On 3/01/05, LindaC in OK wrote:
> even in moderation aren't you concerned with impaction?
> if you only give in moderation what is the benefit?
> You know I value your opinion and besides that you know I am nosey..
> gotta feed baby lovies.
> LindaLu :-)
I have never really put my opinion out there on the subject until now.
All of my birds have oyster shells and 'coarse' grit available to them
at all times. I wouldn't feel it appropriate for me to endorse this
for everyone, as it has been know to cause some problems in birds. But
in the grande scheme of things, the problems are very minimal as to the
number of birds it might affect. And while I realize that even one
bird is precious and not worth the risk, I personally, have not had any
problems with any of my birds.
You would be surprised the reaction when birds have this available to
them all the time. They do not gorge or ingest great quantities. Only
the occassional piece when they feel the need.
What you will find is that if you give this to birds that have never
had, or infrequently had it, they will consume a large amount with
their first exposure to it. That is why if you do use it, they have to
be 'weaned' on to it. A little every day for several days till they
start to lose interest.
I know this goes against many of the theories and writings that you
will find on the subject, but in the wild, birds have access to stones,
sand and various coarse, indigestible items. They must and do eat it
when they feel the need.
While I might not be able to give you the exact benefit it provides,
other than the obvious, my theory is that birds, animals, etc. eat what
they feel they need to sustain a well-balanced digestive system. You
might liken this to a dog that goes out and eats grass? While it
appears unnatural to us, the dog finds a need for a material that we
would consider foreign to it's diet.
So that is why I never have said anything on the matter. I realize it
is controversial, but I'm willing to assume the risk and allow my birds
to have it as an optional source of calcium, if they find it necessary.
And by the way, you're not nosey. Your just a concerned bird person
that is always looking to share and gather more information. :)
Discalimer: I am not endorsing or promoting this for each and every
bird. Use oyster shells and grit at your own discretion and expertise.