Monday, March 21, 2011

Momma Bird’s Self-Help for Avian Creatures

One of our cousins, in the wild!
While I obviously recognize the importance of healthy nutrition in our lives, I also understand that life needs to include more than nutritious food. As highly intelligent (!) creatures, we need to do more than sit, think, preen, talk and/or entertain our human companions.  For our own mental health, we need to feel curious, challenged, stimulated, and entertained.   We need to feel  good about ourselves, our skills, and creativity and have the opportunity to delight in our avian brilliance each and every day.
Another toy at!
Did you know that in the wild, our cousins forage 70% of the day?   That means that they search for food at least 6 hours a day. For those of you who have gotten more accustomed to a more sedentary life style, don’t panic.  Eating can be both fun and challenging and the act of foraging – that's searching for food – can provide both.  Even most of our human companions enjoy the act of foraging.  In their world, it is called shopping or harvesting. Some go to work to earn the money to buy their food while others spend hours creating a garden and growing food. On top of that, more hours are spent cooking food.  For most, it is a process that takes time and provides nurturance and satisfaction.

We have this toy at!
As members of the avian world, we need a similar experience. It is not good for us to live a life where food is just handed to us on a silver platter. That is way too easy and can lead to boredom, feather plucking and depression.  We need to work for our food and, in order to do so, we need our human companions to provide us with an environment filled with different opportunities that encourage us to be our naturally curious bird selves. 
Another wild cousin!

It may take some time to learn foraging but once you understand that you are not going to starve to death (your human companions will never let that happen) and that you are going to feel happier and healthier, you will embrace foraging forever!!

I promise and that promise is worth a 20% discount on any of my foraging toys at  Just write "foragingfun" as the coupon code at checkout.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Talk of the Flock: To Eat or Not to Eat Soy

Have you ever noticed birds in the wild naturally foraging for soy?

Have you ever noticed birds in the wild naturally foraging for corn, seeds, nuts, fruits, and grains?

Eaten in large amounts, soy has been shown to cause disturbing health problems for humans. If it is having such adverse affects on humans, think about its effect on our smaller and more vulnerable feathered friends.

Because our avian friends have an innate sense of what is a healthy food choice, left to their own devices, they are able to actively choose foods that are nutritionally beneficial. In contrast, the domestic contingent’s diet relies on and is at the mercy of their human companions and their human companions are simultaneously at the mercy of the food industry, which as we know is controlled by money.

One of the pro soy arguments used by a leading avian food manufacturer is that “Asians have been living on soy for centuries.” The soy industries own figures show that soy consumption in China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Taiwan ranges from 9.3 to 36 grams per day. Compare that with a cup of soy milk (240 grams) or a cup of tofu (252 grams). Infants on soy formula (much like birds on soy based bird foods), are the most seriously affected. We know soy is a very inexpensive ingredient and is used unsparingly as a food source – for humans, animals, and birds. Sadly, money talks!!

Here is some interesting information about soy:
1. Soybeans are loaded with plant compounds that mimic estrogen, a female hormone. Post menopausal women use soy products to help regulate their decreased estrogen supply. If it can change the hormone balance in a grown woman, how could this not adversely affect a baby human or better yet, a baby bird? What about hormonal feather pluckers, chronic egg layers? What would a soy based diet do to them?

2. Studies for over 40 years have shown that birds fed soy developed plumage at 2 months of age instead of the normal 18 months.
3. Two glasses of soy milk a day, over the course of a month, contains enough of the chemical to change the timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Just 100 gm of any soy product has the estrogenic content of a contraceptive pill.

4. Soy contains manganese and a recent study found unusually high manganese levels in the hair of hyperactive children and youths convicted of felony crimes.

5. A 1994 study in New Zealand found that, depending on the age and potency of the product and feeding methods, infants on soy formula might be consuming the equivalent of up to 10 contraceptive pills a day.

6. More that 70% of human animal and lab studies show that soy puts the thyroid at risk.

7. Since the mid-1940’s, soy use in food products has been connected to infertility in birds and mammals.
8. Thousands of studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, and infertility – even cancer and heart disease.

Despite the research leaning more towards the reality that soy based food is not healthy for birds – in fact, in large amounts is down right unhealthy, bird food manufacturers continue to use soy as a major ingredient in their birdie breads, pellets, etc. Major avian food manufacturers have created foods that, in the end, could be jeopardizing the health of your avian friends. Please beware and check the ingredient list of your preferred avian foods to guarantee that soy is NOT a leading ingredient.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Momma Bird: Baking the Best Birdie Bread

I’m Momma Bird and believe me, honey, when it comes to Birdie Bread, stimulating and educational toys, and manzanita perches, I am your girl. I think most of you have probably tried my breads – all seven flavors filled with freeze-dried fruits and veggies, organic grains, seeds, and nuts but for those who have not, please feel free to visit my café.

Use “birdiebreadisyum” as your coupon code when you check out and get a free bag of my birdie bread when you buy three. With this offer, you can try out several flavors to see which is your flock favorite!

If you or any of your flock is celebrating a hatch day, please check out my NEW HAPPY BIRD DAY LOAF. It is positively scrumptious. Sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, strawberries, carrots, oranges, and peanuts are just some of the wonderful flavors in my new bread. My grandchicks are going crazy for the stuff!! 

Baking Momma’s breads is quick and easy. Just add 1 -1 ½ cups of water or chicken stock, 1 T veggie oil, 2 eggs with the shell, mix well until batter is smooth – neither too dry or too runny. Then pour batter into 2 small loaf pans, 1 large loaf pan or mini-muffin pans. Baking time for the muffins runs about 15-20 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean. Baking time for the small and large loaf pans runs between 25-35 minutes, again, until toothpick comes out clean. 

Happy Baking!