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Prime Vitamin Mineral Amino Acid Supplement for Birds


PRIME adds 14 essential vitamins and 9 minerals missing in commercially prepared seed mixtures for companion birds. As well it provides proper quantities of two limiting amino acids – Lysine and Methionine – which cannot be produced by birds, but are vital to growth and proper protein metabolism.

Did you know that PRIME Vitamin Mineral Amino Acid Supplement…

  • Is an ultra fine highly palatable powder that does not cake over time and dissolves quickly.
  • Penetrates high moisture soft foods for accurate dosage administration.
  • The fine powder form of calcium gluconate serves as a nutrient carrier and adds required amount of calcium that is deficient in most supplements.
  • Has exotic fruit flavoring without added sugar which can promote pathogenic organisms.
  • Contains Vitamin D and E for improved breeding; and A, C and E  as an antioxidant.
  • Is a unique combination of enzymes and acidifiers for improved digestion.
  • Contains micro-encapsulated Beneficial Bacteria (Probiotics) for the support of healthy gut flora.
  • Significantly improves the growth of handfed babies.

PRIME Vitamins for Birds on Seed Based Diets

PRIME has excelled above all other supplements in providing all species of companion birds with their required nutrients. Ingredients were selected strictly on the basis of need. This results in higher levels of those nutrients truly needed by birds. Every seed eating pet bird needs it. It is true that some special pets eating a wide variety of foods get many more nutrients than their less fortunate fellows, but mixed diets featuring table food, vegetables, fruits and so on are hard to BALANCE.

For most accurate dosage administration, sprinkle PRIME over your bird’s favorite fruits and vegetables

How can you know what calcium phosphorous ratio is being offered (much less what is actually ingested)? Or what amino acids are being ingested – all of them or some of them? The Bronx zoo has done a study on captive birds being offered a nutritionist balanced diet, finely chopped and mixed, and found the birds STILL picked out favourite foods and managed to end up deficient.

Birds that need PRIME should have it sprinkled over greens or fruit each morning. Using it in the water is possible but not recommended, as most consumers object to the odour of sulfur dioxide produced by our (very viable!) beneficial bacteria cultures. PRIME isn’t based on sugar so does not dissolve instantly in water, but will always do so within a few minutes. PRIME has so much calcium that some of it will still precipitate out in a saturated solution. For all these reasons we have found consumers prefer to use it in food, not water.

No liquid vitamin has the minerals that PRIME does and powdered supplements are usually more STABLE than liquid. PRIME has beneficial bacteria that are MICROENCAPSULATED, increasing their stability. This makes it excellent for newly arrived and stressed birds. These bacteria help lower the pH in the lumen of the intestine, creating a more negative environment for opportunistic pathogens such as E coli.

Birds raising young or laying eggs (especially excessive egg layers) will benefit from PRIME as this is an extremely high calcium content supplement, phosphorous free. PRIME is the ONLY supplement to use calcium gluconate as its carrier, a naturally sweet substance of highly bioavailable calcium.

Years of Formulating and Field Testing at HARI

PRIME ingredients and their quantities were selected on the basis of need.

During the spring of 1984 market research was begun on a vitamin-mineral supplement for birds. Dozens of existing bird foods and supplements were examined to get a feel for the level of nutrition science applied to commercial products. It was determined there was a need for a properly formulated product that was also practical and efficient. PRIME is based on the principle of premix supplementation that is comparing the individual nutrients content of the staple diet (seed/vege-legume/fruit ratio at about 6/3/1) with the estimated requirement and formulating to meet the deficiencies.

While vegetables, legumes and fruits (soft food) will reduce the overall fat intake, they do not contain high enough levels of many minerals, vitamins and the limiting essential amino acids. They do act as an efficient vehicle for the necessary supplement.

The result of our research is a unique formulation in the form of a water soluble concentrated powder of 14 vitamins, 9 minerals and 2 limiting amino acids which birds cannot manufacture themselves. Additionally over other supplements beneficial bacteria, acids, electrolytes and enzymes were included in the formulation.


Vitamins & Minerals

PRIME contains 14 vitamins with extra vitamin D and E for improved breeding. While vitamin C is not required by many birds, the included vitamin C in PRIME acts as a natural anti-oxidant protecting the other important vitamins from inactivation. Unfortunately many products are missing this 14th Vitamin, especially those that are water based whose vitamins are more rapidly oxydized. Vitamin C also acts as a natural preservative of the lactobacillus bacteria found in PRIME. It helps reduce disease during stressful periods.

prime_icon-3aCalcium is one of the most important minerals, yet is found in significantly low levels in seeds and fruits. Interestingly, the staple diet of companion birds contains enough phosphorus (P) even when bioavailability is taken into consideration, but a significantly lower level of calcium (Ca) when compared to the estimated requirements. The resulting Ca to P ratio, which is important for proper utilization of these minerals, is far from the recommended 1 1/2 to 1.

PRIME contains calcium gluconate as the major ingredient and carrier and will boost diet calcium to the desired level. Other supplements contain very low levels of calcium requiring another supplement to improve these deficiencies.Calcium gluconate is a very absorbable form of calcium and is recommended by professional breeders and avian veterinarians.

Proteins – Amino Acids

Plant proteins (those in the staple diet) are of poor quality because of inherent deficiency in the essential amino acids, lysine and methionine. Standard seed mixtures do have sufficient protein to supply either the nonessential amino acids or nitrogen for their synthesis.

Feather protein contains a higher amount of cystine than other body proteins. During maximum feather growth in a nestling or molting in an adult, the relative requirement for cystine increases. Methionine readily undergoes metabolic conversion to cystine in the bird’s body. Therefore cystine, an essential amino acid, is also available to the bird when methionine is supplemented.

Amino acids are required at much greater levels in the diet than vitamins since their total requirements is equal to the protein requirement of which they are constituents. In order to improve the quality of the diet protein, these limiting amino acids must be added for the total amino acid profile to closely match that required. This means that lysine and methionine should be supplemented at much higher dosages which we’ve achieved with this advanced new supplement.

The supplements presently on the market contain a little of all the amino acids, including many of the nonessential amino acids already found in seeds at sufficient levels. By trying to produce what appears to be an impressive list of amino acids, these supplements do not provide sufficient levels of the essential amino acids which are low in the staple diet protein.

Comparing Prime to a “leading supplement”, we again see Prime’s superior levels of these important nutrients. Prime contains 75.9 mg ({1/.55}x41.745) lysine and 52.3 mg ({1/.55}x29.315) methionine per gram. These levels are significantly higher than the 2.32 mg lysine and 2.26 mg methionine that the competing supplement supplies per gram.

Beneficial Bacteria and Acidification

prime_icon-2aPrime also has a unique combination of digestive enzymes, micro-encapsulated, sporulated probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and various acids which slightly acidify the final mixture. These living probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, suppress the growth of potentially disease causing organisms and remain stable much longer in room temperatures.

The benefits of acidifying hand-feeding food with Prime include maintenance of optimum conditions for crop lactobacillus, crop yeast and mold (candida) inhibition, acid replacement of the regurgitant usually secreted from the proventriculus of the parent bird improved digestive enzyme activity. The living bacteria in Prime produce metabolites which acidify and suppress the growth of pathogens. The net result is an overall synergistic response in changing local alimentary tract conditions to favour growth of normal flora.

Nutrient Carrier vs. Sugar

Several supplements use sugar as a carrier. They try to cover this up by using technical descriptions of the sugars such as glucose, dextrose or fructose on the product label. These sugars tend to cake up over time making accurate measuring of dosages difficult. Another problem with sugar bases is that they provide an excellent food source for unwanted micro-organisms in the drinking water. These harmful bacteria may cause an imbalance in the normal gut flora – exactly what Prime is trying to correct.
Prime uses a required nutrient ingredient as a carrier, namely calcium gluconate.

Fruit Penetrating Fine Soluble Powder

The fine powder form of calcium gluconate has excellent anti-caking properties making it an ideal nutritious carrier. There are other benefits of Prime’s dry, water soluble ingredients. Higher stability provides a longer shelf life than liquids. Add to this, Prime’s ability to penetrate popular high moisture soft food treats due to it’s great dissolvability. Most other powdered supplements are coarse, simply coat the surface of the soft food then falls off or is avoided by the picky bird.

Exotic Fruit Flavour

Some other supplements use yeast as a carrier. Yeast has a strong smell which many birds try to avoid. Birds love the exotic fruit flavoring of Prime. When mixed into a soft food mixture or sprinkled over fruit it blends in a pleasant homogeneous flavour. Check out this post for fun and creative strategies for foraging enrichment using PRIME supplement efficiently.

Recommended Species


Feeding Guide

PREFERRED METHOD (moist food dosage):
Mix or sprinkle recommended dose over the bird’s favorite greens, vegetables and/or fruit. Do not mix supplement in standard seed mix as most will settle to food dish bottom or the powder may coat the seeds and be removed with empty seed hulls. By using the bird’s favorite moist foods to absorb the powder, smaller and more accurate dosages can be used since total consumption of the treated food is achieved.

Daily Dosage on moist food:
(enclosed spoon = 1 c.c. )

Small birds (Canary, Cockatiel, Finch, Lovebirds, Parakeet, etc.) ½ c.c. per day.
Medium birds (Goffin, Lory, Miniature Macaw, Mynah, Pionus, Small Amazon, Softbills, Timneh, etc.) 1 c.c. per day.
Larger birds (African Grey, Amazon, Cockatoo, Macaw, Toucan, etc.) 1 ½ c.c. per day

Offering Prime in Your Bird’s Drinking Water

Alternate method (drinking water dosage):

Since small bird requirements per unit body weight are higher than larger birds, identical dosage can be used for all companion birds. Drinking water should be given fresh daily, and any leftover solution from earlier administration should be discarded. Add desired dose to clean drinking cup or mixing container. Add water and mix well. The supplement will dissolve from a milky suspension to a clearer yellow in a few minutes. A few particles may still float or settle harmlessly with no effect.
NOTE: PRIME contains high levels of calcium, and essential amino acids. It is therefore not 100% water soluble Also, the sulphur molecule from the amino acids will be released by the beneficial bacteria after 6 hours of being in solution. Under warm climate conditions you may wish to change the water twice daily to minimize any associated (harmless) odor.

Daily Dosage:
(enclosed spoon = 1 c.c. )
1 c.c. per 3 oz (88 ml) of water.

CAUTION: Seal container tightly after use. Refrigerate supplement powder after initial use. For companion bird use only.


Calcium carbonate, L-lysine hydrochloride, citric acid, DL-methionine, magnesium sulfate, calcium gluconate, apple flavor, orange flavor, vitamin E supplement, salt, choline bitartrate, ascorbic acid, sodium citrate, silicone dioxide, manganous sulfate, ferrous sulfate, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, niacinamide, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc oxide, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, phylloquinone, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper sulfate, thiamine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, potassium iodide.

Material Safety Data Sheet

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein, min 11.0%
Crude Fat, min 0.5%
Crude Fiber, max 0.1%
Moisture, max 9.0%
Ash, max 18.0%

Guaranteed analysis per 1 c.c. (per dose 0.55 g).

Guarantees are minimum unless otherwise stated.

Vitamin A 260.63 I.U.*
Vitamin D3 48.49 I.U.
Vitamin E 7.27 I.U.
Phylloquinone/Vitamin K1 0.18 mg
Pantothenic Acid 0.30 mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 0.48 mg
Folic Acid 0.036 mg
Niacinamide 1.45 mg
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 0.071 mg
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) 0.12 mg
Vitamin B12 0.85 mcg
Biotin 3.03 mcg
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) 3.39 mg
Choline 9.09 mcg
Iodine 5.46 mcg
Iron 048 mg
Manganese 0.73 mg
Zinc 0.80 mg
Copper 36.37 mcg
Calcium 23 mg
Methionine 29.09 mg
Lysine 40.97 mg
Amylase 17.0 units
Protease 12.8 units
Lactobacillus Acidophilus 3.85 MCFU**
Streptococcus Faecium 3.85 MCFU

*International units
**Millions of colony forming units

Available Sizes

82103 Prime Vitamin Supplement 30 g 1.1 oz New Size
82107 Prime Vitamin Supplement 320 g 0.71 lb Ltd. availability
82110 Prime Vitamin Supplement 2 kg 4.4 lb Bulk

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Hagen Avicultural Research Institute