Over the years, I have tried different types of bird supplements for my birds. I think it’s smart to add a vitamin supplement to a bird’s diet. Even though my Greys have a very nutritious daily menu, I still sprinkle their food with a vitamin supplement a couple of times a week. I do it because “I want to make sure I get the corners when I’m cleaning the window.”
It certainly won’t hurt them, and it might offer their little feathered keesters a mineral or an amino acid I may have missed when I was preparing their food.
I’ve switched back and forth between supplements, but I’ve finally settled on one that I like: Prime by Hagen.
And I use it for one damn good reason: Parker, Pepper and Nyla will actually eat whatever it is I’ve sprinkled it on.
Now this sounds like a strange reason to select a particular supplement. But if you think about it, what good is buying a supplement if your birds won’t eat it? There are other reasons I selected Prime, but that’s the primary one. I’ve tried other brands and the birds won’t touch the food it’s sprinkled on.
First of all, it also doesn’t smell like a bad chemistry experiment; in fact it smells pretty good. I never knew why until I began looking at what Prime offers. Or in this case, what it doesn’t offer. According to HARI, “Some other supplements use yeast as a carrier. Yeast has a strong smell which many birds try to avoid.” I’ve always wondered what that smell was in other supplements. Yeast.
And yes, I actually tried it. It’s pretty tasty stuff. It’s tangy and it tastes like a crushed Sweetart. It also doesn’t stiffen up and turn into a cement-like consistency in the Florida humidity. And at that point, you simply have to toss the bag because, well, ewww! And here’s why the other supplements turn into a brick after time: It comes down to sugar; or rather, the lack of it. This subject of sugar according to HARI:
Nutrient Carrier vs. Sugar
Several supplements use sugar as a carrier. They try to cover this up by using technical descriptions of the sugars such as glucose, dextrose or fructose on the product label. These sugars tend to cake up over time making accurate measuring of dosages difficult. Another problem with sugar bases is that they provide an excellent food source for unwanted micro-organisms in the drinking water. These harmful bacteria may cause an imbalance in the normal gut flora – exactly what Prime is trying to correct.
Prime uses a required nutrient ingredient as a carrier, namely calcium gluconate.
Of course, I had no idea what calcium gluconate is. And of course, because this is a full-service blog, I saved you the trip to Google:
“Calcium Gluconate is the calcium salt of gluconic acid, an oxidation product of glucose, and contains 9.3% calcium.”
I’ve purchased different brands of vitamins, but this is the only one I’ve found that doesn’t stink to high heaven, doesn’t turn into a brick in the bag and actually makes its way into my birds.
But wait! There’s more! According to HARI, (The Hagen Avian Research Institute):
“The result of our research is a unique formulation in the form of a water soluble concentrated powder of 14 vitamins, 9 minerals and 2 limiting amino acids which birds cannot manufacture themselves. Additionally over other supplements beneficial bacteria, acids, electrolytes and enzymes were included in the formulation. Prime however is not a dumping ground for every nutrient known to man – ingredients and their quantities were selected on the basis of need.”
In other words, Hagen didn’t just throw a bunch of vitamins in there; they thought about what was necessary to the bird. Here’s another fact. Not all supplements contain vitamins, minerals and amino acids. But Prime has all three. For more information on Prime, Just click on Parker: