Larkwood Feeding

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All breeders have a feeding routine that suits them and their aviaries. Here is our menu as an example bearing in mind that we make large quantities for many birds….

1. Breeding pairs in the morning:

• One heaped dessertspoon soaked oats per pair with babies. Level for others.
• Add one heaped spoon of soft food mix on top of that per pair with babies. Level spoon for others. When the babies are on the floor or pairs with more than four babies I increase the soft food to one and half spoons.
• Dry mix consisting of 4 parts white millet and one part canary. I often mix 8 parts white millet to I part canary due to cost of canary.
• Water
• Surplus soft food goes to the aviary every day. I try not to have surplus oats to keep the weight of the aviary birds in check.

2. Breeding pairs in the evening

• Bread soaked in milk not to wet. Pairs with babies get an eight of a slice and no babies we divide the slice into 16 pieces.
• Surplus bread goes to the aviary every day.

Ingredients and amounts of mix:

3. Soft food

• We use the high protein AVIPLUS breeder mix
• We use the EPOL chicken laying or growing mash

These we mix 50/50 and place dry in 5 litre ice cream tubs in the freezer.

We measure 16 heaped dessertspoons in a bowl. This is the base of the soft food mix. I guess we can find a cup or what but the spoon is habit.

4. Veggies/fruit

• We grate 2-3 golden delicious apples, 4-6 large carrots and 2 medium beetroot and add to dry soft food.
• When we have sweet potato that goes in as a treat whole on the floor as well as left over butternut, cabbage, etc.
• We slice spinach and add the chopped up pieces to the soft food. So everybody get some.
• We also add chickweed when available and fennel, rosemary and thyme. (all fresh out of the garden)
• We provide sliced oranges and lemons to the aviaries and stock cages. The birds chew them peel and all.
• Gum branches, rinsed and wet is a special treat to the birds. So re any other branches such as new shoots off the orange and lemon trees and peach/apricot trees. They love rolling in the wet leaves.
• Sugarcane is enjoyed by the birds.
• Fresh lusern are also be added to the soft food (when available) and is an excellent green food.

5. Other ingredients

• Two dessertspoons olive oil
• One dessertspoon PLUME PLUS oil. They use this for pigeons and it includes inter alia wheat germ oil. One can replace this with Ferti-Vit. Used as directed.
• Two teaspoons Protexin – probiotic excellent for the prevention of diseases.
• Heaped dessertspoon of crushed garlic
• Two dessertspoons calcium powder
• One and half cups soaked seed. Fine seed mix that contains approximately 21 different seeds. We soak that and add it to the soft food. (hemp, sorghum, nigger, poppy red manna, etc.)

6. Oats

We soak three and half cups oats every morning for the next day.

7. General

• We add the de-worming powder to soft food mix twice a year and when required I add the Doxibiotic to this also. When we have a regular supply of gum branches we do not deworm as the eucluliptus oil is a natural dewormer.
• Apple cider vinegar in the water for 3 days a week.
• We also grow some oats, canary and white millet that we feed green when available.
• Saturdays we replenish the grit (aviaries and breeders). Here we used to use exclusively sea sand. No I had to improvise due to distance and feed the sparky iodised pigeon grit and charcoal mixed 50/50. Also mix in all the different types of commercially available grit. I feel that way one obtains a nice balance. We add the sea sand still but a lot more conservatively.
• Ivomec Sheep dip: twice a year one drop on the skin behind the head (neck area). Controls mite and other parasites.

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