BirD-elicious! Origins Wild Diet® - Avian Whole Raw Food Nutrition! - Really RAW for Birds!®
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November 09, 2019
Today someone “tagged” me on a thread regarding the feeding of “Onion Weed”. I would question which Onion Weed this is. There are a couple. One is a member of the Allium family known as Allium triquetrum. The other is NOT a member of the allium family, not related to onions or garlic known as Asphodelus fistulosus and is considered a noxious weed by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. I could not respond on the thread I was tagged in due to the fact I am not a “friend” of the person who originally posted the thread so I decided to write an informative article on my nutrition page.
However, with all of that being said the person who tagged me on Facebook was involved in a thread where a flock of Galahs were busy happily pecking at ground covered in Onion Weed. Again, what variety of Onion Weed I am not certain, but I will address the possibility of the Galahs consuming the “Allium” variety further down in my article just in case.
If the Galahs were eating the second variety of Onion Weed, the weed deemed noxious by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, not a member of the Allium family, this article has no real bearing on Hemolytic Anemia caused by consuming onion or garlic except for knowledge going forward in regards to feeding our birds foods from that plant family.
Asphodelus fistulosus would not have any potentiality of causing hemolytic anemia due to the fact that even though its name bears the word “onion” it is not a member of the “Allium” family and does not contain the constituents that would cause hemolytic anemia.
Hemolytic Anemia is more often caused by infection rather than consuming food, but it can be caused by ingestion of a member of the onion or garlic family and even fava beans. This is most common in dogs and cats, but suspected that it could potentially take place in exotic birds as well. Several veterinarians have cautioned their clients against feeding onion and garlic to their companion birds. For that reason I do not advocate feeding onion or garlic to exotic birds simply because I don’t see any real benefit of doing so with such an unknown risk involved.
Let’s take some obvious points into consideration.
I have always said that wild birds have access to and instinctively know what foods to consume in order to counter any toxins they may encounter in the wild. In captivity this is a completely different story; they do not have access to these other detoxifying foods and we certainly do not have enough knowledge to know what to offer them in order to counter all possible toxicities. Birds in the wild also instinctively know precisely just how much to consume of any given medicinal food.
Next, we do know for certain that birds can develop hemolytic anemia; there are plenty of articles to back this fact up. (References below) What we do not know for certain is if they can develop hemolytic anemia from consuming onions and/or garlic; this is only a hypothesis at this point in time.
Birds have nucleated red blood cells whereas humans, dogs and cats do not. Nucleated red blood cells are basically immature red blood cells with a protective barrier around them, for a very simplistic explanation. In other words those nucleated red blood cells do not allow certain toxic substances to enter. This could also be an explanation why birds seem to be able to consume substances that would otherwise be toxic to us but birds seem to consume those toxic substances with no side-effects whatsoever.
Even knowing this about a bird's protective nucleated red blood cells we still don’t know if there is a certain threshold to what those cells can bear. How many toxins can their blood system handle at any one time? How many grams of onion and/or garlic can they eat before the barrier is potentially ruptured? These are questions we just cannot answer at this point in time. When we mix these foods in with their foods, blending them in such a way that our birds don’t have any choice but to eat the onions and garlic we may be pushing the limit their nucleated red blood cells can tolerate at any one time.
If we are feeding onion and garlic as a natural antibiotic there are other natural foods with similar actions such as Wild Mountain Oregano Oil and Colloidal Silver, both in small doses. Neither of these come with the possibility of causing hemolytic anemia. Neither of these will wipe out the healthy gut flora like pharmaceutical antibiotics do.
Personally I am not willing to take the risk with my own sanctuary birds feeding foods that may potentially cause hemolytic anemia. There are a wide array of foods from which to choose my birds can enjoy without me worrying about potential side-effects, and there are other, safer options to use medicinally as well.
©2016 Machelle Pacion Passion Tree House LLC All Rights Reserved(Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_triquetrum; http://www.merckvetmanual.com/pethealth/dog_disorders_and_diseases/blood_disorders_of_dogs/anemia_in_dogs.html; http://vet.sagepub.com/content/22/4/387.full.pdf; http://frontiervet.com/2013/01/01/onion-garlic-poisoning; http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=1390; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17397343; http://californiaavianlaboratory.com/avian-
anemia.pml; http://vetmed.tamu.edu/files/vetmed/schubot/publications/PresumedImmune-MediatedHemolyticAnemiainBlue-CrownedConure.pdf; http://www.exoticpetvet.net/avian/onions.html; http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=293308; http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ASFI2; http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxious)
Photo Credit1: BunnyEatsDesign.com
Photo Credit2: JeanTosti.com
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October 19, 2019
“Silica” is the most common name for “Silicon.” Silica is the second most prevalent mineral in most living bodies. It makes sense that foods containing silica are essential to the body.
Silica is present in nearly all body tissue, including bone. ... It also prevents deterioration of connective tissue like collagen, which is vital for bones' tensile strength. Silica has the unique ability to “make the most” of available calcium, almost amplifying its effects in building bone.
October 15, 2019
Let’s be honest, we all like to compare our brand of bird food to brands others are feeding. The thing we all need to realize is that there is no “one size fits all” for all exotic birds and their caregivers. What works for one bird may not work for another depending on species, overall health and vitality, environment, past homes, etc.
As much as scientific research has revealed regarding the nutrition of exotic birds, it is still very far behind in determining the actual nutritional requirements for any species for optimum, long-term health and vitality. I suspect we will never fully know and understand all of the nutritional requirements of each species of exotic birds – or any species of bird for that matter.
April 18, 2019
Here are some of the topics we are discussing:
© 2020 BirDelicious! Origins Wild Diet®. © Machelle Pacion, Avian Nutritional Consultant - Passion Tree House LLC - All Rights Reserved. †Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, and/or prevent any disease. Passion Tree House LLC encourages all readers to consult with a trusted veterinarian or medical provider regarding the health of the animals in your care. We are not licensed veterinarians. All information is for sharing purposes only on behalf of our business and may not be transmitted, copied, cross-posted (you may share the link only), emailed, facsimiled, screen-shot, video taped or shared in any way, in any form, on or within any social network, on or within any other social media, electronic or hard copy. Website design & graphics: DG Designs, Wheatridge, CO
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