Probiotics

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Post  FinchG on Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:17 pm

Probiotics

One of the things that crops up with regard to beginners is the confusion over the use of Probiotics.

Probiotics are mainly a supplement to the diet that increases the amount of what is referred to as 'good' Bacteria in the gut, which are needed in the digestive system in order to process the food effectively and come in either liquid or powder form for application into the drinking water or food.

The most commonly known one is Lactobacillus Acidophilus; this is a naturally occurring micro organism, which is found predominately in the digestive system of man and all warm-blooded animals also naturally occurring product in some foods such as yoghurt. But yoghurt, which is made from milk, is species specific for mammals - not birds. Birds are not able to digest more than a little amount of lactose, and will suffer diarrhoea if fed foods that are high in lactose content-such as dairy products.

The benefits of milk products transformed by lactobacilli is that they are more easily digested by birds due to the creation of the enzyme lactase Cultured products contain lactic bacteria; which is a single cell organism this transforms sugar into lactic acid, and helps to slow down the development of some disease organisms. Many disease organisms cannot live in an acid medium, such as lactic acid. It helps remove them by giving them less room to grow and denying them attachment sites in the digestive system.

Lactic acid along with acetic, formic, benzoic and hydrogen peroxide which is a colourless semi fluid liquid used as an antiseptic, are found in cultured products and help to slow down the function of harmful micro organisms by lowering the ph level. Lactic acid is also helpful in the absorption of minerals especially calcium.

One of the biggest threats to the 'good' bacteria balance is the use of antibiotics. Unfortunately antibiotics do not discriminate between the good and bad bacteria and while doing their job of destroying the disease-producing bacteria also take out the good ones as well. Treating with a probiotic immediately after the use of antibiotics will help to repopulate the gut with good bacteria and help prevent any possible secondary infection. Birds can suffer from a number of disease problems, which are brought about by stress and other environmental reasons, add to this any nutritional deficiencies, can and will lower a birds defensive system allowing disease organisms to take hold. The most important feature of any disease control strategy is prevention, this can be by quarantine, good hygiene and good Birdroom practices.

Routine probiotic use can help in the prevention of disease in the Birdroom/Aviary, Probiotics can if you wish be given on a regular basis up to two or three times per week.


FinchG
Lots Of Societies, 11 Gouldians, 4 Orange Cheek Waxbills, 2 Orange Weavers, 3 Spice Finches,1 Quaker, 1 Conure and 2 Lineolated Parakeets


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