Why We Are The Best
Articles / Why We Are The Best
At The Birdcare Company we specialise in cage and aviary birds. We spend a huge amount of time talking to bird keepers and avian vets to understand the key problems they face. And, of course, many of us have kept or do keep birds ourselves. Then we try to design products to solve these problems. We believe our great skill is in finding innovative new ingredients from many different industries to incorporate into our products to benefit our customers and their birds. This page is intended to highlight many of the cutting edge technologies (mostly purely natural!) we use that make us a supplier whose products really stand out from the crowd. We are proud of what we do and we hope you will reap the rewards.
The vast majority of minerals used in avian supplements are inorganic ingredients like, magnesium sulphate, potassium chloride, salt etc.. These ingredients are cheap but they tend to aggregate together in the gut and so are difficult for the body to absorb. To prevent this aggregation occurring it is now possible to buy minerals chelated (pronounced ke-lated) to organic molecules. The organic molecule prevents the aggregation and, because the gut is designed to actively absorb organic molecules, it improves the uptake of the attached minerals.
The most common organic molecule used for chelation is the amino acid methionine. Unfortunately methionine smells quite unpleasant when added to most tap water so is not suitable for use in water borne supplements. So we use a totally different organic molecule for Rapisorb which does not cause this problem. In fact we were only the second company in the world to use this technology in animals. It had previously been used by one firm for dairy cattle with great success.
A potential extra benefit of Rapisorb is that the organic molecule used is also very good at removing toxic heavy metals from the body. Whilst not present in therapeutic quantities Rapisorb may help in the prevention of iron storage problems as well as zinc and lead toxicity.
What we really like about this technology is that it mimics nature very closely. Naturally our birds get most of their minerals from chelated sources in their food. Examples are the iron molecules in the blood protein haemoglobin and the magnesium in the chlorophyll of green plants.
Rapisorb minerals are used in all of our "Essentials" products, BioPlus, PDD Food, Golden Tropic Nectar, and Feast eggfood.
Traditionally our agricultural industries have used low dose antibiotics in the production of pigs and poultry as growth promotants. Quite rightly this abuse of drugs is now almost a thing of the past and the farming industry has been looking around for alternatives. The Germans, who have long had a great respect for herbal remedies, have developed a number of plant blends that give similar results to antibiotics but without the potentially disastrous side effects.
We use a number of different blends under the "Flourish" banner but they all have three key characteristics. Firstly they create an attractive environment in the gut for beneficial bacteria. As a result the bad bacteria are less likely to get a hold and cause disease. We call this a prebiotic effect.
Secondly these plant extracts actually attack many disease causing organisms particularly protozoans like coccidia which caused "going light" in many species of finches and canaries. Some customers have reported excellent results using our Feast eggfood which we attribute to its unique herbal ingredients.
Finally Flourish stimulates the immune system. This is crucial for young chicks whose immune system can be put under great stress well before it is fully functional.
There is no doubt in our minds that Flourish stimulates rapid early growth in chicks as well as giving them natural protection against disease so it is not surprising we first put it into our breeder products ProBoost SuperMax and Feast. But we have been so impressed with the results we are extending its use and you will now find it in Poly-Aid (Survive), BirdPark Essentials and PDD Food.
We use another, similar herbal blend in our respiratory product Wheeze-Eeze.
Maxima is another natural ingredient (in fact it is extracted from trees) which has some very unusual characteristics. Basically it is a very highly bio-available source of sulphur. The scientist who introduced us to Maxima had come across it working for the Ministry of Defence trying to identify compounds that would help the treatment of patients suffering from radiation sickness. But the broad range of characteristics of this compound made it stand out and certainly interested us.
Maxima is claimed to have anti-microbial characteristics so helps fight many diseases. Also it helps the body manufacture feathers (and fur in animals) as well as toe nails. These materials contain large quantities of sulphur.
In our early trials of this material we discovered many breeders getting substantial benefits in fertility. We believe it is acting on the female as it certainly doesn't help with some male infertility problems.
So we use Maxima in Feather-Up, Raptor Essentials and Golden Tropic for its feather promoting properties. We put it into Feast and ProBoost SuperMax (with extra vitamin E) for its fertility and feather growth benefits. And it goes into PDD Food for its antimicrobial effects.
Perhaps not particularly relevant to most bird applications, Maxima also has anti-inflammatory characteristics and can be used to help with problems like arthritis.
he unique technology behind Potent Brew has created a product with very unusual and powerful characteristics. Conventional probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that have been freeze dried to preserve them. When ingested they are thrown, ill-prepared, into a very hostile environment (the upper gut is very acidic). Because they are still trying to re-hydrate themselves they are not very capable of adapting quickly and many die. Those that do survive the journey to the lower gut (where they are designed to work) take a while to recover and get going properly.
In contrast the beneficial bacteria in Potent Brew are in a liquid (planktonic) state. These bacteria are much better able to survive the rigours of the upper gut and they work much quicker in the lower gut. So we believe Potent Brew is the most powerful form of probiotic you can get. Unfortunately it has a short shelf life (3-4 months) and should be kept in the fridge.
We discovered this unique product being used in a number of different agricultural applications with great results.
This is another example of our passion for maximising mineral absorption. Calcivet (CalciBoost) works exceeding well because of two factors. Firstly it is already dissolved (the hard bit to do with most calcium compounds) Secondly because, like Rapisorb, it is chelated its absorption rate is dramatically enhanced. This time the calcium is attached to a sugar molecule.
Making a product this strong is quite difficult and needs special equipment so we have ours made, to our formulation, in a veterinary medicines factory using only food grade or pharmaceutical materials.
Calcivet (CalciBoost) contains quite a large number of special ingredients that make it very effective for emergency situations as well as its more regular role in preventative health. Attempts by our competitors to copy this technology have resulted in far weaker products with very poor "value for money" characteristics.
It was very pleasing to visit America in early 2000 and to meet Robert Black, one of their leading finch breeders, and find someone who agreed wholeheartedly about the importance of having enough good quality protein in our birds diets. Here the emphasis must be equally placed on both quantity and quality.
Our ProBoost technology has made a dramatic contribution to both breeder stimulation (hence fertility) and to chick growth and feather quality. The combination of ProBoost, Maxima and Flourish in ProBoost SuperMax undoubtedly contributes to the rapid growth and excellent health of many young chicks.
Made from human food grade animal protein this technology is far superior to soy and other plant proteins.
One of the great difficulties with protein is to get it to disperse evenly in water. This means that many sunflower junkies and some nectar eaters can easily become protein deficient because nectar foods often separate out and it is difficult to supplement protein via drinking water for stubborn greys and cockatoos.
Because the protein problems of sunflower junkies can be so severe we invested a lot of time with our protein supplier to produce a water dispersible protein. This has enabled us to develop Fussy Feeder Essentials - a unique product to tackle the nutritional problems of these birds. We use this technology in both Golden Tropic and PDD Food as well.
There is nothing unique about our amino acid technology except that we use plenty of lysine and methionine. Unfortunately many supplements have impressive long lists of amino acids on the labels. Most are totally unnecessary and many are present in insignificant quantities. Such tokenism only does harm to the reputation of our industry.
Properly supplemented essential amino acids have a dramatic effect on feather quality, breeding performance and as a safe preventative for obesity.
Essentials vitamin blends
Vitamins is another area where the ingredients we use are quite conventional but the blend we use is far different from the norm. We do not compromise on quality and put far more B group vitamins in our mix than most other products on the market. B group vitamins are mostly responsible for energy management. This, combined with our high vitamin K levels (responsible for energy storage), is a key reason why many bird keepers find their stock looking much more energetic and vital on our supplements.
Energy management system
Traditionally supplements are manufactured using a diluting medium (carrier) like glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that has excellent palatability and solubility. Unfortunately simple sugars are as bad for our birds as they are for humans. We all know we should not really eat too many lollies!
Although we use small amounts of sugar in some formulations (mostly for solubility characteristics) we make extensive use of more complex carbohydrates. These "glucose polymers" (confusing isn't it) do not have any of the drawbacks of glucose and indeed they have many advantages.
Simple sugars can cause nutritional dependency. Withdraw them and your birds could get quite stressed. Our energy management system does have this effect so it is safer.
Simple sugars can cause osmotic diarrhoea. Our energy management system does not.
Simple sugars only give a short term energy boost whilst our energy management system provides a twelve hour benefits.
These are the main reason we use these "glucose polymers" as a carrier in all our Essentials range, Feather-Up, Maxima and BioPlus. It is a key active ingredient in PDD Food, Poly-Aid (Survive), Spark (Energise) and Golden Tropic.
We believe in our products
We hope this short insight into some of the technologies that differentiate us from "the rest" has been useful. We have invested heavily and travelled extensively around the UK, Europe and even the USA to conferences and industry fairs to identify many of the ingredients we use routinely in our products.
Many of them we use ourselves. Though we can't suggest you take our products yourself, I am quite happy to consume them. Personally I routinely take Daily Essentials2, Calcivet (CalciBoost), Maxima and Flourish. Over the winter many of our staff where inhaling Wheeze-Eeze. Since taking Flourish (daily on my cornflakes) I have not had a single cold or flu. This contrasts dramatically with previous years when I kept getting bugs that I had a lot of trouble getting rid of. And this excellent result was achieved in a year when British hospitals were overflowing with cold and flu victims.
Let us help you take care of your precious birds.