Reduce the harmful effects of stress
from vet visits, breeding and travel with your birds!
As a breeder I know travel, shipping, breeding and showing can be very stressful on my birds. I found a simple nutritional procedure that makes the process much safer and less stressful.
Fight or Flight
All animals respond to stress the same way. It is called the fight or flight response. In order to run away from a predator the animal pumps the hormone adrenaline into the blood stream. This opens up the blood vessels to the heart, lungs and muscles preparing it for battle or running away. Because the body only has a limited amount of blood the body is forced to shut down blood vessels to organs that are not important for the survival process. This always means shutting down the blood supply to the digestive system as digesting breakfast can wait a few minutes!
Stress during shipping and shows can last for days
This stress response is designed to work for a few minutes at a time. The animal either escapes or dies! Unfortunately, just like any other organ, the gut needs nutrients but its nutrient supply is now shut off. If the stress goes on for a long time, the whole gut environment will start to change. Acidity balance changes (making it better for bad bacteria and worse for beneficial bacteria.) This often leads to diarrhea and dehydration. These are big killers The second key problem is that when the gut shuts down the body is no longer getting its supply of energy. This leads to starvation.
Prepare your birds for stressful events
However, all is not lost as we can prepare birds for this stress very easily with the right approach. The dehydration risk is easily fixed with electrolytes. These simple minerals are quickly absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream where, by simple osmosis, they suck water from the gut into the body.
Athletics carbohydrate loading
To prevent starvation we need to get energy into the body before the stress occurs. Here we use a trick from long distance athletics called carbohydrate loading. By raising blood energy levels for a prolonged period the body stores it as glycogen in the muscles and liver. When the gut shuts down, this energy is slowly released and the bird suffers no ill effects from the experience. The trick is to use the correct energy sources to achieve this aim. Glucose and other simple sugars don't work. Most electrolyte products use glucose as their energy source. Glucose can actually make diarrhea worse in the short term and it doesn't give the energy storage benefits we are looking for.
I couldn't believe my results
For the past 3 years I have used a product to prepare my birds for the possible stress involved with shipping/sale and bird shows/fairs and to help them recover afterwards. For 3 days prior to any event which has the possibility of creating stress, I give my birds Guardian Angel in their drinking water. If possible this product should be continued throughout the stressful period and for 3 days after the event. I prepare my birds this way before shipping and I send a small amount of product with the birds.