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An Evaluation of the Importance of Insoluble versus Soluble Grit in the Diet of Canaries
E. Jean Taylor
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Vol. 10, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 248-251
Published by: Association of Avian Veterinarians
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30134504
Page Count: 4
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Numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of both soluble and insoluble grit in avian diets. These studies have all been done in poultry and have not yielded any conclusive results. Despite these facts, companion bird owners usually offer dietary grit to their pet birds as an aid to digestive function. A study was done to evaluate the role of grit in the diet of canaries (Serinus canaria), which are common companion birds. Forty-eight adult canaries were allocated to two groups. One group was offered a seed-based diet, cuttlebone, and soluble grit, and the second group was offered a seed-based diet, cuttlebone, and insoluble grit. The birds were maintained on the diets for 6 weeks, at the end of which time a digestibility trial was done. No significant differences in food intake were observed between the two groups, and insoluble grit had no effect on digestibility values. Digestibility values were similar to those reported from trials in which no grit was offered. On average, both groups of birds consumed 115 mg grit/bird/day. The group of birds that was denied a source of soluble grit during the trial consumed a significantly higher amount of cuttlebone than the other birds. This suggests that canaries may have either a behavioral or a nutritional need for the ingestion of soluble grit.
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery © 1996 Association of Avian Veterinarians