Sylvester the Gluten-Free/Wheat-Free Bird
By Marlisa Brown MS, RD, CDE, CDN
We all love our pets, they are special members of our family, and when they are not feeling well they show us since they can’t tell us. This brings me to a funny story that I heard.
Meet Sylvester a beautiful loving Amazon parrot who is a member of one of my friends’ families. This loving bird one day started to get weak, tired, and he puffed up on his perch. In addition he stopped singing had loose droppings and stopped interacting with family members. If that wasn’t bad enough this small bird started to lose weight. Since birds can become very ill quite quickly my friend became frantic bringing him from one vet to the next, with no clear answers and no change. Meanwhile Sylvester continued to lose weight and he just got weaker and weaker, things looked very grave.
They ultimately took Sylvester to a naturopathic vet who said I think your bird has a dietary intolerance and he cannot tolerate the protein gluten. Surprisingly it seems that many bird foods have additives, fillers, pesticides and ingredients which are not usually good for a bird. They were told to switch Sylvester to Harrisons all natural, organic, and with the exception of the barley a gluten-free bird feed. But even though this product did contain some gluten it clearly did not contain fillers and it is wheat-free. Almost immediately Sylvester responded favorably, he began to interact with the family again, he started singing, his droppings became normal, and in no time his weight was back to normal. It happened believe it or not.