I love wheat grass for my African Greys. This “Plain Jane” plant that looks like it was cut from your front lawn actually has some amazingly powerful ingredients. It’s a live food and I happen to like to feed my birds live foods such as wheatgrass and sprouts. They are incredibly nutrient dense. When you are feeding a one-pound bird, the denser the nutrition, the better the food because they don’t have to eat a large amount to receive the increased nutritional benefits.
It’s member of the wheat family and it is loaded with nutrients. It’s a complete source of protein and contains all of the B vitamins. Add to that all of the calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium and you have a really potent plant in a very small package. Wheat grass packs a huge punch of nutrition so very little needs to be eaten for it to make a big difference. And when you have a small bird, this little bit of food goes a long way in providing much need vitamins and minerals.
Wheat grass happens to also be high in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the first thing that is produced when light hits the sprouted seed and it is particularly rich in oxygen and works to prevent anemia. The oxygen in the chlorophyll goes right to the blood stream and it also has an abundance of iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids and vitamins A, C and E.
There are many fans of wheatgrass and they say it is a “medicine” of sorts for all kinds of medical conditions.
Some organizations and websites claim it is a miracle food that has the ability to cure cancer, joint pain, colitis, infections, anemia, diabetes, skin conditions and can even remove waste from your body. None of these claims have been proven and it’s best to simply look at it as a nutritious addition to your flock’s diet.
There simply hasn’t been enough studies done on wheat grass to support such “miracle claims.” I simply look at it as a nutritious food for me as well as my birds. I guess I have a rather jaundiced eye when it comes to certain claims about food and I try to simply look at them as just that: a food. I then investigate their nutritional content and move on from there. There are so many claims these days about food as medicine. It’s a concept that has taken off and now I see foods such as hemp seed hearts, chia seed powder and ground flax seed in the pharmacy section of my grocery store. It’s an interesting marketing idea but it is what it is: It’s food.
You can get wheat grass in many forms. Health food stores carry dried wheatgrass powder and I like to use that when I am making Chop for my African Greys. It adds a shaggy texture to the Chop that my birds seem to relish. But it comes in other forms as well. You can get it freshly pressed and juiced in health food stores and other outlets and it has a taste that grows on you. But you can also purchase it frozen and in tablets.
I like to buy it fresh and add it to my small flock's Chop. I also simply cut the wheatgrass into my parrot’s food bowls using a pair of scissors.
It’s fun to see them pick up a blade of wheat grass and chew on it. It looks as though they have a toothpick in their mouth.
In my area, the entire plant that is alive and growing in pots is available as well as fresh cut and packaged in plastic containers. I’ve used both with equal success.
I enjoy including it in my flock’s diet. It has a lot of benefits and I’m particularly impressed with the nutritional density. However it is not a miracle cure. It’s just a good and nutritious addition to their diet.