Sunday, June 24, 2012

Harrison's Bird Foods: Budgies live three times longer

"Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic, formulated diets that were created by avian veterinarians and nutritionists with the health of your bird in mind. Our formulas require little or no supplementation."

Photo © Harrison's Bird Foods website

Dr. Greg Harrison, the main developer of Harrison's Bird Foods, is a certified avian specialist with 34 years of experience in bird care. The good thing about Harrison's Bird Food is that all the necessary nutrition is included in the same food mix: you don't need to supply your budgies with extra vitamins or minerals.

With Harrison's Bird Food, you can avoid a wide range of problems that are associated with the low nutritional values from seed mixes: breathing problems, obesity, calcium deficiency, breeding problems and early death.

My avian vet explained me how budgies and children are the same when it comes to "being picky about food". If you give them the choice between a salad bowl or hamburgers with fries and mayonnaise, you know which one they will pick. Budgies will gorge down any kind of seed mix, because it's like their version of fries and mayonnaise.

Seed mixes don't contain enough calcium, iodine and vitamin A, and they contain too much fat, which is harmful to your budgie's health and may shorten their lifespan.

In fact, Harrison's Bird Food guarantees a lifespan for your bird that is three times longer than the average life span of a domesticated budgie. Most domesticated budgies die between the age of 3 and 7, and this is often due to malnutrition. My avian vet told me this repeatedly and I think that all budgie owners should know, because she is right about this. I have read about the benefits of pellet mixes before, but I never realized how important they were.

My avian vet immediately told me to change my budgies' diet when I told her that Frodo and Isla are eating seed mixes. Nowadays, I feed them The High Potency Fine mix, and they happily eat it up.

Photo © Harrison's Bird Foods website
FYI: both the High Potency Fine and the High Potency Super Fine mixes are suitable for budgies.

I know this may seem like a huge eye-opener, even a bit shocking to a lot of people. I also was left with one big question at the end: why do they keep selling seed mixes in pet stores if this is so bad for budgies? 

First of all: not everything they sell at the pet store is good for your budgies. Think of all the sugar-loaded crackers and other treats that are more bad than good for your budgies' health.

Birds have been associated with eating seeds for centuries, but this is actually not how it should be. Budgies in the wild feed off grass seeds, plants and fruit. If they weren't exposed to so many dangers, they would outlive domesticated budgerigars.

People buy seed mixes for their budgies because they don't know better - and because everyone else does it - and because there's a beautiful picture of a budgie on the cover.

picture © comparestoreprices.co.uk

The people who manufacture these seed mixes don't know how bad this is for birds, and anyway, they have to do their job. They have a business to run. They have to make money.

When my budgies started eating pellets, I could definitely tell the difference after  a few days. They were more happy and chirpy than usual, they seemed to be more fit. Now, after one month, they are both in top condition. My mum already asked me to order the same pellet mix for her budgies.

In case you are interested, or if you want to read more, please check out their website: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/index.html

23 comments:

  1. We have a long way to go before everyone switches to pellets, but you're making a difference by spreading the word to your readers :)

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  2. We feed ours a mix of pellets and a good brand of seeds, and lots of fresh foods like a wide variety of veggies, some cooked soft foods. I make bird bread from pumpkin puree, whole grain flour, eggs, and a variety of stuff like peas or whatever.

    I like that pellets can fill in the gaps. However, an all-pellet diet isn't, in my opinion, a very good diet. Better than all seeds, but still not quite right. My main objection to pellets as most/all of a diet is that they are processed food. We are just beginning to learn about nutrients in fresh foods, that are really not retained well in processing. We just don't know enough about nutrition, even human nutrition, to make a complete food. Also, unless quality control is stringent, pellets could be made with moldy or old food. A lot of processed food is!

    And the main ingredients in most pellets seems to be corn, which is not very high in nutrition.

    I like to feed organic food to our birds. I think our move to do that years ago is the single most likely thing that has made our birds live longer and be healthier. We also eliminated toxins from the home like non-stick cookware, a lot of chemical cleaning supplies, etc. No more candles or air fresheners, either. I also take our birds outside in their cages, weather permitting, and stay out there with them when possible, to let them get natural sunlight.

    Almost all the pellets I, (and our birds), liked are no longer made. Harrison's is about all that's left that's acceptable as far as forumula and size, and the size is still not their favorite. Our birds used to love the tiniest Zupreem natural, (canary size, no artificial colors), as it resembled millet seed. They also liked Kaytee organic which I haven't seen offered anywhere in years. NOw Zupreem seems to be phasing out canary sized natural. They do not like other pellets much and I wish they liked the crumbles better. They seem to regard crumbles as "stuff some other bird already munched up." Hint to Harrisons...make a pellet that looks just like millet and maybe more birds would gobble it up!

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    1. That should read that I take my birds outside when possible and always stay out there with them!

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  3. I feel disappointed by Harrisons. I fed it to a pair of budgies that I had and while they enjoyed eating it, along with seeds and veggies, they passed away at 3 and 5, both from tumours. It seems to me that the problem is that it is touted as a miracle food, and I didn't experience that.

    However, it is good to advocate for more various diets.

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  4. We had a similar bad experience with another brand I won't mention, Christine. It was about 15 yrs ago when a particular preservative, since found toxic and removed from at least some bird foods, was controversial. A vet guilt tripped us into feeding an all pellet diet. Our formerly healthy birds suddenly had all kinds of problems. One died. I have never taken what any vet says as gospel ever since. And in fact, any vet that is still saying an all-pellet diet is necessary, is one I won't go back to most likely. To me, that demonstrates a lack of knowledge, as it has been revealed in very credible source info now that all pellet diets can be detrimental and not all brands are created equally. Pet food in general, is unregulated so it is a leap of faith to trust in any processed food's quality.

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    Replies
    1. You should mention the brand. It would be much appreciated. Thanks...

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  5. I totally agree, and I should have made it more clear in my post, that a varied diet is the best thing to give to your budgie. My budgies were reluctant to eat fruit and vegetables in the beginning (because they never got it in the pet store), but now I found out that they like lettuce and pears/apples. That's what I'm feeding them now, together with the pellets.

    To be honest, I have no idea how pellets are made. I do hope there's no moldy or old food in there, but as you said, you can never really know 100% with processed food. Harisson's seems to be OK, though, no complaints there yet - budgies are still healthy and they seem to like the pellets :)

    I'm glad that you're really looking out for your budgies. A healthy home = a happy home! Sunlight is essential for budgies, I try to take mine out too whenever I'm home and when the weather allows it.

    Bird bread sounds amazing! Would you mind giving me the recipe for it? I'd love to make it for our budgies as well!

    Thanks to both of you for informing me about this. It's our first "experience" with pellets here, and I always want to learn more about it :)

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  6. I wish I could buy these If they were sold in stores near me.But don't worry I give my lil budgie Kiwi some high quality fruit/vegetable seed mix with some fresh fruit that use as a snack.

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  7. Hi, I was just wanted to say how helpful your blog is! I am deffo going to add it to my read list! I will be getting my own Budgie soon (it will be the second one I have had) and I more than excited :).

    I will keep this on my read list so I can get some good source of information when I need it!

    x

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  8. I would like to know how hard the pellets are , I have some in the mixes I buy that my birds dont eat and they are very hard to crush with a rolling pin, I have 18 budgies, all born here in the last four years, all fairly healthy, I scramble eggs for them, make grain toast, apples, spinach, romaine lettuce, yogart, but need a good seed diet that I can give them,

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  9. I helped the parents raise their babies and when comes time for the babies to start on seeds, I have to spend time taking very hard seeds out as I dont think they digest as I have soaked them to water to make them softer for even my alult birds, all of my birds are hand trained, free, except at night and loveable, will even give kisses, I need a good quality food so I dont worry and keep buying additives to cover what i think is missing for them

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    Replies
    1. Hi, sounds like you feed your birds well! I would recommend Harrison's High Potency Super Fine if you want to add pellets to their diet. Don't give any seeds to baby budgies before they're 3-4 months old. It's better to soak them to water in any case, to improve digestion (like you already do) thanks for taking good care of the birds!

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  10. I will try to find Harrisons here in town, I just love my birds, they are beautiful colors from their heritage and good food, they are spoiled rotten, I just love watching them play and bath. My husband was very sick for two years with cancer etc, and he recently passed away and the birds have saved me as they need care and when I cry they come and sit on my head, shoulders and arms, so I try to cry away from them, I bought myself a albino cockateil, she reminds me of a Dove, called her Stella, they all get along, she is just starting to eat what she sees the others eat

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  11. My budgies have been eating Harrison's for years. parrotandconureworld.com always preach about Harrison's and I soon noticed healthier and happier birds.

    parrotandconureworld.com has an avian vet and owners and breeders including myself, who voluntarily answer questions with their knowledge and experience.

    I always buy Harrison's pellets now.

    It is great to see another website preaching the benefits.

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  12. This is a great post and the food is extremely good, because birds love it!
    Buy Bird Food

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  13. There is some really good information here -- we have found that while budgies generally don't take to Harrison's very well (others like Roudybush better), but if you can get them on them, it really helps them out. The Super Fine is a great choice too -- if anyone needs help selecting a pellet, we can help -- http://www.birdsafestore.com

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  14. This is a great post! You need to Buy Bird Food
    that is of great quality!

    ReplyDelete
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  16. I love Harrison's! I have 10 parakeets- for now! I have to go to the only carrier in the neighboring city. It is worth It! My 11 month old "twins", 8 month old "twins", and 3 month old quadruplets, are out of this world healthy! They started on Harrison's from infancy. When mom & dad rejected them, at various stages, I would soak the Harrison's, and spoon feed the resulting mush. They took right to it, every time! I also give them Roudybush a few times each week, for a healthy variety. They get fresh fruits and veggies also, and a weekly sprig of millet to eat- and they LOVE to play with the leftover stem! We Love our babies! Planning on a larger aviary- next one outdoors!

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  17. We go to the neighboring city to PURCHASE HARRISONS!

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