Friday, December 26, 2014

Pre-Breeding Season Extra

During the pre-breeding season, I like to introduce the base of my nestling food recipe which I will add to once I am within a couple of months of breeding season and then again once birds are paired. Click on the photos and note the texture.

Big Bird's Nestling Food Base 

Six cups golden cous cous (Golden cous cous, most of what I get is from France but you can also get it from Bob's Red Mill golden cous cous for information see their web site.) 

Cover well with hot tap water leaving a little water above the level of cous cous. Stir occasionally until cools. It should be light and fluffy when cool. If lumpy, mix the cool cous cous with your hands till it is light and fluffy.

Couscous is a traditional North African and Middle Eastern dish made from precooked coarsely ground semolina, the rich endosperm extracted from durum wheat and is 16% protein. Ingredients: parboiled, coarsely ground duram wheat. (This is not pearl cous cous.)

Add six cups dry nestling food (I am currently using Belgium nestling food from Bird Supply of New Hampshire)

Add two cups additional dry nestling food (I am currently using Higgins)

(If want to increase the carbohydrate I would use CeDe and if I want to increase the protein I will add quinoa and switch to BioDecken Novafood for dry nestling food.)

Add one cup neonatal handrearing formula (I prefer CeDe Premium Handrearing Food - African Grey Parrot on box) Bird Supply of New Hampshire have agreed to carry it. CeDe Premium Handrearing Food is the best for hand feeding canaries and excellent for weaning chicks who will eat it plain straight from a dish before they eat any other food!

Thaw l 1b package frozen peas with hot water and drain and add to the mixture.

This keeps well in the refrigerator and I use it 3 or 4 days till gone or you can freeze. (This is a large recipe that eventually totally fills the large plastic tupperware bowl.)


Brian Rowe said...

Dear Linda,

Thank you for this recipe. As I am about to begin raising canaries again, I appreciate this information. I will assemble the ingredients ASAP.

Brian Rowe said...

Dear Linda,

Thank you for this valuable information.

Anonymous said...

Hello Linda,
I have been reading your blog for some years and from what I understood you Always told us not to use egg containing eggfood prior to the hatch of the chicks.
Now, Cede and probably also the other Belgian softfood do contain eggs.
Please give us an update.

Linda Hogan said...

Prior to chicks being hatched, I seriously limit any hard boiled egg being added to nestling food. I also watch the percent protein to keep it low. Volume wise cous cous greatly expands once wet what starts out as about 10% in the bottom of the large bowl once expanded fills it 3/4 full so even nestling food that contains some egg will be greatly diluted by volume. The important thing is do not add any hard boiled egg in it!

How low protein levels need to be depends on the breed. Borders are wanting something about 16% while colorbred are happy with up to even 22%. I feed the same nestling food to all and supplement colorbred with chicks with 1/4 pure hard boiled egg the first five days of the chicks life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,
I've just finished breeding and the base of my softfood is very similar to yours. I can confirm that I have had a bumper year on it having reared 21 borders from 6 pairs, about 70 new colours from 10 pairs and 10 fifes from a single pair. I use Orlux, cousins cous with olive oil and poppy seeds, into which I process about 5 slices of white bread, or garlic bread or even plain sponge cake. I add my vitamins and palm oil to the mixture and sprouts with peas and sweet corn (thawed) I have had zero wastage and my birds are looking awesome, despite being totally broken from the moult right now. Just thought is share. By the way I haven't used any eggs at all. I also offer all pairs with babies dry hand rearing formula free choice.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year yo all.