Fun Facts About Young Birds Nutritional Needs
- Young birds need calcium, protein and fat among other nutrients while growing.
- Most dietary calcium in young birds is used for the formation of skeletal (bone) production.
- Calcium is the most prevelant mineral in the body and is required in the diet in greater amonts than any other mineral.
- Birds find calcium in their natural foods like seeds, snail shells and other exoskeletons of insects, egg shells, mortar picked off of buildings, bones (often fish bones), ashes, soil and other sources.
- Protein requirements, from amino acids, are highest at hatching and until adult size and weight is achieved.
- Protein is essential for growing strong feathers.
- Fats are essential for feather coloration.
- Every young bird needs extra proteins to grow strong feathers for proper flight and effective insulation. They need extra fats for energy to grow feathers and provide proper coloration to best attract a mate when they mature.
- A diet low in proteins and fats may cause feathers to be improperly colored or form defectively such as being frayed or curved. If their colors are duller, birds may have trouble attracting a mate. If the feathers are defective, it could seriously hinder their flying or insulation abilities.
- Feathers are over 90% protein, primarily keratins.
- A bird's feathers contain 25% of the total protein found within its entire body.
- It takes extra energy to grow feathers also the right building blocks to grow them. The main ingrediants in growing feathers are amino acids (protein) and lipids (fats). Birds will eat more of their daily diet and/or seed out foods high in protein and fat to satisfy both the extra energy requirements and the needed building blocks.
- Lipids are substances such as fat, oil, or wax (usually from tree fruits). Dietary lipids supply energy, essential fatty acids and pigments for birds
The top recommended foods for birds to meet their protein and fat cravings are:
Recommended seeds: Peanuts, nyjer, sunflower chips.
Recommended seed blends: Supreme Blend, No Mess Blend, Deluxe and White Deluxe Plus Blends.
Rcomended other foods: Mealworms, Suet (cylinders, cakes, or stackables).