So this was just brought to my attention: A brand called FM Brown’s is selling bird “food” called Extreme! Candy-Covered Millet Treats. Hat tip to “Amanda’s Tweeties” for posting this picture:
Someone at a company that makes bird food thought it was a good idea to cover natural millet sprays with a candy coating. That’s basically sugar and carnauba wax, beeswax, shellac (I’m not making this up! That’s from the ingredients list!) and a bunch of unpronounceable things.
Birds already love eating fresh millet… why in the world would anyone think covering it in edible wax is a good idea? This is beyond just a silly idea; I find it irresponsible and terrible corporate citizenship to push this product as “food” for animals as sensitive and small as birds — it’s hard enough getting them to eat real, healthy food. We should demand a much higher standard of excellence from any company that claims to “understand that your companion animal isn’t just a pet; they’re a part of your family. That’s why for six generations we’ve devoted ourselves to creating tasty, healthy, nutritious animal food and treats.” (emphasis mine)
A little googling shows that Brown’s isn’t the only company offering this. This isn’t just about FM Brown, but about any company that would sell this type of thing to unsuspecting pet owners who just don’t know any better just because it’s attractive on a shelf (I bet it’s super cheap to make and stays shelf-stable forever! Just want you want in a food product, right?). Pet owners, please educate yourself on your animals nutrition needs and give this type of thing a wide berth.
Please, please, please to not feed this crap to your birds. And you may want to consider not giving companies who make this type of product any of your pet-related business. If they think this is “food”, what other terrible decisions are they making about your animals’ health?
If you’re looking for healthy ideas for treats, try the Phoenix Landing cookbook for some inspiration: Nourish to Flourish: A Healthy Cookbook for Parrots.