Your parrots health is on your shoulders

How's your parrots' health? Do you feed organic pellets and organic bird seed or do you feed chemicals and artificial vitamins to your bird?

Your Parrots' Health

What are those chemicals in our food?

I am passionate about chemical free living! I am always on the lookout for products that I can add to my home and my website that will help us all live healthier, longer lives. Plus, my parrots' health is very important to me.

We added Pet Focus months ago, it's a cleanser that you can use all over the house and even your bird cage that is chemical free. It dissolves bird droppings and kills bacteria and germs quick. And it is a no-rinse formula! For someone like me with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) it is a real lifesaver.

Recently we added two new organic bird seed products! I am so excited to tell you about Totally Organics Bird Seed for small birds. You can find them both at our Discount Parrot Supply Store.

Many Avian Vets suggest you feed Harrison's organic pellets. If you need help converting your bird to pellets, you can read the Switching Birds to Pellets article.

Along with that we have added more cages, perches, bird tents, and other organic bird pellets, non-organic food, organic bird seed and treats to our Discount Parrot Supply Store.

Today's Subject - Chemicals In Food

Today I want to talk about what is in many bird foods and pellets that are available today. If you have read any of my parrot profile pages, then you know I am "into" organic and chemical free diets. I encourage organic bird food and organic pellets for your parrots' health.

As a quick background, I almost lost my husband to cancer and part of why he is alive today, 20 years later, is because he changed his diet to eating healthy organic foods.

Since we did research on what chemicals do to our bodies, I can only imagine what they do to our tiny little bird bodies. If your birds are like mine, they eat and eat all day long. That means that their tiny kidneys and livers are working hard to filter everything that goes in them. Our parrots' health is on our shoulders.

Remember that most pellet and food companies do NOT use natural plant sources to color their foods, they use chemicals. Please avoid those pretty colored pellets and treats!

I give some explanation of a few of the dangerous chemical ingredients below that endanger your parrots' health. Go to your local pet store or vet and get some good healthy food for your parrot and your parrot will live a longer healthier life.

If you can't find a good source locally, then you can purchase some healthy totally organic pellets and seeds from me. We do carry products that have artificial vitamins, but please feed those to your birds sparingly. They are not good for your parrot's health.

Since Harrison's has artificial vitamins, and Goldn'obles has some non-organic ingredients, I now recommend the Totally Organics Pellets , and Totally Organics All In One Seed Mix because they don't have ANY artificial vitamins or ingredients. Artificial is just that, a chemical made to imitate the real thing. Why not just feed the real thing? Isn't your parrot's health worth it?

What to look for on food labels

Look on your bird food labels and see if they contain BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, Menadione or Propyl Gallate. Actually they may be masked as other names too....

BHA Butylated Hydroxysanisole - a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant, C11H16O2, used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods.

Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.

Enhances stomach and urinary bladder carcinogenesis. Causes squamous-cell carcinomas in stomachs. (Good for your parrots' health?)

BHT Butylated Hydroxy toluene - a crystalline phenolic antioxidant, C15H24O, used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods.

Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.

Promotes urinary bladder carcinogenesis. Could be a promoter of thyroid carcinogenesis. Studies have noted that BHA and other anti oxidants, particularly Propyl Gallate and Ethoxyquin, showed additional effects in inducing stomach hyperplasia and cytotoxicity. (Good for your parrots' health?)

Ethoxyquin 6-ethoxy-1,2-dihydro-2,2,4-trimethylquinoline. Antioxidant; also a post-harvest dip to prevent scald on apples and pears.

Originally developed by Monsanto as a stabilizer for rubber, Ethoxyquin has also been used as a pesticide for fruit and a color preservative for spices, and later for animal feed.

The original FDA permit for use as stabilizer in animal feed limited use to two years and did not include pet food, but it falls under the same legal category. It has never been proven to be safe for the lifespan of a companion animal.

It has been linked to thyroid, kidney, reproductive and immune related illnesses as well as cancer, but so far no conclusive, reliable research results either for the safety of this product or against it has not been obtained.

Monsanto conducted research years ago, but results were so inconclusive due to unprofessional conduct and documentation that the FDA demanded another study. There are currently several studies underway to determine whether Ethoxyquin is safe or not, and until those studies are completed, pet food suppliers may continue to use Ethoxyquin. This is how things stand after about 6 years, and no new details have emerged so far.

Ethoxyquin is listed and identified as a hazardous chemical by OSHA. It has a rating of 3 on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being super toxic requiring less than 7 drops to cause death. When manufactured by Monsanto, the containers are marked with the word POISON. Monsanto makes no representations and will not be responsible for damages of any nature whatsoever. The Department of Agriculture lists and controls Ethoxyquin as a pesticide.

Promotes kidney carcinogenesis. Significantly increases incidence of stomach tumors. Enhances bladder carcinogenesis. (Good for your parrots' health?)

Menadione (aka Vitamin K3 is the synthetic version of Vitamin K) One of the more obscure ingredients found in many pet foods are menadione derivatives - in the form of menadione sodium bisulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite, menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfate, menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfite or menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite, often listed as "a source of vitamin K activity" or "vitamin K supplement".

  • causes cytotoxicity in liver cells
  • causes formation of radicals from enzymes of leukocytes, with the consequence of cytotoxic reactions
  • considerably weakens the immune system
  • possible mutagenic effects
  • damages the natural vitamin K cycle
  • has no effect on coumarin derivatives, which are often present in commercial food due to mold contamination (toxic when ingested)
  • causes hemolytic anemia and hyperbilirubinemia, not just linked to large doses
  • disturbs the level of calcium ions (Ca2+) in the body, which is an important factor fibrinolysis
  • is directly toxic in high doses (vomiting, albuminuria), unlike natural vitamin K
  • builds up in tissue and has been detected in eggs, meat and milk of animals supplemented with menadione derivatives
  • causes irritation of skin and mucous membranes
  • causes allergic reactions and eczema
  • (Good for your parrots' health?)

    Things to consider

    Menadione (e.g. menadione sodium bisulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite or menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite)

  • has never been researched or specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food
  • has been banned from use in food and supplements for human use in many European countries due to serious side effects, including permanent damage and deaths
  • FDA has banned synthetic vitamin K from over-the-counter supplements because of its high toxicity
  • vitamins K1 and K2 are metabolized through the lymphatic system, utilizing pancreatic enzymes and bile acids and regulated by the liver. Vitamin K3 is absorbed directly and bypasses the natural pathways and regulators.
  • (Good for your parrots' health?)

    Propyl Gallate Also known as Gallic Acid or Propyl Ester. It is made from natural Gallic Acid, which is obtained by the hydrolysis of tannins from Tara Pods.

    Used as an antioxidant to stabilize cosmetics, food packaging materials, and foods containing fats. I have not found conclusive evidence either for or against the safety of this product, but it is suspected of causing liver diseases and cancer, so once again personally I prefer to err on the side of caution. Mixed tocopherols, citric acid and rosemary extract are effective, all-natural alternatives - just more expensive. (Good for your parrots' health?)

    I took much of this information from the website The Dog Food Project , I highly recommend that you read the full article for your sake and your bird's. She has really done her research! Also explore her "Ingredients To Avoid" page. It might save you, your bird's and other animal's lives in your household.

    Please consider your parrots' health and well being, and yours too for that matter! Purchase organic fruits and vegetables to feed your birds and yourself. You might be surprised how your parrots' health and yours improves over the next few months.

    Some feather pickers and feather pluckers have stopped their feather destructive behavior just from a simple diet change. Sometimes an allergy to peanuts or artificial vitamins causes a bird to be nervous. Once you remove the allergen, it is easier to help them give up their destructive habits.

    Here's to your parrots' health and yours!

    Visit our Parrot Training page when done with our Parrots' Health page