Protein deficiencies are common in finches, parrots and budgies. But
not common in canaries. Why, because the canary breeder has found the
problem and supplements the diet with additional protein.
The most complete protein is hard boiled egg, boiled 12 minutes to maintain
the rich yellow color of the yolk. Other sources include shelled sunflower
seeds, soy protein and game bird starter, (not medicated). The game
bird starter has 30% protein.
The 6 components of Robert Black's bird diet are; game bird starter,
hard boiled egg, shelled chopped sunflower seed, millet, crushed egg
shells and Vionate, a vitamin-mineral supplement.
Robert raises about 2000 birds and rarely has a problem once his birds
are established on this diet. He raises his birds outdoors in sometimes
below zero weather without problems. Robert mentioned too that his decision
to use the game bird starter was based on price and protein content.
Most other bird pellets contain 10-15% protein and cost many times more
than the game bird starter.
About 90% of parrots suffer from some sort of vitamin A deficiency.
Good sources of vitamin A include; hard boiled egg & Vionate, powdered
A & D, and cod liver oil.
The only form of vitamin D a bird can absorb is vitamin D3. Vitamin
D3 allows the bird to absorb calcium. Good sources include; hard boiled
egg, fish oils such as cod liver oil and a powdered form of A &
D by Natures Way.
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Good sources are; safflower oil and any of the oily seeds such as
flax, rape and sunflower.
Calcium is rarely deficient in foods, but is not always absorbed properly.
Phosphorus and calcium need to be in balance. Crushed ground egg shell
contains 90% calcium.
- Zinc, male birds need zinc. Good sources of zinc are whole grains,
sunflower seed. Lack of zinc can cause infertility problems.
- Iodine, Gouldian and other colored finches need extra iodine. Supplemental
iodine can bring back lost head feathers.
- Manganese, good for nerves. Sources include whole grain seeds and
Vionate vitamin/mineral supplement. Lack of manganese in the chicks
diet can cause star gazing.
Robert mentioned several times that his goal was to find a healthy
diet for his birds that was priced in a range that he could afford
with over 2000 birds to raise. He gave many cases where his six ingredient
diet turned many a deficient bird around. Robert is a big user of
hard boiled egg and since he mixes it with the game bird starter,
it remains dry and does not spoil unless it becomes wet from a birds
bath or rain. Robert feeds these six ingredients separately and offers
them free choice daily. He rarely has a sick or deficient bird to