Sources Of Protein For Your Budgies

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Sources Of Protein

It is important that budgerigars get plenty of protein. Amino acids and the proteins constructed from them are needed for feather, bone, hormone, muscle, and enzyme production. Protein can also be used as a source of energy.

Seed is an excellent source of plant protein along with any spinach, broccoli, mung bean sprouts, cauliflower, corn, or almonds you feed.

To maximize the body and feather growth of exhibition budgerigars I find they need a good mix of both vegetable and animal protein.

Animal protein can be included in softfood in the form of cooked or powdered egg, bone meal, fish meal and shrimp flakes.

There are other excellent sources of animal protein you may consider adding to your feeding program.

POULTRY & GAME BIRD PICK BLOCKS -

Pick Block

The poultry and game bird industry invests a fortune on research to determine the best foods for robust healthy birds.

Pick blocks have become a standard in my flights. There are a wide variety available with different ingredients and protein content from 12% to 26%.

My birds prefer the Turkey/Game Bird Blocks that have a variety of seeds and animal bi-products that provide 26% protein.

The birds (especially the hens) love to pick at them, gnawing holes and tunnels, especially leading up to breeding season.

The gnawing action helps drive the hens into breeding condition.

When first using these blocks there was a lot of residue left and I doubted how much was actually consumed by the birds, and whether there was much nutritional benefit. I soon observed that seed consumption dropped considerably when the blocks were offered, so they were obviously eating much more than I initially thought.

CHICKEN CARCASSES -

Chicken

Budgies love chicken.

Back in the mid-70s I frequently visited the late Eric Monks in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. He often threw a chicken carcass in the flights after Sunday dinner. That would start a feeding frenzy and the bones were soon picked clean.

Whenever I have a baked chicken the birds get a protein treat.

After a meal the remaining carcass is broken into pieces and boiled in water for 30 minutes.. (Makes a great chicken stock..).. The pieces and any meat are then baked in the over for an additional 30 minutes to ensure everything is thoroughly cooked and dried, then left to cool.

The carcass pieces are then fed in trays in the flight and stock cages.

The birds make short work of the meat and smaller bones, gnawing everything until only the larger leg and wing bones are left.

MEALWORMS -

Mealworms

Despite what has been written in some well-known budgie books Budgerigars love Mealworms once they get the taste.

I feed home-grown live mealworms in the flight and stock cages, and freeze-dried mealworms in the breeding cages.

If you do not like the idea of growing your own you will find freeze-dried mealworms at most feed stores catering to wild bird enthusiasts or finch breeders.

Mealworms are easy to grow. I bought 1,000 over 3 years ago and the "colony" is still providing plenty of mealworms treats that are fed 2-3 times each week.

Our "colony" breeds in a plastic tub. All you need is supply of wheat or oat bran and vegetable scraps to feed every second day. Mine get sliced cucumber, broccoli stalks, cauliflower stalks, apple, and any other fruit or veges that have "moist" flesh.

Be aware that mealworms have a life cycle. From worms they pupate then turn into beetles which in turn lay eggs and eventually die.

After the beetles die the colony will appear dormant until the eggs start to hatch. Don't make the mistake of throwing out the powdery residue and the bottom of the tub... You will be throwing out thousands of eggs that are waiting to hatch.

Step By Step Approach to Breeding Mealworms.

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