Diets as good as the wild

Wednesday, 8 July 2015  |  Admin

We have come a long way from the days when supplements were just a pot or bottle of vitamins. We believe that Birdcare Company products are the most complete and sophisticated cage and aviary bird supplements available anywhere in the world. This section gives some information about how to use our comprehensive supplement system that has been tried and tested by bird keepers around the world for over a decade. If you are new to using comprehensive supplements, or have a large collection and not much time then look at our exciting new EasyBird products.

Only make one change at a time

This is a common piece of advice which is very sound in principle but is easily misinterpreted. The Birdcare Company System comprises three products for non breeding birds and five for breeders. Use them all! Don’t pick just one or two! You will miss out on something important. We haven’t designed five products just to make you buy more. We have done it because it gives you the opportunity to control your birds’ breeding cycle and be highly cost effective.

How to use the system

Divide the year into four periods. Non-breeding (maintenance), the leadup to breeding, breeding itself and young and moulting birds. Our objective is to mimic the natural cycles of nutrition and bring the birds into condition when we want them to breed. We can consider this in a simple chart of ‘nutritional quality’ that matches the changes affecting wild birds during the year (see above).

Maintenance

For pet or other non-breeding birds the nutrition system consists of three products - Feast softfood (just small amounts daily), Daily Essentials 3 (daily) and Calcivet (once or twice a week for most species, 2-3 times for greys and eclectus). Normally the two supplements are added to the Feast softfood for maximum economy. These products help maintain your birds at a good weight (not too fat), enable them to moult with no stress and birds stay generally healthy. Many behavioural problems are resolved. There are a couple of optional alternatives. For fruit eaters you may wish to substitute Feast softfood with the herbal supplement Flourish and add all the products to the fruit. For seedeaters that won’t eat softfoods out of the breeding season, Feast softfood can be replaced with soaked seed or soaked millet sprays. Again add Flourish to the supplements package and sprinkle them all onto the soaked seeds.

Lead-up to breeding

During the lead-up period we increase the nutrients responsible for bringing birds into breeding condition and improving their fertility. This means adding ProBoost SuperMax to the diet. This should start at small application rates and increase steadily over a period of six to eight weeks. This mimics the changes in wild bird diets as the breeding season approaches. It is also a good idea to increase the amount of Feast softfood steadily during this period though consumption will increase most when chicks hatch. Potent Brew should be added during the last month before breeding commences. You will not need to make any changes to the Daily Essentials 3 or Calcivet supplementation at this time.

Breeding

By the time the birds start to lay eggs they should be on close to the full quantities of all supplements. When egg laying commences increase the Calcivet frequency to five days a week and maintain all other supplements at their full rate. If your birds get very hard (high calcium) water to drink, such as around Swindon or some areas of Dorset, then you may not require so much Calcivet. Two to four days a week may then be fine as very high levels of calcium may cause some eggs to get too thick and cause hatching problems. Overall, this problem is very rare.

Does The Birdcare Company supplements system work?

We have always argued that it is quite easy to get people to try a new product once. That is a matter of salesmanship. The real test is whether or not people buy again. That is a test of the products’ performance and value for money. From the regular marketing research we carry out we estimate our market share as 85% of the supplements used by serious bird keepers in the UK. We believe that speaks for itself.

This article has been re-produced with the kind permission of The Birdcare Company.  To contact The Birdcare Company for further help and advice, please telephone 01453 835330 or 0845 130 8600.  Alternatively you can send an e-mail to advice@birdcareco.com or see www.birdcareco.com.