Austerity diet

Advanced questions and discussion on specific bird species.
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E Orix
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Posts: 2725
Joined: 29 May 2009, 23:30
Location: Howlong on NSW/Vic Border 30km from Albury
Location: Howlong NSW

This topic has been touched on in the past and I am curious to see how many of the members practice
it.
Also in areas which experience cold winters how many really try to dissuade their birds from breeding
during those cold months
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finchbreeder
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Joined: 27 Jun 2009, 20:00
Location: Midwest of West. Aust. Coast
Location: Midwest of West.Aust.Coast

It's 19 degrees at 8AM so don't really have overly cold winters. I frequently use this time of year for a complete clean and refurbishment of avairy floors, perching and nests. This combined with the cooler weather tends to stop most birds, but the very stubborn will carry on, and i can't talk myself out of providing them with the prolifficly growing green seed in my garden/jungle.
LML
LML
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starman
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Posts: 589
Joined: 04 Oct 2016, 18:51
Location: Coastal N.S.W.

I think the question of whether to implement an austerity diet or not really depends on your breeding ambitions and goals. My understanding of this is that it is principally a control mechanism for the stimulation of breeding instincts, and hence, for the maximisation of the seasonal breeding period.
My (finch) breeding style is very casual, if not lazy, and this is reflected in my results.... but if I bred large volumes, I would have the added problem of stock disposal and/or overcrowding, so modest success is my preferred result. However, for more active breeders, I concede that an austerity diet period would be well worth consideration, especially for those who incur significant expenses in the maintenance/expansion of their hobby, as here significant stock sales are necessary to keep the hobby viable.
As long as the austerity diet is well thought out and does not impact on the health or well-being of the birds, I can see no reason not to, at least, give it a try.
Sm.
Avid student of Estrildids in aviculture.
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Tiaris
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Joined: 23 Apr 2011, 08:48
Location: Coffs Harbour

I don't consciously have an austerity diet, but sort of have one by default.
I have a breeding aviary diet all year (livefood, grass seed, sprouts, etc.) & a holding aviary diet (roughly equivalent to an austerity diet).
When I had more birds I would move the more strictly seasonal Winter & Summer breeders to & from the breeding & holding aviaries as required.
I also have very mild winters compared to many. Actually, a break from breeding mid-summer is more appropriate here as that is a more stressful time for breeding IMO.
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Craig52
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Joined: 11 Nov 2011, 19:26
Location: victoria

I'm sorry to say but these days with social media every one there is striving to breed their birds ALL YEAR ROUND. A couple of times i have mentioned about giving your birds and yourself a break over Winter only to be howled down to mind your own business our birds will breed when ever they want. Pics of young finches in the nest and just fledged of several species are put up daily but they also complain and say how cold it is and we hope that they survive.
The other component to the story is that a lot of finch species both foreign and Native are still hard wired to breed by weather conditions in the wild which coincides with our Southern Winters like for example gouldian finches and my own passion WB crimson finches.
Mike Fiddler imposed the Austerity diet for breeding finches in the UK but in my honest opinion it does not work here where we keep our finches in large planted aviaries but not small cages or cabinets that are more common in the UK.
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matcho
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I mainly breed goulds with a spattering of painteds and stars. I find that (for me) an austerity diet is a total waste of time. Goulds breed (here) through the winter and as pointed out are "hard wired" for their breeding season. When it finishes they then go into the moulting phase , which coincides with the more traditional "breeding" season of spring/early summer. This time to me is when they need all the nutrition they can get to help them through the moult. If I imposed an austerity diet it would coincide with the end of the breeding season which to me would put undue stress on the adults who have just finished breeding and the chicks who are going into their first moult, after all, their natural habitat only has two distinctive seasons, wet/dry not four as normally encountered in non-tropical regions. I think I will continue with what works for me, sprouted seed daily, seeding grass and greens most days.

Admittedly there are probably species out there who would benefit from this but when running an aviary with mixed species with different breeding seasons this system may benefit some but not all.

Just my take on things.

Ken.
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D0NKEY
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Joined: 07 Dec 2014, 09:26
Location: Sydney

Well said matcho. I agree with your views on the gouldians and the austerity diet.
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Shane Gowland
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I do an austerity diet by accident. When it's cold and wet, it's harder to get leafy greens, insects, and green seed to grow (even with the hot house) and my interest in going outside to give them softfoods is pretty low. They go down to a seed and water diet purely by virtue of my own laziness.
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branchez
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Joined: 02 Oct 2011, 21:05
Location: north shore victoria

What makes up an austerity diet?
Jack
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mr skeeter
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Joined: 13 Nov 2013, 07:15
Location: Melbourne Vic

gday jack i would imagine its a basic dry seed mix, i don't encourage my birds to breed through winter not giving any live food, greens, sprouted seed.ect but some will breed which i can't stop.
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