While wild birds don’t encounter fillers, dyes or artificial ingredients when foraging their food, companion birds could be subjected to these additives. However, some additives do serve a purpose in maintaining a well-rounded diet for companion birds, and that goes for all sizes and breeds. By keeping healthy supplemental products in stock, retailers will be poised to see their relationships with bird owners really take flight.
Amino acids play a role in digestion for birds and other animals, and of the 22 types they require, 12 are made inside animal cells, leaving the remainder to be consumed through diet, according to Gary D. Butcher and Richard D. Miles, professor and emeritus professor at the University of Florida, respectively.
“When energy is in short supply, the animal has to use amino acids for energy,” they wrote in “Understanding Pet Bird Nutrition” for the University of Florida. “Amino acids have much more important jobs to do in animals than to be used for energy. Therefore, it is always necessary to have adequate carbohydrate and fat calories available for use as energy.”
Through supplements, pet owners can feel better knowing their birds aren’t lacking in amino acids or energy, and the same goes for making sure they are getting the right amount of key nutrients and vitamins. However, consumers and retailers should take a judicious approach to whatever is given to birds in addition to their regular food.
“The age, health, present diet and breeding status may help determine if dietary supplementation is necessary,” write Butcher and Miles.
What follows is a sampling of products that can help in rounding out a bird’s diet and maintaining a healthy relationship between bird and owner. Retailers should consider them when looking for products to stock for their bird-owning customers.
Cluckin’ Good Oyster Shell
Scratch and Peck Feeds offers Cluckin’ Good Oyster Shell, which provides additional calcium to increase eggshell strength for laying hens. It can be given to laying hens at approximately 18-20 weeks. Cluckin’ Good Oyster Shell can be offered free choice in a separate dish or by tossing on the ground around the coop to encourage natural scratching behavior. The birds will take what they need.
Vita Prima Sun Drops
Advanced Daily V Liquid Vitamin Supplements are species-specific designed. The main fortified nutrient, vitamin A, provides support for the immune system, mucous membranes and growth. Vitamin C and D3 help with bone development and the nervous, muscular and immune systems. These high-potency multivitamins are easy to use and taste great!
Zoo Med Avian Plus or Avian Calcium
Zoo Med’s Avian Plus is the only bird vitamin supplement with the complete amino acid complex for proper digestion and enhanced plumage color. Its calcium base ensures healthy bone development, blood clot formation, egg production and proper function of other vital processes. It’s finely milled for maximum adhesion to seeds and contains no preservatives.
Featherglow Birdie’s Buffet
Featherglow is a premium line of companion bird blends that includes supplements and treats. This line is vitalized for more complete nutrition for your pet. Featherglow Birdie’s Buffet is a nutritional, healthy, home-cooked meal for your feathered companion. Filled with sun-cured fruits, dried vegetables and a mixture of seeds, this quick-cook mix will have your bird cooing happily.
Pretty Bird Natural Gold
Pretty Bird Natural Gold Bird Supplement is a special blend of essential amino acids and micronutrients necessary to promote the building of new cells in skin, feathers, muscle and immune cells. Probiotics and enzymes help promote healthy digestion, and the combination helps promote overall good health and well-being.