Over the long-term these non-nutritive ingredients and synthetic as well as chemical additives can cause enlargement of vital organs, hormonal dysfunction, immune system disorders and degenerative diseases, thus a shorter life-span.

The majority of domestically reared parrots today have been weaned onto a pelleted feed and we have come to think that these dry fabricated diets are a natural food for them. Sadly, this is a big deception. These diets consist of a few fractionated grains and seeds, followed by a very long list of synthetic enrichment nutrients which enables these diets to provide the minimum levels of nutrients to maintain health for some birds.

Why take chances to begin with when much safer and more natural foods are readily available. The important thing to do, is to look for a natural alternative rather than figure out what the acceptable chemical level might be. Instead, ask yourself if it something your parrot would find and eat in the wild.

This whole dilemma over bird diets began several years ago when an exclusively dry seed diet was compared to pellets. Why not compare a whole foods diet consisting of fresh fruits, sprouts, flowers and insects - to dry seeds and/or pellets? Certainly the fresh whole foods diet is far superior!

After all is said and done, you, the bird owner must form your own opinion about what is best to feed your birds and have confidence in the choice you decide to feed.

I personally feel that the best diet in the world for birds is one that closest emulates their natural diet in the wild; I mean, doesn't it just make sense that these are the foods that God created for our birds to be biologically correct?. A natural home-prepared diet is really not difficult to do correctly and efficiently, and the health rewards for the birds are both great and obvious.

To achieve the best long-term health results, fresh natural foods should make up the majority of your bird's diet. For those who feel they must feed a commercial diet, I personally do not recommend that it make up any more than 5% of any bird's diet total diet and of course, find one that is freeze dried or dehydrated vs. extruded or cooked at all. Make sure it has whole food ingredients, not just cooked cereal!

Let's get back to nature and offer the fresh, live foods that our parrots were intended to thrive on. By doing this, you can keep your parrot's immune systems strong and its body resistant to disease and infection. The basic truths of nutrition are simple, and easy to apply once the understanding is gained. A natural fresh diet has no nutritional competition and is part of what only nature can provide us. After all, God's gifts of nature are the ultimate gifts we can offer our birds.

Copyright 2003 -2011 This article is the sole property of Dr Jeannie Thomason. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.


A tribute to my lost ones. RIP.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-23-2016, 05:11 PM



 
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A very interesting read Clive, thanks for posting this.





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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 02:33 PM


 
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What a fantastic read Clive. Backs up what both you and I have been saying for years.
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What a fantastic read Clive. Backs up what both you and I have been saying for years.

I've heard so many interesting and negative things about pellets from people in the past I'd like to hear your thoughts as well as your experiences with pellets if you used them at one time or not, only if you'd like to share.

I'm interested if you tried them with your birds and what you thought of them during the time.

I've bought them for my birds and offer them as a treat but not a meal replacement as I don't think they do what the company advertises on the packages.

I dislike pellets mixed in with any seeds I buy for my birds, they are always a larger size pellet which my smaller birds refuse to eat due to size or shape.

I feel they are a filler dumped in the seed mix to try and sway us the consumer to buy something we think is better for our birds then regular seeds without pellets in the mix.

I've always been critical about the expiration date on these pellets and I doubt telling me to freeze the product after I've opened the package will help keep the product longer. (I feel freezing can't do the product much good)

I don't like that the pellets are sold in large bags or packages which means the person who has a single or 2 birds gets ripped off by having to buying a bag that is sure to expire and be garbage in a month or 2.

I dislike the colorful fancy floral shaped pellets as I don't think my birds can maneuver them in their mouths so these always end up on the cage floor or ignored so I have to throw them away.


@clawnz

Please share your thoughts on pellets I don't think I've read any posts of yours about this.
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I would love to say I only feed my birds healthy organic fruit and veggies and to be honest I wish I had the time to even feed myself those. The sad truth as I read this, is this for me...

I love the fact that you post this information as I feel people need to be aware and read this and do this if they can. Unfortunately and I am sure people will be upset with me for saying this,but I am a full time Nursing student, I have two casual/ part time jobs and live with my fiance who isn't particular to my birds.

I feed my birds an assortment of fresh veggies and fruit as well as I have been trying the soaked seeds ( i was proud of that). The problem for me is I can't always offer the fresh stuff everyday as some of my days can consist of 16 hours and I am not around to pull out the fresh stuff so I usually don't offer it as much as I would personally like. I feed Harrison's pellets and Volkman seeds everyday and a fresh fruit and veggie mix w/ rice, egg noodles etc about every second to third day when I can. If I have a slow week more, if I have a crazy week less.

I wish I had more time and when I am not in school. I know I will have more time to prep more fresh foods and I will, but for now I do what I can. it always hurts me to say this cause I always pride myself on caring the most about my birds, but when I read these postings I always feel kinda ashamed as I don't feed as fresh as I would like... But I am proud that they always get their annual check ups and everything comes back great! Even my Rose crown has been growing in her lovely tail feathers after such a struggle of getting her from a pet store and her having no feathers to spending hundreds of dollars taking her back and forth to the avian vet because she would bust her blood feather and they would need to pull them out and glue her bum as it wouldn't close on it's own. She has come leaps and bounds. So although I agree fresh food should be offered and offered in a larger quantity I am not adverse to using pelleted diets. I try and use more recommended ones and I offer as much fresh as I possibly can.
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Originally Posted by Mr Peepers View Post
I've heard so many interesting and negative things about pellets from people in the past I'd like to hear your thoughts as well as your experiences with pellets if you used them at one time or not, only if you'd like to share.

I'm interested if you tried them with your birds and what you thought of them during the time.

I've bought them for my birds and offer them as a treat but not a meal replacement as I don't think they do what the company advertises on the packages.

I dislike pellets mixed in with any seeds I buy for my birds, they are always a larger size pellet which my smaller birds refuse to eat due to size or shape.

I feel they are a filler dumped in the seed mix to try and sway us the consumer to buy something we think is better for our birds then regular seeds without pellets in the mix.

I've always been critical about the expiration date on these pellets and I doubt telling me to freeze the product after I've opened the package will help keep the product longer. (I feel freezing can't do the product much good)

I don't like that the pellets are sold in large bags or packages which means the person who has a single or 2 birds gets ripped off by having to buying a bag that is sure to expire and be garbage in a month or 2.

I dislike the colorful fancy floral shaped pellets as I don't think my birds can maneuver them in their mouths so these always end up on the cage floor or ignored so I have to throw them away.


@clawnz

Please share your thoughts on pellets I don't think I've read any posts of yours about this.

Maybe you should not ask!
What she has to say is very much inline with my own feelings and findings. If any bird comes in here for boarding it will be fed real foods not some manufactured stuff.
You can make your own pellets that would be more nutritionally complete by just grinding up some seeds and adding veg and fruit. No heat treating, no adding unnatural colours, no added sugar or salt. No matter what they claim, they are going to be sure to make money from selling pellets. Where there any good ones out there? Well yes there maybe a odd ones, but only if you are not going to feed them at a rate over 25%. Amd in my mind not for any long period of time. This enzyme thing alone is enough to be a very real worry. As she states if no natural enzymes in the food they are eating, then the body will be using valuable resources from within to eliminate stuff they do not need or want.
Her blog is so much more eloquent than I could of ever put it.
What advantages are there in pellets? Great for lazy people, who most likely should not have a pet if that is how they are going to care for them. If you do some research you will notice a swing away from pellets by a good number of breeders. Why? simple fact that with a bird on a poor diet , results in poor breeding. Improve the birds health with a good diet and breeding will improve. Long term high percentage pellet diet may very well impact on a birds longevity. In fact you may be able to find that some have already noticed pellets impacting on Budgies and Tiels. You will never go past a fresh raw foods. Throw away the dried processed garbage the manufacture and others say You Must Feed. Biggest load of crap circulating the bird world. Join Happy Healthy Parrots (No Pellets) and Avian Raw Wholefood Nutrition.
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Last edited by clawnz; 02-25-2016 at 12:17 AM.
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Originally Posted by clawnz View Post
Maybe you should not ask!
What she has to say is very much inline with my own feelings and findings. If any bird comes in here for boarding it will be fed real foods not some manufactured stuff.
You can make your own pellets that would be more nutritionally complete by just grinding up some seeds and adding veg and fruit. No heat treating, no adding unnatural colours, no added sugar or salt. No matter what they claim, they are going to be sure to make money from selling pellets. Where there any good ones out there? Well yes there maybe a odd ones, but only if you are not going to feed them at a rate over 25%. Amd in my mind not for any long period of time. This enzyme thing alone is enough to be a very real worry. As she states if no natural enzymes in the food they are eating, then the body will be using valuable resources from within to eliminate stuff they do not need or want.
Her blog is so much more eloquent than I could of ever put it.
What advantages are there in pellets? Great for lazy people, who most likely should not have a pet if that is how they are going to care for them. If you do some research you will notice a swing away from pellets by a good number of breeders. Why? simple fact that with a bird on a poor diet , results in poor breeding. Improve the birds health with a good diet and breeding will improve. Long term high percentage pellet diet may very well impact on a birds longevity. In fact you may be able to find that some have already noticed pellets impacting on Budgies and Tiels. You will never go past a fresh raw foods. Throw away the dried processed garbage the manufacture and others say You Must Feed. Biggest load of crap circulating the bird world. Join Happy Healthy Parrots (No Pellets) and Avian Raw Wholefood Nutrition.

I appreciate your honesty and feelings about this Clive, this is why I asked what you feel about the topic.

I think your comments and beliefs have credit and can help others make the decision whether they should want to continue with pellets or what alternative they can use to feed their pet birds a product that can provide the enzymes needed.

I like the idea of making your own pellets and I'd like to try your recipe if you have more info to add to how to prepare it.

Thanks for sharing with me/us.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 12:21 PM



 
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I would love to say I only feed my birds healthy organic fruit and veggies and to be honest I wish I had the time to even feed myself those. The sad truth as I read this, is this for me...

I love the fact that you post this information as I feel people need to be aware and read this and do this if they can. Unfortunately and I am sure people will be upset with me for saying this,but I am a full time Nursing student, I have two casual/ part time jobs and live with my fiance who isn't particular to my birds.

I feed my birds an assortment of fresh veggies and fruit as well as I have been trying the soaked seeds ( i was proud of that). The problem for me is I can't always offer the fresh stuff everyday as some of my days can consist of 16 hours and I am not around to pull out the fresh stuff so I usually don't offer it as much as I would personally like. I feed Harrison's pellets and Volkman seeds everyday and a fresh fruit and veggie mix w/ rice, egg noodles etc about every second to third day when I can. If I have a slow week more, if I have a crazy week less.

I wish I had more time and when I am not in school. I know I will have more time to prep more fresh foods and I will, but for now I do what I can. it always hurts me to say this cause I always pride myself on caring the most about my birds, but when I read these postings I always feel kinda ashamed as I don't feed as fresh as I would like... But I am proud that they always get their annual check ups and everything comes back great! Even my Rose crown has been growing in her lovely tail feathers after such a struggle of getting her from a pet store and her having no feathers to spending hundreds of dollars taking her back and forth to the avian vet because she would bust her blood feather and they would need to pull them out and glue her bum as it wouldn't close on it's own. She has come leaps and bounds. So although I agree fresh food should be offered and offered in a larger quantity I am not adverse to using pelleted diets. I try and use more recommended ones and I offer as much fresh as I possibly can.

I'm glad you posted this, I'm sure there are others who have been in the same situation as you when it comes to time management and dealing with their flock. So don't beat yourself up.... it takes courage to post a fault you know you have when it comes to your pets.

It's good you do offer fresh foods when you can and sprouted seeds!

I think more people should offer more sprouted seeds for their birds just for the fact that you know your seeds are fresh and not stale.

I am really pleased to read that Zoey is doing better and has her tail growing in without all the problems you had when you first got her with her blood feathers.

Good work getting her well again.

And thank you for openly sharing with us.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 03:51 PM


 
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The only time I have given any pellets to my birds was as a treat when I was given some and even then they did not get many of them. Pellets tend to be very expensive here in Australia and if you have a lot of birds it is uneconomical to buy them unless you are very rich. I also keep birds of various sizes which means different pellets relating to size.

I have never been keen on using them especially after I started making my own Lorikeet food 17 years ago. Unfortunately with lorikeets we have to feed them an artificial diet as it is just not possible to obtain enough flowers to supply the pollen and nectar they need each day. I did a lot of research as to what ingredients I needed to put into their food for them to obtain the vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrate etc. that they need. I had been involved with supplying birds for a university study on the protein levels that lorikeets require in their diet. Many of the mixes available were either based on High Protein Baby Cereal or Soy Meal. Mixes with the Soy Meal were coming in from the US and the use of genetically modified grains worried me after I had had problems with hand raising mixes from the US. I just don't like anything that may contain genetically modified grains in it. Unfortunately this trend seem now to be hitting our shores and I think it is a huge mistake for the Agricultural Industry to make. Probably on a par with introducing the Cane Toad into the sugar cane fields to eat the beetles and they have been a total disaster. They have been able to move around the tropical areas of Australia and are responsible for the deaths of so many of our native animals who feed on frogs. They have even migrated out of the tropical areas and have been found farther south than Sydney.

With the hand raising mixes not only myself but others were having problems with crop stasis and crop infections. In our hot climate in the summer the babies were drawing more fluid out of the food in their crops and the food was just setting like concrete in the crop.

With the lorikeet food based on High Protein Cereal it was just too high in protein for the birds to cope with. Nearly all birds can only cope with 20% protein levels and the High Protein Cereal is about 26.5% protein. So I started experimenting with the fruit flavoured baby cereals, they have dehydrated ground fruit in them and I always get a cereal that has banana in it. Banana is high in potassium, phosphorus and magnesium which is often lacking in seeds. It is also difficult to get birds to eat fresh banana as when they try a food they will lick it and if you lick banana it has no flavour so they don't associate it with food. The same thing happens with fresh corn. When I am introducing corn to birds I start them with defrosted corn pieces as the blanching and freezing process slightly breaks open the kernels and some of the flavour escapes. Once they have tried the defrosted introducing the fresh corn is easy.

I really don't like many of the pellets and food mixes that contain so much artificial flavours, preservatives, vitamins and minerals. My lorikeet food does not contain any artificial vitamins and minerals. The only mineral I add is Calcium Carbonate powder which is a naturally occuring mineral. I add Brewers Yeast as this is the closest to the naturally occuring yeast found in flower pollen. Brewers yeast contains the whole of the Vitamin B Complex group of vitamins and is essential for the Immune, Reproductive and Nervous Systems.

As I have gotten older I have become very skeptical about the blurb put out by companies trying to sell their products. And knowing the problems humans are having with all the preservatives, flavourings and processed foods in our supermarkets all for the sake of convenience. We have just had another outbreak of Salmonella in pre-packaged salad greens here. For heavens sake it is very easy to grow a few leafing lettuce plants at home. You don't even need a vegetable patch to do it. You can grow them in a normal pot on a balcony or even a special strawberry pot with a few different varieties in each hole. I much prefer to give my parrots good quality seed and grow my own fruit and vegetables which as I have a good backyard I can do. I grow seasonal vegetables and don't use any pesticides on the plants and if I do use a fertilizer it is a natural fertilizer, but I have very rich soil so don't need to fertilize at all. I grow apples, pears, passionfruit, oranges and mandarins. I also grow some of my bird seed and like to pick that and give it to the birds when it is still green and growing but the seed has already developed. The birds just love eating the green fleshy stems of the seed even before they get stuck into the seeds themselves. While it is still green it is chock full of vitamins and minerals and is what the birds would prefer to eat in the wild.

Saying all this I cannot remember the last time I had to take a bird to the vet. And the only losses I have had with my birds has been from birds like Hawks and Falcons and sometimes from the heat when we have an excessively hot day and I just can't keep the birds cool enough. But that also has been rare and is usually a chick that cannot cope with the heat. I just had to take 2 baby Rainbow Lorikeets from the nest to hand raise a little early as we have had nearly 3 weeks of high heat where the temperature has been nudging 40C and yesterday was over 40C. I have had to feed them a more runny mix than normal so that they can obtain enough moisture from their food. I don't use any artificial vitamins and minerals to my adult or baby birds they get sufficient from their diet in a natural way. The only mineral I do use is Calcium and as they are outside they get sufficient natural sunshine to produce enough Vitamin D to allow them to utilize the Calcium.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 04:31 PM



 
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The only time I have given any pellets to my birds was as a treat when I was given some and even then they did not get many of them. Pellets tend to be very expensive here in Australia and if you have a lot of birds it is uneconomical to buy them unless you are very rich. I also keep birds of various sizes which means different pellets relating to size.

I have never been keen on using them especially after I started making my own Lorikeet food 17 years ago. Unfortunately with lorikeets we have to feed them an artificial diet as it is just not possible to obtain enough flowers to supply the pollen and nectar they need each day. I did a lot of research as to what ingredients I needed to put into their food for them to obtain the vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrate etc. that they need. I had been involved with supplying birds for a university study on the protein levels that lorikeets require in their diet. Many of the mixes available were either based on High Protein Baby Cereal or Soy Meal. Mixes with the Soy Meal were coming in from the US and the use of genetically modified grains worried me after I had had problems with hand raising mixes from the US. I just don't like anything that may contain genetically modified grains in it. Unfortunately this trend seem now to be hitting our shores and I think it is a huge mistake for the Agricultural Industry to make. Probably on a par with introducing the Cane Toad into the sugar cane fields to eat the beetles and they have been a total disaster. They have been able to move around the tropical areas of Australia and are responsible for the deaths of so many of our native animals who feed on frogs. They have even migrated out of the tropical areas and have been found farther south than Sydney.

With the hand raising mixes not only myself but others were having problems with crop stasis and crop infections. In our hot climate in the summer the babies were drawing more fluid out of the food in their crops and the food was just setting like concrete in the crop.

With the lorikeet food based on High Protein Cereal it was just too high in protein for the birds to cope with. Nearly all birds can only cope with 20% protein levels and the High Protein Cereal is about 26.5% protein. So I started experimenting with the fruit flavoured baby cereals, they have dehydrated ground fruit in them and I always get a cereal that has banana in it. Banana is high in potassium, phosphorus and magnesium which is often lacking in seeds. It is also difficult to get birds to eat fresh banana as when they try a food they will lick it and if you lick banana it has no flavour so they don't associate it with food. The same thing happens with fresh corn. When I am introducing corn to birds I start them with defrosted corn pieces as the blanching and freezing process slightly breaks open the kernels and some of the flavour escapes. Once they have tried the defrosted introducing the fresh corn is easy.

I really don't like many of the pellets and food mixes that contain so much artificial flavours, preservatives, vitamins and minerals. My lorikeet food does not contain any artificial vitamins and minerals. The only mineral I add is Calcium Carbonate powder which is a naturally occuring mineral. I add Brewers Yeast as this is the closest to the naturally occuring yeast found in flower pollen. Brewers yeast contains the whole of the Vitamin B Complex group of vitamins and is essential for the Immune, Reproductive and Nervous Systems.

As I have gotten older I have become very skeptical about the blurb put out by companies trying to sell their products. And knowing the problems humans are having with all the preservatives, flavourings and processed foods in our supermarkets all for the sake of convenience. We have just had another outbreak of Salmonella in pre-packaged salad greens here. For heavens sake it is very easy to grow a few leafing lettuce plants at home. You don't even need a vegetable patch to do it. You can grow them in a normal pot on a balcony or even a special strawberry pot with a few different varieties in each hole. I much prefer to give my parrots good quality seed and grow my own fruit and vegetables which as I have a good backyard I can do. I grow seasonal vegetables and don't use any pesticides on the plants and if I do use a fertilizer it is a natural fertilizer, but I have very rich soil so don't need to fertilize at all. I grow apples, pears, passionfruit, oranges and mandarins. I also grow some of my bird seed and like to pick that and give it to the birds when it is still green and growing but the seed has already developed. The birds just love eating the green fleshy stems of the seed even before they get stuck into the seeds themselves. While it is still green it is chock full of vitamins and minerals and is what the birds would prefer to eat in the wild.

Saying all this I cannot remember the last time I had to take a bird to the vet. And the only losses I have had with my birds has been from birds like Hawks and Falcons and sometimes from the heat when we have an excessively hot day and I just can't keep the birds cool enough. But that also has been rare and is usually a chick that cannot cope with the heat. I just had to take 2 baby Rainbow Lorikeets from the nest to hand raise a little early as we have had nearly 3 weeks of high heat where the temperature has been nudging 40C and yesterday was over 40C. I have had to feed them a more runny mix than normal so that they can obtain enough moisture from their food. I don't use any artificial vitamins and minerals to my adult or baby birds they get sufficient from their diet in a natural way. The only mineral I do use is Calcium and as they are outside they get sufficient natural sunshine to produce enough Vitamin D to allow them to utilize the Calcium.

Thank you so much for posting such an informative post Kate.

I too agree pellets are extremely expensive and would cost you a lot especially with you owning different breeds of birds.

Its unfortunate we have to worry about buying product or grains that have been GMO'd but this seems to be the norm for everything food wise these days.

If you can buy organic then you will pay dearly in cost for it but then you know what you are giving to your pets or yourself to eat that's healthier.

You seem to have done an amazing job and your homework for your lori's diets.

It must be great to know you are making them food that is healthy and helping them avoid the vet and live out a good life.

Great post.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 10:47 PM


 
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I don't just use my Lorikeet Mix for the Lorikeets either. When my seed eaters have chicks I give them the mix dry and because it is really easy to digest they literally cram the babies full of it. I consistently get big chicks that do really well and the adults love it. It's like Egg and Biscuit with more of a punch, especially when you consider that most commercial Egg and Biscuit mixes are in reality just breadcrumbs and custard powder, my mix actually does have egg and biscuit in it. There are nearly 20 ingredients in my Lorikeet Mix. I also make my own hand raising formula for the seed eaters then I know there are no GM grains or Soy Meal in it. Not only that but it only costs me about $10 to make more than 2kg. The chicks do really well on it and it doesn't tend to set like concrete in the really hot weather.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:07 PM



 
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I don't just use my Lorikeet Mix for the Lorikeets either. When my seed eaters have chicks I give them the mix dry and because it is really easy to digest they literally cram the babies full of it. I consistently get big chicks that do really well and the adults love it. It's like Egg and Biscuit with more of a punch, especially when you consider that most commercial Egg and Biscuit mixes are in reality just breadcrumbs and custard powder, my mix actually does have egg and biscuit in it. There are nearly 20 ingredients in my Lorikeet Mix. I also make my own hand raising formula for the seed eaters then I know there are no GM grains or Soy Meal in it. Not only that but it only costs me about $10 to make more than 2kg. The chicks do really well on it and it doesn't tend to set like concrete in the really hot weather.
That's great that you can make your own chick feed and know exactly what you are putting into it.

All your birds are lucky to be owned by someone who goes the extra mile for them.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 07:49 AM



 
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I would love to say I only feed my birds healthy organic fruit and veggies and to be honest I wish I had the time to even feed myself those. The sad truth as I read this, is this for me...

I love the fact that you post this information as I feel people need to be aware and read this and do this if they can. Unfortunately and I am sure people will be upset with me for saying this,but I am a full time Nursing student, I have two casual/ part time jobs and live with my fiance who isn't particular to my birds.

I feed my birds an assortment of fresh veggies and fruit as well as I have been trying the soaked seeds ( i was proud of that). The problem for me is I can't always offer the fresh stuff everyday as some of my days can consist of 16 hours and I am not around to pull out the fresh stuff so I usually don't offer it as much as I would personally like. I feed Harrison's pellets and Volkman seeds everyday and a fresh fruit and veggie mix w/ rice, egg noodles etc about every second to third day when I can. If I have a slow week more, if I have a crazy week less.

I wish I had more time and when I am not in school. I know I will have more time to prep more fresh foods and I will, but for now I do what I can. it always hurts me to say this cause I always pride myself on caring the most about my birds, but when I read these postings I always feel kinda ashamed as I don't feed as fresh as I would like... But I am proud that they always get their annual check ups and everything comes back great! Even my Rose crown has been growing in her lovely tail feathers after such a struggle of getting her from a pet store and her having no feathers to spending hundreds of dollars taking her back and forth to the avian vet because she would bust her blood feather and they would need to pull them out and glue her bum as it wouldn't close on it's own. She has come leaps and bounds. So although I agree fresh food should be offered and offered in a larger quantity I am not adverse to using pelleted diets. I try and use more recommended ones and I offer as much fresh as I possibly can.
I live a very busy life and rarely have time to think but I've managed to find a way around it! You can make a 'chop' recipe up, put in a freezable bag and make daily portions. On the days where you have more time then you can offer more fresh foods/fruits etc. I have to do it on a large scale because I have a very large flock. Just pop out a bag in your fridge every night and it's ready to go the next day. You'll feel better that your birds are eating better and you'll notice the difference in them. It's not as ideal as fresh food all day every day but it works well for myself and I've had a lot of success doing it this way. I still give them fruit and such daily too, but that's the main component of their diet

Regarding Harrison's pellets, they aren't all 100% organic either. I was very upset when I found this out because everybody was on the pellet hype and told me that I MUST have Harrison's pellets because my birds won't thrive without them etc. This is the ingredients list for their Lifetime pellets off their website

*Ground Yellow Corn, *Ground Hull-less Barley, *Ground Soybeans, *Ground Shelled Peanuts, *Ground Shelled Sunflower Seeds, *Ground Lentils, *Ground Green Peas, *Ground Toasted Oat Groats, *Ground Rice, *Ground Alfalfa, *Psyllium, Calcium Carbonate, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Sea Salt, *Sunflower Oil, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, * Algae Meal, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, D-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Carbonate, *Vegetable Oil.

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

If you absolutely have to feed pellets then the safest and most true to organic pellets you can get are probably TOPs (Totally Organic Pellets). I have used these myself for birds that are struggling to transition to the chop diet and they do not get many of them, just an extra supplement. This is their ingredients...

Organic hulled millet, organic sunflower seed hulled, organic sesame seeds unhulled, organic quinoa whole, organic buckwheat hulled, organic dandelion leaf powder, organic carrot powder, organic spinach leaf powder, organic purple dulse, kelp, organic rose hips powder, organic rose hips crushed, organic orange peel powder, organic lemon peel powder, organic rosemary whole leaf, organic cayenne ground, organic crushed red chili peppers, organic nettle leaf, ecologically sustainable barley, ecologically sustainable alfalfa, ecologically sustainable rice (from Lundberg).

I hope that helps
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Thank you for this article Clive. I try to explain this to people myself but people are still on the pellets or die hype and it's frustrating. I've seen people be insulted on UK parrot groups for NOT giving their birds pellets... It's awful. If you replicate a natural diet you can't go wrong. They don't eat it for nothing!
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It is true!
I feel sorry for those who do not know and are brow beaten or insulted when they are told they are Bad Bird Parronts if not feeding pellets
Utter crap! Commercial bullsh*t at it's peak.

Here is one of the best insults I had repeated to me.
A particular person who runs a Rescue in USA, had issues with one of her Avian Vets. And the culmination of this was the comment "It's a shame you know you are killing those birds, not feeding them pellets"
As the person has the knowledge she totally ignored the A.V. The stupid thing here is that the A.V. is good at being a vet. But totally blind when it comes to real bird nutrition.
But you can see what effect this would have on others.

Chop made and stored does work. So thank you Daisy for making that comment.
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Last edited by catalinadee; 03-06-2016 at 02:02 PM.
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 02:11 PM



 
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I live a very busy life and rarely have time to think but I've managed to find a way around it! You can make a 'chop' recipe up, put in a freezable bag and make daily portions. On the days where you have more time then you can offer more fresh foods/fruits etc. I have to do it on a large scale because I have a very large flock. Just pop out a bag in your fridge every night and it's ready to go the next day. You'll feel better that your birds are eating better and you'll notice the difference in them. It's not as ideal as fresh food all day every day but it works well for myself and I've had a lot of success doing it this way. I still give them fruit and such daily too, but that's the main component of their diet

Regarding Harrison's pellets, they aren't all 100% organic either. I was very upset when I found this out because everybody was on the pellet hype and told me that I MUST have Harrison's pellets because my birds won't thrive without them etc. This is the ingredients list for their Lifetime pellets off their website

*Ground Yellow Corn, *Ground Hull-less Barley, *Ground Soybeans, *Ground Shelled Peanuts, *Ground Shelled Sunflower Seeds, *Ground Lentils, *Ground Green Peas, *Ground Toasted Oat Groats, *Ground Rice, *Ground Alfalfa, *Psyllium, Calcium Carbonate, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Dried Sea Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Sea Salt, *Sunflower Oil, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, * Algae Meal, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, D-Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Carbonate, *Vegetable Oil.

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

If you absolutely have to feed pellets then the safest and most true to organic pellets you can get are probably TOPs (Totally Organic Pellets). I have used these myself for birds that are struggling to transition to the chop diet and they do not get many of them, just an extra supplement. This is their ingredients...

Organic hulled millet, organic sunflower seed hulled, organic sesame seeds unhulled, organic quinoa whole, organic buckwheat hulled, organic dandelion leaf powder, organic carrot powder, organic spinach leaf powder, organic purple dulse, kelp, organic rose hips powder, organic rose hips crushed, organic orange peel powder, organic lemon peel powder, organic rosemary whole leaf, organic cayenne ground, organic crushed red chili peppers, organic nettle leaf, ecologically sustainable barley, ecologically sustainable alfalfa, ecologically sustainable rice (from Lundberg).

I hope that helps

I am not happy reading the Harrison's pellet ingredients. They lied to us about their product.

Thanks for pointing this out cat!
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The trouble is with a huge number of these so called nutritionally complete manufactured products is the amount of stuff they add.
A lot of these chemicals in their natural form the body can and does deal with. Not so when they are manufactured.
And back to enzymes. They are needed to detox from this overload. So could we actually say they are killing our birds with their crap foods!
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