all protein is the same
is made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are
22 different amino acids. Birds are unable to make eight of
these themselves so they must eat them. These are called essential
amino acids, for obvious reasons.
amino acid composition of plant proteins is different from the
composition of animal proteins (including birds). Plants contain
less of some essential amino acids than birds. Because 22 is
far to big a number to work with let's imagine two identical
plant proteins made up of four amino acids A, B, C and D.
protein contains 4 As, 4 Bs, 4 Cs and 2 Ds. A similar bird protein
may contain four of all four amino acids:
a bird attempts to make its own protein from the plant that
it has eaten it can only make up one protein molecule. There
is simply not enough D to make a second one. We call D a limiting
The left over amino acids are broken down and excreted via
the kidneys. In this example the bird uses 16 of the 28 amino
acid molecules that it has eaten. The other 12 (42%) are wasted
and have to be excreted via the kidneys.
is easy see that by adding just four Ds to this bird's diet
it would be able to use all the plant protein it eats.
These extra "Ds" are incorporated into many of our on-food supplements
Essentials3, Daily Essentials4, and Feather-Up,
Essentials , Raptor and Raptor Breeder Essentials
Essentials. They are in Feast as well but only
in adequate quantities to balance the protein in that product.
There are not enough to balance the protein in the rest of a
seed based diet.
this is a simplified example using just four different amino
acids the real situation with 22 amino acids produces a very
similar result. To quantify this a typical seed and/or fruit
diet contains about 12% "raw" protein but the bird can only
use about 7% of this. When boosted to 20% raw protein by adding
high protein sources derived from plants,such as pulses, the
birds can use about 12%. The Daily
range is designed to help the bird make all the
raw protein usable.
amino acids added to the diet (in adequate quantities) your
birds will eat less (they get the same amount of useable protein
from less food) so your seed bill goes down and your birds will
not get overweight. Young chicks will grow better and
all birds will moult faster and with the best possible feather
we've also had excellent results on some birds with just our
Essentials1 (no amino acids). This is because the very highly
bio-available sulphur source we put into all Essentials
products helps with feathering too. For birds that refuse to
eat soft foods, fruits or vegetables this is an excellent compromise.