This is part 1 of a series of articles on the Science behind the Tummyrite™ range of supplementary products for birds. Part 1 outlines the overall objectives of the Tummyrite™ product and its origins, and why such a product is needed for the effective care and feeding of captive birds.
Sound nutrition is about adequate nutrient delivery to birds on a daily basis according to their physiological needs at the time. It is about knowing what nutrients are needed and the amount that needs to be delivered to each bird daily to maintain its health, wellbeing and reproduction. Feed ingredients we feed are a means to an end. Feed ingredients are packets of nutrients which can be combined in numerous ways to meet the bird’s daily nutrient needs. Birds do have preferences for certain ingredients and this must be taken into account when choosing ingredients to be included in their daily diet. Choosing ingredients that contain components suitable for their ability to digest and assimilate nutrients from them is critical.
There is a big difference between birds in the wild and birds kept in captivity. In the wild, birds forage for their food continuously on a daily basis and are selective in what they eat. In the wild, their successful survival is dependent on how well they forage in the habitat they are confined. We have limited knowledge about the feeding habits and nutrient needs of many species of birds in the wild. Also, if their habitat is destroyed, and their food source is limited, or if they are challenged by some severe disease, they may not survive or reproduce, but there is an opportunity for them to move habitat to where food and nesting sites are available and to avoid disease challenges, they have a chance to survive.
What is clear, birds in captivity do not have that same opportunity to move and are completely reliant on what we give them, and they have little or no opportunity to forage for themselves and be selective. Also, when we confine birds we give them no opportunity to escape disease challenges. If we do not give our birds the correct nutrients, we give them little or no opportunity correct any nutrient deficiencies through foraging.
Tummyrite™ was developed to assist birds in captivity to correct any significant potential nutrient deficiencies, to improve the digestibility of the food we feed to them, and to provide a means by which they can cope with potential disease challenges during captivity. To help them to develop their own natural immunity to cope with disease challenges.
However, I cannot over emphasise the importance of biosecurity and quarantine in a captive environment in order to minimise disease challenges. Prevention is always better than cure.
Tummyrite™ has its origins in the development of suitable supplements for the Organic Poultry Industry. Many of the natural feed components in Tummyrite™ have been used very successfully in commercial organic poultry flocks for the last 12 years to improve the digestibility of major feed components, such as carbohydrates and proteins, and to assist organic poultry to cope with disease challenges. The normal veterinary medicines such as drugs and antibiotics are not available to organic poultry production because the Organic Standards forbid their use in feeds or as treatments.
There are a range of natural nutritional phytogenic products which can assist birds to cope with small to medium disease challenges.
WARNING: Tummyrite™ is a nutritional supplement and NOT a medicine and is not designed to be a substitute for poor management or proper veterinary care when required.
In cases of severe disease challenges bird-keepers are encouraged to contact their veterinarian immediately for proper veterinary advice.
Tummyrite™ gives best results when used at the recommended rate and where good husbandry and management exists. It is an AID to good management NOT a replacement.
WHAT IS TUMMYRITE?
TUMMYRITE™ is a range of nutritional supplements suitable for all classes of birds and is designed with five main objectives:
- To improve the digestibility and utilisation of the main components of the food of graniverous birds i.e. seed grains.
- To provide some key nutrients that are not provided in many of the main feed components fed to birds.
- Provide some components, such as herbs and yeast functional fibres which have anti-microbial and binding actions to reduce pathogen numbers and thereby reduce the disease challenge to birds.
- To assist the birds to develop their own natural immunity against disease challenges.
- To enhance the bird’s natural gut microflora by providing the necessary substrates for these favourable microflora to flourish.
There are different TUMMYRITE™ products depending on the type of birds being fed. These include Finches and Softbills, Canaries, Budgerigars and Parakeets, Parrots and Lorikeets, Pigeons and Poultry.
TUMMYRITE™ is a composite product of multi-enzymes, prebiotics, vitamins, trace minerals, organic selenium, nutritional herbs, nucleotides, yeast functional fibres, amino acids, carotenoids and a highly digestible protein with the majority of the anti-nutritional factors removed. It is included at a rate of 20g/kg of feed.
TUMMYRITE™ +PLUS is TUMMYRITE™ with added Calcium and Electrolytes. This product can be used when inadequate calcium and electrolytes are being fed. It is included at a rate of 50g/kg of feed.In the next part of this series of articles, part 2, I will discuss objective 1 and the components in Tummyrite™ and Tummyrite™ +Plus that assist in improving the digestibility and utilisation of the main food components i.e. seed.