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Birds are lactose intolerant read here

Discussion in 'Birds - all breeds / types' started by charmedagain, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    These are different replies i have been given from manyof my breeder friends so i thought i would post here...

    From Suzanne.
    Yep, tiels are lactose intolerant and shouldn't be given milk because of the milk sugar. However yoghurt is ok as it doesn't have milk sugar or does cheese.

    From lynn.
    They are lactose intolerant but they can have a small amount of yogurt or cheese once in awhile. Research has proven that they are lactose intolerant.

    From Travis.
    It is true that birds do not have the digestive enzymes to digest dairy products. A tiny bit of plain yogurt is ok to give them maybe once a month, but soaking bread in milk is definately a no no. The bread itself is fine as long as it is a whole grain or whole wheat bread, this is a good soft food to feed the birds when they are nesting and feeding chicks. I would definately tell her no milk at all.

    From NCS Panelist.
    That book by Matthew Vriends that you refer to was written in 1937 and since its last revision 16 years have passed. Basically this book is filled with very good information and I do have a copy of this book. But I'm afraid that some of the info is a bit outdated. Avian medicine and knowledge grows by leaps and bounds each year and there is a lot that has been learned even since 1989.

    I realize some of the people on this board say that birds are "lactose intolerant" but that term isn't correct since that would imply that the birds are normally able to process lactose. BUt that is true, our pet parrots cannot digest the milk sugars because they lack the digestive enzymes to do so. They can develop severe allergies to milk if they are given it frequently. One vet said that if you must give your bird a piece of unsweetened whole grain cereal that was sitting in milk to do so no more than once or twice a month. I got that from Bird Talk magazine although which issue exactly I cannot say. I have a stack 3 feet high and it could take me quite a while to find it.

    While it is true that some "good bacteria" found in some pellets and seed mixes do digest milk sugars (lactobacillus and bifidus), these bacteria tend to go after the more complex milk sugars leaving others undigestible. The milk can encourage the growth of harmful germs in the digestive tract and promote diarhhea.

    While you would likely not see an immediate adverse reaction in your bird, over time it can start to cause a problem. Personally I avoid all milk in anything I allow my birds to taste. I would advise avoiding any milk altogether, but you can research the facts and decide for yourself what is best for you and your bird in your situation.

    I recall finding a baby robin about 20 years ago when I was a teenager. I soaked bread in milk (who knows where I got that idea) and that baby had very messy diarrhea type droppings. Immediately I knew this couldn't go on, that something wasn't right. So I went to the library (didn't have a computer or the internet back then ) and got an old book on rehabbing wild birds. It said to soak dog food in water and feed the bird bits of food that way. So I would break the kibble into smaller pieces using a toothpick and the moistened kibble would stick to the toothpick and I'd feed the baby by dropping pieces into his mouth, pretty much sliding the toothpick horizontally and wiping the food against the beak making it fall into his mouth. I knew nothing about temperature or even the fact that using a toothpick could be very dangerous for the bird. Amazingly the bird survived and for many many years I always knew my robin out there in the trees. He had a distinct sound and because he escaped me before I had him fully weaned, he was the only adult robin out there that would beg for food from other adult robins. They were feeding him too. He lived that way for many years. That certainly says something about wild birds and how they band together to help each other survive, especially the healthy ones.

    Anyhow, I hope some of this helps

    Hope this infomormation is able to help you decide i will post more as and when i get it for you..

  2. jeepiecj5

    jeepiecj5 New Member

    My recently adopted 10 yr old Rainbow Lorikeet has had evaporated milk/honey mixture for breakfast all her life. So...not "all" bird breeds are "intolerant" :)

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