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HannahBean

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Jessie
Hello,

I recently got some “Bird-Elicious” Basic Bird pellets. The 5th Ingredient is mealworms. I have small birds (cockatiel, lovebird and budgies), would meal worms in a pellet be an issue for them to digest?

thanks :)

image.jpg
 

Destiny

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I'm less concerned by the mealworms than I am by the inclusion of lichens and mushrooms in this product. However, I am surprised by how high up on the ingredient list mealworms appear, as that would seem to indicate that a substantial amount of mealworms were included in the recipe. I think of insects as a rare treat, not a dietary staple, for parrots.

And actually, looking at this ingredient list, I am rather baffled by how much fruit is being used. I have never seen a pellet with "mango" as the first ingredient. I have seen alfalfa-based pellets. Most pellets are grain-based, with corn, wheat, soy, barley, or rice as the first, second or third ingredient. This formula is so different from the average, I would not treat it as equivalent to standard pellets.

...

After doing a little digging, it looks like this brand is aiming for a "grain-free" and low-heat processing pellet alternative. I like the attention to sourcing human-grade organic ingredients, but I question if this formula is actually appropriate as a base diet for most parrots, especially smaller seed-eating birds, like budgies. They should not be "grain-free". Seeds and grains are an appropriate part of their diet, along with fresh veggies and other things.

This food does not look UNsafe for small birds, but I would not feed it exclusively. Probably fine as a supplemental diet. I would lean away from the seller's recommendation to make it 50 to 75% of the bird's daily intake. That would involve putting a lot of faith in this recipe and I'm not convinced. I'd be more inclined to feed it closer to 20 to 40% of the diet at most.

A little off-topic, but it sounds like the person who makes this food is a bit eccentric and has some controversial ideas regarding parrot nutrition. I didn't dig into that side of things to deeply, but it helps explain to me why this pellet has some unexpected ingredients and doesn't have some common safe ingredients.

...

But back to your original question, I am not sure how much nutritional benefit the birds would get from the ground-up carapace and exoskeleton of the mealworm, but the internal bits should be digestible for all birds. Mealworms are relatively high in protein and fat, which is one of the reasons why I generally don't recommend them to be fed in large amounts and why I was rather surprised to see them listed as the fifth ingredient in this product. That would make more sense to me for a bird species that eats a lot of insects in the wild, like some softbills, but it is not the case for the majority of parrots.
 

Pat H

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DEFINATELY the most unusual list of ingredients I'VE EVER SEEN for a bird food!
Have you tasted it yet? Wonder if you can use a small amount in a birdie bread [tho it says to not heat it/ raw ]... Or to add [applesauce] to make a nugget for a treat?
Where are you located?
Can you show the front of the package?
 

flyzipper

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Interesting reading.

The top three ingredients in their macaw formula are: mango, papaya and banana.

Placing this link to the brand's website if anyone else cares to take a look.
 

Hankmacaw

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Reminds me of another vendor that was on here a year or so ago. I'm not going to read through their encyclopedia of ingredients, but I will tell you that with Mango, Papaya and bananas as their first three ingredients for macaw food THAT IS WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR.
 

Shezbug

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Reminds me of another vendor that was on here a year or so ago. I'm not going to read through their encyclopedia of ingredients, but I will tell you that with Mango, Papaya and bananas as their first three ingredients for macaw food THAT IS WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR.
I didn’t want to bring that up but that is exactly what I was thinking.
 

flyzipper

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Trying to steelman their recipe, it is possible for mango, papaya and banana to be the first ingredients listed, and for them to be of little consequence to the overall nutrition.

theoretical bird food math: 4% mango, 3% papaya, and 3%, with 45 other ingredients, each contributing 2%, for the other 90%.
... close enough to the 56 items in their recipe (yeah, I counted; I'm a curious nerd).

That said, overall, it's still a confusing jumble of esoteric stuff for people to wrap their minds around.

Variety has value, I suppose; I'll grant them that.
 

Mizzely

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Yeah ingredients labels in America are weird for sure. Doing it by weight makes it really a poor way of knowing what a food really primarily is. Especially when you account for water weight!
 

camelotshadow

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I'd be interested in it for a treat for my guys. Certainly is different & way out there,
Schizandra I have taken myself but ???
Calamari!

 

The_Mayor

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Their seed formula for little birds looks a little more normal. I note that tomatoes are included in the list, though. My reading suggests that a small amount of tomato, occasionally, is probably okay, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want it to be part of my birds' daily seed blend.
 

Hankmacaw

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Lots of ads on TV about a people supplement made from the oil from green lip mussels - supposedly lots of fatty acids in it. I say way too many ingredients in the food, since I believe in the KISS theory.
 

tka

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I'm really interested in their research and testing processes. The food is so very different from others, and they make some really big claims about their foods for feather pickers.
 

HannahBean

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I'm less concerned by the mealworms than I am by the inclusion of lichens and mushrooms in this product. However, I am surprised by how high up on the ingredient list mealworms appear, as that would seem to indicate that a substantial amount of mealworms were included in the recipe. I think of insects as a rare treat, not a dietary staple, for parrots.

And actually, looking at this ingredient list, I am rather baffled by how much fruit is being used. I have never seen a pellet with "mango" as the first ingredient. I have seen alfalfa-based pellets. Most pellets are grain-based, with corn, wheat, soy, barley, or rice as the first, second or third ingredient. This formula is so different from the average, I would not treat it as equivalent to standard pellets.

...

After doing a little digging, it looks like this brand is aiming for a "grain-free" and low-heat processing pellet alternative. I like the attention to sourcing human-grade organic ingredients, but I question if this formula is actually appropriate as a base diet for most parrots, especially smaller seed-eating birds, like budgies. They should not be "grain-free". Seeds and grains are an appropriate part of their diet, along with fresh veggies and other things.

This food does not look UNsafe for small birds, but I would not feed it exclusively. Probably fine as a supplemental diet. I would lean away from the seller's recommendation to make it 50 to 75% of the bird's daily intake. That would involve putting a lot of faith in this recipe and I'm not convinced. I'd be more inclined to feed it closer to 20 to 40% of the diet at most.

A little off-topic, but it sounds like the person who makes this food is a bit eccentric and has some controversial ideas regarding parrot nutrition. I didn't dig into that side of things to deeply, but it helps explain to me why this pellet has some unexpected ingredients and doesn't have some common safe ingredients.

...

But back to your original question, I am not sure how much nutritional benefit the birds would get from the ground-up carapace and exoskeleton of the mealworm, but the internal bits should be digestible for all birds. Mealworms are relatively high in protein and fat, which is one of the reasons why I generally don't recommend them to be fed in large amounts and why I was rather surprised to see them listed as the fifth ingredient in this product. That would make more sense to me for a bird species that eats a lot of insects in the wild, like some softbills, but it is not the case for the majority of parrots.
Thank you for your input, I felt intrigued by their claims as well. I wish they backed more of their “research” claims up with examples or explanations that showed how they came to their conclusions. I think I’ll hold off on giving them to my birds.
 
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Feathered

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Pellets don't need many ingredients, I use Harrison's. A great bird food. I knew it was one of the best bird food, but I didn't get it because I thought it was super expensive. It actually is not!! Birds love it and It's all organic.
 
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