Friday, May 8, 2009
Variety Encourages More Feeding Behavior
Readily Fed Cous cous with Quinoa and Poppy Seed
Sometimes cocks won't sing or feed the hen and just want to mate immediately. A times the hen cooperates but at other times fighting breaks out. If fighting breaks out, I like to use a cage with a divider and put the hen on one side and the cock on the other side. I give all the goodies, greens, sprouted seed, and also cous cous with quinoa (keen-wha) and poppy seed. The hen seeing all the treats in his cage, will beg him for some and with the feeding a romance begins! After a couple of days, it is safe to remove the divider and the pair should be compatible and productive now.
I make a huge batch of the cous cous with quinoa and poppy seed and freeze an aviary daily portion in plastic bags. Using the largest Tupperware bowl, I place six cups of cous cous and one to one and a half cups of poppy seed. I add four to six tablespoons of olive oil or red palm oil and mix. Then I add boiling water to not only cover but an extra about 1/4 inch above the cous cous (one full electric tea pot of boiling water) and mix occasionally. I cook two cups of quinoa in a rice cooker and add to the cous cous.
Not only do the cocks of prospective breeding pairs readily fed the hen this mixture but also the hens as well as cocks love feeding it to their babies! This is a very nutritious feed as cous cous is semolina from wheat and quinoa has the best balanced amino acids of any grain!
Lesson: Providing variety encourages feeding behavior, a really important issue in getting borders to feed their own chicks!