If you remember, I mentioned that thousands upon thousands of black
birds and others all over the lawn in the front of my office were
scavenging around on acorns. They actually devoured every bit of it!
In the past there were hundreds of squirrels foraging on acorns, now the
poor critters have nothing to eat because the birds ate them all.
Furthermore, to this date, the squirrels have simply disappeared. A
couple of my co-workers have told me, however, that several hawks in the
trees all over our parking lot area were stalking the squirrels and the
wild pigeons, I think they ate every one of them. Poor critters! That
is the way nature works, the circle of life.
Well, hopefully my bird room will begin to produce youngsters. I'm
sure many of you have or will have youngsters in the nests. From Sunday
I will be absent from my place, so I instructed my people to be very,
very careful in preparing the nestling food and soak seed to feed the
feeding parents. Many fellow fanciers have been talking a lot about
sprouting the seed to feed the birds. In my opinion, sprouted seed can
cause disaster and will cause loss of youngsters as well as some adults.
Seed in the process of sprouting may develop fungus and mildew, and
believe me; these two nasty situations will make the birds very sick.
We simply soak the soaking mixture for 6-8 hours in a glass jar. After
6-8 hours of soaking, we drain the water and let it sit in the same jar
horizontally for an additional 18 hours. At that time, the seed is nice
and swollen making it easy for the birds to consume and feed their
youngsters. Furthermore, in my opinion, just prepare the seed in the
above manner; it is more nutritional and readily accepted by all seed
eating birds. We mix 50% soak seed and 50% nestling food and we supply
it to the feeding parents fresh every day in small amounts at each
feeding. Remember, feeding Canaries and other small seed eating birds
requires a very small amount of food. We are not feeding hogs.
Many fellow fanciers and successful breeders in Europe and other parts
of the world suggest in avoiding feeding of nestling food to the parents
on the first day of hatching of the youngsters. I asked one individual,
"Why?" Well, the parent bird should feed their milk to the
youngsters to enhance their immune systems. A few years ago I tried
this method and it works. The female actually feeds some kind of liquid
substance and it shows in the crop of the youngsters as a whitish
substance. If anyone of you has the time, try this, it may result in
achieving better breeding results. This method of feeding can be also
applied to all species of seed eating birds, including Carduelan
Finches, Gouldian Finches, and small and large hook bills in general.
I remember some years ago when I had a few pairs of larger parrots,
including African Grey. We didn't realize that the African Grey had
eggs and hatched the babies until they started screaming, begging for
food. Well, to make a long story short, the parent African Grey
successfully fed the youngsters just with dry seed and occasionally some
fruits and vegetables. As soon as we discovered that the youngsters
were in the nest box we immediately prepared soak seed suitable for
parrots and nestling food blended together 50/50. With this food, the
parent African Grey and other parrots successfully fed their youngsters
to maturity and the screaming and begging for food soon stopped.
Make sure that when female Canaries and other seed eating birds are
incubating their eggs, gently remove the built nest and sprinkle a
considerable amount of insecticide powder on top of the nest pad or
sandwiched inside the built nest. This will prevent the ever-present
avian parasites from destroying the health and welfare of the birds.
When a female seed eating bird abandons the nest, the first thing that
should be checked is the presence of avian parasites in the nests.
Prevention of the flare up of these terrible critters will assure
success in breeding birds.
Feeding parents love to take baths. Make sure you provide baths at
least every couple of days. Feeding parents feed their youngsters
better when they are allowed to bathe. Look in the wild habitat for
example; there birds bathe several times a day and in most cases they
raise their youngsters to maturity.
As I mentioned many times in the past, every time we give our birds a
bath, we add either one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, one
tablespoon of Listerine, or even a tablespoon of bleach at least a
couple times per month. During the breeding season, at least a couple
times a month, also we dilute a tablespoon of Epson salt in a gallon of
water and give a bath to all the birds, young and old. We have been
doing this for decades in our bird room without encountering any
problems whatsoever. You only add one of the above ingredients to each
gallon of bathing water. Do not add all three above-mentioned items at
the same time. Only add one item at a time to each gallon of bathing
As I mentioned in my earlier posting, myself along with some of my
helpers, gathered a tremendous amount of wild greens, including
chickweed, dandelions, and other. Each time we feed the bird we put a
certain amount of greens in a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 1
tablespoon of bleach. We soak the greens for at least a half hour.
Then we rinse them thoroughly under cold running water and feed to the
birds with confidence. Wild birds and other impurities, which are
bountiful all over our environment, may contaminate the greens from the
wild. The greens that you purchase from the supermarket may be
contaminated with bacteria and other sources of impurities that are all
detrimental to the health of the birds and humans too. Do you remember
all the scares with the spinach and other vegetables in the past?
Probably many of you read that salmonella and other bacteria laced
vegetables made a lot of people sick in many parts of the USA. Wash and
sterilize any greens, vegetables, and fruits that you buy from the
supermarket before you feed it to the birds and to yourself too.
We spray our bird room and the birds with a fine mist every two weeks.
We use a Pyrethrum/petroleum based spray. We concentrate the spray on
crevices, cracks, and from a 3 feet distance we lightly mist the birds.
We spray the birds and the bird room about a half hour before the light
goes off. Avian parasites hide during the day and emerge at night
making the birds life miserable. Vigorously and aggressively minimize
the infestation of this highly damaging parasite.
I hope that many of you enjoyed reading Tony Bucci's traveling to
Australia. We posted many of the photos by Mr. Bucci. You can view
them and other photos by visiting the Abba web site @ www.abbaseed.com
<http://www.abbaseed.com/> . Click on Photo Album and open Tony
Bucci's Photo Album. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
I hope that when I come back here to New Jersey on May 1st I find a lot
of youngsters to be banded? This is all I can do for now. Please do
your share of postings; let's keep these groups active and
If you are not a member of the following
groups, please join and be part of the learning experience.
Best regards to all,