By Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian Practice)
Everyone loves pasta – it’s yummy, filling, comfort food. Bird owners love to feed pasta – both cooked and dry – to their birds because birds typically love pasta as much as people do. Yet just as pasta isn’t healthy in excess for people, it is not healthy in excess for birds. It is great as a treat or part of a nutritionally-balanced, pellet-based diet for a bird, but it should not be fed all the time. ZuPreem capitalized on birds’ love of pasta by creating PastaBlend, a nutritionally-complete pellet, like ZuPreem FruitBlend or VeggieBlend, in the colors and shapes of pasta that birds are familiar with and love. PastaBlend is a great way for bird owners to ensure their birds are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to stay healthy, while birds enjoy choosing the colors and shapes of pasta they like best. As there is no pasta in PastaBlend, bird owners can feel good about allowing their birds to eat all the PastaBlend they want as part of pellet-based diet, along with smaller amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit and occasional treats. The fun thing about PastaBlend is that bird owners can get really creative when offering it to their birds. They can stuff pieces of PastaBlend with healthy table foods, such as bits of fruits and vegetables their birds love (including strips of bell pepper, carrots, or sweet potato, or little pieces of berries). They also can encourage birds to eat PastaBlend by packing pieces of it with small amounts of treats like walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, cheese, or peanut butter and offering them as foraging toys. They can even string several pieces of PastaBlend together on a safe-to-chew leather shoelace that can be hung in a bird’s cage to gnaw on or threaded with a dry piece of spaghetti to create a “shish kabob” that can be clipped horizontally to a bird’s cage for edible entertainment. How do you feed PastaBlend to your pet bird? Please share your ideas!