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Breeder Articles / Breeding

 

So your birds are now getting a daily vitamin / mineral supplement.

What else do they need?


Well some of them (hens and chicks) will require a calcium supplement too. Calcium deficiency is probably an even bigger problem for bird keeping than vitamin A deficiency. Most owners give their birds cuttlefish bone thinking their bird is getting enough calcium. Wrong, throw away that cuttlefish bone! Most of the cuttlefish eaten goes straight out in the droppings. The difficulty with calcium is getting it to dissolve inside the gut. So our product is a super-saturated calcium solution called CalciBoost. It is easily absorbed and quickly gets to the bones, nerves and muscles where it is needed. It is such an effective calcium source that most of the year you will only need it once a week (twice for African Greys and Eclectus).

BREEDING BIRDS: Also Calcium is essential for breeding birds and their young. Hens require extra calcium to make good quality egg shells. As most birds only carry enough calcium stored in their bones to make about three eggs, CalciBoost normally increases clutch sizes, ensures good shell quality and minimizes stress on your hens. Thus when egg laying commences increase CalciBoost to three to five times a week. You will get more eggs, fitter hens that don't struggle with egg-laying and strong boned chicks.

Now that we have the daily essential vitamin and calcium requirements, what other supplement is crucial for healthy birds? Protein. Rapidly growing young birds require a lot of protein for good growth. Twenty percent is a fair rule of thumb. So, as the protein level of the diet increases, this sends a message to the adult birds that raising chicks is likely to be a good prospect. Traditional captive bird diets have protein levels between 8% and 12%. These are too low for either good adult breeding stimulation or maximum chick growth.

There are two ways to improve dietary protein. The first is to add limiting amino acids to the diet. This guarantees (if you add enough) that the bird can utilize all of the protein in the seed, fruit or pulses that you are feeding it. To achieve this, simply feed Daily Essentials 3 in a good quality eggfood or on fruit and vegetables or Daily Essentials 4 on pulses. One of the benefits of this system is too help maintain your birds at the correct bodyweight. Like humans, it is not healthy for birds to be overweight.

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