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“Diversity” & “Variety” in an Exotic Bird’s Diet

Is 15 or 20 ingredients diversity? Not even close.

When it comes to feeding our birds a diverse diet consisting of a variety of foods let’s all remember that in the wild exotic birds have to choose from what is available at any given time. There are NO real and true seasons in tropical forests. At best there are two seasons. Even at that those two seasons really don’t differ much in temperature or humidity. Given that information and understanding this means that the foodstuffs exotic birds consume will probably be pretty much the same ALL YEAR AROUND. Any diversity and variety simply comes from what minimal amount of micro-seasons occur within the micro-climates of the forests themselves. For instance, there may be a time when there are more mango available than at other times, but that doesn’t mean that mango is never available. There may be a time when more papaya is available than at other times, but that doesn’t mean that papaya is never available. And so on and so forth. You catch my drift? Yeah.

di·ver·si·ty (dəˈvərsədē,dīˈvərsədē/)


  1. the state of being diverse; variety.
    • a range of different things

To think there are four main and distinct seasons in which completely different foodstuffs grow in which exotic birds have to choose for the good health of their overall nutritional profile is not only a lack of common sense, it is totally false! There is actually more distinct temperature changes on a daily basis than on seasonal basis in the tropics.

The foods exotic birds have in the wild are foods they have all the time in either greater or lesser quantities; that is the only difference. This is due to the almost constant climate of the tropical regions of their indigenous habitats; constantly moist and humid if they come from the Rain Forest and almost constantly dry if they come from an arid region.

How many different diversities of foods does it take to ensure your bird is receiving a variety of nutrients to thrive? Ah, now that is the million dollar question isn’t it?

No one knows the definitive answer to this question because no one knows the absolute answer to the perfect balanced nutritional profile of any given species let alone your individual bird. You don’t know, your veterinarian doesn’t know, your avian nutritional consultant doesn’t know, your fellow bird friend doesn’t know and certainly no one on any social media group knows. The best any of us can do is to offer foods the “mimic” what exotic birds might consume in their indigenous habitats if they were living free and wild!

There are however some good guidelines we can follow that has come from field researchers. And there are some nutrient profiles commercial bird food manufacturers have come to, even if they are using ingredients in their formulations that most exotic birds would never consume in the wild! Using the information that has already been researched by field researchers along with nutrient profiles already established using actual collected crop data along with blood analysis, combining that information with our own good common sense about what exotic birds consume naturally growing in the wild, we can then begin to understand how and what to feed our birds.

Long before humans began barging in to the tropic-zoned forests where exotic birds live there were no grain or vegetable crops! None! It is only since humans infiltrated those regions that birds of the tropical zones began consuming high amounts of grains and vegetables. Admittedly the birds of the arid forests have always had access to some amount of indigenous legumes and grains. However, bulk of the respective diets of both the humid and arid exotic birds normally consist of tropical fruit and plants, but with their land given away to crops planted by humans they are now being forced to consume foods their bodies were not designed to digest. What a shame.

Anyway, back to diversity and variety. Tropical birds really don’t eat according to “seasons” like you and I do. As mentioned above there really isn’t 4 true seasons in the tropics. There are a slight difference between summer and winter, but slight.(1) Most of the temperature changes occur within daily periods, not enough time for plant matter to completely die and new plants to completely regrow.

In our BirD-elicious! Origins Wild Diet™ foods we use anywhere from 45 to 55+ different natural, not synthetic ingredients in each species specific recipe!  In addition none of our ingredients contain pesticides, chemical fertilizers, GMOs, flavor enhancers like MSG, artificial preservatives, food colorings, gluten, synthetic vitamins (all vitamins are naturally occurring), and our foods do contain the essential fatty acids like the Omega 3s. Our foods are cured by gentle dehydration below 115 degrees. Plus we encourage our customers to feed additional fresh foods like tropical fruit such as mango, papaya, bananas, Jack Fruit, Passion Fruit, Inca Berries, figs, as well as tender greens like parsley and cilantro, dandelion leaves and arugula, as well as micro greens. We also encourage fresh herbs and spices, sprouted seeds, sprouted legumes and limited amounts of sprouted grains if they are indigenous for your species of bird. Other good additions are meal worms for most species, waxworms and steamed mollusks. Is there diversity and variety in all of that mix? Most definitely!

None of our Origins Wild Diet™ foods are processed using high heat or mechanical extrusion or high pressure methods. Our foods are not “pellets” by the standard industry definition. The industry definition of pellets is any kibble processed with ingredients that have been ground beyond recognition, mixed together in a wet mash, extruded or pressed under intense pressure by mechanical equipment and cooked under high heat. Our foods are not close to being manufactured in this manner. We call our food “morsels” that are literally made by hand. In addition our foods come with a guaranteed analysis so that you do have some kind of idea what the nutritional levels are before you go adding your own foods to ours. We don’t make the claim that our foods are “nutritionally total and complete balanced diet.” We realize there is no such thing as a “balanced diet” for exotic birds; it simply doesn’t exist in our opinion. But when it comes to diversity and variety we believe that any exotic bird’s diet should have a lot more than 15, 20, 25 or even 30 different foods in any given week or month! That’s why our foods contain a minimum of 45-55+ different natural, not synthetic ingredients…to get your bird started of right and then you get to finish with fresh foods you add!

©11.5.15   Machelle Pacion   Passion Tree House LLC    All Rights Reserved

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