To give my quick opinion and rating on several brands of commercial bird foods, I am supplying the list below. Rather than take on one brand/variety at a time, I will explain how these foods are processed and how I personally feel about these processing methods in the following paragraphs.
All pelleted kibble are 1) Extruded using high pressure; 2) Pressed using high pressure; 3) Heat processed at high or higher heat.
Extrusion/Pressed – Hot & “Cold” first grinds all of the ingredients and then mixes them with water, and adds in certain synthetic vitamins and minerals. Through the extrusion process, the dough is extruded through a machine using very high pressure. The kibble is then baked at high (anything 160 degrees F is considered low, but it still destroys all digestive enzymes, most any available Omega 3s, alters protein and carbohydrate molecules, and destroys many essential vitamins and destroys some minerals. This is why so many synthetic nutrients are added to kibble, without the synthetic there would be little to no original nutrition. As it is, kibble processed in this manner offers more synthetic (human-made) nutrition, rather than nutrition Nature placed in the original ingredients.
After the kibble is made fat-soluble vitamins (usually A & D, but can also include E & K) are mixed with a carrier oil, usually sunflower or canola (not actually considered a healthy oil – high in Omega 6 the pro-inflammatory Omega). Vitamins A & D are “piggy-backed” in, meaning getting the correct ratio rarely occurs. This leaves the food either too high or too low of Vitamin A or Vitamin D. When synthetic fat-soluble vitamins are ingested they are not absorbed or metabolized by the body/liver unless the correct amount of dietary fat is already present in the bodily systems. More often than not, we are not feeding our birds the correct level, or kind of dietary fats for these synthetic fat-soluble vitamins to be appropriately absorbed. Therefore these vitamins sit in the liver with nowhere to go potentially causing liver damage/disease. When they float freely in the system, without being properly absorbed they combine with Omega 6s, starches, unabsorbed calcium and sugars to form the plaque contributing to heart disease, arthritis, gout and other soft tissue (muscle, connective tissue) disorders.
There is at least one kibble on the market, not listed here that claims their food is “cold-pressed.” This is nothing less than “high pressure with low heat.You must understand that “pressure” causes the same nutrient loss as “extrusion.” Also, this kibble advertises they use “low heat” in the production process. Again, you must understand that “low heat” still uses temperatures beginning at 160 degrees F. Any temperature over 115 degrees totally destroys digestive enzymes, destroys most Omega 3s, alters proteins and carbohydrates and also dramatically lowers vitamins and some minerals.
What do these processes mean for any fresh foods, including vegetables and fruit added to kibble processed in these manners? This is an easy answer; fresh foods of any kind lose almost all of their original nutrition requiring that synthetic proteins, vitamins, and minerals be added back in after the heating phase of processing. In other words, the only reason certain brands advertise “vegetables’ and/or “fruit” in their kibble is to fool people. Buyer beware! Commercial bird food companies fool people into believing the kibble contains fresh, original nutrition from those ingredients, when in fact, there is nothing fresh or original about those ingredients; the original nutrition has all but been destroyed! Unless your bird’s kibble is produced using temperatures lower than 115 degrees F, and it is not extruded or pressed there is no real nutrition in that kibble.
Mixed Foods & Pellets/Kibble that contain grains, seed and/or legumes: Chances are none of these items are pre-sprouted. It goes almost without saying that any highly processed kibble will not contained pre-sprouted ingredients. If you are feeding dry grains, seeds and/or legumes without pre-sprouting you are feeding really, really dead nutrition!
Folks, we really need to get our birds’ diets right; it’s long, long overdue.
In the wild forests, birds eat fresh foods that have not been made into kibble, not processed at high heat, not extruded or pressed and contain all of their original nutrition without any molecules suffering alteration and adulteration. While we may not be able to feed all of the foods our birds would find in the wild, and while foods must be prepped in some manner, the heat, extrusion and pressed method is not truly food; it is processed food that doesn’t impart real, original nutrition. And then we wonder why so many birds are suffering human-like illnesses and feather destruction?
Our birds’ require as close to original and raw nutrition as we can each personally supply. Raw food containing original nutrition is food that: 1) Is freshly prepared; 2) Dehydrated at low temperatures leaving almost all original nutrition intact. Dehydration only removes the moisture from the ingredients. While moisture is a very important part of our birds’ good health, moisture can be added back in without altering any of the original nutrition of the food – synthetic nutrients are just that; altered molecules Nature did not create. It is known scientific fact that altered molecules in foods and/or vitamins either remove some of the essential molecules that impart total nutrition for proper absorption, or they add synthetic molecules Nature never intended a living creature to ingest. And we wonder where some cancers come from?
Feeding highly processed foods of any kind, including kibble is just not fair to our feathered friends. They deserve to enjoy foods full of real, natural and original textures, flavors, colors, and nutrition. Not only do they deserve this, but also their bodily systems require this if they are to thrive!
Please refer to this article for more information regarding the production process of kibble: Dehydrated Food is Still Raw!
Ref: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=2804; https://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/intro-to-dehydrating; https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/midity+destroy+whey+protein+and+other+sports+nutrition+supplements+(e.g.,+creatine,+BCAAs,+digestive+enzymes)+during+shipping+or+while+storing+at+home/whey_protein_heat.
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