Lipids An Excellant Energy Source For Birds

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default Lipids An Excellant Energy Source For Birds

Post  FinchG on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:23 pm


This nutrient group is composed of the fats and oils which are found in plants, especially in the seeds. These stored fats and oils in the seed furnish the energy necessary for the young plant to start its life processes as germination begins. Once the young plant starts to produce leaves, then photosynthesis occurs and the plant can manufacture and store more nutrients. These fats and oils are made up of fatty acids. These fatty acids do not link together to form long chains as happens with glucose to form starch and cellulose or with amino acids to form proteins. However, because of their chemical structure the fats and oils when used by animals for energy are known to furnish 2.25 times more calories of energy per unit weight than the carbohydrates and proteins. In other words, if a pet bird eats one gram of fat it gets 2.25 times more calories from the gram of fat than from 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate when they are used for energy. Therefore, it is possible for pet birds to become obese if they are fed seeds high in oil. An example is sunflower seeds.

The lipid in the diet is not only an excellent energy source but there are essential fatty acids that are needed by birds. Without the essential fatty acids in the diet there will be a reduction in egg size and hatchability. Also, poor skin covering and feather growth will occur. Overall growth is impaired, and the liver will have a tendency to accumulate fat. Without lipid in the diet the bird cannot absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Even though taste plays a somewhat minor role in a pet bird's eating habits, fats are added to animal diets to enhance palatability.

Seeds are the biggest part of the seed-eaters’ diet. There are two types of seeds: oil seeds and cereal seeds. The cereal seeds represent a big slice in the seed-eaters diet, since they provide carbohydrates. The oil seeds are rich in fat and have more protein that the cereals. So, you should never overfeed the birds with oil seeds.

Oil Seeds

  • Sunflower Seed – One of most used seeds. The white seeds have a lower percentage of oil and higher values of protein, than the striped ones, which makes them a better choice.
  • Hemp – It’s probably the bird’s favorite seed, especially due to its stimulating properties. However, it can lead to overexcitement when birds eat too much.
  • Linseed – Rich in Omega 3.
  • Peanuts – With a high value of fat, it should be given as a treat.
  • Niger seed – During breeding.
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin seed
  • Perilla seed


  • Canary seed – Although the name suggests that this seed is only used in canaries, canary seeds are in fact the most used seed, present in all seed-eaters diets.
  • Groats
  • Maize
  • Millet
  • Paddy Rice

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