RENO, NV. (KOLO) -- A Reno woman says she has developed the perfect bird food, which she calls "Best Bird Food Ever". She has bred the animals for more than two decades and in that time says she has discovered some fatal nutritional problems.
Critter Connection Owner and maker of "Best Bird Food Ever" Leslie Moran feeds her sprouted food blend to her 24-year-old pet Macaw named Maria.
She had a pair of scarlet-chested Grasskeet parrots. "The hen died of lymphoma," said Critter Connection Founder, Leslie Moran.
"The male scarlet-chested Grasskeet died right in front of me in the vets hands as blood was being drawn because of a lack of Vitamin K in his diet. It prevented his blood from being able to clot and he just went into shock and died."
Leslie says she also had a pair of Amboina King Parrots.
"They contracted a chronic viral infection and you know so far I was two for two. I was not doing so well. The pairs I had gotten specifically for breeding had either died or had developed serious illnesses. I realized that I needed to turn my focus away from being a breeder," Leslie said.
She says she focused her attention on researching avian foods and even started publishing some of her findings in Parrot Magazine. She claims her balanced exotic diet avian food plan uses her complete protein sprouting blend as the foundation.
She said holding and pointing to the sprouting blend in her hand, "It provides a complete protein, digestive enzymes, and essential vitamins and then there's also the trace minerals in here as well. It's rich with antioxidants. Antioxidants are another nutrient that when it comes to avian nutrition, most people just kind of ignore."
"The sprouting process really turns any food into a super food, but specifically because this has been formulated to provide complete protein. It provides protein in a form the body can easily assimilate," Leslie said.
She says her food plan also includes other wholesome natural and preferably organic fed in specific amounts depending on the parrot species and sex.
Leslie packages each order of her sprouting blend in her home where she also feeds it to her two pet Macaws.
Maria is a 24-years-old female and Corby is 27-years-old male.
"It's a blend of many beans, lentils, wheat, short grain brown rice, and buckwheat," Leslie said.
Some veterinarians have shared concerns about sprouting foods for pets. They say sprouts can grow fungus and bacteria. Leslie's solution is to add grapefruit seed extract to her sprouts. She says it naturally keeps fungus and bacteria from growing on the sprouts.
Leslie is also releasing a recipe book for birds and is starting a long term trial with Parakeets to test her food against conventional bird foods. Results will take several years.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019