Thursday, June 30, 2016

Recycle Garden Produce

What do you do with overgrown cucumbers, damaged kale, and broccolini leaves, bolting swiss chard heads and marigold flowers? BIRD FOOD I recycle many garden extras and tops from carrots, beets, kohlrabi and turnips. First birds and than to compost!

According to Clinical Avian Medicine "Plant toxicoses are rare. The majority of ingested plants will merely cause mild gastrointestinal signs. Plants that have proven to result in toxic reactions in canaries include avocado, dieffenbachia, foxglove, lupine, Nerium oleander (evergreen shrub cultivated in the Mediterranean) and yew."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Nutritious Weaning Food - Moringa Soft Food Recipe

Cous cous is my canaries favorite soft food ingredient. It is a major ingredient in my regular breeding nestling food. Now that breeding season is over, young birds and weaning ones love this simple nutritious recipe. Cous cous, olive oil, moringa powder, chia seeds, and poppy seeds. I put all ingredients in a large bowl and cover slightly with cool water and stir periodically to prevent lumps for about a half hour. If lumps occur, process in food processor.

Moringa source states "Moringa is known around the world as a rich source of vegetable protein (30%). It contains 18 amino acids including all 8 essential amino acids, 47 active antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories. In addition moringa powder contains 7x the Vitamin C found in oranges, 4x the Vitamin A of carrots, 4x the calcium of milk, 3x potassium of bananas, as well as zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid, kaempferol, silymarin and essential minerals such as zinc and iron. Moringa oleifera is nature’s whole-food complex, which makes it easy for your body to recognize, absorb and assimilate."

What they failed to say was the canaries love it!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Buyer Beware - Avian Probiotics

Does your canaries probiotic contain harmful bacteria that are capable of making your canaries sick?

Many probiotic brands contain live strains of a harmful bacteria called Enterococcus faecalis  that causes upper respiratory infection in canaries.

According to Clinical Avian Medicine " Enterococcus faecalis is associated with chronic tracheitis, pneumonia and air sacculitis. Affected birds have increased respiratory sounds, voice changes and dyspnea (difficult breathing). Treatment with antibiotics will improve clinical signs, but individual birds can seldom be completely healed. "

It is critical when selecting a highly beneficial probiotic that it contain several strains of AVIAN SPECIFIC lactobacillus and that it does NOT contain fermentation products of Enterococcus faecalis. The product should also contain a specific expiration date as the number of living organisms decreases over time even with refrigerated storage.

Read the product label carefully and select a brand that will benefit your birds and not risk giving them a lifetime of respiratory problems.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Newborn Chick Death -Bad Smell

How frustrating to have newborn and other young chick dying. This year I have had a number of instant messages from breeders in various countries losing 50 of more chicks and puzzled about how to stop it.

A big clue is whether they detect a bad smell in the effected nests.  In breeding birds the most common cause of chick death when there is a bad smell is E. coli infection.  The preferred treatment is trimethoprim sulfa.

Made by Medpet in South Africa it is a common product sold to pigeon breeders all over the world. Since this is a fairly common problem it is a good idea to keep this on hand to use during infectious outbreaks. The source of the infection is contaminated food and or water. Water should not come from any holding tank or hose.  Good hand washing before making eggfood or taking care of birds is also important as E.coli is present in human fecal material.

An alternative treatment is pediatric bactrim 1ml/100ml water which like trimethoprim sulfa treats E.coli and coccidiosis. infections.

The good news is after 7 days treatment on trimethoprim sulfa all were rid of the problem without a negative effect on their breeding and went on to produce high numbers of chicks after treatment.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Identifying Signs Blood-Sucking Mite Infection

This chick has a gray look. Notice the feet are nearly white!

Look under the wings

When chicks are doing poorly, it is important to make sure they are not infected with blood sucking mites.

Blood-sucking mites include red mites which attack birds only at night and hideout during the day elsewhere and northern or fowl mites that spend its entire life on the host.

The whole chick looks gray and the feet look white instead of pink. The red color inside the mouth is light pink instead of the healthy bright red.

Looking under the wing you see raw places. You can also see mites under the tail where the new feathers are growing in.

If you find northern mites on the bird, check on your hands as they are likely crawling on you!

Air Sac Mite Treatment during breeding is best done with Dr. Rob Marshall's S76. This works very well for air sac mites where the sign is clicking or respiratory distress.

But for external mites such as the blood-sucking type, using Vetafarm Avian Liquidator with its long lasting effect is the way to quickly get rid of the problem. One spray is all you need and mites are gone even if any mite eggs hatch.

Note: the case presented is northern mites.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Broccoline Greens

Once the chicks are big enough for banding, I offer broccoline. Its head is loose and easier to eat making it preferred over broccoli. We are raising it in our garden and share with the birds. I process the leaves and add to nestling food.
I like to plant the broccoline heads through the wire on the bottom of the cage.