Dairy Products

Posted By: EchosMom

Dairy Products - 12/21/08 04:36 AM

Very interesting article:

Dairy Products and Birds by
Margaret A. Wissman, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.P.
Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: Dairy Products - 12/22/08 03:42 AM

Interesting, although I would have some questions for her.

Why is she feeding her Gray's mozzarella cheese everyday? For the calcium? There are much much better sources of calcium than dairy products. Kale, sesame seeds, almonds to name a few. Completely nondairy.

Vitamin D? If you don't ahve avian lights and give them lots of betacarotene, then you might want to supplement, but why do it with dairy? They're not more baby cows than we are and handle it less well. Dairy's vitamin D is a supplement too. They add A and D to milk. Why not just use a supplement?

Coming from a family that are all allergic to milk or lactose intolerant, I don't understand why you would feed a substance that a) even humans don't handle so well, and b) can be completely avoided without almost any trouble. Easier to avoid than lots of other allergies. (try avoiding cane & corn sugar!!)
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Dairy Products - 12/22/08 04:07 AM

What I found interesting was that the enzymes in yogurt cancel out the lactose, which I didn't know, and that the two additives that make a dairy product lactose free, are toxic to birds.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Dairy Products - 12/22/08 01:13 PM

That's a good to know about the lactose free products. I wonder how many people out there give their birds lactose free cheese and milk products thinking they are doing no wrong. I've always been really careful about giving Cassie yogurt fearing the lactose. She gets a bite now and then of ours. I also buy her the yogurt dips for birds. I bought Cassie the UVB lights this fall as she was low on calcium when she got her blood work back. She is also now on supplements daily. Last year she was Vit A deficient and now this year calcium. It's so hard to know if they are getting all of the necessary nutrients. Even the vet is surprised with Cassie's blood work because of her varied diet. Makes you wonder about the content of the pellets that are suppose to be nutrianally complete. If your bird eats the pellets along with all of the good veggies, beans,rice, fruits, nuts etc. why would there still be nutrianal deficiencies?
Posted By: spinnyspoo

Re: Dairy Products - 12/22/08 05:05 PM

Nancy, I wonder whether the nutritional deficiencies are because the 'nutritionally complete' pellets are not actually species specific. They're sort of a broad brush to feed what are naturally pretty specific eaters.

I know that my cockatoo will have different nutritional requirements than your cockatoo. Mine is australian. They live off of different things than indonesiann ones. Do I know exactly HOW it will be different? Nope, but I'm SURE that his nutrition should be somewhat different than a goffins or u2. Enough so that Australian cockatoos and Indonesian cockatoos tend to like different flavours (sweet vs starchy for eg)

Does a Timneh and a Congo need the same diet? A U2 and a M2? A 'teil and a budgie? But we're feeding them very similar if not exactly the same food.

This is my little theory that's been rolling around in my head for a while. 3 different kinds of pellets for 200 species of birds just CAN'T be nutritionally ideal. It makes no sense to me.

When it comes to dairy ...or anything really... I don't trust 'diet' or 'modified' foods. Low fat often has molecularly altered stuff in it to make it feel 'creamier' in the mouth, sugar free almost ALWAYS has fake sweetener in it (eek poison!), and now we know that lactose free has additives in it to make it lactose free.... they don't just take out the lactose?

Stick to the basics and it's really hard to go wrong.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Dairy Products - 12/22/08 07:16 PM

On top of her pellets which constitute a small percentage of her diet she gets all the healthy greens, carrots, sweet potatoe, green beans, mixed beans, chili peppers, all types of squashs, brown rice, corn, cranberries, papaya, quinoa, oats, wheat, pumpkin & squash seeds, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, flax seed, all sorts of mixed grains and organic breads. They are truely a delema when it comes to diet! How in the world do the birds that get a purely seed diet survive?!?!? Nancy
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: Dairy Products - 12/22/08 07:38 PM

When it comes to dairy ...or anything really... I don't trust 'diet' or 'modified' foods. Low fat often has molecularly altered stuff in it to make it feel 'creamier' in the mouth, sugar free almost ALWAYS has fake sweetener in it (eek poison!), and now we know that lactose free has additives in it to make it lactose free.... they don't just take out the lactose?

Stick to the basics and it's really hard to go wrong.

I agree with you 100% Spinny! We dont use any of these processed foods ourselves. I just dont trust what they do to them sick . We do offer pellets, but as our vet explained to us they are more of a fillin rather than a main diet. They may offer some vitamins that are missed that day and that is the way we think of them. Like Nancy posted, we offer such an abundance of healthy foods daily that we are confident that Ozzy is getting all he needs from them. He will munch on his pellets at bedtime and a few seeds, but I think he views this food as a snack rather than his main food source lol.
Posted By: candim

Re: Dairy Products - 01/06/09 05:53 AM

I have NOT fed Kyra eggs but I was curious if they are safe. I see some bird foods at the pet store with eggs in it and have wondered what that was for.
Posted By: nanuk

Re: Dairy Products - 01/06/09 09:21 AM

candim I feed eggs to my u2 Bebe. Eggs are used in birdie bread. The only way I know that eggs are no good is if they are fried. Bebe likes his in the shell hard boiled. The shells are a good source of calcium for birds, in nature all birds steal eggs from nests occasionally.

Also in several posts I have noticed that you feel attacked and I'm sure that it is not meant that way. Please don't keep taking everything so personally.
Posted By: candim

Re: Dairy Products - 01/06/09 03:29 PM

Thank you Terry I really am trying to do what is best for Kyra and I can't wait to see how she does with a hard boiled egg.
I am sure no one meant harm they were just wanting to see that Kyra is safe and well taken care of but the words have been so harsh I guess it is just all that passion they have and they fear I am another one of those statisics that say I got this bird because she is beautiful and cuddly. Don't worry I am NOT!!! For one Kyra wasn't too beautiful when I got her only 2 weeks ago and she sure wasn't too cuddly. She is better though now she no longer has sticky yellow feathers and barely able to fly. She looked terrible we thought she had bald spots from plucking but the vet said she was just covered in stick nicotine and tar that once we got her a few baths and a healthier diet she would start to look like a beautiful cockatoo and grow new feathers. she looks great now and she is becoming more and more friendly sometimes too friendly so we are breaking those habits too.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Dairy Products - 01/06/09 04:26 PM

Eggs are OK in moderation, but because of the high cholestrol content should be offered in moderation only.
Posted By: candim

Re: Dairy Products - 01/07/09 01:16 AM

Actually how much is too much? How often can I or should I give it to her?
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Dairy Products - 01/07/09 01:54 AM

Please read the link in the first post of this thread.
Posted By: ParrotPerson

Re: Dairy Products - 02/14/09 03:55 PM

My question would be, why would people be feeding their birds dairy to begin with? As the first part of the article explained, milk is for mammals, not birds.

She even gives her bird cheese?? Didn't she just explain that birds do not naturally eat milk? I highly doubt birds have been sitting in the wilderness, milking the nearest mammal and learning the art of cheese making over the years.

We just keep it simple and it works. Dr. Jan Hooimeijer is actually a large supporter of an all pellet (Harrison's) diet and I personally tend to agree with him. I've encountered birds with obesity problems, high blood pressure and fatty liver disease all because people over-do-it on the amounts and types of food a bird should get.

I like to vary the pellet with some extra food now and then to add some enrichment to their normal eating routine, but cheese, milk and yogurt... ??
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Dairy Products - 02/14/09 08:58 PM

While I agree with you on the dairy products, I think you have "drank the Kool Aid" about Harrison's.

Originally Posted By: Hooimeijer on the Harrison's site
" My aim/goal is to work together with the owner for the best interest/health/welfare of the birds based on mutual respect. When owners have reason to doubt my intentions, disagree with the given advices and not willing to start working with Harrison's Bird Foods, they do not consider me as their avian veterinarian and I do not consider them as my clients.

He may as well work for them. He is also the driving force behind a movement called, I believe, the "natural parrot" in the Netherlands in which large numbers of people bring their parrots outside in parks for walks and bike rides. Many other vets and professionals disagree with this practice for numerous reasons not the least of which is disease transmission. JMHO
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Dairy Products - 02/15/09 07:23 PM

I don't offer my birds dairy on a regular basis, but I do offer 1/2 tsp or so of yogurt periodically because I have found it to be a great vehicle to disguise foul tasting med's with.
Posted By: katy girl

Re: Dairy Products - 02/15/09 09:44 PM

I do use rice milk and 2 eggs with shells in my birdie bread. The vet I just went to said her diet was fine and she was very healthy. I do give her Harrisons, really as a snack at noon. It is definitely not her main meal. I really don't know how much she eats because the bottom of her bowl is usually crumbs so she might just be playing with them.
Posted By: belle-ville

Re: Dairy Products - 02/18/09 09:06 PM

Interestingly enough, this article also talked about "Heinz body hemolytic anemia" which she says is caused by compounds found in garlic and onions, which I had no idea about. Leah loves to munch on garlic and onions, though I'd say she's only had onions twice and garlic about three times while helping me peel them... good to know for sure... learn something new everyday.
Posted By: nannyherr

Re: Dairy Products - 03/17/09 04:09 PM

We have 7 various birds in our bird house. Four of these are rescued and 3 on purpose . The AF Grey, and the G2 eat every meal with us at the table. I feed all 7 mixed veggies and fruits with either rice, orzo or pasta for lunch everyday.The parrot blend I put in their cages is made up by the Dean of Vet.Med. at OSU and contains many various seeds and nuts. This is their play food and filler.I cook eggs every morning and toast a lot of times with peanut butter. I also make cereal and milk with 2% milk which no one has a problem digesting.Our Avian Vet has checked everyone throughly and all have very clean bills of health. One of the quakers we rescued was self mutilated to almost total baldness and is now fully feathered and flighted and is one of our sweetested birds.I must add I am home everyday and all birds have free reign of the house with perches in every room. Normally at least 5 follow me from room to room just like little chicks.

I think just as in humans some foods are totally off limits but most of what's healthy for us is fine in moderation.
Posted By: babysmomma

Re: Dairy Products - 03/19/09 07:47 AM

Good grief, I am so glad to hear someone else is cooking all day long for their Too. Though Baby has only been here for just over a week, I cook for her several times a day. She loves toast, and I make a special little pancake for her with oatmeal, flax seed and ground whole wheat. Today she had toast with cooked butternut squash spread on it like jam, she loved it.
She will not eat a whole lot of stuff but I'm offering her different things half a dozen times a day. She wou't eat her Zupreem pellets though, throws it out of the cup and peanuts go sailing too. She does love warm toast! and if it's YOUR toast with a bit of butter on it thats even better, she will insist on YOUR toast instead of her own, very funny.
Posted By: ChickenBaby

Re: Dairy Products - 03/22/09 03:35 AM

I think variety is very important in their diet. I don't feed dairy except for whatever small amount may be used for cooking our own meals that we share with the birds, and I have also used almond milk which my too loves. I am guilty of giving a very small piece of cheese every so often (like once every couple weeks) this is only when it is absolutely necessary for trickery.
I heard that lactose is pretty much removed from dairy during processing and cooking, anyone know if this is true?
Posted By: Kiwibarb

Re: Dairy Products - 06/21/09 04:38 AM

I give my conures and african grey scrambled eggs (in the microwave with red palm oil) every week or two. They love it, and I shall probably give Luna some. I figure that between what hits the floor and what gets in the seed catcher, they don't actually get much, but they do like it.
Posted By: rocky1

Re: Dairy Products - 08/29/09 01:27 AM

how do you get the birdie mix from the vet at OSU, if you are referring to OKlahoma. I live in OKC and would like to get some also. thanks.
Posted By: ParrotPerson

Re: Dairy Products - 10/25/09 10:06 PM

*biting tongue* Doing my best not to preach, but... why?

A) Why would any "animal lover" be consuming a product made from the suffering of an animal and B) Why would an "animal lover" be feeding this product to one of their loved animals?

Alright, preaching done. The irony of it all just gets the better of me at times. I could go on and on and... no... must resist! Back to the point.

I do have a valid question/concern for her regarding this article. She doesn't begin to cover the other side-effects of dairy. Lactose is only one part of the entire dairy "puzzle". Antibiotics fed to the cows, hormones also given to the cows and the wonderful artery choking cholesterol and the fact that the "white" color of milk comes from white blood cells (otherwise known as puss) are also a few more pieces that aren't mentioned anywhere in the article. I'd rather refer to Dr. McDougall's research on the matter and just transfer it to birds smile

What are the side effects of a bird ingesting those, lactose free or not? This is a large reason I won't even put these things in my own body, never mind someone else's!
Posted By: Rukesmom

Re: Dairy Products - 10/26/09 01:33 PM

Ditto Parrot person!!!!
Love my vanilla soymilk when I have cereal (should say we; Nina and Ruke love it)...
Posted By: JBryan

Re: Dairy Products - 10/26/09 02:05 PM

Our vet says plain yogurt is good for our Grey. Until I hear something authoritative to the contrary I will continue feeding it to her.
Posted By: Birdiemommy

Re: Dairy Products - 10/26/09 10:22 PM

We don't eat dairy so the birds don't get it either. I do have a concern about them getting enough Vitamin D since I've read so much about it's benefit to people. The birds don't go outdoors and probably don't get that much through the windows in their room. I wonder if something like cod liver oil would be helpful?

They do eat some pellets, one bird more than the other. But I don't like the idea of them eating such highly processed food and I just never trust the nutritional value of pellets. Maybe I'm too paranoid.
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: Dairy Products - 10/27/09 07:16 PM

We dont feed any dairy products here, use very little ourselves. I just dont want to take the risk, there has been so much information on both sides of the fence for my comfort. Our birds get a huge variety daily without dairy products needed. If we need to give meds, we would put them in the daily oatmeal. For vitamin D, we use spectrum lighting in the winter months when we cant get our birds outside on a daily basis.

Definitely not trying to argue or agree with anyone here, just going on what I have read, and what I have discussed with my own vet. I think everyone should make this decision with their vet.
Posted By: Janie

Re: Dairy Products - 12/18/09 05:37 PM

We just let KiwiU2 choose according to her needs. She seems to be a fruit eater. Kale, surely you jest! Kale is a cool weather crop and doesn't grow in a rain forest. That beak really doesn't want green except to tear up appropriate leaves etc. I will say it again, sometimes this bird just wants protein and will eat it voraciously. Of course we moderate amounts and frequency. She will always go for fat. I continue to wonder that there is something in the natural diet that they consume which is 'fatty' but digestible for them. What she wants one day, she doesn't want the next. I think this has to do with natural feeding patterns of moving from place to place and having to scrounge for whatever they can get to eat.

Just watching our 4 chickens forage is a learning experience. They'll eat anything, especially protein. They actually killed a mouse, and were chasing each other around trying to steal it from the 'mouse body' owner. They'll pick scabs off your arm too. They seem to know what protein is no matter how it's packaged.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Dairy Products - 12/18/09 06:37 PM

They are just like most other animals, humans being the worst. If you provide them with meat, fat, salt and sugar (junk) then they will choose to eat these things to the exclusion of all healthy food. Sure, at some point, their bodies will crave things that it needs. Birds adopted into good homes after a lifetime of eating crap gorge themselve on vegetables and grains, for a few days. Once the body has met most of its nutritional requirements, they will hold out for junk because this is what they want and are used to.

Unlike us, we know eating crap will shorten our lives and cause any number of health problems and then chose to do it anyway, they eat what we provide. Chickens cannot be compared to parrots in any way. No respected vet will you that these things are part of a natural parrot diet. Will they eat a grub or meat and bones from a dead animal? Sure, it just doesn't happen often.
Posted By: Garnet

Re: Dairy Products - 12/18/09 07:03 PM

Friends of mine with an umbrella cockatoo let her eat quite a bit of meat and the bird would sometimes steal cat food.

Eventually, she became quite "huffy" in her breathing, so she was taken to the vet. Her cholesterol was way higher that it should have been and she was very overweight. They cut all the meat products out and she's doing better.

Little bits of meat probably won't hurt, but it's not something wild parrots eat a lot of (keas and Antipodes Island Kakarikis being the exceptions). They should get their protein from their pellets, and from plant sources like nuts, quinoa, beans, corn, and things like that. Fat should come from their pellets, and seeds and nuts.

Chickens also have higher protein requirements than parrots.
Posted By: Littlesavedgirl

Re: Dairy Products - 01/03/10 06:09 AM

My Too has been in 6 prior homes before mine. Within those homes the care that was given to her, can only be speculation on my part or perhaps hear-say. One thing I am certain of is that we can only give our Too's the best we know how.
I have given my Too hard boiled eggs a couple of times, she nibbles a bit and then drops it. The same can be repeated for pellet's,red grapes, corn ect. Bottom line; the bad food habits acquired by some of our Too's can be complicated and very likely impossible to rectify.
We should take this slow and easy before we cause additional stress.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Dairy Products - 01/03/10 06:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Littlesavedgirl
One thing I am certain of is that we can only give our Too's the best we know how.

Absolutely, but we can (and should) take that a step further. It is our responsibility to learn how to give the best that we can.

You are right, diet conversion can take time and can be done gradually in many circumstances. This should be discussed, in depth with your bird's avian vet.
Posted By: GregM

Re: Dairy Products - 01/05/10 09:33 PM

Originally Posted By: BE2Cassie
That's a good to know about the lactose free products. I wonder how many people out there give their birds lactose free cheese and milk products thinking they are doing no wrong.

+1. My wife has lactose free milk in the house...occasionally I have put a splash in some oatmeal that Buddi has consumed...I guess I will not be doing that anymore...
Posted By: artfull

Re: Dairy Products - 07/28/10 10:47 PM

I feed my Angel-bird just about everything i eat.. i'm a chef and i don't eat fake foods... he's healthy very happy, and loves life.. i rescued angel... or rather he choose me... he was unhappy with a friend and picked me... and loves it with me... i feed him pellets and seeds but he mostly loves nuts and fruits, will eat vegetables and loves grains and adores cream cheese which i give him only once in a while as a treat, Angel is the greatest creature god ever created... we sing to him, dance with him, let him fly around the house and boss the cats and dogs around.
Posted By: angelinasmom

Re: Dairy Products - 09/23/10 04:59 AM

sounds like angel has a great life. I also try to get my birds to eat healthy, with an occasional unhealty treat. Angelina loves pizza. Her previous owner wasnt very concious of her diet, even though I do think he loved her very much. Just wanted to caution about bossing the cats and dogs. Make sure there is much supervision. I am balancing a household right now with three birds and two large dogs. Dont ever take anything for granted
Posted By: Jeana

Re: Dairy Products - 02/11/11 08:09 PM

Hello everyone,
I am the mom of a U2 and African grey, Sammy and Birdie, Sammy is one picky fart!!!, I give him many many choices of food for brekkie, I was feeding him a boiled egg in the mornings, he actually ate that, I was told no more eggs, He is 3 now so starting to exhibit breeding behaviors, so now Sammy will not eat much, I offer fruits, salads, (i buys various greens for my canaries and try to give them at bit as well) I tried oatmeal, I have tried shredded wheat, cherrio's tried toast, tried toast and peanut butter,I have made several types of birdie breads, i have tried the various bean mixtures i have found on the internet, i have tried various squash, and other veggies, he will nibble on brocoli and bits of cauliflower, he does like pasta and corn, so I am limited to what i can feed him,
He must eat enough as there is always a healthy amount of poop at the bottom of his cage, I always have pellets and seed/nuts in his cage, (i leave seeds/nuts for about an hour then take the away) he loves almonds and walnuts, both in shell and out.
Any ideas on what to feed this guy or to try to offer
He does have appointment at the vet on tuesday so will see if he is healthy,
I must also add Sammy loves loves loves cheese, I was feeding him cheese everyday, (cheese strings cut very thin) I used cheese to bribe him back into his cage when he was being a bugger, i used bits of cheese to do training, nothing else works, he doesn't like banana chips or sundflower seed, no peanuts, and if i chop the almonds he will not eat them,
Talk about a fussy kid, lol
The grey she will eat most fruits and some veggies, the lady i got her from only ever gave her pellets and the odd bit of fruit, so i think she thinks she is in heaven with all the choices i give her, lol

Both are like my kiddies so i try really hard to make them happy, not always succeeding, but i try.
I am a stay at home mom so always home with them, I am affraid to let them both out at the same time, Sammy (U2) is very demanding of my time and gets alittle upset if he see's birdie ( the grey) anywhere near me, He goes to bed at around 5:30 and then birdie will come out to play, her cage is always open, but i think she is to nervous to come out while he is out,
Will he harm her?

Posted By: Jacque

Re: Dairy Products - 02/11/11 08:28 PM

One of the things that has worked very well for my picky kids is a concoction called "chop". It is a mixture of frozen, cooked and raw veggies, rice, wild rice, grains, uncooked oatmeal, flax seed,pasta, etc that is all thrown in the food processor, chopped tiny and then mixed together. I make it about every 6 weeks and freeze it in baggies. Each baggie will feed my flock for 2-3 days. After a few days of uncertainty, all of my birds decided it was wonderful. The deal is that if they go for a bite of carrot or pasta, they get a bite of greens as well.

My kids do get an occasional bit of boiled egg. But I share one egg between 7 birds, so it's just a taste really.

You will also want to watch the cheese, as parrots are lactose intolerant. However, the harder the cheese, the less lactose is actually present. Therefore a hard cheese (parmesan, sharp cheddar) is better for them than Jack cheese or other soft cheese. My kids get cheese VERY occasionally as a special treat.

Birdie bread is another huge favorite and I use it to deliver anything that they aren't eating enough of. I make mine with mini pellets, mashed sweet potatoes, smashed egg shell and frozen veggies. You can find a birdie bread recipe on the MyToos recipe page.
Posted By: Casey000

Re: Dairy Products - 02/10/13 08:36 AM

My g2s love Greek yogurt. They don't get very much but they swarm me when I'm eating it. It's the only dairy product they get.
Posted By: Elliott

Re: Dairy Products - 02/10/13 02:53 PM

I think yogurt is very good for them. I'm sure some one can either back me up and de-bunk me.
Posted By: Stephaniet

Re: Dairy Products - 02/10/13 03:15 PM

Ah ? I thought that parrots didn't digest milk ?
Posted By: Elliott

Re: Dairy Products - 02/10/13 06:57 PM

I believe they cannot digest lactose. I think lactose is changed in yogurt and this makes is more digestible. Also, moderation is the key with anything.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Dairy Products - 02/10/13 09:43 PM

Originally Posted By: EchosMom
What I found interesting was that the enzymes in yogurt cancel out the lactose
Posted By: Casey000

Re: Dairy Products - 02/12/13 05:45 AM

They're little yogurt piggies. I am more concerned about the sugar in the fruit filling than the yogurt itself given what I've read. I don't want extra sugar or salt in my birds, but they surely do ;-)
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