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The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

Parrots magazine 158

Determining Minimum, Recommended and Optimal Levels of Nutritional Daily Requirements

Roselyn has always loved birds, especially those magnificent macaws. She’s the type of person who prefers accumulating as much information as possible before making a decision. After deciding on a nice large cage and several toys she focused her attention on diet. Roselyn was quickly overwhelmed by the conflicting information she uncovered. Feed seeds, don’t feed seeds, feed only pellets, feed lots of nuts, only feed a few, feed mostly fresh fruit and vegetables - she began wondering if minimum daily nutritional requirements had been established for birds. The more she investigated, the more her growing volume of questions out numbered reliable answers. Roselyn, let me help you. We’ll be discussing these and other avian nutrition topics in this column over the next few months.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) published a preliminary report in 1998 titled, “Nutrition Expert Panel Review, New Rules for Feeding Pet Birds”. Of the hundreds of nutrients required by the avian body 29 are mentioned in this report. This information is comparable to the Minimum Recommended Dietary Allowances (MRDAs) for people. According to the current AAFCO Pet Food Committee chairperson, the expert panel that compiled this information never reached an agreement regarding a final recommendation and has since disbanded. Presently, in the US, any current nutritional recommendations are strictly the suggestions made by a particular bird food company.

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