Saturday, November 28, 2009

Add in the Grains

Building on yesterday's post (Comparison of Seed Mixes) let's add a second component into the mix:

Grains
Grains provide important nutrition. Depending upon the grain selected, they may be served as-is, sprouted, or cooked and cooled.

Several grains are present in the Beak Appetit that Coco and the Budgie-Boys eat:

Cous Cous
Hulled Millet
Cracked Wheat
Rolled Oats
Rolled Barley
This is served cooked and cooled, and also has apple and many veggies.

Below is the same list of seed-based budgie diets from yesterday's post, now with the grains added to each (in bold and italics).

Bear in mind that in many, if not the majority of mixes, the grains are present in the form of pellets (kibble) added to the mix. Especially when we see 'ground' this, and 'ground' that in an ingredient list.

If our birds ignore pellets and pick out seeds only (oh, I'm sure this doesn't apply to any of your picky eaters?), of course the grains will be of no benefit. This is where the rubber meets the road:

What we offer - versus - what is actually consumed.

Naturally, only that which is consumed from any mix (whether we buy it or make it ourselves) will count nutritionally.

Additionally, if a bird will eat the grain in its whole state, (cooked, raw or sprouted as appropriate), the goodness and nutrition of the grain can be realized, and in some instances, may be more intriguing to the bird than when in pellet form.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are other aspects to consider and analyze from any diet mix - not just the seed and/or grain content. However, I find it fascinating to see the comparisons. It also gives ideas for my shopping list at the local organic health food grocery store!


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Vitakraft Menu Parakeet Food
Yellow Millet
White Millet
Red Millet
Golden Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Oat Groats
Wheat


*Note: This mix also contains grit, something that is unnecessary for birds that hull their seed and can be potentially harmful.

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LM Animal Farms Parakeet Diet Bird Food
White Millet
Red Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Oat Groats
Whole Wheat
Red Milo*
Ground Corn
Corn Gluten Meal
Dried Grains

*I had never heard of 'Red Milo', so I had to look it up!

I have seen it listed as both a grain and a seed. While it is apparently a favorite of doves, wild turkeys and pheasants, the site states that milo (in both red and white varieties), is of poor nutritional value, and is often used as a filler in commercial seed mixes making them less valuable as much is wasted.

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Kaytee Supreme Daily Blend Parakeet Food
White Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Oat Groats

*Note: This diet is not meant to be a stand alone feed. The three ingredients listed above are the only ingredients in the mix, period. It is advertised as a clean, high quality, wholesome seed and grain mix with natural protein, fiber, oils and nutrients. It is free of preservatives, flavors and added colors. It is clearly listed as 'not nutritionally complete', so supplementation being essential. However, if purchased fresh, it could make a nice base to which other seeds, grains and such could be added.

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Kaytee Forti Diet Pro Health Parakeet Food
Canary Seed Grass
White Millet
Red Millet
Flax Seed
Oat Groats
Corn Gluten Meal
Ground Corn
Ground Wheat
Ground Rice
Wheat Middlings
Wheat Germ Meal

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Kaytee Forti Diet Egg-Cite
White Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Small Yellow Millet
Red Millet
Niger Seed
Flax Seed
Oat Groats
Ground Wheat
Corn Gluten Meal
Ground Corn
Wheat Middlings
Wheat Germ Meal

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Kaytee Fusion Daily Diet Bird Food for Parakeets
Canary Grass Seed
Millet
Red Millet
Flax Seed
Rape Seed
Hulled Sesame Seed
Ground Corn
Oat Groats
Ground Wheat
Corn Gluten Meal
Wheat Middlings
Wheat Germ Meal

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Kaytee Fiesta
Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Niger Seed
Safflower Seed
Flax Seed
Hulled Sesame Seed
Rape Seed
Hulled Sunflower Seed
Caraway Seed
Lettuce Seed
Anise Seed
Fennel Seed
Melon Seed
Oat Groats
Wheat
Rice
Ground Corn
Buckwheat
Ground Wheat
Wheat Middlings
Wheat Germ Meal

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Kaytee Fiesta MAX Bird Food For Parakeets
Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Niger Seed
Safflower Seed
Flax Seed
Hulled Sesame Seed
Rape Seed
Hulled Sunflower Seed
Caraway Seed
Fennel Seed
Lettuce Seed
Anise Seed
Hulled Millet
Small Yellow Millet
Hulled Sunflower
Oat Groats
Wheat
Ground Corn
Buckwheat
Rice
Ground Wheat
Corn Gluten Meal
Ground Rice
Wheat Middlings
Wheat Germ Meal
Cracked Corn

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Dr. Harvey's Best Parakeet Food
White Millet
Canola Seed
Niger Seed
Canary Grass Seed
Red Millet
Hemp Seed
Sesame seed
Flax Seed
Anise Seed
Poppy Seed
Caraway Seed
Fennel Seed
Oat Groats
Oat Straw

* This all-natural mix is worth checking out. It has many great ingredients, and if well received, could make an excellent addition to a bird's diet.

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Hartz Vita-Mix Parakeet Diet Bird Food
White Proso Millet
Red Proso Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Flax Seed
Rape Seed
Safflower Seed
Oat Groats
Rice Flour
Ground Corn
Ground Brown Rice
Whole Wheat
Wheat Middlings
Corn Gluten Meal
Wheat Germ Meal

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Healthy Select Natural Parakeet Diet
White Millet
Red Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Golden German Millet
Flax Seed
Safflower Seed
Rape Seed
Niger Seed
Caraway Seed
Oat Groats
Heat-Processed Barley
Steam Rolled Oats
Corn Gluten Meal
Ground Wheat
Ground Corn
Wheat Middlings

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Sun Seed Sunscription Vita Plus Parakeet Formula
White Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Red Millet
Flax Seed
Golden German Millet
Safflower Seed
Caraway Seed
Sesame Seed
Oat Groats
Ground Corn
Ground Wheat
Corn Gluten Meal
Wheat Middlings
Ground Oats

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FM Brown's Encore Premium Parakeet Formula
White Proso Millet
Canary Seed Grass
Red Millet
Wheat Flour
Maize Grain Ground
Oat Groats
Maize Gluten Meal

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Brown's Tropical Carnival Gourmet Parakeet Food
Canary Seed
White Proso Millet
Red Millet
Thistle Seed
Safflower Seed
Rape Seed
Sunflower Chips
Anise Seed
Poppy Seed
Cantaloupe Seed
Flax Seed
Sesame Seed
Cranberry Seed
Oat Groats
Wheat
White Rice
Wheat Flakes
Ground Wheat
Corn Gluten Meal
Wheat Flour

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Hagen Tropimix Budgie, Canary and Finch Food Egg Mix
Canary Seed
Hulled Millet
Niger Seed
Rape Seed
Flax Seed
Hemp Seed
Sesame Seed
Oat Groats

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Hagen Living World Premium Budgie Food
White Millet
Canary Seed
Red Millet
Red Finch Millet
Rape Seed
Flaxseed
Hemp Speed
Niger Seed
Sesame Seed
Oat Groats

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8 in 1 Ecotrition Essential Blend for Parakeet Food
White Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Rape Seed
Flax Seed
Oat Groats
Feeding Oatmeal
Ground Corn
Wheat Middlings
Corn Gluten Meal

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8 in 1 Ultra-Blend Gourmet Harvest Celebration for Parakeets
White Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Finch Millet
Cantaloupe Seed
Hulled Sunflower Seed
Red Millet
Flax Seed
Rape Seed
Oat Groats
Wheat
Corn
Ground Oats

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Fruit Bite Banquet for Parakeets
White Millet
Canary Seed
Red Millet
Oat Groats
Wheat
Flaked Corn
Corn Gluten
Rice Flour

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Nutriphase Parakeet Food
White Millet
Canary Grass Seed
Red Millet
Flax Seed
Oat Groats
Corn Gluten Meal
Ground Corn
Ground Rice
Wheat Middlings
Wheat Germ Meal

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Nutriphase Gold Parakeet Food
Canary Grass Seed
White Millet
Red Millet
Sunflower Hearts
Small Yellow Millet
Flax Seed
Niger Seed
Ground Corn
Oat Groats
Ground Wheat
Wheat Middlings
Corn Gluten Meal
Rolled Oats
Rolled Corn
Flaked Corn
Milo
Wheat Flour
Rice Flour
Wheat Germ Meal


Again, this is a sampling of ingredients from a number of commercially prepared and easily available seed-based mixes. Seed and grain variety are only two components to consider when analyzing a diet. Most of these diets include pellets, and as mentioned previously, we must consider whether a bird consumes the pellets offered.

I will be serving grains by offering certain grains dry, others sprouted and others cooked and cooled.
Birdie Bread is another excellent means of introducing grains into the diet, and of course vegetables, seed and even fruit can be added to the bread.

The sprouts were ready to serve this morning, and I mixed them with a small amount of seed and some Beak Appetit.... BIG HIT! They made a huge mess... I love it!


Now, what about soaked and sprouted (or cooked) legumes? What about nuts? Vegetables? Fruit? Possibilities for future posts!


There are so many ways we can make small changes in our birds' diets that add up to big benefits.


COPYRIGHT © 2009 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

5 comments:

louara said...

I agree that a variety of choices keeps our birds healthy and happy.

Brianne said...

Hi Robin!
Your latest posts have been really interesting! I now have specific questions about my birds' diet, and haven't found my concerns on your site. Is there any way to contact you to discuss my questions at length?

I have an Amazon, two cockatiels and four parakeets.

Thanks!

Robin said...

Hey, Brianne - nice to hear from you! And how wonderful to meet another amazon owner! Please feel free to contact me at:

bearsandbirds@gmail.com

:)

Arlene said...

Well I'm determined to try a little variety. I'm not sure how well it'll go over but it's worth a try.
And if they don't like the couscous I'll eat it. :-) I think.

wolfgirl1987 said...

I am so sad that Beak appetit is done :(
Although I make my own mash similar to their blend, I always liked to have a bit on hand in case I didnt have time to make a fresh batch of my own... and it was always great to offer variety to my birds.

I have really enjoyed these past 2 blogs on diet and comparisons between seed mixes :)

and yay for birdie bread! My two LOVE it! I load it with veggies. It's a great way to get veggies into birds that seem to have an issue with them.

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