To feed grit or not to feed grit has been a battle that has gone on for the ages in aviculture. This article explains WHY they need grit and puts the myth to rest that some birds don't have gizzards and therefore do not need grit. ALL BIRDS HAVE GIZZARDS. All birds need grit at one point or another in their lifetime. So let's discuss why...
One of the most important things we can do while supplementing our birds - whether it be through water supplementation or food stuffs - is to choose ONE manufacturer's brand of supplement and stick with it. This means vitamin supplements, calcium, iodine, dried egg foods, bird specific "treats", etc.
Because many finches are primarily seed eaters, they really don’t need greens. Greens are really just a treat for them and should not be given more than 2x per week (unless in dried form). Greens will also make their droppings very wet. If they get too many wet foods, it will be difficult to tell if there is a problem. Read the full discussion here...
Depending on the season, Gouldians will require a very plain or "austere" diet all the way up to the very rich breeding and molting diet.
The "when and why" I change each seed mix for the cycle, and how I know when to do it!
In the wild, they won't have consistent access. Seasons change, and with that, the quality of the food sources change. Egg is an excellent source and an easy way to provide it. But not every bird would find the appropriate quantities of quality protein sources in the wild year round, therefore they should not receive large amounts of protein year round in the captivity either.
For chitting seed, I follow the Mike Fidler "idea", but with a few modifications to meet my needs. I use the following. Mike's exact directions will follow!
Gouldian finches are notorious for being picky eaters. They are often overly cautious or even afraid of new items placed in their cage. This link will give you some ideas on how to get them to be less afraid and try new foods as they are introduced to their feeding schedule!
What they need, how much do they need, how often do they need it - click this link to read more!
Whether you are keeping a single pair, or breeding your birds for sale, what you feed them will make a world of difference in their health, appearance, vitality, and success. Nutrition is key! Get the nutrition right and you'll have very few problems!
Click each bold line to follow these links for additional information on each topic!
Before I began using a chitted seed mix as my high protein supplement during breeding & the molt, I used the egg food recipe below. My birds loved it, but with the advent of children activities and my increased activity, I no longer had the time to replace this egg based food every 2 hours. It's a great recipe for those who can dedicate the time to replace it regularly.
NUTRITION - MAIN
KRISTEN REEVES, MEADOWLARK FARMS AVIAN SUPPLY, INC.
Think of Austerity as starting with a clean, blank slate! On this slate we can paint a breeding program that won’t be hindered by extra weight on our birds, hormones out of control, or birds who’ve bonded before we're ready for them to. Austerity is a time to wipe the slate of the previous breeding season clean and begin anew for the next season!