The avian body requires hundreds of different nutrients daily. The four basic macronutrients are water, protein, carbohydrates, and fats along with the enzymes required to digest them. By offering your birds the healthiest forms of these nutrients, in the proper balance, you enable the optimal functioning of their physical bodies. The micronutrients they need to consume on a daily basis include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. While these nutrients are also essential to life, they are described as micronutrients because they are needed by the body in smaller amounts when compared to the volume of macronutrients that must be consumed.
As the body receives the type and quality of nutrition it craves every bodily system is nourished. This results in healthy growth and development, while also promoting the body's natural regenerative and healing processes. Growth, development, reproduction, regeneration and healing all begin at the cellular level. When the avian body receives high quality, balanced nutrition we see improved health, increased longevity, more congenial temperaments, beautiful plumage and healthy offspring.
Well nourished birds have a natural resistance against illness and disease. They also handle stress much better than those who are missing key nutrients in their diet. How can you ensure your birds are receiving the best nutrition possible? By feeding a variety of foods that are rich in an assortment of nutrients. Each nutritional component - each vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, enzyme, and amino acid - provides unique properties the body needs to retain or regain good health. Providing a diet that is balanced, nutrient dense, and contains complete protein, is the cornerstone of good health.
Although you may already be feeding a blend of fresh fruits, raw and steamed vegetables, in conjunction with a seed blend and eggfood, there is one food that you can feed that is nutritionally superior to all other foods combined. You've got to be feeding your birds sprouts - or they're missing vital nutrients.
Why are Sprouts so Nutritious?
When any seed, nut, grain or legume is sprouted the entire chemical composition is enhanced. Soaking triggers germination, this is just the beginning. Germinated seeds, grains and legumes must be allowed to grow in order for them to reach their peak nutrition. The nutritional value of fresh fruits and vegetables is limited when compared to what sprouts offer. The germination and sprout growing process transforms whole foods into an avian super food.
Presently, there is quite a bit of false information in numerous sources on-line stating that soaked seed is nutritionally superior to sprouts. Nothing could be further from the truth. In an upcoming issue of my monthly column, "The Holistic Parrot", that appears in Parrots magazine (www.parrotmag.com) I'll be presenting the facts. Then we can put this piece of sprouting misinformation to rest. Look for this article in the October 2010, issue #153, of Parrots magazine.
Packed with Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants
The sprout growing process causes the formation of vitamins and an increase in all vitamins present. This makes sprouts a rich source of vitamins C, E, B complex and beta-carotene. Any minerals present become chelated - making them easier for the body to assimilate.
Sprouts also contain an overwhelming quantity of life-enhancing antioxidants. Antioxidants come in a variety of forms, each one provides unique chemical components as they target and bind to specific free radicals. When the level of free radicals rise above what the body can manage, they begin altering the way cells code genetic material.
Abundant in Enzymes
When sproutable foods are germinated and allowed to become sprouts they now provide an abundant source of enzymes. By nature enzymes are catalysts - substances that induce hundreds of thousands of biochemical processes in the body. Enzymes are essential for good health - they make every single biochemical process possible. The brain, nervous system, vascular system, cell regeneration, growth, immunity, the digestive system, and all the vital organs - the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs all depend on enzymes to function properly. According to Clinical Nutritionist Phyllis Balch, in her book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing", sprouts (not soaked seed but sprouts) are the most abundant source of enzymes available. Although all raw foods contain enzymes the amounts present in sprouts can be 10 to 100 times greater than the amounts that are present in raw fresh fruits and vegetables.
Like enzymes, proteins are also essential to life. Proteins form the structural basis of chromosomes. Each DNA strand contains the genetic code that is the formula for making that cell's unique protein chain. Proteins are the primary building blocks that makeup every cell in the body. Proteins build healthy muscles, blood, skin, feathers, nails, and vital internal organs. Proteins are essential for proper growth, development, reproduction and a well functioning immune system. Having a diet rich in complete protein is a fundamental nutritional requirement for a bird to cope with stress effectively. When feeding a sprouting blend that contains all the essential amino acids you are providing an easily digested source of complete protein.
There are several reasons why seeds, nuts grains or legumes do not sprout. Poor quality and the age of the food, using a poorly formulated sprouting blend or using a sprouting method that is incompatible with the climate where you live are all factors. If a seed, nut grain or legume is no longer viable and cannot germinate - it is dead. Sproutable foods from organic sources are fresh and will readily grow for you.
Bacteria and Sprouting
When discussing sprouting for birds the next area of concern is bacteria. When learning to sprout for your birds you must use a method specific for the climate where you live. And using GSE (Grapefruit Seed extract) can make all the difference regarding your success or failure. GSE is an all natural antibacterial and antifungal product. Using GSE when you sprout for your birds will help eliminate the bacteria problem and alleviate your concerns.
Experience has shown that 70 to 90 percent of the birds introduced to sprouts enthusiastically eat them the first time. Birds have an instinctive ability for selecting and eating foods that have medicinal properties, or are rich in nutrients that their body needs.
Everything You Need
So where can you find a fresh supply of sprouts that provides a balance of all the essential amino acids? The best source of fresh sprouts for your birds is to grow them yourself. And the most complete kit to ensure your sprouting success is available at www.BestBirdFoodEver.com . This Complete Sprouting Kit includes a copy of the book, "The Complete Guide to Successful Sprouting for Parrots", either a one or five pound bag of the Best Bird Food Ever! USDA Certified 100% Organic - Complete Protein - Sprouting Blend and a 2 oz. bottle of GSE.
Don't let the title fool you,"The Complete Guide to Successful Sprouting for Parrots", is the quintessential source for learning to sprout for birds of all types. This book is a detailed guide reinforcing the healthful benefits and superior nutritional qualities of sprouts, while simplifying the process of growing, caring for, and feeding sprouts to your birds. Learn how to use GSE when sprouting. Discover how to tailor your sprouting process to suit the area of the country you live in. An entire chapter is dedicated to the topic of helping your birds learn to enjoy - and look forward to receiving, their dish of tasty, nutritious sprouts. When sprouts are fed as the foundation food, along with a wide selection of organic fresh fruits and vegetables you are providing the highest quality nutrition possible. Chapter excerpts from this book can be viewed at www.BestBirdFoodEver.com .
Quality Sprouting Blends For Birds of All Sizes
When formulating the 100% Organic - Complete Protein - Sprouting Blends my primary concern was to create a blend that provided complete protein from plant sources. Many cases of avian malnutrition are caused by feeding a seed-based diet. Seeds are a source of incomplete protein. With this in mind, I had to ensure that my sprouting blends addressed the lack of complete protein prevalent in the majority of avian diets. Next, I had to ensure that my sprouting blend ingredients would have compatible germination and growing needs. This is why my sprouting blends can be grown successfully in a wide variety of climates and temperatures. In order for foods to germinate and grow into sprouts they must come from high quality sources. My 100% Organic USDA Certified ingredients are human-grade quality ingredients. And in order to sprout successfully, you must learn to sprout in a manner that is compatible with
the climate where you live. "The Complete Guide to Successful Sprouting for Parrots" makes this easy for you.
When feeding either the Original Sprouting Blend or the Wheat-Free Sprouting Blend to small birds - finches and canaries - it is best received if it is either chopped finely with a knife or run through a food processor using the ‘pulse' setting. Four or five quick cycles on pulse will produce a nice textured blend that can be easily mixed with other freshly chopped or steamed vegetables.
Preventing and Reversing Avian Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the leading cause of illness, disease and premature death in captive birds. This statistic tragic - especially since malnutrition can be prevented – and reversed. Sprouts - containing complete protein - provide a wealth of nutrients that are easily assimilated and utilized by the body. Introduce your flock to the superior nutrition of sprouts and watch your birds transform as they receive the benefits only this outstanding super food can provide.
Leslie Moran is an internationally recognized expert in avian nutrition. She has been in the field of holistic animal nutrition for nearly 30 years. Her articles on natural bird care and holistic avian nutrition are published regularly in several bird magazines. Her monthly column ‘The Holistic Parrot' has appeared in Parrots magazine since 2002, along with feature articles on holistic and natural care and improving behavior. Leslie has also had articles appear in Australian Birdkeeper magazine, BirdTalk, and the 2009 and 2010 issues of BirdsUSA have feature articles she wrote discussing the value of feeding sprouts.
Leslie provides consultations for people and the birds they love in healing feather destruction, balanced diet and nutrition, and improving behaviors. She writes and works from her facility in Nevada. Leslie can be reached at www.BestBirdFoodEver.com or at 1-775-577-9676.
The Original Sprouting Blend chopped using a food processor, combined with mixed vegetables.
100% Organic Sprouting Blend, two to threes days growth
The book, "The Complete Guide to Successful Sprouting for Parrots"
The Complete Sprouting Kit available at www.BestBirdFoodEver.com .
A pair of Crimson-winged parrots enjoying their daily sprouts.