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It should work now. If not, there is a ghost going around changing my links!! Every time I edit, there's added HTML (which is not supported). :D

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It works :D

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Yay!

 

The problem is that it didn't like having a link within the list. Adaaaaaaaaaaam! :(Laughing out loud):

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Thanks, working now!

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Thanks, working now!

Yay!! :D

 

okay, and also I have gathered a little more information about adding vitamins to water and nutrition in general.

 

Disclaimer: I'm really not trying to be argumentative here, just helpful. I know I said I'd hold my tongue but there's this nagging feeling in my brain that just can't let the subject go without at least elaborating. The only way to learn is to ask *why* rather than just reading something and assuming it's true. Some of what has been said didn't sit right with what I've previously learned so I did a little digging around to make sure I was on the right track. I'm sharing this information because it's very important to know.

 

In other words, please don't crucify me for going on and on with this subject. If it weren't something I considered important, I wouldn't have continued at all.

 

Vitamins added to a bird's water [no matter what the manufacturer says] are NOT recommended by avian veterinarians for several reasons.

 

1. Vitamins added to water also adds color -- some birds stop drinking completely (which isn?t good).

 

2. Vitamins added to water are impossible to calibrate as to actual dose -- owners have no idea how much they are giving and how much the bird is getting. Directions often call for "x number of drops" for a particular size of bird, but neglect to mention the size of the water bowl. Without specifying the volume of water in the bowl, manufacturers are completely ignoring the concept of dilution. Knowing the actual concentration the bird is receiving is therefore impossible.

 

3. Vitamins added to water maintain potency for a short time -- maybe as little as an hour. So if your bird doesn't drink right away, it may be getting no benefit at all.

 

4. Vitamins added to water DO benefit the bacteria that normally inhabit everyone's water (bottled or otherwise). Makes them big and strong. (That is what that slimy feeling stuff in the bottom of a water bowl is -- bacterial growth. Veritable cities of bacteria.) According to Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Richie, Harrison and Harrison, Winger Pub., 1994, p. 65), there can be a "100-fold increase in the bacterial count in 24 hours".

 

5. Vitamins added to water have been implicated as the cause of some cases of feather plucking -- birds that bathe in their water bowls can end up with sticky feathers that the bird can't get clean -- so they get pulled out.

 

So obviously, vitamins should be added to fresh food, not water, and a vitamin-mineral powder is much better than just vitamins. According to the Association of Avian Veterinarians, a parrot on a seed-based diet DEFINITELY needs avian vitamin-mineral supplementation, since the base diet is so lacking in nutrition. However, research on human nutrition has proven that vitamin-mineral supplementation helps, but it does not counteract a poor diet. In other words, you can't eat a steady diet of fast foods and junk and think that a vitamin-mineral supplement will put you on a good nutritional plane. It doesn't and can't -- and not for your parrot, either.

( http://www3.upatsix.com/liz/articles/nutrition.html )

 

Basically, adding vitamins isn't a quick fix even if you use the powdered type. Fresh fruits and veggies are the way to go. If the birds are as far gone as it seems, the vitamins aren't going to give them a quick hit of what they need. The best thing to do is to keep malnutrition from happening in the first place. In this case it is unforunately impossible to get the birds to an avian vet but if this happens to *you* your vet can administer the appropriate vitamins by means of an injection. They will also be able to determine if there is an underlying cause for the malnutrition.

 

Birds that are malnourished are at a greater risk of contracting diseases as their immune system is weakened. Giardia can be contracted from foul water and adding vitamins (and especially sugar/glucose) to water will only expediate the grown of bacteria.

 

Malnutrition leads to organ failure and once you get to that point there is little you can do for the budgies. It is not a disease that comes out of nowhere. This is why we *have* to provide our birds with a proper, varied, diet. Stress bars on the feathers are another common sign of an unhealthy diet. A better diet leads to happier, healthier, brighter birds.

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"Budgerigar Nutrition"

 

Theoretically, developing a nutritionally complete diet for the Budgerigar should be a relatively easy process of determining the nutritional value of foodstuff and then comparing the amounts of nutrients in the food with the bird?s requirements for those nutrients. In practice, however, this is not as easy as it would seem.

 

Nutrient content of feeds vary greatly as a result of:

 

Differences in soils where they are grown.

 

Whether they have been fertilised or not.

 

Storage conditions.

 

Age when harvested and time since harvesting.

 

Season in which they were harvested.

 

At the same time, energy requirements of our birds vary based on:

 

Activity.

 

Body mass.

 

Environmental temperature.

 

Other nutrient requirements also fluctuate based on whether they meet:

 

Maintenance needs.

 

Growth needs.

 

Reproductive needs.

 

Rearing needs.

 

Special needs brought about by moult or disease process.

 

Finally, to complicate matters even further, optimum dietary levels of a number of nutrients have not yet been determined for Budgerigars.

 

People not only in 3rd world countries but also our own do not know this. I bet most of us didn't know this.

Does any body really investigate where the seed comes from that we feed our birds? Probibly not. I know I don't.

 

A Good Mix

 

As stated, breeders have also shared in the responsibility for the lack of acceptance of commercially prepared feeds. Frankly, some of it has been an ignorance of the available products as well as an unrealistic insistence on the belief that Budgerigars only need "a good mix" of seed for their diet. One wonders, if commercially prepared diets were available during World War II when seed was scarce, whether this argument would still exist 50 years later. Still, others continue to argue that crumbled diets are "unnatural" and are not perfected. As proof that they are right, they ask, "How many breeders, who's birds are on the top bench, do you know that use commercial diets?" Interestingly, it is many of these same breeders who routinely use chick starter, game bird or turkey crumbs as part of their specially blended soft food mixes for breeding birds and growing chicks.

 

I use a brended mix that is supplied at the local produce store. The owner is a knowledable breeder himself. I am at the stage of trusting him but wanting to start blending my own.

 

Diets consisting of a variety of seeds, either mixed or fed individually, supplemented with vitamins and minerals, grit, the addition of vegetables and a custom blended mash for breeding pairs are the most widely used staples of the serious breeders. Yet, as balanced as these diets may appear on the surface, there remain a number of problems. The choice of supplements, for instance, most often have not been guided by a thorough scientific understanding of our birds daily requirements. Numerous breeders use vitamin and mineral premixes formulated for widely varied unrelated animal sources, such as human babies, horses, cattle and other domesticated farm animals. Nor do all of the birds eat a balanced portion of the feeds presented to them. No matter how well nutritionally balanced and impressive the variety of foods offered, they are of little value to our birds if they do not eat it. When asked how much, and what types of food a randomly selected bird eats from the assortment of foods offered to the flock, the breeder is unable to answer. And finally, those who do use commercial poultry rations as part of their diets do so with little knowledge of the ingredients, in both name and quantity. For instance, few recognise that chick starter contains a higher percentage of Calcium per kg than is healthy for growing Budgerigar chicks.

 

Now to your statement eterri. I agree that there is a percentage of difficulty in getting the birds to ingest the water that we have put the vitamin and mineral suppliments. It is the same as giving you bird a diet of mixed seeds. They will or wont take it. They will pick out the seed that they like and leave the rest. They may take it now or probibly latter. If you place fresh greens in the aviary they may prefer to take them as a liquid in take and not the water at all. This is not a problem for them.

 

I believe that by constantly providing the suppliments to the water over a period of time they will get use to it.

 

The question is, "What do we do between now and then?" For one, we ought to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that is presently available. Nutrition is the foundation upon which the health and development of the Budgerigar rests. The concepts of proper nutrition are not difficult to understand and if we are open to learning, all of the known nutrient requirements in their proper quantities can be incorporated into our present day feeding routine.

 

Secondly, we need to re-examine our reliance on seed as the staple diet of the Budgerigar. Seeds present the greatest obstacle to feeding a balanced diet and no matter how much we would like to believe otherwise, no mix of seeds would ever present our birds with the nutrients they require.

 

Thirdly, in the absence of pellets or crumbs, we need to develop a system of insuring that our birds are benefiting from their food source. They cannot simply be presented with a variety of food groups and then left on their own to select a proper nutrient mix. Each bite of food they take must be balanced in a complete nutritional format. The most effective means of doing this is through the development of a palatable, easily ingested and digested mash similar to the soft foods which breeders prepare for their breeding birds. Mashes such as these have been used in every major zoo throughout the world and form the basis for their psittacine's diets.

 

And finally, we need to remain aware of and open to new information. Research in the area of Budgerigar nutrition is ongoing and new developments are taking place at a rapid pace, especially in the area of commercially produced diets. Not to incorporate these changes into our feeding program is foolish. Why for instance, do we continue to use prepared poultry, turkey and game bird crumbs in our soft food when there are now specifically formulated Budgerigar crumbs which more appropriately meet our needs?

 

I believe that the inital topic was for someone that's birds had gone too far toward malnutrition and that Gil was giving good sound advice.

 

Yes I agree that the birds may not take to the water with the suppliments straight away. But hey the wild Budgie drinks where it can - muddy water hole where other animals have missed in it. If these birds are that bad, they will drink. If not the supply of fresh vegatables will surfice untill they do take it.

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry about the information over load. I have been reading the works of James Bratt for a number of months. :D

 

Quotes are direct information from The Master Breeder by James Bratt.

Edited by daz
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Guest Budgie Care Publications

To: JJ2571

 

I'm only writing this as due to the massive overload this topic has received, you might have missed my answer in response to your two very specific questions.

See my post on the top of Page 2.

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It's not only about the fact that they may not touch the water (though that's a huge concern as they *will* dehydrate if this happens) but more the worry of bacteria growth. In the wild, budgies do drink dirty water but they are also constantly exposed to it and more immune to it. Not to mention, this is still "natural" to them whereas "polluting" their water with vitamins isn't. And who is to say that many of them don't die from drinking this water? As we all know, budgies reproduce very well and live in enormous flocks in the wild. Nature doesn't care if a few birds die as long as there are enough to sustain the species.

 

The biggest concern I have though, is that there is just no way to know the birds are getting the vitamins even if they do drink the water. There's no way to properly measure the doses and no way to ensure that the water was consumed before the vitamins became too diluted.

 

Giardia is a big concern as this would be really helping it along. I had a parrotlet that feather plucked and because giardia can cause plucking, he had to be tested (and was negative).

 

So, while I know the advice was definitely given with all the best intentions, I wouldn't necessarily suggest it to others who believe they have a malnourished budgie.

 

Sorry for all the rambling, I really am finished now.

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This is getting all confusing. I have only had Joey and Charlie about three months. I was advised that if they do not eat fruit and veg to give them vitamins in the meantime, although as yet I haven't because I am not yet convinced it is the right thing to do. They will both sit on my finger and I have only just got to the stage where I can hold my hand out flat without they becoming frightened.

 

Joey does not come of the cage as he cannot fly

 

Joey follows everything that Charlie does so I have to work on Charlie and Joey will follow. Joey is quite timid.

 

I had SB for nine years from a baby chick so he ate everything that we ate.

 

Charlie and Joey were going through their first moult when I had them.

 

I know this probably all sounds silly after having a budgie for nine years and now asking for advice.

 

I put some form of veg in their cage everyday but as yet it hasn't been touched. I have tried sweet corn, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, apple, celery.

 

I have even put egg in their cage but they just looked stunned at me. If they were completely trained it would be a lot easier.

 

I just worry that they are not getting a proper diet at the moment.

 

They have got cuttle fish (which they don't touch, a mineral block and iodine block. Both peck at the mineral and iodine block.

Edited by JJ2571
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I gave some tips such as baby food and birdie bread on the other page, maybe those will help? Sorry for all the confusion!

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Yes thank you Eterri I will try those on them. My husband will really think I have gone mad now buying baby food for them. :blink:

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(Laughing out loud)!

 

I get funny looks from my family as well so you will not be alone. :blink:

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Guest Budgie Care Publications

Why has someone in the administration deleted my 2nd response to JJ2571?

 

I've had to resort to sending a PM to make sure she sees my Post on the top of Page 2 (dealing with how to coax the birds to start eating fruit & vegetables).

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I still see all your posts.

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Yep, it's still there!

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Yep, it's still there!

 

Hi Lin,

Not the 2nd short one to JJ2571.

It was there for about half an hour but is definitely now gone.

Anyway, a message was sent to her via PM.

I was only concerned that she would miss the technique which I'm sure will work (i.e. very thin slices to get them nibbling).

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Yep, it's still there!

 

Hi Lin,

Not the 2nd short one to JJ2571.

It was there for about half an hour but is definitely now gone.

Anyway, a message was sent to her via PM.

I was only concerned that she would miss the technique which I'm sure will work (i.e. very thin slices to get them nibbling).

The one telling her to look at the top of page 2? That's post 32 (I think, got distracted after I found it :D )

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Yep, it's still there!

 

Hi Lin,

Not the 2nd short one to JJ2571.

It was there for about half an hour but is definitely now gone.

Anyway, a message was sent to her via PM.

I was only concerned that she would miss the technique which I'm sure will work (i.e. very thin slices to get them nibbling).

The one telling her to look at the top of page 2? That's post 32 (I think, got distracted after I found it :D )

 

I think it's Post 21 on the top of Page 2.

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Why has someone in the administration deleted my 2nd response to JJ2571?

 

I've had to resort to sending a PM to make sure she sees my Post on the top of Page 2 (dealing with how to coax the birds to start eating fruit & vegetables).

 

 

Gil I deleted it only after JJ2571 responded to your post.

I under stood why you posted twice and left it until it was responded to

 

Having a repeated post seemed pointless after the fact.

 

It was post# 34. after eterri's. Which is now JJ2571.

 

________________________________________________________________________________

___________

 

To Back up Gil

 

Successfully providing nutritionally sound diets comes with patience and persistence. It may take many weeks, even months, of offering new foods before your bird will accept them. Some birds like foods warm and some prefer cooked vegetables to raw. you will discover your bird's particular preferences.

 

Remember to give your bird time to adjust to a new diet. Offer seeds (only at mealtime) along with other foods until you are confident that your bird is consuming enough of the new foods to maintain itself. Birds are more responsive to diet changes when they are fed outside of the cage (on top of the cage is fine). Remove any food not consumed within one hour. you may offer an occasional snack between mealtimes, but make sure the snack is nutritious.

 

The final ingredient to a healthy diet is fresh water. You can add a multivitamin to the water until your bird is getting enough vitamins from fruits and vegetables. Most vitamin supplements have a dextrose or sugar base. The sugar base encourages bacteria to multiply in the water; therefore, you must change water twice a day. A better alternative is to sprinkle powdered vitamins (several brands are available at your local pet shop) such as SuperPreen on your bird's soft foods.

 

Scrub out water and food bowls daily with hot, soapy water, and disinfect them in bleach twice a week (make sure to rinse away all the bleach after you disinfect the dishes).

 

By Susan E. Schwab, DVM

Animal Hospital of Fairview Park

Fairview Park, Ohio

 

Nutrtion For Parrots and Other Birds

Edited by daz
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While bacteria only takes under half an hour to start growing we only need to change the water twice a day? We're really supposed to be changing it twice a day anyway and that is *before* you start adding bacteria food vitamins to the water.

 

I give up! Throw all common sense out the window. :blink::

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To those who are interested.

I received an email from the individual in question and it looks like the advice given is paying off.

His response is as follows:

"Hi, I got the calcium and the birds are biting on it a lot. I gave them the vitamins you suggested and they are getting a lot better and I fed them some carrots and apple. I think there is less constipation and the birds look healthier already."

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Great news. ;)

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Well, that's great news! It must be very frustrating for an animal lover to live where there is no help and advice for their loved ones

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This has gotten very interesting. Thank you for all so far who have added their input. Everyone has very valid points. Now it's my turn to add a little. :rip:

 

I agree wholeheartedly with what Gil has written, in that you have to start somewhere to improve your bird's diet. Vitamins in the water are not as good as vitamins sprinkled on food, which are not as good as vitamins from whole foods, but again, you have to start somewhere. It sounded like the question Gil originally got was about birds that weren't feeling well at all and what was something that could be done? He thought to begin with they were probably on a very poor diet. We all know how much what we eat affects the way we feel ourselves, so it makes sense to me to broaden that to include how our birds feel too. Once a bird becomes a seed junkie, they are not going to look at fresh veggies and say "OH these are much better for me, I'll feel great if I eat them, thank you so much". They are going to give you the equivalent of "What the.............???????" Why do you think conversion to pellets is so hard and needs to be done in stages? Why don't they just eat the nice broccoli stuck in their cage and be done with it? Budgies will starve themselves rather than immediately change their diet. I don't think Gil intended on this person keeping their birds on water vitamins and lettuce forever. He was just trying to get some type of nutrition into them to start with, some way. My thoughts, I may be wrong. :P Don't shoot the messenger in this case, I think he is only trying to help. For those of us with better access to veterinary care and good products the advice may have been a little different with respects to what products to try and how to administer them.

 

Regarding seeds, in my opinion the shorter the ingredient list, the better quality the seeds. Things to think about: How good can they be if 10 lines of ingredients need to be added to make it "complete" or "high quality"? What was the quality of seed used to begin that is now requires all the additives? Granted, some are for longer shelf life and it's hard to get around that. Sometimes seeds are grown in iodine-depleted soil, or soil saturated with pesticides. (thanks daz) Organically grown seeds are best, seeds preserved with natural ingredients (vitamin E, orange oil, etc) are better than those preserved with stuff you can't pronounce. They will be more expensive, and will also have a shorter shelf life. Here shorter is better. You might have to look hard to find them, but they are out there. Do your research. But even with top of the line food, it still isn't as fresh and full of good things as seeds on the stalk in the wilds of Australia. I can't tell you how many times in the last 4 or 5 years I've changed my birds diets. The more you know, the better choices you can make. Thank goodness they love food.

 

And if your birds won't try anything new, all I can say is no matter what, keep at it. You may have to try one new food every day, prepared in 10 different ways, for 6 months before your bird will try it. Then start on food number two. :) Every new food tasted is a small victory, and even if they eventually only accept a few additions to the diet, they are still a little better off than before. That's the goal. If you need to add vitamins, do it. Hopefully it is a temporary measure. I think it's easier if you have more than one bird, but if one is all you have don't be discouraged. It's normal for budgies to be suspect of new foods - it's a survival mechanism more than anything else I think. Luckily mine will eat most anything, or at least try it once. And I'll be willing to bet that even with all the stuff they eat, something could still be improved in their diet.

 

It is a little sad that budgies have been kept as pets for as long as they have and something as basic as the proper diet hasn't been studied any more than it has. Protein requirements? huh? Mineral ratios? what? How much vitamin A? ummm..... Which form of calcium is most soluble? there's more than one form? How much of any of this is too much? It makes me angry and saddens me at the same time, because I love these little birds so much, but at least now information is out there, you just have to find it. Thankfully that is one reason we are all here.

 

okay, I'm done. :) Thanks for listening.

 

Next!

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clap.gif Thanks Rainbow. Well put.

 

Also well done Gil it's great to hear the improvements of the birds.

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