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

Generally 2 millets Red and White because yellow Panicum is so hard to access these days and a 3rd is Jap if you need to.
With the exception of cage/room bred Gouldians (in my opinion) All Gouldians definitely should be put on an austerity regime
It gears them up to be ready to breed when the days are longer and warmer.
I try to start it around mid Aug. for 3 weeks, if you have softbills you will need to pull them out as they need extra and if put it out for
them the finches will eat their food defeating the process.
If I had only Gouldians then 2 or 3 weeks later would be better.
I dislike my birds breeding in what I call the non breeding season especially the colder months. I want my birds to breed when it is warmer
and longer day light hours for the parent birds to get those extra feeds into the chicks.
There is far less risk of dropping hen birds and birds that breed in the colder times are too tired to breed when conditions
are far better.
I am sure this will cause debate the more the better.
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mr skeeter
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Joined: 13 Nov 2013, 07:15
Location: Melbourne Vic

david how do you stop them breeding in your large aviary with a mixed collection???
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george gaoutsos
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Joined: 01 Jun 2016, 15:46
Location: oakleigh vic
Location: melbourne

Very Good Point mike
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Ian Hamilton
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Joined: 28 Jan 2017, 12:28
Location: Central Coast, NSW

I'm trying an Austerity diet. I was seeking some info a few months ago to see what methods are out there. I think the thread fell in a heap. But since we're back on the subject....

Its been very concerning.... at least that's my experience. But I'm also hoping for the expected rebound in Spring.

I've been winding down the diet, 2-3 weeks at a time removing different foods. I started in May removing live food, then the soft food, then the soaked seed, then the Leb cucumber, then now having an oil-less dry seed ( I use hemp oil with Tummyrite normally). So now just dry seed & water. Bare in mind they have seeding grasses in the aviary & small-leaf saltbush. They also get a reptile heat lamp that automatically turns on at 5am & off at 10am each day. The water has a small amount of apple cidar vinegar.

I've co-incided this with extracting all nesting material, receptacles & old nests in early June. The nest-roosters found enough material to rebuild basic structures - I'm ok with that. The tea-tree brush remained.

I've lost Pictorellas, hen Strawb & a cock Lesser red-brow - & the others aren't happy. Oh... the Honeyeaters are fine.

The drain in diet has stopped them breeding and put them into a moult - so they're doing as I expected ( but the dieing bit certainly wasn't required).

My plan is to see my schedule through despite the upset. I guess we all lose some stock during winter. I will keep them on what they are now on for the rest of July and then gradually wind up the diet throughout Aug/Sep - reintroducing nesting material.

I'll try & keep you posted.
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Tiaris
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Location: Coffs Harbour

Have you lost those birds since putting the austerity diet in place?
Winter is the natural breeding season for Pictorellas, Strawbs & Lesser Redbrows. You also live in a relatively mild climate location so I would strongly call into question the wisdom of a winter austerity diet for those species in your location. I certainly would not do it.
If you want to stop breeding completely, it is necessary to remove all brush, grasses, etc. Nest roosters can survive fine without a nest for a couple of months.
The whole notion of any austerity season or diet depends entirely on the species kept and the local climate in which you live. Adopting a cold country seasonal regime in a mild climate location ignoring the natural seasonal instincts of the species kept is totally against the best interests of the birds kept & breeding results they are likely to achieve. Just my opinion.
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arthur
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As a life-member of the "Not Broke - Don't Fix Club" . . I have never tried austerity diets

And if ever I produced a book on birds, it would be called "The Lazy Bird Breeder" . . (with apologies to DB)

And . .

One of the chapters would be titled: "Look After Your Birds, and They Will Look After You"
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Ian Hamilton
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Joined: 28 Jan 2017, 12:28
Location: Central Coast, NSW

Well there u go. Live and learn. Thanks guys. Harsh lesson but happy to have shared for others to learn what not to do.
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Ian Hamilton
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Location: Central Coast, NSW

Upon reflecting upon my last post I ought to say that the breeding of all species has been excellent. You couldn't ask for better except for one thing. All nests ( except TCPF) have had clear eggs and many nests. So two things arise leading me to undertake my current actions.....

Give the hens a rest....

... try something different - I’m thinking perhaps the birds are fat & not copulating properly.

So whilst all comments noted and appreciated, perhaps if I had provided my motivation you’d see why.

So reasons for all my clear eggs is subject of another topic. Happy to bare all if anyone’s interested.
Last edited by Ian Hamilton on 07 Jul 2018, 22:03, edited 1 time in total.
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starman
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Location: Coastal N.S.W.

[/quote]
... I’m thinking perhaps the birds are fat & not copulating properly.
[/quote]

Ian,
This is a fact that has taken on a lot of weight when I reflect on the performance of my RFPFs over the last year.
They spent an inordinate amount of time in the nest box, continuously spread raw egg omelette all over the floor, and failed to raise a single chick. They ate everyone's share of mealworms, copious grass/sprouted seed and other supplements. They appeared to have trouble taking flight after a good dunking in the bath, and I have come to the conclusion that they are suffering from being 'over-conditioned'. When space permits I intend to separate them and try to slim them down a bit to see if this helps with fertility.
Sm.
Avid student of Estrildids in aviculture.
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E Orix
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Joined: 29 May 2009, 23:30
Location: Howlong on NSW/Vic Border 30km from Albury
Location: Howlong NSW

I thought a discussion would eventuate
Once again I stress that I live in an area with a cold winter
Secondly I do not like or want my birds breeding in the cold weather, the risk on hen birds is
far too great.
I want my birds breeding when the weather is at least reasonable and I want my pairs rested and fit to breed then
and not worn out struggling to rear small clutches in winter. When the days are longer the parents can get at least a
couple more feeds into chicks which equates to being conditioned young.
I must point out my idea differs from my mates who tries to breed all year, we agree to disagree.
How do I stop my birds from breeding.
No nesting material, grass feathers etc at all.
The weather, limited access to breeding requirements helps greatly
The Weavers etc are set seasonal breeders with rain/temp and length of daylight hours dictating breeding there breeding cycle
so they are not a problem.
April through to Aug. limited live food, and less of extras
Aug(mid) Softbills removed and austerity diet put in place, no live food, no extras just 2 Millets
Sept 1st or 2nd week Full diet is put in place with live food being increased as breeding birds requirements are met.
large amount of soaked seed, each morning the remainder is thrown onto the ground
nesting material and if possible new brush has been put in place.
Why Sept start for full on diet etc.
Basically within 2 weeks birds have fattened up and are nesting
incubation 2 weeks fledging 3 weeks approx., chicks start coming out in Oct.
Weathers good, day light hours are longer condition are good and less chicks are lost.
Just an observation Gouldians, have you had Gouldians lay when their beak hasn't turned dark.
If so how many eggs were fertile most likely zero. Maybe they needed that diet break to re balance themselves.
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