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consult the bird brain articles  |  common questions  |  making the switch  |  teaching your bird to talk  
 
Q:Can Tom give a lecture in my area?
A:Tom has given lectures to college students, bird clubs, veterinarians, and other organized events. Currently he does not charge a lecture fee but does request that the organization provides for travel and lodging. To get more information or to see if he is available to speak for your event, contact the office at (800) 326-1726.
 
Q:Do birds need grit in their diets when they are fed Roudybush products?
A:No, birds do not need grit in their diets when they are fed Roudybush products.
 
Q:Do birds need cuttlebone when being fed Roudybush products?
A:We do not recommend offering cuttlebone to birds that are being fed Roudybush pellets. Our diets are formulated with mineral and vitamin requirements in mind. Birds offered cuttlebone in addition to Roudybush pellets may actually reach toxic levels of certain nutrients such as calcium. If you are worried about the growth of your bird’s beak or nails, there are many toys, perches, and branches available in the market that not only help keep your bird stimulated, but also help keep the beak and toenails to an appropriate length.
 
Q:Can I feed more than just Roudybush? (seeds, fruits, veggies, nuts, etc)
A:Birds eat to meet their energy requirements. It is safe to offer fresh fruits and vegetables as treats because they are low in energy, so your bird will continue to eat the pellets. Foods such as seeds and nuts are much higher in energy and can lower the bird’s consumption of pellets. Therefore, if you wish to provide treats to bond with your bird or as an environmental enrichment, it is better to offer foods like fresh fruit and vegetables and limit the amount of seeds and nuts.
 
Q:What is the difference between pelleted and extruded diets?
A:The main difference is the process. Pelleting is gentler and cooler and requires less energy.
 
Q:What is the most effective conversion method?
A:This is a difficult question to answer. Birds are highly individualistic. What may work for one bird might not work for another. Sometimes it is best to try a method that you feel most comfortable with. If that doesn’t work, you can put your bird back on its old diet for a week, and then try again or try a different method. It is even possible to try two methods at once. People have been successful using a combination of the instinctual and gradual methods by placing a bowl of Roudybush high in the cage, and placing a bowl of Roudybush and the familiar diet mixed together in a lower bowl. See the conversion page on this website for more information.
 
Q:When should I stop hand feeding and switch to pellets?
A:You should not stop hand feeding and switch to pellets. You should offer pellets long before your chick is ready to wean and allow the chick to become familiar with pellets and begin to eat them. Chicks will eat pellets long before they are ready to wean, but not enough to meet their needs. Eventually you will be able to reduce hand feeding and observe whether your bird maintains its body weight. If the bird looses weight, it is not ready to give up the hand feeding. If it maintains its weight, you can stop hand feeding. If your bird looses weight when you stop hand feeding, resume hand feeding for a few days or a week and try again. Normal birds will eventually maintain their body weights without hand feeding. If your bird does not wean in a reasonable amount of time see an avian veterinarian.
 
Q:How Does Nutrition affect Iron Storage Disease?
A:There is some controversy about this. Tom Roudybush believes that the main factor in iron storage disease is stress, which causes the absorption of excess iron. There may be sensitive species that have low tolerance for iron in the diet and need a low iron diet to avoid this disease, but most birds that are not under unusual stress do not acquire iron storage disease even though they are fed iron levels several times higher then their requirement.
 
Q:Is it dangerous for my dog to eat the food that falls from the cage?
A:Roudybush diets are not inherently dangerous for dogs, but there are some considerations you may want to review. First, where did the feed fall? If it fell in something dangerous, you may want to keep your dog out of there. Second, Roudybush diets are not formulated for dogs, which have specific nutrient requirements that differ from birds. Too much Roudybush in the diet of your dog may upset the balance of nutrients your dog would get from a properly formulated dog food. So, a little Roudybush for dogs is Ok, but as the main source of nutrition, it is probably a bad idea.
 
Q:Can ducks or chickens eat Roudybush?
A:There is no real problem here except for sustained egg production in some breeds of chickens or ducks that have been bred for production of large numbers of eggs without a break. For these birds, additional calcium may be needed. Keep in mind that the same principles apply to these birds as apply to psittacines. Feed maintenance diets to adult birds that are not associated with chicks and that are not laying many eggs (perhaps a dozen a year). Feed breeder diets to birds that are growing or are laying intermediate numbers of eggs (a clutch to three clutches of eggs a year). Feed breeder diets plus a calcium supplement to birds that are laying a large number of eggs a year.
 
Q:Do you use Ethoxyquin in your diets?
A:We have replaced ethoxyquin with an all natural preservative in our Low-fat Maintenance, Maintenance, Breeder and High-energy Breeder pellets. The new preservative is a combination of d-tocopherol (a close relative of vitamin E), rosemary, and citric acid. Alpha tocopherol has antioxidant properties, but it is also biologically active and larger concentrations needed as a preservative may not be safe for birds. The advantage of d-tocopherol is that it has antioxidant properties but it has very little biological activity, so risk of toxicity is eliminated. Rosemary has natural antioxidant properties. Citric acid binds to certain minerals responsible for starting oxidation reactions, preventing those reactions from occuring. Roudybush is committed to providing your birds with the best possible food. Any changes we make to our formulations are thoroughly researched and only made when the data shows us there is a clear advantage.
 
Q:Is Ethoxyquin bad for my bird?
A:There are many misconceptions and fear about this preservative. Preservatives are necessary to prolong the life of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K and prevent the rancidity of fat in feed, keeping the feed nutritious for your bird. Without an antioxidant feed can become rancid or deficient in about three months at room temperature and ethoxyquin is one of the safest and most effective antioxidants available. There are many rumors and fears that ethoxyquin is toxic, poisonous, causes liver disease, or causes tumors. Please be aware of what resources you are gathering this information from. No scientific studies of any kind have been able to show ethoxyquin causing any of these problems, and so far they indicate that ethoxyquin is safe.
 
Q:Roudybush food does not look interesting or fun; won’t my bird get bored
A:Pet birds are especially intelligent animals and it is true that they need environmental enrichment. However, the food you are providing your bird is meant for nutrition and we specifically do not add “interesting” things such as colors, because they can create other challenges for your bird. Further if the food is the only interesting thing in your bird’s cage it is most likely “bored” anyway. The best advice we can offer is to provide your bird with many different types of toys and switch them out frequently. You can even offer Roudybush pellets inside a puzzle toy if you want to simulate your bird’s natural forging behaviors.
 
Q:My bird tends to grind up its food. What should I do with fines it leaves in its bowl?
A:Try sprinkling the fines over your birds next serving of fresh fruit, or try sprinkling them into some fruit juice or applesauce for your bird. You can also use the fines to bake birdie bread. Just mix up regular corn bread from the box (which ever brand you prefer) and add the fines or even whole pellets of Roudybush, bake and serve. Your bird will love it. You can also mix the fines with apple juice and a little water, then press into cakes, and bake until golden to make a birdie cookie.
 
Q:Repackaging: A Bad Idea?
A:If you search the Internet you will upon occasion see among the legitimate sellers of Roudybush products a few companies that buy our products in large packages and repackage them into small packages. The main advantage to the consumer is that these packages may be a little cheaper than small packages filled by Roudybush. There are reasons why they might be cheaper and I would like to review some of these reasons here. Repackagers frequently have low overhead. Their facilities are commonly uninspected garages or other buildings connected to their aviaries or homes allowing food to be exposed to bird feces or other contaminants. Another “contaminant” commonly found in repackaged food is an insect infestation. Labels from repackagers are often simply pieces of paper that are stuffed into cheap zip lock polyethylene bags. Their labels often fail to include legally required information, such as their contact information and our “use by” date, which is our lot number. The polyethylene bags favored by many repackagers are fragile, pass air through the plastic easily and often have no seal except the zip lock, which anyone could open and close without your knowledge. At Roudybush we discourage the repackaging of our products. The seeming advantage of a reduced price is over shadowed by the risks and losses in the repackaging process. We encourage you to seek other ways to get our foods and protect yourselves and your birds from these risks.