This post is one of a series of informational posts written by Dr Randal Brue for one of our great sponsors,KAYTEE. For more information on Dr. Brue, see below.
If you have a pet bird, you know that birds will eat seeds readily and so there are no difficulties feeding your bird this diet. But as an animal nutritionist, I can tell you that seeds alone lack several key nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Calcium, several trace minerals, and some amino acids. These include lysine and methionine in particular, two crucial building blocks of protein.
Your pet bird needs to have adequate levels of these vitamins. Several disease syndromes are directly related to these deficiencies and can be characterized simply by the appearance of the bird. An example of a deficiency arising from a seed only diet is seen with a lack of Vitamin A. As the skin and tissues around the bird’s mouth, nares, eyes and gut develop, they look for vitamins to help them grow normally, especially Vitamin A. But a seed diet cannot provide the necessary Vitamin A or Vitamin D either, because it simply is not there to be used. Consequently, abnormal tissues develop and these lead, as usual, to poor health and disease.
Dr. Randal Brue, Ph.D. KAYTEE Avian & Animal Nutritionist and Health Expert
Dr. Brue holds degrees from The Ohio State University – a B.S. in Animal Science, a M.S. in Avian Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry. His professional career of 25 years has been focused on developing innovative diets for nearly all pet species including exotic birds, small animals, reptiles, fish, and dogs and cats. His research efforts have been focused on studying the nutritional needs of exotic birds and reptiles since little scientifically-based information had existed in these areas when he started his career. He is responsible for developing the nutrient profiles that are the basis of nutritionally complete pet bird diets.
Beyond his scientific interests in exotic animals, Dr. Brue is also an avid pet enthusiast, with several hundred psittacine birds as well as numerous other animal, fish and reptile species.