Are these pellets ok?

BirdyBee

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Pippen(?)Lutino cockatiel
I bought pellets recently. I didn't really think it through, I was at a pet store and just decided, "Yep, gonna spoil my birds!" I tend to act on impulses, so... maybe I made a stupid choice.

I won't be feeding it as the main diet, but I still want opinions.

Info about pellets(found online):


Verse-Laga Nutribird P15 Original Parakeet Pellets is a scientifically approved composition with all the nutrients your birds need. Completely consumable and prevents selective eating behaviour. These pellets supports the intestinal flora and protects against intestional disorders. Features selected grains, fruits and peanuts. Contains all the nutrients for a beautiful plumage, also contains natural clay minerals and prebiotics for a healthy intestinal flora and optimal digestion and optimal calcium/phosphorus ratio for healthy bones.

Composition
Cereals, seeds, nuts (peanut kernels 10%), fruit (fruit 5%), vegetables, oils and fats, minerals, clay, various sugars, MOS, yucca

Analytical Constituents
protein 15%, fat content 16%, crude fibre 2.5%, crude ash 7%, calcium 0.9%, phosphorus 0.6%, methionine 0.35%, lysine 0.8%, threonine 0.5%, tryptophan 0.15%, cystine 0.25%

Additives/Kg
Nutritional Additives

vitamin A 8000 IU, vitamin D3 1650 IU, -carotene 4.8 mg, vitamin E 95 mg, vitamin B1 8 mg, vitamin B2 17.5 mg, calcium-D-pantothenate 22 mg, vitamin B6 6.5 mg, vitamin B12 0.03 mg, vitamin C 55 mg, niacin 90 mg, folic acid 1.65 mg, biotin 0.29 mg, choline chloride 770 mg, 3b202 (iodine) 2.3 mg, 3b405 (copper) 11 mg, 3b503 (manganese) 110 mg, 3b605 (zinc) 105 mg, 3b802 (selenium) 0.11 mg, 3b811 (organic selenium) 0.11 mg

Technological Additives
antioxidants: with tocopherols, preservatives, bentonite
 

LeeC

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Jun 5, 2019
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Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
I bought pellets recently. I didn't really think it through, I was at a pet store and just decided, "Yep, gonna spoil my birds!" I tend to act on impulses, so... maybe I made a stupid choice.

I won't be feeding it as the main diet, but I still want opinions.

Info about pellets(found online):


Verse-Laga Nutribird P15 Original Parakeet Pellets is a scientifically approved composition with all the nutrients your birds need. Completely consumable and prevents selective eating behaviour. These pellets supports the intestinal flora and protects against intestional disorders. Features selected grains, fruits and peanuts. Contains all the nutrients for a beautiful plumage, also contains natural clay minerals and prebiotics for a healthy intestinal flora and optimal digestion and optimal calcium/phosphorus ratio for healthy bones.

Composition
Cereals, seeds, nuts (peanut kernels 10%), fruit (fruit 5%), vegetables, oils and fats, minerals, clay, various sugars, MOS, yucca

Analytical Constituents
protein 15%, fat content 16%, crude fibre 2.5%, crude ash 7%, calcium 0.9%, phosphorus 0.6%, methionine 0.35%, lysine 0.8%, threonine 0.5%, tryptophan 0.15%, cystine 0.25%

Additives/Kg
Nutritional Additives

vitamin A 8000 IU, vitamin D3 1650 IU, -carotene 4.8 mg, vitamin E 95 mg, vitamin B1 8 mg, vitamin B2 17.5 mg, calcium-D-pantothenate 22 mg, vitamin B6 6.5 mg, vitamin B12 0.03 mg, vitamin C 55 mg, niacin 90 mg, folic acid 1.65 mg, biotin 0.29 mg, choline chloride 770 mg, 3b202 (iodine) 2.3 mg, 3b405 (copper) 11 mg, 3b503 (manganese) 110 mg, 3b605 (zinc) 105 mg, 3b802 (selenium) 0.11 mg, 3b811 (organic selenium) 0.11 mg

Technological Additives
antioxidants: with tocopherols, preservatives, bentonite


Versele-Laga seems to be a decent brand of "formulated" parrot foods. The (bentonite) clay minerals and prebiotics are uncommon in pellets, from my limited experience. I think those could be good additions. Both are covered in You Can't Take the Rainforest Out of the Bird ...feeding exotic birds really, really well.

I find it strange, and a bit concerning, that they do not list the specific cereals or nuts, thoughβ€”and the same for vegetables and fats. Many pellets are primarily corn and/or soy, neither of which is an optimal parrot food.

I am still learning what is available, but it seems the better (more nutritional, with less anti-nutrients) pellets are not meant to be the mainstay of the diet. It's a lot to ask of shelf-stable food.
 

GaleriaGila

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Here's what I use.
I feed Harrison's, supplemented by fresh healthy treats. My first, and later, my current avian vet recommended it. My bird loves the pellets now, but to get him converted, my avian vet suggested putting pellets out all day, and putting seeds (his old diet) out for two 15-minute periods a day. That would sustain him but leave him hungry enough to try new stuff. I presume the same technique could be used to get him to eat other healthy stuff, like fruits and vegetables! My guy was eating pellets in a couple of days, and now I can feed a good variety of other stuff, knowing he has the pellets as a basic. Pellets are out all day... fresh treats a few times a day. I also like Harrison's via mail because I never have to worry about out-of-date products.
And... the Rb has been eating Harrison's for about 35 years...
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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It is very important to understand that all pellets are classified as 'Dead Food.' This to assure that the base 'paste' which the pellets are formed from is "shelf-stable food", i.e. they have longer shelf life. It is also important to understand that just because specific additives are provided (commonly sprayed on) does not mean that this Parrot or that Parrot has the ability to digest it, remembering that they have a fast-track digestive system. Point being the more complex the chemical the less likely the Parrot will ingest it.

IMHO, mix the new stuff with what you have been feeding. Also, as you know, that is one of methods of introducing new things.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
342
Media
3
392
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
I feed Harrison's, supplemented by fresh healthy treats.
Harrison's is what I used when I first got parrots because the notes from a previous owner stated that Charlie likes Harrison's. I quickly transitioned Charlie to fresh foods, because corn is the main ingredient in Harrison's Lifetime and soy is the third ingredient. With Harrison's as my first experience with pellets, I read the ingredients and wondered, if these pellets are so nutritious, why do they have to "spike" them with such a long list of vitamins and mineralsβ€”many of which I recognized to be synthetic forms due to my long, deep interest in my own nutrition.
 
OP
BirdyBee

BirdyBee

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Budgies:
Jeff(m(MIA)violet spangle
John(m)green
Snowy(f)df spangle
Griffen(m)yellowface sky-blue
Gertjie(f, RIP)albino crested
Grumpy(m, RIP)cobalt blue
Sunny(f)Light green

Pippen(?)Lutino cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Here's what I use.
I feed Harrison's, supplemented by fresh healthy treats. My first, and later, my current avian vet recommended it. My bird loves the pellets now, but to get him converted, my avian vet suggested putting pellets out all day, and putting seeds (his old diet) out for two 15-minute periods a day. That would sustain him but leave him hungry enough to try new stuff. I presume the same technique could be used to get him to eat other healthy stuff, like fruits and vegetables! My guy was eating pellets in a couple of days, and now I can feed a good variety of other stuff, knowing he has the pellets as a basic. Pellets are out all day... fresh treats a few times a day. I also like Harrison's via mail because I never have to worry about out-of-date products.
And... the Rb has been eating Harrison's for about 35 years...
Thanks for the advice! I would love to try Harrisons, but sadly it is not available in SA.
 
OP
BirdyBee

BirdyBee

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Budgies:
Jeff(m(MIA)violet spangle
John(m)green
Snowy(f)df spangle
Griffen(m)yellowface sky-blue
Gertjie(f, RIP)albino crested
Grumpy(m, RIP)cobalt blue
Sunny(f)Light green

Pippen(?)Lutino cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7

Versele-Laga seems to be a decent brand of "formulated" parrot foods. The (bentonite) clay minerals and prebiotics are uncommon in pellets, from my limited experience. I think those could be good additions. Both are covered in You Can't Take the Rainforest Out of the Bird ...feeding exotic birds really, really well.
I think probiotics are a useful ingredient because it can help keep the birds healthy. I heard birds in the wild eat clay to help remove toxins, so I'm not sure if that'd help if my birds accidentally ingest a bit of bad stuff. Clay may have some other healthy minerals.

I've used the Versele-Laga seed mix in the past, don't use it anymore, but used to. Never used the pellets though.
I find it strange, and a bit concerning, that they do not list the specific cereals or nuts, thoughβ€”and the same for vegetables and fats. Many pellets are primarily corn and/or soy, neither of which is an optimal parrot food.
I was also a bit concerned as to why they don't state the grains used. I could email them and ask about the ingredients.
 
OP
BirdyBee

BirdyBee

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Jeff(m(MIA)violet spangle
John(m)green
Snowy(f)df spangle
Griffen(m)yellowface sky-blue
Gertjie(f, RIP)albino crested
Grumpy(m, RIP)cobalt blue
Sunny(f)Light green

Pippen(?)Lutino cockatiel
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It is very important to understand that all pellets are classified as 'Dead Food.' This to assure that the base 'paste' which the pellets are formed from is "shelf-stable food", i.e. they have longer shelf life. It is also important to understand that just because specific additives are provided (commonly sprayed on) does not mean that this Parrot or that Parrot has the ability to digest it, remembering that they have a fast-track digestive system. Point being the more complex the chemical the less likely the Parrot will ingest it.
Would a pellet like TOPs be classified as "Dead Food"? Because it is cold pressed, and not heated at high temperatures.
IMHO, mix the new stuff with what you have been feeding. Also, as you know, that is one of methods of introducing new things.
I'll try that. Usually my birds eat it immediately. Sometimes I add a bit of boiled water to soften it, and add some of the original pellets, so they get used to it. Then I slowly add less old pellets and add less boiled water so it is more solid. I'm not sure if this is a bad technique, but it always worked for me.
 
OP
BirdyBee

BirdyBee

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Budgies:
Jeff(m(MIA)violet spangle
John(m)green
Snowy(f)df spangle
Griffen(m)yellowface sky-blue
Gertjie(f, RIP)albino crested
Grumpy(m, RIP)cobalt blue
Sunny(f)Light green

Pippen(?)Lutino cockatiel
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Ok, so I just opened the bag and for some reason it has a strong chemical smell- smells kinda like sweets. I'll leave it open for a while so that the smell fades away.
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Would a pellet like TOPs be classified as "Dead Food"? Because it is cold pressed, and not heated at high temperatures.

I'll try that. Usually my birds eat it immediately. Sometimes I add a bit of boiled water to soften it, and add some of the original pellets, so they get used to it. Then I slowly add less old pellets and add less boiled water so it is more solid. I'm not sure if this is a bad technique, but it always worked for me.

Cold press is a common method of manufacturing as the paste is first heated to eliminate those 'things' that cause spoilage as the batch cools the additives are added to the paste prior to casting. Different methods exist as to forming the pellets. The process does not make one Pellet any better than the others. What additives that are added makes the difference.
 

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
342
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392
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Cold press is a common method of manufacturing as the paste is first heated to eliminate those 'things' that cause spoilage as the batch cools the additives are added to the paste prior to casting. Different methods exist as to forming the pellets. The process does not make one Pellet any better than the others. What additives that are added makes the difference.
I am nearly certain that cold-pressed pellets never get exposed to heat, as that would defeat the purpose. Baking and extrusion involve high heat and/or high pressure, both of which destroy nutrients.

Baked/extruded pellets, such as the Versa-Laga and Harrison's add a long list of "additives"; whereas cold-pressed pellets such as Top's and BirdTricks have none of those added vitamins or minerals. This is possible because the cold-pressed pellets use much more nutritious ingredients that naturally contain vitamins and mineralsβ€”and they cold-press those ingredients to avoid the heat and extreme pressure that kills the naturally-occurring enzymes that the parrot needs to absorb the nutrients.

[Edit] Parrots get no cooked or baked foods in nature. They get all raw foods. That does not mean cooked foods are bad for parrots. It does mean that we should have less confidence that their nutritional needs are being met by cooked foods, especially foods so low in nutrients that a long list of vitamins and minerals have to be added. Those added vitamins and minerals may not be in a bioavailable form and they likely lack the cofactors (trace amounts of micronutrients that occur along with the vitamin or mineral) necessary for proper absorption and cell-level use of the vitamins and minerals.

In the "health world", it would be said that baked and extruded pellets are good for the seller; cold-pressed pellets are good for the consumer.
 
Last edited:

LeeC

Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2019
342
Media
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392
Harrisburg, PA
Parrots
Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Would a pellet like TOPs be classified as "Dead Food"? Because it is cold pressed, and not heated at high temperatures.

I'll try that. Usually my birds eat it immediately. Sometimes I add a bit of boiled water to soften it, and add some of the original pellets, so they get used to it. Then I slowly add less old pellets and add less boiled water so it is more solid. I'm not sure if this is a bad technique, but it always worked for me.
For baked or extruded pellets, boiled water should make no difference. Of course, it is very important to know that the food cools fully before the parrot gets access to it.

For cold-pressed, or raw foods, using boiled water would be bad for a couple of reasons. First, the heat kills living enzymes and destroys some nutrients (via denaturing, for instance). Second, the water carries away water-soluble nutrients, such as some B vitamins, minerals, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. If you're sure the parrot will consume most or all of the water that came in contact with the food, then the nutrients are not lost. I use room-temp, distilled water to soak cold-pressed pellets, simply to rehydrate them as the parrot would encounter vegetable-based foods in the wild.
 
OP
BirdyBee

BirdyBee

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Jan 7, 2022
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South Africa
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Budgies:
Jeff(m(MIA)violet spangle
John(m)green
Snowy(f)df spangle
Griffen(m)yellowface sky-blue
Gertjie(f, RIP)albino crested
Grumpy(m, RIP)cobalt blue
Sunny(f)Light green

Pippen(?)Lutino cockatiel
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  • Thread starter
  • #13
For baked or extruded pellets, boiled water should make no difference. Of course, it is very important to know that the food cools fully before the parrot gets access to it.

For cold-pressed, or raw foods, using boiled water would be bad for a couple of reasons. First, the heat kills living enzymes and destroys some nutrients (via denaturing, for instance). Second, the water carries away water-soluble nutrients, such as some B vitamins, minerals, vitamin C, and other antioxidants. If you're sure the parrot will consume most or all of the water that came in contact with the food, then the nutrients are not lost. I use room-temp, distilled water to soak cold-pressed pellets, simply to rehydrate them as the parrot would encounter vegetable-based foods in the wild.
I usually only add boiling water when converting. When they start to eat it solid, I stop.
 

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