During our visit to the firm Versele-Laga, Dr. P. Ghysels gave us a presentation on bird food and the requirements of this food. This presentation, based on scientific research and experiments, was clear and easy to follow, and provided with many examples.
The result is that we are smarter about food, but we are not yet specialists in bird food.
This article is based on Dr. Ghysels' presentation and presents some points that need attention.
For our zebrafinch, this balanced food consists of the following ingredients:
1. Protein, fat and carbohydrates.
2. Minerals and trace elements such as zinc, iron, etc.
The amount of protein needed depends on the situation. During rearing and moulting, this amount is significantly higher than during the resting season. Seed mixtures can never be adequate enough to provide for the normal situation.
Carbohydrates are found as starch in plants and seeds. Fats are concentrated sources of energy. Too much fat in food causes a poor function of other materials in the digestion of food. The history of omega-3 is a good illustration of this case. Fats are found in oil-rich seeds. These seeds may constitute a maximum of 1/5th of the mixture.
Minerals and trace elements must be presented daily. These elements constitute the "fitness" of the bird.
For the female, limestone is a primary necessity. At each egg laid, the amount of limestone of the female decreases by 20%. During the breeding period, the female must be able to keep her limestone stock to a maximum. During this period, it is therefore necessary to provide additional limestone in the food.
Vitamins are not found in sufficient quantities in seed mixtures designed for our zebrafinch. Therefore, they must be added. It is especially important to pay attention to vitamins that can be dissolved in fat such as vitamins A, D, E and K. A excess of these vitamins is stored in the fat of the bird and causes a poor function of several organs.
1. What are the causes ?
False moult is not a disease ! It is caused by a sudden change: Light, temperature, draft or stress.
2. The effects of a false moult
The zebrafinch enters a period of out-of-season moulting which will weaken it. To be avoided during breeding or competition period.
The bird victim of a false molt will need a supply of vitamins and minerals to help regrowth of the feathers.
3. A remedy used by breeders
To remedy this false moult, there is a method used by breeders which consists of letting a peeled and cut onion macerate in a liter of water for 3 to 4 days (protected from light).
Then, put a tablespoon of the juice obtained in a liter of water and distribute in the drinking trough for a week, renewing this mixture every day.
1. Nutritional composition
Nutritional value per 100 gr :
Crude protein 9 gr; Carbohydrate 75 gr; Fat 1.8 gr; Crude fiber 3.3 gr; Crude ash 3.4 gr.
Mineral value per 100 gr :
Calcium 44 mg; Phosphorus 177 mg; Iron 8.5 mg.
Vitamins per 100 gr :
Thiamine (B1) 470.5 mg; Riboflavin (B2) 100.1 mg; Niacin (B3) 190.9 mg.
Amino acids :
2.5% cysteine; Leucine 4.1%; Leucine 11.4%; Lysine 2.5%; Methionine 4.5%; Phenylalanine 6.3%; Threonine 3.7%; 1.6% tryptophan; Tyrosine 3.5%; Valine 5.5%.
Energy value : 1541 KJ
2. Study and effects of the seed
According to the links below, research has shown that foniopaddy has an anti-coccidiosis effect.
- Le foniopaddy
- Fonio paddy, une graine miracle ?