Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday's Tipster - Debbie Eaton

Congratulation Debbie Eaton, this weeks Tuesday's Tipster!!

Debbie's Article: Bird Breeder’s Best Investment

A bird breeder’s best investment might be any of a number of very important items. Good stock birds, good cage systems, ventilation equipment, cleaning equipment and many more items could be listed as a bird breeder’s best investment. Every day birds have to be fed, watered and cages maintained.

One of the most important items in used every day is the diet that you give your birds. Breeding season, molting, show conditioning and resting season are all important in how you condition your birds. Food is the most useful tool for that purpose.

In my bird room, my most important tool is my medium size food processor!! The 4 - 7 cup food processor is the perfect size for a medium size bird room in daily fresh food preparation. The small choppers have about a one cup capacity and the large kitchen food processors are simply too large to use for small batches of extra conditioning food. Dump in the ingredients, give it a spin and in two minutes the food is prepared and ready.

During breeding season, my egg food is prepared using a large food processor and an extremely large stainless steel mixing bowl. Enough egg food is mixed and frozen in small containers to last approximately two to three weeks depending on the breeding cycle in my aviary. For daily use in feeding my soft bill birds or canaries and during the molting and conditioning times, I use the medium size processor to mix fruits and vegetables with vitamins, probiotics and products that the birds need and will not necessary eat freely. I make a fruit or vegetable salad with all of the ingredients that I want them to have and they have to pick through and taste it all to get the goodies.

The following recipes are some of my quick and easy favorites that my birds eat to the last morsel.

Quick Egg food: Dry egg food such as Bisko or Quiko, dump 2 - 3 cups in the bowl, and spin with fresh baby spinach or collard greens. Mix until the mixture is moist, crumbly and definitely a light green color. Feed in small dish.

Treat for young birds or summer season. I used this after a hurricane had left us without power in the late summer for many days, it was hot, and our small generator could only be run a few hours. I wanted the birds to get plenty of hydration as well as food nutrition. Three to four large Shredded Wheat Cereal Biscuits, 3 large carrots, scoop of vitamins or probiotics optional. Break up the cereal biscuits until they are crumbled. Spin the carrots in the food processor until finely ground, mix into a semi-moist salad, feed.

Fruit Mix: One sweet apple, 1 carrot, small baby spinach or large collard leaf. Finely shred and mix. Feed alone or mix with dry egg food or pellets.

Veggies Salad: Summer Squash and carrots are a great veggie salad during the molt. Conditioning seeds or pelleted diet can be added for extra nutrition.

I am sure that there are many good recipes for bird food and every breeder has a favorite one. The ingredient list and ideas are endless. Look through your pantry and see what you can find and be sure to have that one good medium size food processor. Your birds will love to see you walk in the door.

Thanks so much Debbie for sharing with us! These are really great ideas and the Food Processor is also my best investment!!

If you want to be considered for Tuesday's Tipster send your tips to canarytales@juno.com and put tipster in the subject line to call attention to your entry. One article will be featured each Tuesday!

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