Changing Our Bird Feeding Customs – Balanced Nutrition the Magic Bullet for Stress

.

How Stress Affects a Bird

When a parrot or finch is experiencing stress the body begins consuming massive amounts of nutrients in an attempt to courageously face what’s going on and handle the situation the best that he or she can. During the Avian Stress-Response carbohydrates stored in the body become depleted in about 24 hours. After this the body begins stealing nutrients from body tissues, bones and muscles. This leaves few nutrients for the immune system to use for preventing infection, and even fewer nutrients to fuel the ongoing stress response the bird is experiencing. For detailed information on the Avian Stress-Response, please view this LINK to the article/blog post: “Changing Bird Feeding Customs: Understanding the Avian Stress-Response”

 

Because of our old and out dated bird feeding customs most parrots and finches fall in the category of being either undernourished or malnourished. This is the case because they are fed a diet that lacks essential nutrients. It’s easy to understand why, by default, they develop stress-induced behaviors such as feather destruction habits, repetitive loud screaming, biting or some form of chronic illness.

.

Balanced Nutrition to the Rescue, the Magic Bullet for Stress

Sprouting Blend topped with chopped spinach,  BBFE sprouts chopped with spinach, and corn.

BBFE Complete Protein Sprouting Blend topped with chopped spinach, BBFE sprouts chopped with spinach, and corn.

With stress being such a well-studied subject in people we can draw on these resources to help us understand the nutrients the body needs to cope with and better handle stress.

The avian body requires a balance of hundreds of nutrients everyday.

But first let talk about the foods you should avoid feeding your bird during times of stress because of the harm they can do to his or her body. (More on feeding spinach further down the page.)

.

Comfort Foods

For people comfort foods often include those rich in fats and poor-quality carbohydrates such as macaroni and cheese, pasta, pizza and ice cream. These high fat foods are the worst possible choices because they can drive up our blood pressure and raise serum cholesterol levels, promoting atherosclerosis and increasing a person’s risk for heart attack.

Unfortunately, many people also feed these junk food human foods to their birds. But then, many foods also fed to parrots are avian junk foods. These include dry bird seed, any type of soak-and-feed pseudo sprout blend, white flour pasta, Highly Processed bird treats loaded with colorings, sugar, poor quality ingredients, preservatives, ethoxyquin (a pesticide used as a preservative), and those cup-of-soup type products for birds also fall into the poor quality food category. More on these Highly Process bird treats in a future post.

All these poor quality ‘comfort foods’ are a bad choice to feed your birds, or to eat yourself, because these high fat foods containing poor quality carbohydrate can actually add more stress to the body. This occurs because instead of providing nourishment, they become one more ‘thing’ the body is forced to deal with making us feel bloated, lethargic and less able to cope with stress. Because human physiology has so much in common with our birds you can be assured that after our birds eat these type of junk foods they feel horrible too. My January, 2018, column, ‘The Holistic Parrot’ in Parrots magazine presents a wealth of healthy treat options for you and your birds.

.

Balanced Nutrition to the Rescue, the Magic Bullet for Stress

The best way to help your birds easily cope wth change and the stress it can produce is to feed foods that natural reduce stress. The following five food types fall into this category because of how they nourish the avian body.

          1. Complete Protein - Complete protein is the most important and essential nutrient that is most commonly missing from the avian diet. Rich in all the essential amino acids that naturally nourish every cell in the body so it can function at peak performance. When the body is properly nourished it can more easily cope with changes in the home and environment.

When using the Best Bird Food Ever Complete Protein Sprouting Blends (BBFE) to provide your flock complete protein you can be assured they are receiving a high-quality complete protein food. You can also count on your birds receiving an abundance of raw enzymes, that act as catalysts as they promote the healthy functioning of nearly every biochemical function in the body. Rich in the vitamin B complex that helps sooth and nourish the nervous system, and vitamins C and E that help reduce stress by supporting healthy immune system functioning.

Our BBFE sprouting blends are also rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene (the vitamin A precursor), along with a variety of carotinoids and bioflavinoids, as well containing the powerful antioxidant super oxide dismutase. Antioxidants help the body naturally detoxify body wastes, neutralize free-radicals and other environmental pollutants our birds are sometimes exposed to.

You’ll also find the ideal avian calcium to phosphorus ratio in the BBFE. Calcium helps relax muscles and calm the nervous system. However, for calcium to be absorbed by the body the right amount of phosphorus must also be present at the same time. And when your birds are eating a food that provides them the ideal balanced ratio of these two minerals their entire body and mind benefits.

         

Elvis, green-cheeked conure savors his blueberry!

Elvis, green-cheeked conure savors his blueberry!

.

2. Berries – Blueberries contain anthocyanins, these are the pigments that give dark blue berries their deep royal color. Anthocyanins are also powerful antioxidants that can help the brain produce more dopamine, a brain chemical that is critical to coordination, memory function and mood enhancement. Research had shown that eating blueberries helps boost a natural killer cell – a type of white blood cell – that plays a vital role in having healthy immunity, critical for countering stress.

.

.

Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in vitamin C, this nutrient has been shown to help combat stress because it also supports a healthy immune system.

.

Organic oranges, strawberries, raspberries & apples - healthy treats and stress resolving foods.

Organic oranges, strawberries, raspberries & apples – healthy treats and stress resolving foods.

.3. Oranges – Another fruit packed with vitamin C, the white membrane under the skin is packed with bioflavinoids that help the body digest and assimilate the vitamin C. The orange skin, or rind, is the natural source of citrus oil containing more healthy antioxidants. You can let you bird pick and choose the portions of the orange they prefer by hanging a slice on the enclosure wall. For large parrots use a metal clip, medium to small sized-parrots will let a wooden cloths pin hold this delicacy in place while they savor it bite by bite.

.          

.

Yumm! My favorite - a walnut tidbit!

Yumm! My favorite – a walnut tidbit!

.

4. Walnuts – this nut contains alpha-linolenic acid, and essential omega-3 fatty acid, and other polyphenols (a large group of antioxidants) that have been shown to help reverse some signs of brain aging. Walnuts also contain the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids for our birds.

 .         

.

.

.

5. Green Leafy Vegetables – Dark leafy greens like spinach are rich in folate, a B vitamin, that helps the body produce mood-regulating transmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters can help an individual better cope with stressful situations and can help lift feelings of depression or anxiety.

Concerned about feeding spinach? Don’t be. That’s another ‘Old Bird Feeding Custom’ we need to debunk in a future article.

.

Feeding More Balanced Avian Meals

Now that you understand how these foods can help your birds better cope with stress, let’s see you dish up a healthy helping of BBFE sprouting blend topped with chopped spinach leaves and a fruit cup with blueberries and strawberries, with an orange slice clipped to the side wall.

This has the makings of a healthy feast for helping your birds be more calm using wholesome balanced nutrition as the foundation for stabilizing their emotional state.

.

MY PROMISE -

I’M MAKING BALANCED & WHOLESOME AVIAN NUTRITION EASY FOR YOU!

AND DELICIOUS FOR YOUR FLOCK.

 

If you have questions or enjoyed this article, please post a comment.

To the best of health for your flock!

Leslie Moran

love

love

love

bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark
tabs-top

Leave a Reply