Formulated diets for our pets have been around for years. After watching the booming cereal industry produce tons of fast, convenient breakfast foods for eager consumers, someone cleverly put the same machinery to use to produce dry dog and cat food.
In later years, as parrots became more commonplace in homes all over the world, this same theory was applied to a formulated diet for them. The intention of the parrot pellet was to pack as much nutrition in to as small an edible item as possible.
How are pellets made?
Most of the pellets available today are made one of two ways: extruding or cold pressing. When a pellet is extruded, the ingredients are ground and processed through a machine similar to a pasta maker which forces the product into the desired shape and cuts the pieces to a uniform size. The extrusion process uses high heat in a couple of phases during production which, unfortunately, destroys nutrients. The majority of parrot pellets are extruded.
Other pellets are produced using a cold pressing method. Cold pressed pellets are forced into shape using high pressure, without the application of heat. Our pellet brand, Life Enhancing Organic Parrot Pellets, uses the cold pressing method to ensure that nutrients remain intact.
Why do we feed our birds pellets?
The original intention for dry pet food was convenience. The earliest dry foods made for cats and dogs were pitifully inadequate nutritionally. They were basically comprised of food by-products deemed unfit for humans.
Over the years, as the veterinary sciences have grown, the quality has improved. Parrot pellets came into existence as an alternative to seed. They have definitely improved the health of companion birds all over the world.
Are pellets alone nutritious enough?
No. There is not a single pellet on the market that can meet all of a parrot’s dietary needs, regardless of what their packaging claims.
A proper diet for a parrot should be mainly fresh produce. Pellets should be included to enhance a diet high in vegetables. I view them as the equivalent of a daily multi-vitamin which is intended to supplement a diet, not carry it.
Parrots that survive only on pellets do not receive adequate nutrition and often develop liver problems later in life as a result.
Feeding your parrot properly is your most important job. Without good health, she will not be able to fully enjoy her life, no matter how wonderful you try to make it.
Click HERE for more information on proper diet.