Bird enthusiasts and ranchers looking for alternative bird feeds are influenced by various reasons including nutrition supplement, nutritional source variation, easy access, competitive prices, and so on.
The scarcity of natural feed and accompanied by the rising price of extra food makes some birds chirping lover difficult to meet the needs of her domestic birds at home. They started looking for a variety of alternative bird feed. But birds chirping lover on the worry whether this can affect the performance of bird sounds, how the impact of his health on birds, and so on.
Almost all types of insects have nutritional content that can be utilized. Our ancestors have always made insects as alternative food. It has been done before they know the techniques of hunting and farming. And this knowledge we can use to find alternative bird feed. Currently, more than 1000 species of insects can be eaten by humans in various countries. Communities in certain areas are accustomed to making dishes made from locusts, caterpillar leaves, crickets, and winged termites.
Choosing a Winged Termite as Alternative Bird Feed.
Winged termites are used as food because they have high protein content. Some amino acids from termites are threonine, lysine, leucine, serine, valine, alanine, and cysteine. Winged termites also contain vitamin B.
Even based on the FAO (2002) report when dealing with the nutritional crisis in Africa, termites are highly nutritious foods much better than grasshoppers.
Protein content reached 65%, while locusts only 32%. The fat content is only 31% (grasshopper 54%), so it is natural that winged termites as high protein foods and not cause obesity. As for termite unsaturated fatty acids is about 57%, slightly lower than grasshoppers (60%). Linoleic acid and oleic acid in winged termites were 6.7% and 48%, respectively, whereas in locusts 13.4% and 44% respectively.
I strongly believe that winged termites can be used as a nutritious alternative feed for birds. In the wild, some bird species such as magpie and swallow often prey on insects including winged termites. In addition to birds, winged termites are also often a meal of lizards, frogs, and scorpions.
Winged termites are used as alternative feed for birds when the natural food (extra food) is lost from the market or the price increases sharply. As an alternative bird feed, the availability of winged termites corresponds to the natural cycle of termites. Winged termites often appear only at the beginning of the rainy season. So in that period, the natural feed supply of birds will be replaced by winged termites. In other periods, natural feed should return to the original feed or look for other natural food as a variation.
If you are confused to distinguish between ants and termites, please see this article The Identification of Pests on Your Home as a Pest Control Measures