Special Diet - Hyacinth Macaw

I took the nutritional values of palm kernal oil and compared them to the standard lineup of tree nuts. Keep in mind, palm kernel oil is produced from the palm nuts while the red palm oil we are all familiar with is from the palm fruit so these two are not the same oil.

What we see in the comparison table is a very high level of "saturated fat" in the palm kernel. Now, we all know the risk of high saturated fat and cardiovascular disease and we have to consider the difference in activity levels between the companion parrot and their wild cousins but we can conclude that this bird's metabolism is designed to process this high level of saturated fat.

 

Okay, let's start by looking at the saturated fat profile of their native food.

Palm Nut Kernals

Coconut oil is close from a Lauric acid profile perspective but does not provide a comparable palmitic acid percentage. Since excess carbohydrates in the body are converted to palmitic acid this may be why some recommend higher carbohydrate foods for Hyachinth macaws.

 

I wouldn't recommend adding too many carbs to the diet since carbs turn to sugar and yeast feeds on sugars. This can promote yeast over growth which could lead to infections. That increased sugar will also impact energy levels and behavior; too much can result in aggression and hormonal behavior. (I don't know about you but THAT beak and aggressive behavior makes a pretty scary mix.)

 

Now, back to the palmitic acid. It is the first fatty acid produced during fatty acid synthesis and is a precursor to longer fatty acids. Palmitic acid can be obtained from other sources; sources that are safe for birds would be hen eggs and tree nuts. You want to be careful feeding too many eggs but nuts are the perfect supplement. We know nuts are important to all birds and due to their nutritional content they are recommended to round out the Hyacinth's diet.

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