Thursday, June 4, 2009

Teaching Border Chicks to Eat Variety

Weaned Yellow Cinnamon Variegated Border Chick Eating a Bite of Carrot from Cous Cous, Poppy Seed, Quinoa, and Carrot Mix

Enjoying Nibbling on Dandelion

Birds Love the More Serrated Dandelion

Eating Peas and Second Chick Eating a Sunflower Chip from the Seed Mix, and then Moving On for a Bite of Bread.

Eating Fresh Bread, Great for Taming, and Excellent High Calorie Carbohydrate Food to Feed After Showing to Minimize Weight Loss at the Bird Shows.

Eating Hard Boiled Egg, Fed from the time the first chick leaves the nest till they are eating a variety well. I will stop the hard boiled egg tomorrow. Continued feeding of hard boiled will inhibit weight gain as they need to eat more carbohydrates and fatty seeds.

Eating Sprouted Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Some Favorites: Cous Cous with Quinoa, Poppy Seeds, and Carrot; Egg Food, Wheat Germ with Brewer's Yeast and Bee Pollen, Petamine mixed with Harrison's High Potency Mash, Regular Seed Mix, Milo and Corn Mix, Mostly Eaten Beet Leaf, not shown in photos: ABBA Green 92 and Flock Raiser

Learning to Eat a Variety of Foods

Border chicks have a reputation for being picky eaters. Like all canaries, however, they can learn to eat a variety if we introduce a variety of foods when they are young.

Borders have a preference for minimal variety in a dish and actually prefer to have separate dishes. So I try to keep the number of items in most dishes to two or three. They even prefer individual seeds in separate dishes over a seed mix. If they do not accept a mix, I offer the item separately till they learn to eat it well.

They will eat more variety if you offer the new dish first thing in the morning as the only fresh item and then offer something else in an hour or two. For the photo shots, I put it all in the cage at once and I was especially pleased that they would take a bite of one food and then go to another without pigging out on any one thing!

To keep them stimulated to eat variety, I offer at least one different selection each day usually a different green but when in season, corn on the cob or cucumbers or even jalapeno peppers! Keep and eye on what they are eating and if they are pigging out on something, reduce the amount offered and feed it last thing in the day or infrequently. Offering and eating can be two different things and we want them to eat a healthy variety!

After shooting these shots of a cage of three weaned border chicks, the yellow cinnamon variegated was fantastic eating all that variety in about a 10 minute period! It is really a gem!!

1 comment:

DOVIER said...

This border birds are so beautiful , in the area that I live , you don't see this type of bird , mainly regurlar canaries , I would love to have a pair of this birds.
Thank you for sharing them.