How do birds get their most beautiful colours?
Everyone prefers to see a bird with beautiful and bright colours. That’s why some people wonder why birds in the wild have bright colours and the same species in captivity have a brighter colour.
In the bird world we know that breeding success largely depends on the feather quality of the bird.Of course there are several factors that play a role but the most important one is that the females prefer a male who has the most beautiful feathers, together with a perfect tail and crest.
Of course there are several factors that play a role but the most important one is that the females prefer a male who has the most beautiful feathers, together with a perfect tail and crest.
The colour of the plumage is created by two types of pigments. Melanin, which produces a range of black, grey and brown shades. And carotenoids, this affects the clarity of the feather structure and their colour.
Unfortunately, birds cannot produce carotenoids themselves. To colour the feathers they need to extract the carotenoids from food, these carotenoids circulate through the bloodstream to the feather follicles. Carotenoids are crucial to help the embryo in the egg with its immune system. For this reason, the use of artificial dyes that only improve the colour of the feathers is absolutely not recommended.
At the same time this is the reason why we, as Wisbroek, only use colourants from natural ingredients. We think it is important that not only the bird gets a nice colour, but also the bird is and stays healthy. We always strive to create a diet that is as similar as possible to what the birds would eat in nature.
In the wild, for example, birds have access to food that contains lutein and canthaxathine. We have looked for a solution to include this in the diet of every bird. Also, the amount of nutrients needed by birds varies per species, which makes it extremely challenging to develop a food that is suitable for so much different species.
This is where our Wisbroek feeds make the difference with the product range. All our products contain natural carotenoids from a natural source. We try to combine this as much as possible with other natural ingredients and process this into an extruded pellet of top quality.
Naturally, the feeds Wisbroek Ibis-Flamingo Floating, Wisbroek Softbill Diet and Wisbroek Parrot contain the necessary healthy dose of natural colourants for these colourful bird species. But also less colourful bird species such as ducks, cranes, waders etc. need a good plumage so we work with natural colourants in all our feeds!
This approach means that the bird has everything it needs in 1 bag of food, how nice is that?
Tiago Nabiço – Manager Operations Wisbroek Research & Development Center