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Essential Fatty Acids for Parrots


You may be hearing more talk these days about "Essential Fatty Acids" (E.F.A.s) and our birds need for them in the diet. (That word "essential" is the giveaway, right?") So, what are they and how to we supply them?

We all hear a lot about "good" fat and "bad" fat - basically, the bad stuff comes from animal sources, is saturated, and hard on arteries and cholesterol levels, while the good stuff comes from plant sources, is unsaturated, actually GOOD for cardiovascular health and lowers cholesterol. Well, Essential Fatty Acids are the best of the good!

So, let's get technical for a minute - fats (chemically known as lipids) are the most concentrated source of energy found in the diet. I won't go into the classification of fats here, but only cover the Essential Fatty Acids that wd are concerned with our parrots at the moment.

Basically, fatty acids differ in saturation and chain length. "Essential" fatty acids are those not synthesized by the body, so must be supplied, therefore, by the diet. There are three - Linoleic, Linolenic, and Arachidonic (are you board yet?).

Because these must be fed, they are "Essential" - for growth, for the health of nerves, arteries, blood, for visual function, and suppleness of the skin and healthy feathers. The "Queen" of these are the Omega 3 Fatty Acids (linolenic) abundant in flax seed oil and fish. Omega 6 acids (linoleic) are important for transportation and processing cholesterol and are found in corn, safflower, and soybeans. Both Omega 3 and 6 should be supplied, of which the best combined source is canola oil. Mixtures of flax seed oil with the other oils helps keep a balance of the Omegas for good health. Arachidonic acid is synthesized by linoleic acid when fed in the diet.

African Greys have been found to have a higher need for E.F.A.s than other species and I always recommend supplementing their diet with flax seed oil 3 or 4 times a week. Molting and feather plucking also increase the need, as does breeding and raising babies. Macaws also have a higher need for fat and I recommend mixed nuts 3 to 4 a day which are high in unsaturated fats and actually lower the saturated fat in the body. Vitamin E is needed for E.F.A.s to be absorbed and nuts provide the proper balance. Additional sources of E.F.A.s are many seeds and legumes (including peanuts).

It is worth noting that oils can become rancid very quickly when exposed to air, heat and light. All oils should be refrigerated after opening. Freezing or refrigerating before opening will also help extend the shelf life.

Always check nuts and seeds for freshness, and examine peanuts for aflatoxins (toss any that look moldy or otherwise suspicious).

Watch the fat intake for Amazons, Budgies, Cockatiels or any overweight birds, but be sure to include some E.F.A.s regularly for ALL birds - just use moderation if need be. Better feathering, immunity, and overall health and vitality will be the payoff for including these vital nutrients in the daily diet.

-----------------------------------------
Your Parrot Place
Marilu Anderson, Bird Nutrition and Behavior Consultant, (503) 771-BIRD. Marilu is a regular contributor to the Your Parrot Place Newsletter. YourParrotPlace.com - Only the Best for Your Parrot!

Free eBook!
140 pages! A compilation of parrot articles from 2000-2004.
http://www.yourparrotplace.com/ebooks/ypp2004ebook.htm


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Thu. May / 06 / 2021

How to prepare your pets for your return to work - Times Union
How to prepare your pets for your return to work  Times Union

The best hip and joint supplement for pets - WKRG News 5
The best hip and joint supplement for pets  WKRG News 5

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021 - NBC News
8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021  NBC News

Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest - Dayton Daily News
Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest  Dayton Daily News

Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week - WOODTV.com
Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week  WOODTV.com

Paws to Consider: Pet guardianships - Sequim Gazette
Paws to Consider: Pet guardianships  Sequim Gazette

A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved' - Chicago Tribune
A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved'  Chicago Tribune

Keeping your pets healthy and calm on your next trip - FOX 9
Keeping your pets healthy and calm on your next trip  FOX 9

Pets Of The Week | San Marcos Record - San Marcos Daily Record
Pets Of The Week | San Marcos Record  San Marcos Daily Record

Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com  Hickory Daily Record

City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need - 13WHAM-TV
City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need  13WHAM-TV

Your pets can have allergies too - FOX 5 NY
Your pets can have allergies too  FOX 5 NY

‘Pets are going to be safe:’ Muskegon shelter moving animals away from antiquated location - MLive.com
‘Pets are going to be safe:’ Muskegon shelter moving animals away from antiquated location  MLive.com

Meet Shabba, Baby and Milli, this week’s Pets of the Week in San Gabriel Valley/Whittier - The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Meet Shabba, Baby and Milli, this week’s Pets of the Week in San Gabriel Valley/Whittier  The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Pet-friendly designs to incorporate into your home - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Pet-friendly designs to incorporate into your home  Atlanta Journal Constitution

Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Milo, Gibbs, Braxton, Birdie, Mabel - Patch.com
Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Milo, Gibbs, Braxton, Birdie, Mabel  Patch.com

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Thinking About Getting a Pet Hedgehog? Here's What You Need to Know - POPSUGAR
Thinking About Getting a Pet Hedgehog? Here's What You Need to Know  POPSUGAR

Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire - WJHL-TV News Channel 11
Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire  WJHL-TV News Channel 11

Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community - The Leader
Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community  The Leader

After neighbor reportedly kills 2 pets, Warren County families desperate for police help - KMOV.com
After neighbor reportedly kills 2 pets, Warren County families desperate for police help  KMOV.com

10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents - PEOPLE
10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents  PEOPLE

Pets are often left behind during disasters, but Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team is stepping in to help - CW33 NewsFix
Pets are often left behind during disasters, but Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team is stepping in to help  CW33 NewsFix

Getting Pets Ready for Hurricane Season - WFLA
Getting Pets Ready for Hurricane Season  WFLA

Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire - Kankakee Daily Journal
Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire  Kankakee Daily Journal

Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly - Influencive
Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly  Influencive

Looking For A Pup? Austin Pets Alive! Needs You To Adopt, Foster - Patch.com
Looking For A Pup? Austin Pets Alive! Needs You To Adopt, Foster  Patch.com

Barking news: Political pets are relevant again - uscannenbergmedia.com
Barking news: Political pets are relevant again  uscannenbergmedia.com

Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month - PRNewswire
Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month  PRNewswire

NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits - WPIX 11 New York
NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits  WPIX 11 New York

Megan Thee Stallion Pet Series Leads Snapchat’s Latest Original Lineup - Deadline
Megan Thee Stallion Pet Series Leads Snapchat’s Latest Original Lineup  Deadline

Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report - Forbes
Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report  Forbes

How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks - Local Profile
How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks  Local Profile

Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing - WLNS
Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing  WLNS

Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety - WWLP.com
Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety  WWLP.com

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21)  ABC15 Arizona

2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People' - PEOPLE
2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People'  PEOPLE

Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic - CNN
Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic  CNN

Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois' - Chicago Tribune
Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois'  Chicago Tribune

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller  KCBD

PETS OF WEEK: Diamond and Barrett | Community | wiscnews.com - WiscNews
PETS OF WEEK: Diamond and Barrett | Community | wiscnews.com  WiscNews

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2  Summit Daily News

Dakin Humane Society announces new online store for pets - WWLP.com
Dakin Humane Society announces new online store for pets  WWLP.com

Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation - Danbury News Times
Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation  Danbury News Times

Walmart releases 'super premium' private label pet foods - Pet Food Processing
Walmart releases 'super premium' private label pet foods  Pet Food Processing

Adoptable Pet of the Week - The Daily Advocate
Adoptable Pet of the Week  The Daily Advocate

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda - WXII12 Winston-Salem
Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda  WXII12 Winston-Salem

Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event - Focusdailynews
Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event  Focusdailynews

Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram! - POPSUGAR
Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram!  POPSUGAR

U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress - Reuters
U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress  Reuters

Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah' - KKCO-TV
Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah'  KKCO-TV

It’s National Pet Week! - KOIN.com
It’s National Pet Week!  KOIN.com

Missouri bill would allow lifelong, pet restraining orders - KY3
Missouri bill would allow lifelong, pet restraining orders  KY3

Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally  ARLnow

Pet of the Week: Ruca & Ramona – Heart of the Rockies Radio - Heart of the Rockies Radio
Pet of the Week: Ruca & Ramona – Heart of the Rockies Radio  Heart of the Rockies Radio

Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15 - Patch.com
Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15  Patch.com

Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer - KXXV News Channel 25
Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer  KXXV News Channel 25

Dogs blamed for killing family pets in Hyrum neighborhood - KSL.com
Dogs blamed for killing family pets in Hyrum neighborhood  KSL.com

Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash - CBS San Francisco
Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash  CBS San Francisco

Pet of the Week: Be prepared to love Scout - WOAI
Pet of the Week: Be prepared to love Scout  WOAI

New program to help locate lost pets | Local News | fhtimes.com - Fountain Hills Times
New program to help locate lost pets | Local News | fhtimes.com  Fountain Hills Times

Finding Lost Pets May Get Easier with Petco Love's New Searchable Database - PetProductNews.com
Finding Lost Pets May Get Easier with Petco Love's New Searchable Database  PetProductNews.com

5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police - ABC News
5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police  ABC News

NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug - Wink News
NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug  Wink News

Smithtown Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Gavin - Patch.com
Smithtown Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Gavin  Patch.com

Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes  Tampa Bay Times

Pets of the Week: April 29, 2021 - WSIL TV
Pets of the Week: April 29, 2021  WSIL TV

Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond - Patch.com
Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond  Patch.com

Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals - U.S. News & World Report
Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals  U.S. News & World Report

Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21) - KoamNewsNow.com
Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21)  KoamNewsNow.com

Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut - WISHTV.com
Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut  WISHTV.com

PLDPaws Pet of the Week: Cats - The Delaware County Daily Times
PLDPaws Pet of the Week: Cats  The Delaware County Daily Times

Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards? - Vox
Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards?  Vox

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — May 3 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — May 3  Gwinnettdailypost.com

A gator and a raccoon named Rebecca: Pets that have called the White House home - WTSP.com
A gator and a raccoon named Rebecca: Pets that have called the White House home  WTSP.com

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Jet Pet- Zane - YourErie
Jet Pet- Zane  YourErie

Pet Helpers: Mitzi - WDTV
Pet Helpers: Mitzi  WDTV

SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets - American Veterinary Medical Association
SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets  American Veterinary Medical Association

Meet the Plus-Size Orphan Pets That Are Seeking New Homes and Healthier Routines in California - PEOPLE
Meet the Plus-Size Orphan Pets That Are Seeking New Homes and Healthier Routines in California  PEOPLE

Jet Pet: Selena - YourErie
Jet Pet: Selena  YourErie

Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us - The Washington Post
Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us  The Washington Post

U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing - NBC News
U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing  NBC News

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Pet of the Week: Ren - WBNG-TV
Pet of the Week: Ren  WBNG-TV

KKR Acquires Natural Pet Food Group - Business Wire
KKR Acquires Natural Pet Food Group  Business Wire

Brookings Register | Pet adoptions on pace - Brookings Register
Brookings Register | Pet adoptions on pace  Brookings Register

“A noise nuisance and it will be smelly”: planning commission rejects pet daycare permit after resident pushback - Cherokee Tribune Ledger News
“A noise nuisance and it will be smelly”: planning commission rejects pet daycare permit after resident pushback  Cherokee Tribune Ledger News

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping - PRNewswire
Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping  PRNewswire

Austin Pets Alive! shines spotlight on ‘differently abled’ pups with mobility problems - KXAN.com
Austin Pets Alive! shines spotlight on ‘differently abled’ pups with mobility problems  KXAN.com

Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits - Baltimore Sun
Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits  Baltimore Sun

Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families - PRNewswire
Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families  PRNewswire

Loveland kindergartners write ads for adoptable pets, and it couldn't be cuter - WLWT Cincinnati
Loveland kindergartners write ads for adoptable pets, and it couldn't be cuter  WLWT Cincinnati

How to buy a pet without getting scammed - MarketWatch
How to buy a pet without getting scammed  MarketWatch

Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds - BBC News
Pets' names used as passwords by millions, study finds  BBC News

Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat - Modern Farmer
Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat  Modern Farmer

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