Within this section of The BEST Bird Food™ Blog I will attempt to explain why I use the ingredients I use in our foods, what each ingredient adds to the nutrition of the total, overall product and how it benefits the health and nutrition of your bird.
This will be an ongoing, work in progress, so please know that what you read on this page will never be a total and completed project. As new research information comes across my desk, the ingredient listing on this page will change to reflect that new research information once I have sufficient evidence to convince me that information is credible enough to utilize in our species-specific foods.
I will attempt to explain why I chose to use those ingredients along with the nutritional reasons and the benefits the parrots receive from those ingredients. Basically, my reason for choosing those ingredients, and purposely formulating them into our foods, is for the strict reason of providing a sound and solid nutritional health benefit to the overall well-being of companion birds. I believe that a strong and healthy nutritional foundation helps to stave off disease as well as prevent poor emotional dispositions. After all, healthy nutrition, and a healthy body, (spirit, mind and body) is the body’s first line of defense against disease.
Each ingredient found in our food has its own special purpose, and that’s what I want to discuss and explore with you. I want you to leave this site with an in-depth, clear and concise understanding of what good, solid, sound and beneficial organic, whole-food nutrition is about. I want you to understand so that you will want to feed a wholesome diet to your companion bird. I want you to be excited about healthy nutrition. I want nutrition to be an adventure! Your bird depends on you. This means you have to care, not only for your bird, but yourself as well.
I will not be supplying the order of ingredients, nor the amount of ingredients in our foods for obvious legal, proprietary reasons. Our formulas are owned by our company, we hold the legal, proprietary rights to our formulations. Any person(s) or entity attempting to copy our formulations must be advised that we are the first, the only original BirD-elicious!™ species-specific bird foods using human-grade, organic ingredients to arrive on the market that tests our foods through the world renowned independent laboratory Eurofins Laboratories, Intl. known for meeting and exceeding industry standards. Any copy of our foods is just that, a mere sub-standard copy by someone that does not have any information regarding our custom processing methods making BirD-elicious!™ what it is, the purest, freshest hand-made and delicately dehydrated (in our custom made dehydrator) bird food on the market.
We use ONLY the BEST ingredients in our foods, human-grade, certified organic, and in the case of meal worms they are grown on human-grade foodstuffs. This is why you will pay more for our foods than any other bird food on the market. We are not ashamed of that fact because our foods are simply “The BEST Bird Food™”!
Please understand that ingredients are not necessarily listed in the order they are placed in our foods.
- Alfalfa: Known to be one of the most healthiest “tender greens” available, livestock producers use this green to raise their livestock when they want a balanced plant source of high quality protein in their animals’ diet regimen. Almost equal percentages of the amino acids “Arginine to Lysine”, the main building blocks of substantial protein, this is what we at The Best Bird Food™ believe to the best source of tender greens to add to our bird foods. New research data now indicates that it just may be one of the only sources of reliable plant sources of vitamin D3 which would make it a naturally occurring source of this fat soluble vitamin! If this proves to be true, with additional testing still needed, then for companion bird caregivers this means that we don’t have to worry quite as much about our birds receiving natural sunlight or full spectrum lighting. Yes, we will still need to provide one or both of those sources, but we will not have to worry quite as much. And the need for synthetic vitamin D3 will absolutely be eliminated therefore eliminating the potential of toxicity that leads to liver and kidney damage, not to mention over-absorption of protein leading to gout.
- CA-Montmorillonite Clay: The necessity for this very specific mineral source cannot be overstated in our exotic companion birds’ diets. It is absolutely impossible for our birds to extract enough minerals from the individual foodstuffs they consume. In the Wild many, many species of birds have been observed eating dirt and clay. At first it was believed they ate dirt and clay only to “adsorb” toxins from their system. While this is partly true, new research is now finding that birds have a high mineral intake need for specific functions. Minerals are needed for proper brain function and quick reflexes by controlling nerve impulses. They also help regulate the heart beat. But minerals help with skin regeneration, feather growth, as well as talon and beak condition as well. Just think if all of those individual body functions and body parts didn’t receive the minerals they need, think how ill the bird would become and all of the functions the bird could not perform. Huh, many of us experience the ill health of our own birds because of the lack of dense quality minerals in their diet. Take a look at your bird…are the feathers dull and brittle? Is your bird plucking and picking? Is your bird picking or mutilating its skin? Is your bird’s beak cracked or brittle? Are your bird’s talons flaky? Is the skin rough and cracking? All of this could be due to a lack of dense quality minerals. But like I said, a very specific kind of mineral needs to be fed and this is the CA-Montmorillonite Clay, not the white bentonite clay. This is the ONLY brand we use in our foods and you can obtain it here: California Earth Minerals.
- Meal Worms: A reliable source of “animal protein” similar to what our exotic companion birds might find in the Wild. With a protein percentage of about 20% to 50% depending on the size and whether you use live or dried, when combined with other foods the protein level decreases dramatically. You really have to understand the science of food combining in order to know accurately how much protein your bird is actually receiving when you feed meal worms independently from a pre-formulated food. In addition, the necessary amino acid “methionine” needs to be fed along with meal worms in order for the protein from the meal worms to be properly absorbed. Methionine is found in other food sources, but not abundant in meal worms. Again, this is where knowledge of food combining is essential. In addition to methionine, vitamin D3 and calcium is needed for the proper absorption of protein. And then the cascading effect, certain nutrients and proper organ functions are necessary for the absorption of those two vitamins and minerals. Again, the body is a synergistic/symbiotic machine requiring and relying on other bodily functions to operate at its peak performance. Protein is absolutely necessary for the regeneration of lean muscle tissue. Too often we think because our birds are not living in the Wild they don’t need lean muscle mass, not true. Their heart is a vital organ that needs to be kept fit and healthy. Without proper protein amounts and absorption their heart will waste away and develop fatty tissue around it if they are being fed foods that contribute to fat build up, like resistant starches found in pastas, breads, grains, beans and other legumes. Our birds need quality proteins and not just plant proteins, but animal protein they can digest, not meat; meat is too dense for their short digestive tract. They need high quality protein for more than muscle mass, they need it for proper feather, skin, talon and beak growth too. If your bird barbers, picks, plucks or mutilates, it is most likely extremely low on quality “animal” protein. There are only two sources of “animal” protein I rely on for our companion birds, insect/larvae/worm ( you can use earthworms, but I prefer meal worms) and one other source which I will discuss at a later date. (Note: Do not use insects/worms from your own lawn and garden. Even if you don’t use pesticides and chemical fertilizers, you don’t know how far that bug traveled to reach its destination. It may have come from your neighbor’s property and they may use chemicals in their lawn and garden that could potentially harm your bird. It’s better to purchase your bugs from a reputable online source that raises their bugs on human-grade foodstuffs.)
- Oregano: Oregano is a highly anti-oxidant herb that contains many volatile oils whose properties have many health benefits, one of which is to help rid the body of fungal infections such as candida albicans (yeast overgrowth). It also acts a natural preservative because of the volatile oils it contains. Some of the volatile oils contained in oregano are carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene.
- The herb parts contain no cholesterol; helps to control blood cholesterol levels.
- Oregano contains many health benefiting essential oils such as carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. The leaves and flowering stems of the plant are strongly anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, cholagogue (help gall bladder secretion-in those exotic birds that have a gall bladder), diaphoretic (sweat production), expectorant, stimulant, and mildly tonic properties. Its decoction is taken orally for the treatment of mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets.
- Thymol is also been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal activities.
- The herb is rich in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants (vitamin A, carotenes, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin) and has been rated as one of the plant source with highest anti-oxidant activities. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease process.
- The active principles in the herb may increase the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract as well as increase the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal secretions.
- This exotic herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron (total combined amounts in the overall formulated diet must be carefully considered), and magnesium. Potassium (total combined amounts in the overall diet must be carefully considered) is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by high sodium. Manganese and copper are used (total combined amounts in the overall formulated diet must be carefully considered) by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron helps prevent anemia (total combined amounts in the overall formulated diet must be carefully considered). Magnesium and calcium are important minerals for bone metabolism.
- Fresh herb is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.(Ref: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/oregano.html)
- Rosemary: Rosemary is another highly anti-oxidant herb and natural preservative because of all of the volatile oils it contains such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-pinene etc. These compounds are known to have rubefacient (counter-irritant), anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties.
One of the key reasons we use rosemary in our formulations is because it has the unique ability to reduce the build up of nitric oxide in the blood system. Nitric oxide acts as an inflammatory to blood vessels, irritating them and causing them to vibrate and itch. A diet too rich in ingredients containing the amino acid arginine and Omega 6′s, something that is prevalent in many foods such as seeds, nuts and highly processed foods and even some dietary oils, will add to the inflammation of arteries and blood vessels as well as soft tissue. But consuming rosemary will help neutralize the nitric oxide.
- Rosemary leaves provide just 131 calories per 100 g and contains no cholesterol.
- The herb is exceptionally rich in many B-complex group of vitamin, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin. It is one of the herbs contain high levels of folates; providing about 109 mcg per 100 g (about 27% of RDA).
- Rosemary herb contains very good amounts of vitamin A, 2924 IU per 100 g; about 97% of RDA. A few leaves a day in the diet, would contribute enough of this vitamin. Vitamin A is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A is known to help body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Fresh rosemary leaves are good source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin-C containing about 22 mg per 100 g, about 37% of RDA. The vitamin is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and help scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals fro the body.
- Rosemary herb parts, whether fresh or dried, are rich source of minerals like potassium (total combined amounts in the overall formulated diet must be carefully considered), calcium, iron (total combined amounts in the overall formulated diet must be carefully considered), manganese, copper (total combined amounts in the overall formulated diet must be carefully considered), and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
- This herb is an excellent source of iron, contains 6.65 mg/100 g of fresh leaves (about 83% of RDA). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.(Ref: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/rosemary-herb.html)
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