Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tanin rich water

Keeping some softbill like the Hill Myna, a potential problem looms over the horizon. Subject to iron poisoning, a.k.a. hemochromatosis - an accumulation of iron that is known to occur in birds such as the Hill Myna and Toucan, many ways have been suggested to combat the problem.
Nobody knows how in the wild the birds overcome these problems.... and one of the hypothesis is uptake of tanin rich water which seems to slow down the absorbtion of iron. Plus being a good antioxidant that may detoxifies the liver err..... no proof yet ;)

So, feeding an imported low iron diet.... tried I have. It is yet to be proven though, as in the wild, such birds consume much iron rich food. So, to save cost, I have converted it to maintenance chicken feed (considered a moderately low nutrition food). Another tips is to limit fruits intake which is rich in vitamin c (improves absorption of iron). This I personally feel is not right as in the wild, these softbills' main diet consist of fruits. So, picking up tea drinking is my choice.

Tea of choice would have been "Pu Er" as it is rich in tanin (dark colour) although the green tea is much better researched (don't know why, but the green tea is getting all the publicity). But decided to just feed "lio pau" tea as a box was given to me as present. Very similar to "pu er" and ahem! good for the bird keeper too....

Below is the colour of the "lio pau" tea even after the 5th time brewing....

Nobody seems to be talking about hemochromatosis in Red-whiskered Bulbuls.... either because they are not commonly kept by our Western counterparts (and therefore no research) or it just is not a problem with them. No harm giving them the tea treatment.... me thinks :-D

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1 comment:

Dawn said...

hi, i read this article. I wonder you do give tea to your birds? Actually i keep a red whiskered Bulbul, I am so worry that it's gonna to have hemochromatosis in the future as I still cannot find a good bird food for it. Can you give me any suggestion?