There’s no getting around it—birds and humans don’t always choose a healthy diet. What we like is not always what is good for us. Many birds, if given a choice, will select a diet high in fat like seeds, just as we might choose high-calorie snacks. Both taste good. Seeds lack many important vitamins, minerals and amino acids. In addition to high levels of fat, seed diets are deficient in important nutrients such as lysine, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, iodine, selenium, vitamins A, D, E and K, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, available niacin, vitamin B12 and choline1. Even if bird owners supplement a seed diet with a nutritionally complete extruded diet, birds will often choose seeds, leaving behind the more nutritious foods.
A seed diet may pose health risks for your bird. A nutritionally deficient seed diet can result in obesity, other nutritionally related diseases, and a lower immune response to infections and even premature death. Such a diet can also adversely affect reproduction in breeder birds. What about “fortified” seed mixtures? Some manufacturers have attempted to correct the nutritional imitations of seeds by coating the hulls with vitamins and minerals.
When birds eat the seed, they discard the hulls, and the nutrients may end up as waste. “Fortified” can also mean the seeds are mixed with vitamin and mineral nuggets—nuggets that birds may not eat.
What about vitamin and mineral supplements? Commercially available supplements vary greatly, making it difficult to determine if your bird is getting too much or too little of the desired vitamins and minerals. Additionally, powdered supplements separate from the food and are usually not consumed. If you add vitamin supplements to your bird’s water, you can never be sure how much is being consumed, because you are changing the water frequently to avoid bacterial contamination.
What about fruits and vegetables?
Although most fruits and vegetables are considered healthy additions to a bird’s diet, they should not make up more than 15% of the daily diet. Some are high in sugar and carbohydrates, some lack important nutrients, and because they add bulk and fiber, the bird will feel satisfied and not eat the more nutritious food.
What kind of diet will give your bird everything he needs?,br>A nutritionally balanced extruded diet can offer your bird everything he needs for a long and healthy life. Extrusion manufacturing assures nutrients are not lost in the processing. This means your bird consumes more of the original wholesome ingredients—better nutrition, better digestibility and better taste. Not all extruded diets are the same, however. ZuPreem® Avian Diets have balanced vitamins, minerals, fat, carbohydrates and protein in every bite.
Ask your avian veterinarian for advice.
Now that you’re convinced of the importance in converting your bird to a more balanced diet, you need a plan to support your decision. Make an appointment with your veterinarian for a general health exam to be sure your bird is free from underlying disease before undergoing a dietary change. At this time, you and your veterinarian can agree on how to proceed.
These tips may help you and your bird
Initially your bird may throw the new food out of the cage and exhibit tantrum-like behavior in an effort to get your attention. Your bird may not recognize the new diet as food, and may need to touch and play with it at first. Capitalize on your bird’s natural curiosity by placing the new food below a mirror or adjacent to a favorite toy in the cage. Trick your bird into eating some of the new food by mixing a favorite treat with the new diet. Try putting the new diet in the bowl near the highest perch—most birds will eat from the highest bowl first. Some medium to large-sized birds are more willing to accept new foods if fed outside their cage in a favorite area. Your bird may benefit from seeing you or another bird eating the food. Your bird will watch your expressions—if you’re positive about the new diet, there is a good chance your bird will be too.
A lifetime of good nutrition starts with feeding your bird a balanced diet with all the essential nutrients he needs every day. Right from the start, you’ll see that good nutrition really works. See the other side of this brochure for information about all ZuPreem Life-stage Avian Diets.
Here’s why ZuPreem AvianMaintenance Diets are the top-selling brand of extruded avian diets.
FruitBlend Flavor Diets
Fun, fruit shapes* in vibrant fruit colors birds find appealing. Nuggets contain ground fresh fruit for a real fruity flavor birds love. Premium balanced nutrition birds need everyday.
Natural DietsZuPreem Products are available at Bird Buffet N Things' web site, www.birdbuffetnthings.com.
Natural tan, oval-shaped nuggets* with no colors appeal to the growing number of bird owners and breeders who want to feed a more natural diet. Nuggets contain wholesome, fresh ground vegetables in every nugget for a great veggie taste.* Available where nugget size allows
The new 22Lb Bonus Bags are $28.00 for the FruitBlend Diets and $28.00 for the Natural Diets. Hurry on over, as the quantites are limited and this is a one time offer.