In the forests of Peru there is a Research Center where the Tambopapt Clay Licks are found and obervable. Field study by volunteers and sample studies have distilled the truth that sodium intake is the only reason parrots are flocking to chew and lick these certain locations. It has been discussed and believed over the years that parrots were using the substance to detox. We now know otherwise for a fact.
But here's the thing about all this salt lick conversation that makes the conversation and application for our companion parrot flocks at home rather moot. Our parrots don't live in Peru. They live with us. Their food is not Peruvian parrot fare. So, although we are talking about parrots, we aren't talking about parrots in our homes, eating the foods they eat with us. When I am tagged into or anonymously read through a thread discussing or arguing these licks my only thought remains that it's interesting, but it's irrelevant as a belief to defend or argue. We aren't in Peru.
Take this to a wider format; wild counterparts of our parrots eat a completely different meal under different conditions affecting those meals. Our parrots eat meals rarely affected by anything but our ability to afford foods. Our parrot's wild counterparts must do without during their seasonal changes. We have the internet and grocery stores, generally speaking, outside of affordability there are no "seasonal foods" in our parrot's lives. This is a huge difference.
Apply that truth to an even wider format; restricting food, adding vitamins, or hormonal herbals for behavior controls or a projected health issues based on some statistical report based on some group of some parrots somewhere. Or maybe I should just say worrying about stuff that may not apply to your parrot because your parrot isn't the parrot that someone started this all about in the first place. Also known as Parrot Peer Pressure.Statistics and studies are only as good as the control group and circumstances applied to the counter statistics. And that result is only as good as we fairly apply the final truth inside our flock and under our flock's reality. For example the final research as applied to our flocks can be applied as follows; Our parrots' eat sodium from foods that their wild counterparts never eat, therefore they do not need salt licks. That's a bit simple, but the gist is correct.
But when we get into restricting healthy foods, adding vitamins or hormon impacting herbals, I strongly recommend you get off the internet and in your Vet's office before walking down that path. All the statistics and studies in the world can not add up to the value and truth of a yearly blood panel and partnership with your Avian Vet. If you've got serious questions that require the idea of something as serious as healthy food restrictions or adding vitamins etc that will, without a doubt, affect your parrot's health you must know where your parrot's health stands right now. And the only way to know that is with your Avian Vet and a full blood panel. Comparing your parrot to another parrot online is at best, guessing.
Changing things because a new study shows up or a new statistic shows up or because one person decides to take a stand on one line of thinking based on one study somewhere can lead to a big yarn needing to be unraveled. If you make an extreme change without a baseline of scienctific data of your bird, how will you know, and I mean TRULY know there's benefit? You'll be guessing by comparing them to another's bird, or by comparing them to "before". It may take a year for something to really change, and if it's for the worse, it may be too late to turn around.
The Salt Licks reminds me of how quickly conversations and ideas can spool out of social media. I hear they sell "salt licks" for parrots now. I also here they sell them to "detox" your parrot. I hear there are special diets for "detoxing" your parrots as well. Unless your bird has heavy metal poisoning and is currently in or under the care of an Avian Vet, I'd be reticint to consider the idea of "detoxing". How do you know what to detox and IF you are done detoxing without blood panels anyway? You don't. You are guessing.
The Salt Licks also reminds me of how a truth can lead to a false. Yes, parrots eat sodium filled clay for the sodium in the wild. Not ALL parrots, just this regionally located parrot flock. So, my parrots will not be given saodium filled clay for sodium as they have a much wider and deeper food source. And more importantly, because I have years of blood panels showing me they do not need this at all. Yes, some parrots benefited from a low energy food palette. No not ALL parrots need this extreme food pallete. My birds will eat a wide and deep foods palette, not an imbalanced low energy palette. Glycemic Index food science is for the humans. I know I'm right, because years of blood panels tell me I'm right inside our flock. My personal Science based statistics sustain and protect our flock like a sheild. And that shield starts with Balanced Everything coupled with a sincere teaming up with our Avian Vet, and yearly blood panels. I can not go wrong with this triangulated data.
Balance. You and your Vet. Blood Panels. That's it. With those things in place you'll also be able to ask better questions when you are online, because you will have specific questions, not vague problems. And with those in place you will have the confidence to reject ideas and fads that are inappropriate for you and your parrot no metter who cooked them up.
FlockCall is about giving every parrot everywhere a happy home. And I hope as a result YOU will become more calm, confident and happy by answering the FlockCall. I have faith in you and your flock.