[Note: These products are popular and most bird owners probably use them. Eventually, either I can convince you to stop or time will pass and the same realizations people have had about dog and cat diets will finally reach the bird community More on this later.]
I was on the website for Lafeber, one of the largest bird food companies. On this page, I find this selection of products:
Doesn’t it look like sugary breakfast cereals for birds? They are predominantly processed food and very high in carbohydrates, which I discussed in earlier posts on dietary fat:
- What causes fatty liver disease
- Animal research into fat and disease
- Animal research applied to parrot diets
So, I picked the most popular and looked at the ingredients.
- Ground corn = 86% carbs
- Canary grass seed = 49% carbs
- Millet = 78% carbs
- Oats = 68% carbs
- Wheat flour = 79% carbs
- Sugar = 100% carbs
- For comparison, Count Chocula = 84%
All but one of those is well above the 45-65% recommended by the USDA, which has long since been debunked as well too high (see sources above). Avi-cakes is the definition of junk food. Lots of carbs/sugar to keep you eating more.
Also referenced in the sources above is that carbs are the top cause for obesity and metabolic disorder, a problem for humans, other animals, and birds.
I’m always on the lookout for truly awful products and I found this one.
Yes, sunflower seeds aren’t enticing enough for birds, so we must add two kinds of sugar, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. This product is just irresponsible.
Maybe the take away is if it looks like junk food, it probably is. Next time you look at a box of processed food, note the ingredients. The top ingredients are typically grains and sugar, all of which are excessively high in carbohydrates.
Sources: (neither was a comprehensive source)
- Compositional Analysis of Whole Grains, Processed Grains, Grain Co-Products, and Other Carbohydrate Sources with Applicability to Pet Animal Nutrition—Foods—March 2016
- My Food Data