Sunday, June 24, 2012

Parakeet Observation with Egg Food

He'd eaten a lot of this before I took the picture.
He's not even a father, he just likes egg food.
When I added Lady Gouldian finches to my flock, a breeder recommended giving them egg food. Since we make a lot at once, this year for the first time we're giving it to all parakeet varieties as well as the finches.

I've observed that many of the egg shells left after their babies hatch are still there. In the past, I assume they ate them for the extra calcium since egg shells were seldom present except after an immediate hatch.

This year, all the hens are leaving shells in the nest. They just push them aside. The egg food is probably providing them with all the calcium they need. It should also be noted that the father birds are gobbling up the egg food as soon as it goes into their cage. The first day it was given to them they viewed it warily, but now look forward to it fresh every morning.

My favorite male Bourke, Sweetheart.

Bourke and Splendid males feed their mates, who in turn feed the young. After the young leave the nest, fathers take over much of the feeding for about two or three weeks. Splendid males may feed babies while in the nest, however, it's unusual for a Bourke male to do so. With Gouldian finches, both parents feed the young in the nest. Typically, both attend to them during the day, but only mothers at night.

Egg food:
Boiled chicken eggs, including shell, cooled
Dry bread crumbs
Blend together in a blender until shells are ground up
If too wet, it can be dried on a cookie sheet in a low oven
Excess can be stored in the refrigerator for approximately a week.

Last time we blended in mixed vegetables, which kept it moist. The birds seem to love it, moist or dry. Inverted jar lids make excellent serving bowls for small portions that need to be replaced often. Don't leave egg food to go bad. If you leave it in the cage, remove anything that remains by the end of the day, or sooner. Some sites recommend not leaving it longer than an hour. If you live in a hot climate, that is good advice.

Six baby Lady Gouldian finches, 3 wks old tomorrow
 and full of egg food.

Peace and Blessings!


neversink7 said...

I put a lot of stuff into my eggfood including some vitamin powders and other types of supplements so I won't have to do put as much supplements in their water - not sure if all are needed, but doesn't appear to hurt either. I notice my grasskeets and finches start to eat a lot more eggfood when babies hatch and then taper off once the babies fledge, perhaps encouraging the babies to start foraging on their own. Congrats on all the new youngsters.

Stanley Zurbrich said...

Hey isn't feeding egg food like cannibalism? Since they are eating the eggs of their feathered friends?

By the way, your bird cage looks nice!

G. A. Lewis said...

Hello Stanley,
Funny you should mention this because my husband did too, smile.

I pointed out that many birds actually eat the babies of others--far worse than just eggs. Jays and Starlings will steal the babies of sparrows, swallows and other small defenseless birds and feed them to their own young.

Egg food shells come from the infertile eggs of chickens.
Today we boiled the empty shells of chicken eggs we've eaten ourselves, dried them out and ground them to a powder. We're going to offer this calcium to the birds.

To prevent jays or starlings from stealing baby swallows our bird houses have holes too small for the bigger birds to reach into, and there are no perches for them to hang from. It's a terribly sad thing to see the nests robbed.