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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2013, 08:52 AM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

Quote: Originally Posted by jakrob4 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by sodakat View Post
I have a few questions.

Why can you purchase Harrisons in Australia but not TOPs?
Why do moth eggs live through the cooking process?
Have you ever discussed your concerns with Harrisons?
Its hard importing food into Australia. There's only one person who imports all the Harrisons and there has been troubles with that lately.

Sorry I have no idea I thought heat was meant to kill moth eggs.

Don't get me wrong I love harrisons, they have done alot more for the pet birds of the world than I could ever imagine to do.
They have funded many experiments and have helped achieve leaps and bounds in Psittacine Nutrition.
I don't have any concerns I understand exactly what I'm buying and love it myself. Like I said it's still the best available ATM. Just make sure your birds get non-destroyed enzymes from fresh sources like any pellet diet.
Regards
Jake
I wanted to ask those questions because I didn't want to assume anything. I have tried both TOPs and Harrisons. Literally. Tasted them both and fed both to my Eclectus. TOPs has an alfalfa taste (to me) and Harrisons has a nutty taste (to me). TOPs looks similar to the green tubular food for rabbits, IMO and Harrisons High Potency Coarse and LifeTime Coarse are square.

If left to sit at room temperature for any length of time, moth larvae hatch from Harrisons but do not from TOPs. I also buy untreated seeds and have moth larvae hatch in the seeds. This is how it goes with organic products.

Freezing will kill the moth eggs and so will heat but apparently not cooking at 200 degrees which is what you claim Harrisons company does.

Dr Harrison is a DVM. Gudrun Maybaum, owner of TOPs is a bird owner whose ex-partner Chris Biro, created an organic bird food that she continued to manufacture once they split up. I believe Harrisons has tested their product on many species and has blood work results they will share.

Because I keep Eclectus I cannot feed much in the way of pellets, but mine do seem to tolerate Harrisons and TOPs. I prefer to feed them a balanced fresh food diet but do think there is a place for limited pellet feeding.

Vitamin D3 is my reason for feeding pellets when I do. I live where the UV rays from the sun are not beneficial from October through March so this is important.

I have no answers to this "organic" dilemma but my opinion is that 200 degrees is not harmful to most grains and obviously is not harmful to seed moth eggs!
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:17 AM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

This thread is exactly why I just don't feed my birds any pellets. I admit that I don't know enough to make a truly educated guess as to which pellet is better - organic or not. Because of this I make sure that while my birds do have a fruit and nut mix, that the majority of their foods are fresh veggies (since their are sugary fruits in the previous mentioned mix already). Yes, it takes more effort on my part, but I find it doesnt take anymore of my time as I prepare it while preparing my own food. My birds look forward to meal time and enjoy their fresh foods.

I still appreciate the thread as it has given me more info than I had. As stated by many, most companies are in this business purely for profit and not for the well being of our birds. Properly caring for our birds is already an expensive under taking. I wiould gladly pay more for a product such as the one the OP is planning on creating. I wish you well on your venture.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2013, 10:18 AM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

Very informative article and thanks for posting it and I personally agree with grinder when it comes to my birds. I use the Higgens Gourmet sun conure fruit, nut, veg, seed mix along with fresh foods.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:41 AM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

I would love to see a good organic pellet made without peanuts and sunflower seeds in it. Also one that birds like.
My guys hate Harrison and TOPS and there is not a lot of good alternatives out there.

If you come up with something I believe you have a very captive audience here.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:48 AM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

I'm not sure why the OP would put anyone off pellets; doesn't everyone know that it's basically multivitamins mashed into grain and seed? It has to be, how else would you get what was needed into such small quantities of food?

I have no idea how they are cooked, because I don't work at the company.

Moth eggs are a weird concept for me; when I started off and had no idea about pellet shelf life (hey, dried food lives forever!), I bought a 6-month supply of Harrison's high potency. I left it on a shelf, and took what I needed each day - I've never seen anything but pellets come out of a bag, but I can say the same for the seed mix I use.

I am guessing it's pot luck.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:59 AM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

When it comes to bugs in the food it is not always in the food from the packaging plant. I have bought seed and shared it with a friend who lives across the county from me. They live at a high elevation and never get bugs. I will get bugs in everything including pancake mix if I don't keep it in the freezer.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2013, 05:06 PM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

Quote: Originally Posted by jakrob4 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Jtbirds View Post
As I do agree with the fact they have done a lot... How do they justify using peanuts and sunflower seeds and sunflower seeds and marketing it as a healthy diet for the parrots... I mean as we know if we feed our pets sunflower seeds and peanuts no matter if they were organic or not they would be very unhealthy. I understand that they also add other ingredients into them, but why allow the first two ingredients to be the ones that are the least wanted by any respectable parrot owner.
I don't think corn can be justified being used as a daily food source for any reason, other than its really cheap and abundant.
But hey Americans have pretty much succeeded in putting some type of corn extract in just about every food they have.

Sunflower seeds are actually probably one of the best seeds, if not the best seed in commercial bird mixes. They have just got a bad rap from all the people feeding only sunflower seeds to there picky birds, saying its all they eat, after sticking a bowl big enough to swim in of them in there cage.
They do have a really high fat content like most seeds, so they promote liver disease.
There is actually a fair few birds out there that have made it to nearly 60 years old being fed pretty much only sunflower seeds.
Not saying they were healthy or that it's recommended in anyway, the will to survive can live far longer than your health.

The reason they use sunflower seeds, because it makes the birds eat what probably would usually taste like crap.
The reason they use corn...$$$
Regards Jake

I do understand that and don't agree with anything about both.... I don't feed my birds much corn or sunflower seeds and no peanuts so I don't have the issue, but I kow others do. I like saffflower and pumpkin seeds more IMO.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:18 PM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

I will feed my parrot (soon to be parrots) mostly fresh foods. However in our winters the fresh food selections suck are mostly from out of country. I need to be able to feed some pellets to the parrots especially during the winter when my fresh selection for foods sucks so bad they are deprived of some fresh stuff due to the fact it will come from out of country.

What is a good pellet food to feed a RFM macaw and mini macaw/conure like species? *sigh* I just want what is best for the species of parrot I have.

I feed Valentino the tropican high potency and Harrisons high potency type pellets mixed. I use the tropican to pulverize into a powder mix so I can make "syringe" food for his before bed night time feeding. I have switched Valentino off the baby formula months ago and I notice when I "skip" a night feeding the poor parrot is so hungry the next morning he is ready to eat my arm off. I also am having difficulty with calorie/activity ratio. Most of the time I have to feed Valentino twice a day his fresh mix. So far I am able to keep his weight stable with the "fake" hand formula I feed him for his comfort night feeding but if I don't feed him the syringe food which is just his adult pellet pulverized up he loses weight. I believe strongly he is too old to feed him hand rearing formula. It is too rich and I don't want him to develop heart disease from it. I need an adult pellet that is good for a RFM. I think what I am feeding him is good. The breeder feeds the same pellet along with her fresh mix (separate bowls of course) and her birds are very healthy and live a long time.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2013, 06:45 PM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

Quote: Originally Posted by sodakat View Post

Freezing will kill the moth eggs and so will heat but apparently not cooking at 200 degrees which is what you claim Harrisons company does.

I have no answers to this "organic" dilemma but my opinion is that 200 degrees is not harmful to most grains and obviously is not harmful to seed moth eggs!
I've spent the last 6 months researching pellet production full time, why I haven't been able to work. I have looked at many extruders and know exactly how they work. Currently most pellets are produced with one of two processes.

Extruded pellets are produced at temperatures between 400 and 650 degrees fahrenheit and afterwards supplemented with synthetic nutrients sprayed on the outside of the pellet to make up for the damage that the heat has done to the natural nutrients, leaving the density of vitamins and minerals on the exterior of the pellet where it is easily depleted with exposure to ultra-violet rays and oxygen.
The vitamins most sensitive to the extrusion process are vitamin A and vitamin E from fat-soluble vitamins,
and vitamin C, B(1), and folic acid from water-soluble vitamins.
Vitamin E itself or in its complex form is quite unstable during processing and even in storage of food.
Vitamins A, C and D are also sensitive to oxidation, so these vitamins have minimum retention during storage.

Steamed pellets which are produced using moderate heat, (around 230 degrees fahrenheit) use binders (added starches or clays) to hold the particles together. These starches break down into simple sugars. Lysine and other amino acids are the building blocks of the protein chain . An interaction between dietary simple sugars and lysine results in a chemical complex that makes lysine unavailable to the animal. Some manufacturers argue that the heat is needed to pasteurize the food and make it more digestible. Parrots have evolved over millions of years eating raw materials and their digestive systems have developed to metabolize raw food. The extrusion and steamed pelleting processes destroy many, if not most of the natural nutrients, leaving the pellet that is produced as simply a vessel to carry the synthetic nutrients to your bird.

And then there is the method I'm using. Cold pelleting assures minimal to no nutrient loss during manufacturing. Studies have proven that natural nutrients are more readily absorbed than synthetic nutrients. Cold pelleting leaves the natural nutrients intact so that the need for synthetic nutrients is not so great.

I am not making a 100% organic pellet. Harrisons and all the others are proof that there isn't much wrong with artificial supplements. The difference is my pellet will only need the supplements; b12 (cyanacobalamin),
a Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl acetate from natural sources)
and a D3 (cholecalciferol).
If you go look at a Swisse multivitamin, these are the exact same ingredients used.
along with
Calcium - Calcium carbonate
phosphorous - Dicalcium phosphate
and some montmorillonite clay
being the only other non food ingredients.
It will defiantly also contain a small amount of sunflower seeds.
Though I guarantee that everything will match up to the current estimated nutritional requirements of companion parrots, and come from a lot better sources than any extruded pellet.
I also should make it aware there has been many studies proving that majority of birds in the wild are completely hopeless at choosing there diet, so please stop comparing everything to there wild diets. They live long enough to reproduce 2 baby's and the population grows, hardly a feet of good health.

I'm not sure what Harrisons uses as there Vitamin K supplement but theres no way any of them will be in my pellet.
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.

Regards
Jake

Last edited by jakrob4; 04-26-2013 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:08 PM
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Re: The Truth About ORGANIC Pellets

I'm excited to see what pellet you eventually come out with. Australia really needs a native quality pellet that doesn't have to be imported in.
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