Whether you have a passion for Parrots, take pride in Pigeons or find Chickens charming, your bird will benefit from natural care. Birds in captivity, be it in the home or in backyard coops, need supplements to maintain optimum health and prevent disease. Reliable information regarding the natural supplementation of bird diets is difficult to find, so we’ve summarized our research for you in this article.
The use of natural supplements may offer the following benefits to exotic birds, backyard chickens, pigeons, and other birds:
- Increased fertility and laying ability
- Improved eggshells
- Healthier offspring with less deformities and increased survival rate
- Improved feather growth, condition & color
- Decreased feather eating
- Optimum growth
- Immune system enhancement
- Prevention and treatment of parasites
- Prevention of bacterial and viral infections
- Protection against mycotoxin and heavy metal poisoning
- Prevention of Rickets
- Prevention of Roup
- Increased lifespan
Natural Feed Supplements for Exotic Pet Birds, Poultry, Pigeons, Waterfowl, Etc.
Please note that not all of the following supplements are suitable for all species. It’s important to research and consult a veterinarian before making changes in your bird’s diet.
- Calcium Montmorillonite Clay – Birds all over the World are known to eat clay (geophagy) from clay licks in riverbeds and other locations. It’s a bio-available, complete mineral supplement that also boasts antibacterial and anti-parasite properties. Calcium Montmorillonite Clay also improves digestion, cures loose droppings, detoxifies heavy metals, and protects against radiation. It treats mycotoxin poisoning (such as aflatoxin), and can be mixed with grain to prevent mycotoxins. You can also make a paste of Calcium Montmorillonite Clay, Aloe Vera and water to treat external issues, such as Keel Cysts. This natural supplement is suitable for all animals.
- Oyster Shell – Excellent source of calcium carbonate. Make sure it’s feed-grade to avoid impurities.
- Powdered Seaweed – Chelated mineral & vitamin supplement that also balances electrolytes, helps leg problems in broiler hens, acts as a prebiotic, prevents parasites, and improves immune function. Excellent source of iodine.
- Freeze-Dried Krill (ground) – A uniquely balanced source of Omega 3, 6 & 9 for organ, muscle, skin and plumage health. Krill also improves digestion and color. Breeders use Krill to increase fertility and for healthier offspring.
- Turmeric – Packed with bioflavonoids and polyphenols. Turmeric speeds wound healing, and offers anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
- Cinnamon – Offers anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasite, and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon also supports the circulatory and digestive system.
- Mint – Supports the digestive and respiratory system.
- Dandelion Leaf – Good source of Vitamin A, B, C, and D, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and luteolin. It is best known for it’s detoxification abilities and digestive system support.
- Garlic – Supports a healthy immune and respiratory system. Garlic has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasite properties. It’s also reputed to reduce the smell of droppings, especially when used in combination with Mint.
- Calendula – Speeds healing and is often used for skin conditions. Nutritionally, it is high in antioxidants. Calendula also boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-septic properties.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract – Used primarily for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
- Grapeseed Extract – Supports the immune and digestive system. It also offers anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasite, and anti-fungal properties.
- Virgin Coconut Oil – Improves immune function, supports the liver and kidneys, boosts the metabolism, increases absorption rate of vitamins, and offers antimicrobial properties. Coconut Oil is also a good source of Omega 3 & 6, along with antioxidants.
- Bee Pollen – Packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, enzymes, fatty acids and carbohydrates. Bee pollen also provides hormones for growth and supports the immune system.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Offers vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Apple Cider Vinegar also supports the immune and respiratory system, as well as having anti-bacterial properties. The usual recommendation is 2% Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water in a plastic dish.
Note: It’s important to purchase fresh (or properly preserved), high quality herbs, extracts, and other supplements for maximum benefits. We rely on Starwest Botanicals for premium, human-grade herbs, essential oils and nutraceuticals. Pet Food Direct is a reliable source of general bird food and supplies, plus they always have great coupons, discounts and contests.
The easiest way to add a number of the above supplements to your bird’s diet is by making your own food. It can then be eaten in pieces or crushed as a feed additive. We have a recipe for Fruity Calcium Cornbread and Corny Nut Squares to get you started.
Do you have any natural bird supplement suggestions to share? Please tell us about it in the comments below.
Photo: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos – GNU Free Documentation License
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2nd International Symposium on Pet Bird Nutrition. Institute of Animal Nutrition. 2007.
Jaynes, William F. Influence of Soluble Feed Proteins and Clay Additive Charge Density on Aflatoxin Binding in Ingested Feeds. 2011.
Greenwood, Anna. Raising Chickens In Your Backyard: A No-Fluff Guide To Chicken Breeds, Coops, Runs, Tractors And More
Deutsch, Robin. The Healthy Bird Cookbook: A Lifesaving Nutritional Guide and Recipe Collection
A Guide to Keeping and Caring for the Domesticated Pigeon
Lan, M. Rare Earths: Forbidden Cures. 1995.
Dextreit, Raymond. Our Earth, Our Cure. 1993.
Abehsera, Michel. The Healing Clay. 1979.
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