Naturally for Birds Information Update: 4
Gary Fitt, Brisbane
The web and social media have thousands of items about the value of Oregano as a medicinal treatment for birds, with suggestions of how to use it in feeds. Everything from Oregano oil, Oregano tea, dried and fresh Oregano are available and can be fed as additives through softfoods and by other means. One of our Naturally for Birds supplements – MICRONUTRIENTS – contains organically grown Oregano powder as part of the blend, but why stop at Oregano?
Several other herbs also have valuable properties and MICRO-NUTRIENTS contains 14 other herbal components. Many plants, and most herbs contain a range of so-called secondary compounds, which are often byproducts of metabolic pathways but play little direct role in the plants’ metabolism. Often however, they are important in helping the plant deal with various stresses, including protection against pests and diseases. Many of these compounds have nutritional, therapeutic and/or medicinal benefits for cagebirds.
MICRONUTRIENTS also contains the superfood, Spirulina, and numerous vitamins and minerals. Spirulina is an amazing salt water alga, which contains rich vegetable protein (55-70%), high levels of calcium and several vitamins, particularly Vitamin B12 at 3-4 times higher than animal liver. Vitamin B12 is particularly lacking in a vegetarian diet.
Spirulina also contains a wide range of minerals, and a diversity of carotenoid pigments which aid colour intensity, fertility and have other protective functions. For humans Spirulina is rightly called a superfood, and it is just as beneficial for birds. Field and aviary observations show that many finches will feed on algae around the edges of water bodies – they do so for a reason.
For cagebirds the herbs and Spirulina provide highly beneficial phytonutrients that generate several health and wellbeing benefits:
micro-nutrient requirements that enhance fertility
strong enhancement of the immune system
anti-microbial effects against coccidia, bacterial infections, fungal pathogens
anti-oxidant properties to protect tissues from damage by free radicals
important pigments for feather colour intensity
Field research on some of our finches also show just how diverse their diet can be. A study of the Diamond Firetail in South Australia showed that they consumed seed and leaf fragments of 80 different plants, only 44 of which could be identified. Many of these were consumed in tiny quantities, but they all contribute something (micronutrients) to the diversity of the wild diet. Captive birds don’t get those choices and NFB MICRO-NUTRIENTS helps to solve that deficiency. For birds led and bred indoors MICRO-NUTRIENTS also provides a rich source of Vitamin D3 – essential for health and breeding when direct sunlight is missing.
See our Website – www.naturallyforbirds.com.au – for much more information about our supplements, Spirulina and particularly MICRO-NUTRIENTS.