Avian Nutrition in a Nutshell

Posted by Marsha Maass on

I'll bet, from time to time, you have wondered why birds in their native habitat thrive so well without all those synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements that the bird "experts" tell us are necessary in their diets. Maybe it's because their "daily balanced diet" really isn't "balanced" at all. They eat what is in season in their geographic area.

Another thing that's for sure: The birds that are now our companions would never eat anything lifeless and processed in their daily food search in the wild. So why do our well-meaning "avian experts" insist that dry, processed, lifeless pellets and "treat" novelties that are laced ("fortified") with synthetic "vitamins" and isolated minerals are essential for our bird's health? And why do these wonderful creatures have so many health problems while sharing life in our well-built, fully-equipped homes?

Remember the stories about miners taking Canaries into the mines to detect poisonous gases? The Canaries, being more sensitive to these things, showed signs of distress (or fell over dead) before their human captors experienced anything, thus saving the miners' lives. (I'll get into toxic environment factors another time, but I believe the Canary story is also an important finger-pointing when we look at avian dietary practices.)

If these processed foods truly were the answer to our avian health problems, we would have long since seen a decline in these problems. As we are all aware, this is just not the case. Should we not be asking why? Are our birds telling us something about our own health awareness?


Why have experts in white lab coats not been able to deliver a diet that keeps our birds healthy? It's difficult to compete with the complexity of the natural world and it's actually unnecessary to do so. Other factors include marketing and profit consideration, and shelf life. How convenient it is to grind up commodities and add artificial coloring, flavors, and preservatives. How can the customer know the quality, purity, or composition of the product or whether it is fresh or not after it is hidden in this form? How would you know if the grains were stunted, if there were mold spores and unwanted organisms present, or even if all of the ingredients on the label were actually in there?

We know that wild birds eat whole living foods and they have fully functioning immune systems. How can we give our companion birds a reliable, clean, high quality living diet that promotes their self-defense health ability? We can grow it FRESH, at home each day, even in an apartment, by sprouting viable seeds, grains, and legumes. Why is sprouting so important?

The miracle of germination is the miracle of birth. You are getting life itself as the major nutritional element. From dormant matter, active life is initiated (something a hard processed pellet will never see). Nutrient potential is activated into food forms the bird can fully utilize: proteins into amino acids, fats into essential fatty acids, starches to sugars, compounds that are toxic or undesirable are converted into useful compounds, minerals are combined into forms that relate to metabolic processes, and many types of enzymes are abundant. Vitamin content multiplies many fold. All of this happens before the bird eats the food. There is simply no comparison between living food and permanently dead food. And there is no comparing synthetic vitamins (chemical imitations) to the real, living thing.

Can't sprout? That's ok! We can! Our sprouts are grown to their nutritional peak (usually Day 5) and then slowly air dried, sealing them in a deep slumber (dormant) just waiting to be awakened! Rehydrating our sprouts brings life back to life!

This is Wayley's Dailies fundamental view on avian nutrition, and every product we produce is real, whole food. 100% Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Human Grade food. We feel that if we are what we eat, then they are what we feed them. So it's our duty as their caretakers to feed the nothing but the very best. As for the commercial pet foods, please read labels carefully. You'll be surprised at what you find there.

Marsha Maass
Owner and Bird Chef of Wayley's Dailies

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  • This is great to know. I’m a new CAG owner. I had a wild caught White Front Amazon and I understand the value of a nutritional diet for or feathered friends. I could not get her to switch from a seed diet, even though she lived past 30. I want to ensure that Paco gets a healthy diet (CAG).

    Terri on

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