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 1/5 th 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.