Nutrients & Their Sources

The table5,6,7 below covers the major nutrients required by the avian body, their likelihood of deficiency, and some natural sources that contain the nutrients. The "likelihood of deficiency" is based on the assumption that you are feeding a "practical diet" which is predominately seed based but also mixed. A seed-only diet will likely have deficiencies in many if not most of the nutrients below. Sources are color-coded: blue text indicates "excellent sources" which contain over 20× the amount required by the avian body; green text indicates "good sources" which contain over 2× the amount required; and black text refers to adequate sources which will meet dietary requirements. Items in bold text are recommended for use in an egg-mix; notice how nearly every dietary requirement is covered by simply providing the birds with a boiled egg crushed shell and all mixed with finely-ground sunflower seeds.

of Deficiency
Where It's Found


Moderately likely
Eggs, oil seeds
(Dried parsley and spinach, brewer's yeast, peas, alfalfa meal, sunflower & safflower seeds, oats, canary grass seed, millet, barley, buckwheat)
[brewer's yeast, canary grass seed, sunflower, oil seeds, millet, peas, alfalfa meal, wheat, oats, barley & other cereal grains]
Linoleic acid
Unlikely in seed-based diets; Moderately likely in low-fat processed diets
Safflower oil, sunflower oil
Vitamin A
Moderately likely
Carrots, alfalfa meal, spinach, parsley, kale, dandelion, turnip greens, egg, cheese
Vitamin D3
Unlikely if sufficient UV lighting is provided
Eggs -- especially yolk
Vitamin E
Unlikely if the diet contains oil seeds
Safflower oil, alfalfa meal, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, cereal grains
Vitamin K
Parsley, spinach, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, turnip greens, eggs
Dried brewer's yeast, rice bran, sunflower seeds, peas and beans, millet, carrots, eggs, most whole grains, alfalfa meal
Riboflavin (B2)
Moderately likely in seed-based diets; unlikely in formulated diets
Brewer's yeast, eggs, alfalfa meal, millet, peas, beans
Moderately likely in a seed-based diet
Yeast products, sunflower seeds, wheat, barley, alfalfa meal
Pyridoxine (B6)
Brewer's yeast, eggs, sunflower and safflower, peas, alfalfa meal, flax, millet, buckwheat, wheat, other whole grains
Pantothenic acid
Royal jelly, yeast products, eggs, sunflower and safflower seeds, alfalfa meal, peas, millet, wheat, oats, other whole grains
Safflower, eggs, molasses, oats, peas, alfalfa meal, barley, beans, wheat, flax
Folic acid
Moderately likely in seed-based diets
Yeast products, alfalfa, eggs, beans, wheat, oats, other whole grains, wheat flour, Kellogg's Product 19 cereal, beets, spinach
Vitamin B12
Likely in a seed-based diet
Eggs, yeast products, peas, beans, spirulina
Yeast products, rape seed, sunflower and safflower seeds, alfalfa meal, most whole grains, eggs, peas, beans
Calcium carbonate -- in cuttlebone, egg shell; dicalcium phosphate, alfalfa meal, kelp, cheese
Dicalcium phosphate, brewer's yeast, most oil seeds, cereal grains, egg
Salt, dried parsley, dried leafy vegetables, dried carrots, alfalfa meal, eggs
Salt, molasses, alfalfa meal, carrot, dried parsley, egg, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cereal grains
Dried carrot, alfalfa meal, molasses, dried apricots, bananas, brewer's yeast, legumes, oil seeds, sunflower, dried fruits and vegetables, cereal grains
Kelp, sunflower, safflower and other oilseeds, alfalfa meal, brewer's yeast
Moderately likely
Dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate e.g. eggshell or cuttlebone, hemp seed, wheat products, oat products
Dried parsley, calcium carbonate e.g. eggshell or cuttlebone, alfalfa meal, brewer's yeast, most cereal grains--especially millet, barley, oats, canary grass seed; dried carrots
Wheat, oats, sunflower
Molasses, brewer's yeast, oil seeds, sunflower, peas, alfalfa meal, cereal grains
Moderately likely
Molasses, egg, cheese, brewer's yeast
Brewer's yeast, oil seeds, alfalfa meal, rice, dried parsley and spinach, oats, cheese, egg
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